"Although the acoustics were excellent, the sanctuary that we envisioned as our proscenium stage had been raised almost six feet by the Ford dealership [that had previously owned the building] so that automobiles could be driven into the building for repairs; it was too high for our performance needs. We wanted to seat 100 people for our concerts, but that seemed impossible and remodeling to that extent would be cost-prohibitive to us." Then he attended a performance of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra that took place in " the Colonial Church in Edina, one of the wealthier suburbs [of the Twin Cities]. The venue is very intimate; you can almost reach out and touch the performers and the audience is seated on three sides of the orchestra. That performance sparked a question in our minds: what if we looked at the church in Amery in a new light? What if we arranged the audience around three sides of what would be an arena stage with the fourth side as a balcony in the raised sanctuary? We measured and found we could seat 75 people around the three sides, with 25 in the balcony. We had our 100 seats! Voila! And it would be a much more interesting performance facility than the common proscenium venues found everywhere."
I'd like to collect pictures and/or descriptions of other small spaces like this. If you have something, email it to me at swalters at unca dot edu
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