A ribbon cutting ceremony led by D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser on Thursday, March 31 marked the long-awaited re-opening of 14th Street’s Studio Theatre. To commemorate the unveiling of the venue’s renovation, Studio Theatre invited guests to a panel discussion and a look around the new facilities.
Studio Theatre is a pivotal space for contemporary theatre, serving the Washington community for over four decades. Recent productions include Sarah Burgess’ “Kings” and Dael Orlandersmith’s “Until the Flood,” engaging the viewer in thought-provoking conversations around identity and society.
As part of the Open Studio capital project, Studio Theatre underwent large-scale renovations in 2021 with efforts to invest in the long-term sustainability of the venue. Among the renovations to the space, the aesthetic modernization of the Victor Shargai Theatre is particularly noteworthy. Artistic perforated wire-grilling, in addition to a partially exposed cement wall in the back of the theater, creates a grunge-sleek effect within the space.
In the panel discussion preceding the ribbon cutting, Mayor Muriel Bowser, representatives of Studio Theatre and other prominent members of the Open Studio steering committee expressed their appreciation for the collective efforts to realize the reopening of the space.
Addressing the audience, Mayor Bowser celebrated the guise of the venue’s new facilities and the work that went into the renovation.
“I am proud to have a city like ours that supports transformative projects like the one here at Studio,” she said.
In conversation with District Fray, Mayor Bowser relayed her excitement for the reopening of Studio Theatre, and its ongoing contribution to Washington’s trendy 14th Street.
As the city’s theater community emerges from the pandemic, “people didn’t even realize how much they missed it — I put myself in that category. And so, I’m just thrilled that ‘Studio’ is having a more tangible connection to this street that we’re on,” she said.
Studio Theatre Artistic Director David Muse also expressed enthusiasm for the longevity of the venue, and its continued impact on Washington’s arts and entertainment industry.
“It’s been many months of it beginning to feel real,” Muse told District Fray. “It really does feel like the beginning of what’s going to come in the coming months, years and decades,” he said.
In June, Studio Theatre will host the Victor Shargai Theatre’s first show, Katori Hall’s “Hot Wing King,” a comedy that recently won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.