AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Amarillo Little Theatre is the place to be and soon they will be expanding with a new performance space by their 100th anniversary.
During the Panhandle Gives campaign, Amarillo Little Theatre raised $34,160 to use to take the first steps toward a new performance space across the parking lot from the ALT Allen Shankles Mainstage.
“This year we had a goal of basically raising funds to tear down the Women’s Federated Club building, it’s located at 2001 Civic Circle. We obtained that building several years ago. For a while we were doing rentals out of there, we had weddings there, we were teaching classes out of that building, but after a while, that building was deteriorating and we really needed to do something with it,” said Managing/Artistic Director Jason Crespin.
Crespin said that the new performance space will not replace the ALT Allen Shankles Mainstage or the Adventure Space.
“After 95 years, we are growing, and growing, and growing. But we are limited on how much we can grow because we don’t have space. We would really like to have the space, another performance space, and have this whole block be ALT and fine arts,” said Crespin.
Crespin said that the ALT Mainstage has been around since 1957 and said the new performance space will be the younger sister to the Mainstage.
He added that hopefully, the new performance space will feature an Adventure Space-type quality theater, a black box-type theater.
It will also feature more classrooms for the ALT Academy, more office space, as well as more rehearsal space.
Crespin added this new performance space will be state-of-the-art.
“We would encompass everything we could, like you, said, LED lights, hopefully, a fly system to bring in and out sets. To kind of reconfigure, refigure the seating electronically, instead of us having to physically move risers in or out or chairs, in or out like that,” said Crespin.
He added there will also be state-of-the-art dance studios, theatre classrooms, and places where ALT can grow their technical aspects of learning, such as a dedicated costume shop.
Crespin said the biggest goal with this performance space is to help with the constraints of the calendar.
“That’s another problem that we have with a show, we have it for two or three weekends and we have the next show moving in that we have to close that show. Well, having another performance venue will allow us to widen up our performance calendar in those spaces,” said Crespin.
Crespin said they plan on removing the Women’s Federated Club building this season after conducting an asbestos abatement. He said the cost between the abatement and demolition would be $65,000.
Crespin added that ALT wants to continue to grow.
“For 95 years, ALT has been producing quality theatre for the Texas Panhandle and we want to continue to grow with our city. We want to continue to grow and offer more opportunities for our volunteers, more performances for our amazing patrons, and more classes for our students,” said Crespin.