Founder looks forward to new Playhouse on the Square - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Founder looks forward to new Playhouse on the Square

By Anna Marie Hartman - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Although it still mainly consists of block, beams, mortar and dust, the new Playhouse on the Square is starting to look like the state-of-the-art theatre it will become.

An exclusive tour of the facility revealed the amenities its predecessor was missing, including top notch acoustics, an orchestra pit, a trap stage where actors and scenery can appear and disappear, bathrooms on both floors, three bars and 350 seats.  

"Every singe row in the theatre is raised seven to nine inches, so even if you're sitting behind somebody that's six-foot plus, you can see over them pretty easily," said theatre founder Jackie Nichols.

Even though the venue is larger and seats more people, Nichols says it will actually be a more intimate experience between the player and the audience because there are only 10 rows from the front to the back on the main level.

The theatre is also the new home for Ballet Memphis. 

"We've also had discussions with Opera Memphis and the symphony, and are scheduling performances with them in the new facility," Nichols said.

In an economy where some venues are closing their doors, Playhouse on the Square is embarking on a new arts venture, "because the arts feed the soul," Nichols said.

He hopes theatre will help people forget their troubles when the lights go down and the curtain goes up.

The theatre opens on January 6, 2010 for a series of parties.  The first performance is the musical 'Pippin,' which opens on January 29.

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