A combination conference center and theater, the Rosslyn Spectrum is a fascinating case of split personality. With more than 380 seats (each with its own fold-up writing desk -- this is a conference center, after all) and wide aisles, there is plenty of room for the audience, as well as a restful color scheme for the venue's concrete and cinder block decor. But there is precious little room on the stage or backstage for sets, equipment and dressing rooms. Nevertheless, the theater companies that use the space find ways to overcome the challenges and put on a diverse program of works.
Le Neon, Arlington's "Theatre with a French Touch," offers shows that are sometimes in French, sometimes in English, sometimes with translations and sometimes presented in mime. The Trumpet Vine Theatre Company has staged world premieres, revivals and multimedia productions here, while Horizons Theatre occasionally uses the Spectrum for its "Theater From a Woman's Perspective."
Arlington County's Cultural Affairs Division, which operates the Spectrum as one of its four theater facilities, also brings individual acts to the Spectrum as part of its concert series.
-- Brad Hathaway