Saturday, December 11, 2010

Signature Reveals 'Sunset Boulevard': The Venue

Signature's current production.
Theater at a corner of Cambpell Ave (image: Signature)
Exterior (2008)
Anchoring a corner of Shirlington's main avenue is the Signature Theatre, a nationally known producer of musical theater and contemporary works. Part of this vibrant arts neighborhood since 2007, Signature moved into its $16 million building after thirteen years in its original warehouse space.

The 48,000 square foot facility includes two black box theaters which allows for versatile staging. This also means the seating plan changes based on the production requirements. Their main stage Max theater seats 299 and the smaller Ark theater seats 99.

Signature now competes with the major venues in Washington, DC in attracting theater audiences. Their presentation of Broadway quality productions in an intimate playing space attracts an audience of over 80,000 each season.

Second floor bar & lobby (2008)
The theater's box office is located at street level. The main theatre is on the second floor and its smaller venue located on a third level. The second floor lobby feels more like a bar in a loft space with high ceilings and exposed pipes. A glass wall measuring 14 feet high and 140 feet wide offers a full length view of Campbell Ave straight through the heart of Shirlington.

My first visit to Signature was to experience their spectacular production of 'Les Miserables' which was a brave departure for the theater to stage an epic musical in an intimate theater space. That was in the month of December 2008. With 'Sunset Boulevard' also premiering during the winter months, my hope is one day to visit Signature in a warmer time of year.

More info at Single tickets available online at Patrons needing taxi service is requested to notify the theater by intermission. Parking is available on site. Backstage tours offered only on certain dates.

Above & below: lobby photos (images: Signature)

Bridge to second floor lobby (2008)
Second floor lobby theater shop (2010)
Lighting detail over main stairway to the theaters (2008).

Signature exterior at night (2010)
Signature exterior in daylight (2008)
View from top of the stairway: the courtyard outside the
theater and glass wall of second floor lobby above (2010). 


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