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Chesapeake Shakespeare Company begins construction on new downtown Baltimore home

The Chesapeake Shakespeare Company hosted a groundbreaking ceremony July 9 to celebrate the start of construction on its new downtown Baltimore space, after raising about $4 million for its capital campaign. 

The nonprofit group’s Board of Trustees made the decision to begin construction after reviewing the fundraising project’s financial progress, as well as the duration of construction and the challenges that the project may entail. The theater troupe has received money from a variety of sources, including the state and the Abell Foundation.

In late 2014, the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company plans to open the doors to its new theatre, housed within the Mercantile Trust building at Calvert and Redwood streets, according to spokeswoman Jean Thompson. The theater  company will continue to hold shows at a variety of venues in Howard County. 

The construction plans for the new 250-seat theatre will incorporate existing aspects of the Mercantile Trust building’s architecture.

“Our vision for the theater is a modern Globe, based on the design of Shakespeare's Globe theatre, with an intimacy putting the audience as close to the actors as possible,” Thompson says.

The new home is two blocks from the Inner Harbor and has been the home of several nightclubs. Baltimore architectural firm Cho Benn Holback + Associates Inc. has designed the 14,000-square-foot, circa 1885 building. See pictures of the Mercantile building here in our recent slideshow

Writer: Daryl Hale
Source: Jean Thompson, Chesapeake Shakespeare
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