Park Square Will Open New Stage in October
Park Square Theatre announced today that construction of its new Andy Boss Thrust Stage is well underway and scheduled to be completed in mid-October in time for the company's 40th anniversary season. The additional venue, located in the lower level of the Historic Hamm Building, will be a professionally-equipped full performance facility with 204 permanent seats, ticket office, lobby, galleries, rehearsal hall, backstage and dressing rooms. Projected to cost $3.5 million, the Boss Stage was designed by BWBR Architects. RJM Construction is the general contractor and Teresa Sterns of Sterns & Associates is the project manager.
Nine productions are planned for the first season of the Twin Cities' newest theatrical venue - six mounted by Park Square and three produced by theatres in residence: Girl Friday, Sandbox Theatre and Theatre Pro Rata. With a two-stage facility, Park Square plans to serve nearly 90,000 audience members with 18 productions in the 2014-2015 season, including 34,000 junior- and senior-high school students from across Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa.
The new venue is named in honor of the late local business and community leader W. Andrew Boss. For 30 years, Andy was part owner, President and CEO of St. Anthony Park Bank (now Sunrise Bank). A long-time Park Square subscriber and donor and an avid supporter of the arts, Andy was the Founding President of Northern Clay Center and a trustee for Music in the Park, COMPAS, the Minnesota Museum of American Art and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. He served on the steering committee for Park Square's Expansion Campaign until his death from Parkinson's disease in March 2014.
"After years of planning and fundraising - some of which still needs to wrap up - this is an incredibly exciting time for us," said Artistic Director Richard Cook. "This is the fourth theatre space I've had a hand in creating for Park Square since 1975 when we operated an 80-seat walk-up in the Park Square Court building, and this by far is the most ambitious and the loveliest. What's important to me, however, is how we are intentionally gathering diverse artists, audiences and students to share ideas, inspiration and energy at Park Square well into the next generation."