Finding a seat in the latest round of musical chairs among Houston’s theater crowd is the Classical Theatre Company, which recently announced it is moving operations into the 175-seat Chelsea Market venue vacated by Main Street Theater earlier this year. For the previously nomadic CTC, the space means a more permanent home for its artists and audiences — as well as a single spot for its offices, storage, rehearsals, and performances.
Main Street Theater, which has a Rice Village venue on Times Blvd. readying for a long-awaited renovation, had rented the Chelsea Market space for its Theater for Youth and educational programming since 1996. Youth activities shifted recently to the Talento Bilingue de Houston center at 333 S. Jensen Dr. That move had been prompted by the kickoff of work on the recently re-christened 20-story apartment project fronting Chelsea Blvd. (The Carter, formerly known as Chelsea Montrose), which took a big bite out of a once-extensive parking area.
For the Classical Theatre Company, the shift to Chelsea Market theater’s intimate-scaled space appears to be ideal, and its availability an opportunity “too big to ignore,” as the announcement put it. The space also offers a consistent presence to a perf group that has had to rent space in 7 locations around town.
CTC’s impending move means its current space at The Barn (the 2201 Preston St. spot formerly known as the Barnevelder Arts Center), will be available to other small theater groups vying for dwindling rehearsal and performance space in Houston. And since CTC anticipates using its Chelsea Market location for about 20 weeks a year, its new facility will also be available when scheduling permits. First up for CTC in the new space: a new adaptation of . . . yes, Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, on stage through most of December.
- 2014-2015 Mainstage Season [Classical Theatre Company]
- Previously on Swamplot: Chelsea Montrose Tower Kicks Off Construction With a New Name; Highrise Land Sale Triggers Early Chelsea Market Exit for Main Street Theater
Photo: Swamplot inbox
I hope the CTC has a great run at the Chelsea Market. While the theatre itself is small and parking is undersized (but not THAT small) this complex is well situated for local walk-up traffic in the future. I was a bit surprised that a comedy club didn’t open there instead…
Parking will be better for CTC than Main St. MST had a problem because they were mostly running childrens’ shows during the day, when they had to compete with the office tennants for parking. Evening CTC performances should be fine, since all those folks will be gone.
It’s actually a pretty big space, as non-Theatre District venues go. 260 seats, I think. It’ll be a good loaction for CTC, though I think they ought to expand their season to fill a permanent venue.