In 1978, Center Stage was named the State Theater of Maryland (Chapter 1003, Acts of 1978; Code State Government Article, sec. 13-309). It is a nonprofit resident professional theater. (Resident theaters invite artists to perform or design costumes and sets for their productions while living in theater-provided housing for the duration of their performance schedules.) One of approximately 70 resident theaters nationwide, Center Stage has an annual operating budget of about $5.4 million and employs some 100 artists and administrators year-round.
Center Stage offers a six-play season of classics, music theater, and new works. More than 125,000 people per year attend. Productions are performed on one of two stages (the 541-seat Pearstone Theater, and the smaller Head Theater) whose sets and props are made in Center Stage's own shops. Examples of the 1999-2000 season lineup include Griller by Eric Bogosian; The Hostage by Brendan Behan; and Shakespeare's Macbeth.
Located in downtown Baltimore, Center Stage was founded in 1963. A devastating fire in 1974 destroyed the original theater at 11 East North Avenue. From the destruction, Center Stage rebounded by acquiring and partially renovating an old building (once part of Loyola College) on Calvert Street. There, at its present location, the theater reopened its regular season in 1975.
July 18, 2000
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