Center Stage artistic director Kwame Kwei-Armah discusses the year-long renovations that are almost completed at the theater. (Barbara Haddock Taylor, Baltimore Sun video)

Center Stage is now Baltimore Center Stage.

The new name, together with a new logo and website, comes as staffers have returned to their offices this week for the first time since renovations on the theater company's Calvert Street home got underway in early 2016. The renovated theater opens in February.


Planning for the rebranding effort, which includes a new website and ticketing system, began about two years ago.

"We started by talking to our audience," said Beth Hauptle, director of marketing and communications.

"There were several focus groups to find out what they value about the company in terms of attributes. Primarily, those attributes were that Center Stage is bold, innovative and welcoming. We wanted to have those attributes reflected in the design of the logo and throughout the building as well."

Although not on the large, illuminated vertical marquee recently installed on the theater building, the full name is spelled out along the arc above the front door.

Given that several organizations around the country are called Center Stage, adding "Baltimore" to the name provides clarity.

It also "allows us to honor our vibrant hometown wherever our work takes us," artistic director Kwame Kwei-Armah said in a statement. (He is currently in England, where his work "One Love: The Bob Marley Musical," which premiered at Center Stage in 2015, will have its first U.K. production in March. )