Will Your Next Performance Space Be in a Mall? Possibly
A dramatic play held next door to a Cinnabon may not seem ideal or even acceptable to some, but it may be a reality soon enough.
Alana Semuels at The Atlantic recently reported on the many closures of suburban malls and new efforts to revive these abandoned spaces. Malls across the country have become churches, office buildings, hospitals, parks, and yes, even performance spaces. As the article says:
“The City Center Mall in downtown Columbus, Ohio, closed in 2009, and was converted into a park with a performance space, bocce courts, gardens, and cafes. Now developers are building upscale apartment buildings and retail on the border of the park.”
It’s an innovative way to make use of unused space, revitalize a struggling community and put businesses (like the arts) where people have easy access. Plus, audiences will never have to worry about parking!
As Jim has said earlier, picking a venue for your show makes a statement, and if you’re one of the pioneers in the mall-revitalizing movement, you’re certainly saying something about the community. Will you be heading to the mall?