The Landless Theatre Company is opening the new “East Street Arts Center” at 919-B N. East Street in Frederick, MD. The 12,000 square foot former church space will include a 180-seat performance venue, classrooms, rehearsal space, and an Art Gallery. A “soft opening” is scheduled for December 5, 2015, and the Arts Center expects to hold its grand opening on February 1, 2016.
Landless Theatre, known in Frederick for perennial performances of EVIL DEAD THE MUSICAL at the former Cultural Arts Center, has been based in Washington, DC, since 2003. The nonprofit company is dedicated to “cultivating new and diverse audiences for live theatre,” and it recently garnered international attention for obtaining permission from Stephen Sondheim to orchestrate a “Prog Metal Version” of Sweeney Todd.
The 2014 Sweeney Todd production went on to earn three Helen Hayes Awards nominations, and spawned Landless’ “Metal Theatre” series. Landless is currently developing a “Symphonic Metal Version” of the Tony Award-winning musical The Mystery of Edwin Drood by Rupert Holmes, slated for first performances in Summer 2016.
“Our project with Sondheim shifted our focus to the national level,” said Producing Artistic Director Andrew L. Baughman. “Now that we are developing exclusive ‘MetalTheatre’ work, we want to present in multiple East Coast cities rather than one time in DC. My wife [Melissa Baughman, Associate Artistic Director] and I are Frederick residents, so Frederick seems like a good central location to set up our studio.”
Landless has signed a 15-month lease with the intention to grow into permanent tenancy in this or another Frederick location. The company’s first major initiative is an “Arts Incubator Program,” providing work and performance space for up to 8 new or fledgeling professional arts companies. Landless will be accepting applications and interviewing prospective incubator groups in theatre, performing arts, new media, and visual arts mediums.
“We believe a diverse community is essential to a thriving arts scene,” Baughman said. “We hope not only to bring more foot traffic out to the East Street corridor, but to help cultivate new Frederick arts organizations that will be able to carry on independently – hopefully in the future Ausherman 15sq Arts downtown space.”
The company is attempting to generate $13K in startup revenue and $48K to cover incubator company overhead costs for the first year. The first major fundraising event will be It’s A Trap on Saturday, December 5th, an unauthorized Star Wars The Force Awakens release party that will feature live performances, film clips, role playing, dancing, lightsaber training, carnival style games, contests and prizes for best costume, best impersonations, and trivia. The evening event is for ages 18+, but a family event open to children will be held earlier in the day.
Applicants interested in joining the Arts Incubator program may apply here by November 30th. The program is open to fledgling organizations or individuals with a vision to build a unique theatre, performing arts, visual art, or new media company in the Frederick region.
Tickets for the December 5th It’s A Trap!” Star Wars release event are available here.
Please visit landlesstheatre.com for more information.