The company bought the building in September, after looking for a permanent space for two years. Its performances are currently divided between the Temple Hoyne Buell Theatre in the Denver Performing Arts Complex, and the Paramount Theatre.
According to the Post, a "quiet" campaign, which will become more visible next summer, has begun to raise $4 million to cover the $1.2 million purchase price plus the costs of renovation.
David Owen Tryba Architects will design and oversee the renovation, which aims to create a technically sophisticated performance space while maintaining the Moorish-style building's architectural integrity. The renovations should be finished in time for the 2006-07 season.
The new building, a 106-year-old former synagogue in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Denver, currently has a 1,000-seat auditorium that will be converted into a 550-seat theater. A 20,000-square-foot addition will contain studios, offices, and box office.
The company plans to use the space for small-scale, experimental works, adding two more productions to its current season of five. Its large-scale productions will move to the Ellie Caulkins Opera House, currently under renovation.
In addition, the performance space, as well as artist studios, classrooms, and offices, will be rented to other arts groups at low cost. This should fill a perceived need for smaller, inexpensive venues in Denver.
Rick Tallman, the company's executive director, said, "It's a need that's not being met right now in the city. There is such a demand for this among the small grassroots organizations that I think we'll be able to keep this venue lit more than 200 nights a year."
In related news, the company raised $1 million from donors in 2003-04, enough money to erase its $497,000 deficit from the year before and post a surplus of $210,000. In addition, season subscriptions are up, and ticket sales are 19 percent higher than they were at this point last season.
The company is also renegotiating its shared-marketing and -production relationship with Kroenke Sports Enterprises, the owner of the Denver Nuggets and the Colorado Avalanche. The agreement, announced in May 2003, gave the company some stability at a financial low point.
One of the tenets of the agreement: the Nutcracker performances at the Kroenke-leased Paramount: is being reconsidered, since the space's technical and physical limitations have been found to be too inhibiting for dance performances. The company is considering moving The Nutcracker back to the Newton Auditorium.