Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2011

High school gym becomes high school performing arts center

Pius XI turns old gymnasium into new theatre

By Russ Bickerstaff
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As things get settled for the Next Act’s new 150-seat studio theatre, Pius XI had announced the building of a 500-seat performing arts space. The performing arts center is expected to host large-scale, annual productions, as well as year-round programs staged by the Pius XI Performing Arts Department and the Performing Arts Academy.

It seems kind of interesting that the space would be built in what Pius XI refers to as the “Old Gym.” Hitherto now, the exceedingly well-funded performing arts end of the Catholic High School had been using the Historic Pabst Theatre as a performance space for productions such as it’s epic-scale Titanic a while back. Henceforth they will have the Wendy Lindsey Theater in the Father Robert V. Carney Performing Arts Center to use as a stage. Sounds kind of dramatic.

I take great pride in having grown-up immutably agnostic, so I’m a bit funny about Catholics . . . but in lieu of a groundbreaking ceremony, tomorrow morning at 8 am, they’re having, “an all school mass and blessing of the project and workers.” Okay—as cool as my public school experience was (and some of it was amazing) I don’t ever recall my high school taking time out to recognize the importance of a project that would benefit the arts. As funny as I am about Catholics, I think this is very, very cool. Good luck to Pius XI with its new space . . .   

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