Olympia will soon have a new performance space for all ages, tentatively named the Olympia Youth Creative Alliance – or O YAA, pronounced “oh yeah.”
The Olympia Family Theater is creating a 50-60 seat space at 614 Fourth Avenue Olympia. — Correctly next to the theatre.
“The space has been empty since I started at OFT,” said Lili Raabe, who became the theater’s executive director in October 2021. “It was like if we wanted more space, that would be the best opportunity as long as it’s available. ”
The building has room for offices for the Family Theatre, String & Shadow Puppet Theatre, Capitol City Pride, and other organizations. It will also house a public media lab with audiovisual equipment and editing software.
“We are creating a creative hub for all ages,” Raabe said in the video announcing O YAA.
But most of all, the multifunctional performance space, the size of a theater foyer, generates the most enthusiasm.
“There is a need for affordable and accessible space for all ages in the city center,” Raabe told The Olympian. “We already have people reaching out and asking questions about the space.”
“O YAA will be a venue for all sorts of events,” said Emily McHugh, co-director of String & Shadow Puppet Theatre. “We’re delighted that this is a place that nurtures the performing arts in our community.”
Among these events will be rehearsals, classes and master classes, as well as performances.
String & Shadow and the family theater are already using the ground floor space for rehearsals for The Knicks and the Long Night, an original winter solstice-themed show that opens on December 9th.
Before renting the premises, new flooring, repair of plastered walls and soundproofing are required. Raabe also plans to add lighting and sound equipment and black curtains to the windows.
“We want it to be very flexible,” she said. “We could have a couple of mobile stages so people can shape the space as they see fit.”
The theater company is set to raise $10,000 this month for these improvements. According to Raabe, an anonymous donor offered to donate $10,000.
Open Day of the Youth Artistic Alliance Olympia
- Which: The Olympia Family Theater invites the public to take a peek into the neighboring building, which will be its new art space for all ages.
- When: 17:00–19:00, Monday, 28 November.
- Where: 614 E Fourth Avenue, Olympia
- Additional Information: http://www.olyft.org