Open Stage Harrisburg, PA

Open Stage began as an idea in 1983, triggered by the Mayor’s Task Force for the Arts for Harrisburg Report, which cited a need for theater of a higher quality in the area. The regional professional theater and educational program, which celebrated its 35th anniversary in 2020, has been located on Court Street below the Walnut Street Parking Garage since 1992.

A ribbon cutting ceremony marked the successful completion of a first-ever renovation at this location. The project created a vibrant new look and feel for the theater and coincided with its rebranding. The previously drab lobby was transformed into a colorful bar with counter and table seating to accommodate up to 35 people and small stage. Beyond the bar lies a new dedicated performance space with a 50-seat black box stage, expanded dressing room area, revamped office space and green room, and new layout for the backstage and audience entrance for the 117-seat main stage.

We were responsible for designing the HVAC and plumbing systems as part of the renovation that created the bar and black box theater. With the new mechanical systems, existing columns and electrical conduits prevented running the ductwork the way we wanted and demanded a creative approach to designing the air delivery system. Also, because the duct sizing and selection of the supply and return grilles affect acoustics, we specified low sound-generating elements.

Ingenuity was needed to get the flow and slope of new sanitary plumbing lines correct where they tied into the existing main, which ran in an awkward direction. A grease interceptor was added as part of the bar renovation to remove fats and oils from sink wastewater.