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Outdoor Performing Venues

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I've recently gotten the go-ahead to start investigating ideas for an outdoor performance space at our private high school. We have a good deal of land, and in Orlando, the outdoor performance season is about ten months long. It's a big break for me as we have no real stage area at all right now and a building would be 5-7 years and nearly a million dollars away. Here's what I need:

1. If you have experience in building or performing in one of these outdoor theatres around the country give me as much detail as you can. Wha worked, what didn't? What were the highlights and draw backs? Were they all ampitheatre seating? If so, were there chairs or just sloping ground, or a combination of the two?

2. If you've been to outdoor performances describe the space and the experience? If you can find pics on the web, link away!!

I'm wanting to collect all the best ideas and see what we can steal for our own space!


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I've been numerous times to the Lubber Run amphitheater in Arlington, VA. I'm not sure this is what you're interested in -- it's supported by the County, so it may have more tax dollars behind it than your space does. But, for what it's worth:


Each summer, musical performers give concerts at the amphitheater, and the Signature Theater, which is prominent in the D.C. area, stages selections from one of its upcoming plays. I saw a Sondheim production there two years ago. I didn't care for the play itself, plus, it poured rain about halfway through. We all ran to our cars, waited for the rain to pass, then the brave few of us left returned to the seating area and watched the troupe put on the rest of their performance.

As for logistics, as a spectator, the performances I've seen there have never had any technical problems. The only problem is parking, which you have to do on residential streets in the surrounding area.

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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