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Off Center Theatre Opens at Crown Center

By Laura Spencer

KANSAS CITY, MO – Crown Center is already the home to two theatres - the Coterie and the American Heartland. But a new performance space provides an option for a variety of arts groups. The $1 million Off Center Theatre takes the place of an old movie multiplex on the third level of the Crown Center shops. The 250-seat stage aims to showcase edgy and innovative productions. Kansas City architectural firm el dorado architects designed the theatre and principal David Dowell says it was a challenge to create a flexible space to accommodate a wide range of performances - from plays to musicals to films.

Theatres are configured very differently depending on the kind of performances that are going on inside the space and we had to find kind of a universal approach, said Dowell.

Actors Theatre of Kansas City inaugurates Off Center Theatre with three one-act plays. Officials say it's booked for 220 nights in 2008, including performances by Musical Theater Heritage, Right Between the Ears, Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre and Eubank Productions.

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