Theater spaces in Nashville can be hard to find. Most are too expensive for small companies and the rest are either already tapped by resident groups or scheduled way into the future. When Barry and I started looking for a space to do STUFF, we thought that perhaps starting from scratch was the way to play it. The old ‘my dad has a barn idea.’
Friends of our, Steve Armistead and Bill Barkley are successful developers here in Nashville. Possibly they had an old building we could use? As it turns out they did. 1008 Charlotte Ave was scheduled for the wrecking ball at some point in the future. Due to Bill and Steve’s kindness, it was now ours to use.
Now the hard part, we would literally tear down hundreds of partitions and move as many desk and chairs. Clear the ceiling for the lights and sound, build a control room and clean two years of dust and grim from the old boat. (It kind looks like a ship from the front) Paint and replace the awning in the front and hang banners inviting the world, however briefly to our new theatre space. It has been months and many hours of work to be ready Dec 4th for the world première of STUFF.
In the next year or so Writer’s Stage and the American Negro Playwright Theater, headed by its artistic director Barry Scott, will produce plays; hold workshops and offer student instruction for as many as possible. We will work hard to be good stewards of our gift until the bull dozers arrive.