Gamut Theatre Group is planning to leave Strawberry Square, where it has been located for 20 years.
But the combined theatre company of Popcorn Hat Players Children’s Theatre and Harrisburg Shakespeare Company won’t be moving far.
The former First Church of God at 15 N. 4th St., Harrisburg, which Gamut intends to make its permanent home, is directly across the street from Strawberry Square.
“It’s a beautiful building,” Clark Nicholson, Gamut’s artistic director, says in a news release, “and although there will be some cosmetic changes, we are very excited that we will be preserving much of the original architecture, including the lovely stained glass windows. There is a feeling of history here, a love and respect for those things that have come before, that lends itself nicely to the telling of classic stories.”
Plans for the new theater space include a renovation of the 12,000 square-foot building to create mainstage and children’s theaters, classrooms, offices, a reception lobby, a scene shop, costume shop, dressing rooms, storage and more. Renovation will also include facilities improvements such as installation of an air conditioning system, ADA-compliant entrances, and upgrades to electrical and plumbing systems.
Purchase of the building was facilitated by the theater’s former landlord, Harristown Development Corp.
“We have been working cooperatively with Gamut to help them acquire and renovate their new property into a long-term theatre asset,” said Brad Jones, vice president of community development for Harristown Enterprises Inc. “We are very supportive of this new project and are pleased that Gamut has chosen to remain part of the downtown community.”
Gamut has kicked off a fundraising campaign to raise the $1.6 million needed to complete the property’s renovations, which are projected to be completed by fall 2014. The company will continue to produce at its current location through it 2013-14 season.