From Arena Stage's newly opened Mead Center for American Theater, artistic director Molly Smith discusses the development and construction of the new building, which encompasses the company's original theatres and adds a third stage, and how the plans for the venue began during her interview process by the board back in the late 1990s. She also talks about her connection to theatre in her youth, first in Washington State and then in Juneau, Alaska; her theatre studies and 7-year residency in Washington DC in the 70s, when she had the opportunity to see the early work of Arena Stage; her return to Juneau to found the Perseverance Theatre, which she led for 19 years, and how that company operated within the geography and frontier spirit of Alaska; how she managed to get the Arena job without a more traditional artistic resume; the theatrical scene she found in Washington upon her return, and how that led her to focus Arena Stage on American works, both new and classic; and what her personal focus on classic American musicals over the past decade has meant to her creatively. Original air date - January 26, 2011.
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