Haywood Arts Regional Theatre in Waynesville has raised $160,000 since last summer in a capital campaign to build a second theater.
The total price tag of the second facility is $950,000. The second theater, which is only in preliminary conception stages, would be mid-sized — big enough for full scale productions, but not as big as their current main stage auditorium. It would seat 150-180, compared to the current mainstage, which seats 250.
The possibilities range from small plays to dinner theater, drama camps to acting classes, cabaret to wedding receptions. It seems the avenues of potential are endless. It also allows two plays to run simultaneously, rather than ending a successful run, even if it is continuing to sell out, just because the next show has come up on the schedule, according to Steven Lloyd, executive director at HART.
HART has an economic footprint on the community of $2.4 million dollars a year, with Stage II aimed to double that, according to an economic impact formula developed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Americans for the Arts.
HART has smaller “backstage” theater styled after an upclose theater-in-the-half-round. It seats up to 70 people, mostly used for the winter theater series.
“It’ll look hugely successful because you come in and can’t find a seat. But, if we did it on the main stage, it would look like a failure,” Lloyd said. “We need that middle facility to fit that audience.”
In 2012, the progress of the theatre evolved into a semi-professional community theatre, producing five studio shows and six main stage shows, plus a new production of “A Christmas Carol.”