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Maryland State Theater - Center Stage

[photo, Center Stage, 700 North Calvert St., Baltimore, Maryland] Center Stage
700 North Calvert St., Baltimore, MD 21202
(410) 332-0033

In 1978, Center Stage was named the State Theater of Maryland (Chapter 1003, Acts of 1978; Code State Government Article, sec. 13-309). It is a nonprofit resident professional theater. (Resident theaters invite artists to perform or design costumes and sets for their productions while living in theater-provided housing for the duration of their performance schedules.) One of approximately 70 resident theaters nationwide, Center Stage has an annual operating budget of about $6.7 million and employs some 100 artists and administrators year-round.

Center Stage, 700 North Calvert St., Baltimore, Maryland, 2004. Photo courtesy of Center Stage.

[photo, Center Stage, 700 North Calvert St., Baltimore, Maryland] Center Stage offers a six-play season of classics, music theater, and new works. More than 125,000 people per year attend. Productions are performed on one of two stages (the 541-seat Pearlstone Theater, and the smaller Head Theater) whose sets and props are made in Center Stage's own shops. At performances of the 2008-2009 season, audiences viewed Thornton Wilder's The Matchmaker; Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?; Caroline, or Change, by Tony Kushner, music by Jeanine Tesori; Fabulation, by Lynn Nottage; John Ford's Tis Pity She's a Whore; and Souvenir, by Stephen Temperley.

Located in downtown Baltimore, Center Stage was founded in 1963. Performances originally were held at a Preston Street fraternal hall. In 1965, Center Stage became a nonprofit regional theater and moved in the 1970s to a former Oriole cafeteria on North Avenue. A devastating fire in 1974 destroyed the theater at 11 East North Avenue. From the destruction, Center Stage rebounded by acquiring and partially renovating an old building (once part of Loyola High School and College) on Calvert Street. There, at its present location, the theater reopened its regular season in 1975.

Center Stage, 700 North Calvert St., Baltimore, Maryland. Photo by Richard Anderson, courtesy of Center Stage.

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 Maryland Manual On-Line, 2009

July 1, 2009   
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