Since its start in November 1990, Baltimore's Everyman Theatre has been leading an itinerant life.
It first performed in a Charles Village church, then moved to several other borrowed venues. Next month, this small professional playhouse will at last acquire a permanent home at 1727 North Charles St. This is good news for theater goers who now will know where to find Everyman.
It is also great news for this block that has been struggling for years to establish itself as a destination for varied night-life.
Just a year ago, things were looking awful. A zany 24-hour cafand performance space had gone bust shortly after its opening. Then the Charles Theater threatened to go out of business, which again probably would have doomed a new restaurant and art gallery on the block.
The Charles was able to overcome its problems and reopeunder re-energized management. Come Nov. 4, Everyman will inaugurate its new home, increasing the draw of the block.
"It's only the arts that will save a block like this," says VincenLancisi, Everyman's founder and producing director. He's probably right.
To make patrons comfortable, the various entertainment businesses of the 1700 block Charles Street have hired a security guard to patrol the area each night. Also available is valet parking -- for the bargain price of $2.
Everyman's opening play is "Buried Child" by Sam Shepard, which will run Thursdays through Sundays until Nov. 27. It is being produced in cooperation with The Rep Stage Company, a professional acting company in residence at Howard Community College in Columbia.
The theater's spring repertory will consist of "Voice of the Prairie" John Olive (Jan. 20 through Feb. 12), "The Belle of Amherst" by William Luce (March 3 through 19) and "The Subject was Roses" by Frank D. Gilroy (June 2 through 25).
Small theater companies have been thriving in Baltimore in recent years. Everyman's new home should enable this promising company to shine even brighter.
Everyman Theatre is a welcome addition to the night-time entertainment district that is forming in the Charles North area. If it is successful -- as it ought to be -- other users might be attracted to the many vacant properties on the block.
Mr. Lancisi's goal is to give Baltimore an "Off Broadway" type of stage. Break a leg!