Alumnae Theatre Company has occupied a venerable building at 70 Berkeley Street in Toronto for more than 40 years. On June 18, Phase II of City-ordered accessibility renovations begin. Last summer in Phase I, our existing accessible side entrance was revised; an accessible washroom added; and access was created from the Main Stage through to lower lobby. Phase II will lower the upper lobby (with Box Office) to ground level, and make the front entrance accessible to persons with mobility issues.
Here’s a peek back at how the building used to look – from an original drawing by Dorothy Clark McClure (copyright: The Red House Studio, Aurora) received by the Arts & Letters Club of Toronto in 1973. Thank you, Roz Sherrard and Naomi Priddle Hunter for sharing!
Dorothy Clark McClure illustration of Alumnae Theatre, circa 1973.
The text at left of the drawing reads:
In 1859 a small firehall was built at Berkeley and Duke Streets. After the introduction of steam engines, the hall was remodelled in 1871 with a hose tower and stables for horses. Following the great Toronto fire of 1904, another hall was erected on the site but the original tower was retained. The station operated until August 1970 and after extensive renovations, it was reopened in 1972 as the 154-seat Firehall Theatre and later renamed The Alumnae Theatre. It is situated at 70 Berkeley St. at Adelaide, home of the University Alumnae Dramatic Club and with a bright new future ahead of it.
The building will be closed June 18 – September 12 for these Phase II renovations, and our new season launches Sept 26 with George F. Walker’s Escape From Happiness, directed by Andrea Wasserman. Come check us out!
Well, the season is over at Alumnae Theatre Company, and the building will shortly be undergoing Phase II of a major renovation to make the front entrance accessible to people with disabilities. We’ve always had an accessible side entrance, and last summer’s Phase I reno added an accessible washroom and punched a door in the wall from the auditorium into the lower lobby.
Toronto-based band 7 Strong features Adam & Toby Orr, Angus Barlow, Garret Thomson, Peter Chapman, Stuart Constable, Carianne Hathaway.
But before the sledgehammers start swinging for Phase II, one last event: the band 7 Strong (formerly known as ATAG – aka Angus Barlow & The Orrs – see post about a gig in 2011: https://alumnaetheatre.wordpress.com/2011/03/29/angus-and-the-orrs-the-alumnae-studio/) host three evenings on Alumnae’s Main Stage in June. The first two (Thu June 12 and Fri June 13) will be musical: the band performs excellent covers of songs – some familiar and some not. The opening act is Kick Off The Covers; special guest on Day One (June 12) is Yves Saint-Cyr.
Wine, beer and snacks will be available. Tickets are $10 at the door; show starts at 7:30 pm. Proceeds go to Alumnae Theatre.
See Facebook event https://www.facebook.com/events/728254517214461/ for Thursday details.
Can’t make it on Thursday? 7 Strong is also playing on Friday 13th ! Kick Off The Covers opens; special guests are Yves Saint-Cyr and acoustic/alternative singer Ileen (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ileen/62472003614) . 7:30 show. https://www.facebook.com/events/306586349495028/
And on Saturday June 14 at 8pm, 7 Strong presents an evening of improv comedy with Ted & Lisa.
On the fly, Ted Hallett and Lisa Merchant create a multi-character one-act improvised “disturbingly funny” play which they’re calling “Complications in Corktown”! Special guest: Michael Graham.
So come on out for the music on June 12 or 13 at 7:30, and/or comedy on June 14 at 8pm. Tickets $10 per night.