Baltimore’s Everyman Theatre found an ideal home in a storied historic building that first opened in 1911 as a downtown vaudeville house. The renovation for Everyman Theatre not only transformed the long-vacant structure into a state-of-the-art ensemble performance space, but helped to enliven the city’s Westside theater district as well.
The celebrated repertory group’s new space includes a 250-seat theater, scene shop, dressing rooms, green room, prop shop, costume shop, rehearsal room (that may serve as a future black box theater), classrooms, and offices.
“We strive to engage, inspire, and transform artists, audiences and our community through theatre of the highest artistic standards and make it affordable and accessible to everyone.”
Everyman Theatre Mission
A Theater Within a Theater
Many layers of remodeling completed after the original construction were removed during the renovation. A 250-seat “theater within a theater” was reinserted into the building shell, creating a tight acoustic envelope. In addition to the two lobbies, the building features a new main stair, a mezzanine lounge, a concessions bar, and meeting/classroom space. The building’s 36,000 square feet of performance and support space feature cost-effective, sustainable, and recycled materials throughout. Sustainable measures also include an energy-conserving building system, a new cool roof, and water-efficient fixtures.
An Engaging Presence in the Westside Arts District
Inside and out, the theater engages visitors with architectural details and dynamic graphics that celebrate the performance group’s history and mission. The colonnaded Greek façade was carefully restored following historic guidelines, with storefront glazing introduced at the street level to increase transparency and visibility in and out of the main lobbies. A second, side entrance was added to create another lively connection along the street and directly across from another historic theater—helping to reinforce the reemergence of this historic arts and entertainment district. A new plaza strengthens the link to the other theater and serves as a place for café seating and pre-function events. Large banners, marquee signage, and bold exterior illumination signal the theater’s presence along Fayette and Eutaw Streets, near the city’s Inner Harbor.
Restoration of the historic front façade created a beacon effect, signaling Everyman Theatre’s presence within the Westside arts district.
Storytelling Through Signature Displays
In the main and upstairs lobbies, large “feature walls” were conceived in collaboration with the troupe’s stage designer. Vintage sketches of costumes and stage sets are featured along with portraits of the resident actors. Custom-designed light sconces also depict faces of the actors throughout the building. The new lobby wall dramatically curves and tilts out to interact playfully with the framework of the historic façade and unite the two entries.