Keegan Theatre to purchase its Church Street home

Dupont Circle's Keegan Theatre took another step today towards giving the Church Street Theater a whole new look. Keegan's producing artistic director Mark Rhea posted on Facebook that he signed a contract agreeing to purchase the theater, which is headed towards a major renovation. Keegan has performed from Church Street on and off since 1996, and the theater, at 1742 Church St. NW, became the company's permanent home in 2009.


Production ensemble of Keegan Theatre's 'Cabaret' at the Church Street Theater. (C Stanley Photography)

Rhea did not respond to a reporter's calls for comment, but told Post theater contributor Nelson Pressley that he agreed to purchase the theater, a former gymnasium for the Holton-Arms School, for $1.9 million. The building has been a difficult space for years, between the cramped seats for audience members to the lack of dressing rooms and not enough restrooms for both actors and audience members. The building is also inaccessible to patrons in wheelchairs.

Keegan has launched a fundraising campaign to modernize the facilities, hiring architects Stoiber & Associates to design a glass-enclosed lobby and elevator, and an expanded lower level with classrooms and space for artists. Rhea told Pressley that Keegan has a $900,000 construction loan and has raised about $100,000 so far, with hopes of raising an additional $400,000 in the next year so the modernization can break ground in six months.

Check out a rendering of the renovated theater below:

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Stephanie Merry | May 3, 2013