The Maryland-based company has primarily been using outdoor performance spaces, such as PFI Historic Park in Ellicott City. For indoor productions, Gallanar said, the troop uses “small, wherever-we-could-find-them spaces,” including Oliver’s Carriage House in Columbia and the Block Box Theatre at the Howard County Center for the Arts. About four years ago, he said, CSC considered the growth of the company and determined “the logical way to expand” was to set up shop in a building permanently.
The search for a new home began in Howard County, but zoning restrictions and the lack of available structures meant the company would probably have had to buy land and build from scratch. CSC broadened its scope to Baltimore County, whose residents make up about one-third of the CSC audience, according to Gallanar.
A nonprofit family foundation that shares a member with CSC’s board paid the $1.25 million for CSC to acquire the building. There’s still work to do to “convert it into a theater space,” said Gallanar. Construction is scheduled to begin when the current tenant vacates in January. Gallanar anticipates it will take about a year to complete the transformation. “We’re hoping to program there in early 2014.”
CSC will continue to hold outdoor performances in Howard County while developing another community in Baltimore. CSC’s offices will relocate to Baltimore from Ellicott City once the renovations are complete.
Gallanar said the reaction from CSC regulars has been positive. “We’ve tried our best to reassure [Ellicott City patrons] that it’s important to us to keep our presence there . . . and they felt reassured.” Far from feeling abandoned, said Gallanar, “I think the folks in Howard County see it as a local company making good.”
Do you hear what I hear?
In Theater Alliance’s world-premiere production “Hum,” an incessant humming sound fills the world, rendering verbal communication impossible. That is, until an outsider arrives and makes the humming stop, forcing married couple Van and Eva to learn how to talk to each other without the cardboard signs they’ve been scribbling all their lives.
The hum “is a drumming, didgeridoo sound,” said Artistic Director Colin Hovde, who is co- directing the show with Nathaniel Mendez. “It’s like a heartbeat that has feedback.”
In addition to being a literal hum, “it’s allegorical,” said Hovde. “It could be any number of things: the socioeconomic structure within which we live, [it] could be money, it could be technology, but it could also be the mind chatter that goes on in people’s heads.”