After completing the Richmond city-wide arts master plan in 2002, Wilson Butler Architects was selected as the architect to design and restore several performing arts facilities. The story starts with the CenterStage Performing Arts Complex. The CenterStage Performing Arts Complex, builds upon the historic restoration and renovation of the venerable 1,800-seat Carpenter Theatre by adding two additional venues – 150-seat Rhythm Hall and the 200-seat Libby Gottwald Community Playhouse.
Wilson Butler led the development of this citywide performance art center master plan for Richmond, Virginia. This concerted effort by over 15 collaborating arts and cultural groups (symphony, theater, ballet) to revitalize the performance spaces of downtown began a reawakening of not only these concert halls and theatres, but of the city itself. The CenterStage complex is Phase 1 of this master plan effort.
The CenterStage Performing Arts Complex encompasses the historic restoration of the 1,800-seat Carpenter Theatre; design of the 200-seat Gottwald Playhouse; 150-seat Rhythm Hall; the Showcase Arts Gallery; and the BrightLights Education Center – spanning an entire city block.
The Carpenter Theatre, home to the Richmond Symphony, has a new fully equipped stage house and a full complement of both front of house and back of house facilities. The fully restored auditorium designed by the prolific John Eberson, opened as a Loew’s Theater (cinema) in 1928. In addition, the Complex includes Showplace Gallery and the BrightLights Education Center.
The Gottwald Playhouse provides a home for smaller, theater groups, and small musical performances. Rhythm Hall hosts a variety of performance groups, including jazz combos, dance troupes and shows presented by the Richmond Jazz Society