The move is important for two reasons. First, once the building renovation is complete, Ormao will be able to perform in this space. (This was possible but impractical downtown, with reasons ranging from space to seating to parking.) Director Janet Johnson says there will be room for an audience of at least 50 and maybe as many as 70, with tiered seating. There’s a light booth. In a town that’s starved for good performing arts spaces, every black box is cause for celebration.
Second, working space is nearly as important as performance space. Think how much more vital and energetic the visual arts community became when Cottonwood Art Academy moved to the old utilities administration building and opened up over 30 studio spaces. It’s even more important for performing arts organizations. It’s difficult to choreograph in a small space when the piece is going to be performed in a larger one; preparing for a concert is harder when your rehearsal space has crummy acoustics.
Ormao moves in October. We’ll see how the troupe is doing at its upcoming concert, Oct. 14 and 15 at the Louisa Center.