Franklin Performing Arts Company to Develop New Performance and Event Venue
The Franklin Performing Arts Company (FPAC) will soon debut a new performance and event venue in the heart of downtown Franklin. Located at 15 West Central Street, the theater, music venue and event space will be named THE BLACK BOX. FPAC's new home will host quality performances and diverse programming, providing suburban audiences with excellence in the arts offered close to home. The company has signed a long-term lease and renovations will begin shortly at the site, located just behind the Franklin School for the Performing Arts (FSPA). The flexible black box space will promote a thriving cultural center for the community that will also serve as a vibrant economic engine for the region.
FPAC hosted a kick-off celebration in the space on November 1, with scores of long-time supporters and new friends of the company in attendance. Most commonly heard among the remarks was an acknowledgement of the transformative power of a new downtown venue, with considerable potential for revitalization, community enrichment and economic growth.
"One of the Master Plan's goals and objectives was to have a performing arts venue downtown," noted State Representative Jeffrey Roy. "I am absolutely thrilled to see FPAC help us place a checkmark on our bucket list by opening this theater. It will help us make downtown a vibrant center again, it will be a real boost for the businesses and restaurants in the area, and it will help make Franklin a destination community."
As FPAC embarks on a robust 23rd season with blueprints for a black box theater, the company's uniquely staged LES MISERABLES demonstrated the benefits of a flexible space. The FPAC season opener, performed October 18-20, made creative and powerful use of an open floor plan and underscored FPAC's core commitment to youth development and live music. Patrons of THE BLACK BOX can look forward to more innovative presentations, with an exciting mix of live music, dance and theater genres staged in an ever-changing and dynamic way.
THE BLACK BOX will host wide-ranging entertainment, from iconic musicals and intimate theater to live music presentations and children's programming. The venue will also host special events and provide a desirable location for offsite meetings and receptions, serving as a valuable planning resource for the region.
"This is a very exciting time for our organization as we plan for the opening of THE BLACK BOX and establish a long-awaited home for the Franklin Performing Arts Company," said FPAC Executive Director Raye Lynn Mercer. "As a lifelong resident of Franklin, I am happy that this new venue will play an important role in the revitalization of our downtown."
With the new venue, FPAC plans to build upon a history of community outreach and programming, such as the popular, free Family Concert Series, introducing audiences of all ages to music of many genres, and the summertime Whatever Theater Festival, featuring a production of Shakespeare and series of one-act plays. Free community presentations are a mainstay of FPAC's annual season of shows.
A nonprofit, community-based organization, FPAC brings together professional artists from Boston, New York and beyond with area performers and students of the arts in a collaborative and creative environment. FPAC productions draw performers and audiences from more than 50 local communities.
Through a sustained commitment to youth development, FPAC has since 1991 prepared the next generation of performing artists and empowered children and teens with lifelong communication and improvisatory skills. Company performers and alumni are making their mark in top college and conservatory programs, national Broadway tours, European concert tours, the American Idol finals, cruise line casts, film, television and regional theater. FPAC's record of successes demonstrates the quality of preparation and level of entertainment value found in company productions.
For more information about FPAC or THE BLACK BOX, call (508) 528-8668 or visit www.fpaconline.com.