Your summer evenings of free Shakespeare are about to get even better.
We are undertaking the largest privately funded construction project in our 40 year history and we need your help to make it happen. The Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority recently awarded us over half of the money necessary to complete planned improvements to The Hazel Robinson Amphitheatre, but we still need to raise $100,000.00 by the end of September 2014 before we can break ground. Please help us get there.
What are we doing to the amphitheatre?
- Re-terracing the audience seating area, adding stairs between levels, and adding extra terraces.
- Adding a lit, handicapped-accessible path from the entryway into the audience seating area.
- Raising the “pit” area to enhance sight lines and bring the audience closer to the action.
- Completing the second floor of the main stage , adding a roof and storage bays to protect our sets, props and costumes from the elements.
- Building a new entry plaza and welcome center to serve as a gateway to the theatre, a concession and beverage stand, a merchandise shop, rain shelter, and tourist info area.
When are we doing it?
- We are breaking ground at the end of our summer season 2014.
How can you help?
- Buy a brick. We are selling personalized bricks to complete our entry plaza. Immortalize yourself, your family, a loved one, or a business as a sponsor of the arts in Asheville for decades to come!
- Attend one of our fundraising events. We are throwing parties, producing exclusive one-night only performances, and holding a number of other fun events throughout 2013. Check our event calendar to find out what we are doing next!
- Attend one of our ticketed shows. Come see “The Importance of Being Earnest”, “The Complete Works of Shakespeare: Abridged”, “Othello”, or “A Christmas Carol“, and help us reach our goal. We also have a donation jar at concessions for our construction fund.
- Donate online. It’s fast. It’s simple. And your gracious donation will be recognized in our playbill throughout the year.
- Become a sponsor or advertiser. Close to 10,000 guests per year attend our productions. Get the details on the benefits of sponsorship or advertise in our playbill.
Audience seating improvements and renovations
- Paved path significantly eases access for elderly and handicapped patrons
- Lighted path reduces possibility of injury during mid-show trips to the restroom or concessions area
- Lighted path adds security
- Newly terraces will be cleaner, easier to sit on, and less dangerous than current terraces
- New stairs significantly ease access between terraced rows for actors and patrons
Raising the pit
- Construct a block wall where the existing lower stage entrances are and extend on a diagonal to both existing side stages
- Enlarge the existing balcony to a thrust stage – 16′ wide x 8′ deep
- Put traps in the thrust stage and along what is now the “tunnel”
- Put in a drain line along the lower edge of the “pit”
- Put in fill dirt to raise the height of the pit to a level approximately three feet below the existing floor of the upper stage (roof of the building)
- Install artificial turf to provide lawn seating and bring the audience closer to the stage
- Remove the existing front and balcony rails for better sight-lines
- Rebuild both side stages for safety and permanence
- Easier to see the actors -Raises the actors and eliminates sight-line issues for all rows
- Audience can sit on blankets closer to the stage and the action
- Provides a thrust stage to allow for greater creativity of blocking and movement on stage
- Creates more and better opportunities for playing levels
- Creates more patron seating for anticipated increases in attendance
- Eliminates the muddy pit with the inability to get grass to grow
- Reduces or eliminates many maintenance issues
Stage improvements and renovations
- Creates a visually exciting playing space
- Enhances the look of our campus
- Provides more and better playing levels for actors and directors – the upper floor is currently being used already in several shows – finishing out the second level will provide even more opportunities for blocking
- Expands storage space during run of show for costumes, props, etc.
- Expands lighting capabilities by providing for back lighting and top lighting, which will expand the capabilities of our current lighting plot by being able to use front lighting more for special effects instead of a general wash
- More and better sound distribution to our audience
- Adding the roof will protect the asset of our brand new stagehouse
Entry plaza and welcome center
- A fun and inviting entryway
- A beacon to guide patrons to the Amphitheatre from the parking lots
- A single, convenient location for buying concessions sodas, beer & wine, and merchandise and renting chairs, blankets, etc.
- A gathering place where patrons can find information about MPP and about other attractions in Asheville
- A place to buy tickets
- A place to host specialty vendors and food carts
- A place to see our sponsors’ information (banners, flyers, etc.)
- A permanent rain shelter in case of thunderstorms
- A sense of security when going to the restrooms
- A place that enhances the Montford neighborhood and Asheville