Arts Desk

Arena Announces Inaugural Season for Brand-Spanking New Mead Center

This morning, Arena Stage announced an ambitious season to inaugurate its new three-theater "campus," the Mead Center for American Theater. Highlights of the 2010-11 program include Oklahoma, Ruined (Lynn Nottage's 2009 Pulitzer-winner), The Arabian Nights, and a crammed Edward Albee festival. (The latter will include two mounted productions and 28 public readings.)

"The moment we have been waiting for has arrived—we are heading home," Arena's artistic director Molly Smith said in a statement.

Arena has spent 11 years funding and planning the center. Construction took two and a half years.

The company has styled Mead as not just a theater, but also an incubator—hence the name of its 200-seat Arlene and Robert Kogod Cradle, built for the express purpose of "cradling risk surrounding new or radically re-envisioned productions of American theater."

Arena offers some very fine construction-site photographs on its Web site.

Above: Rendering of Arena's new space by Bing Thom Architects

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