After four years, Mainstage Classic Theatre is finally coming home.The non-profit community theatre group will move several blocks down East Broad Street from a prop house into a 2,000-square-foot space that will allow members to hold classes, conduct business and store all of their props and costumes."When I got the keys, I felt like I’d gotten the keys to a candy shop," said education coordinator Heather Rountree. "And there’s nothing there yet."I stood in the lobby and it hit me," she said. "I was so excited for Mainstage Classic Theatre. I feel like this is the next step. I can’t wait for our kids to come to class and have space or come to fittings."The group’s current building is a house stuffed with hundreds of hats, shoes, purses, dresses, suits and gloves. There’s a full-length Indian headdress and dozens of pieces of jewelry to keep up with, said costumer Linda Nelson."We have a lot of small rooms in the old space," Nelson said. (In the new place) we will have one large room for everything."Actors and crew have carved a path through the clapboard prop house, which is starting to resemble an episode of "Hoarders.""We filled every inch of the space," Rountree admitted. "We taught out of a dance studio. If we needed a prop, we had to have it in our cars or go get it."The new space will let the company expand from two to four teachers and from two to six classes, including Imagination Book Buddies for 4- to 6-year-olds, Early Childhood Drama for kindergartners through third-graders, two daytime classes for home-school groups in addition to the Intermediate Theatre Arts and Advanced Theatre Arts classes.Weekly classes in the fall will run from September through November and cost $60 per month or $160 if paid at the beginning of the term.The new classrooms can be used for fitting rooms or workrooms when MCT is producing a show, Nelson pointed out. The new place will offer other advantages, too, she said."It will be more visible, classes can be in one space and we’ll have an office, which we didn’t have at the other space," she said. "We’ll be able to run a business from the new space."Executive director Marty Fredrick summed up what the new place will mean for MCT."It kind of legitimizes us," Fredrick said. "It means Mainstage Classic Theatre has finally arrived as a full community theatre entity. We started out with our costumes in an unfinished attic at First United Methodist. "Our whole philosophy is to promote and encourage performing arts in the area," she said. "I think anyone in the classes will feel that."
Amanda Rogers, 817-473-4451 Twitter: @AmandaRogersNM