For most students, a weekend on campus might typically involve socializing, studying, or the occasional trip to a local eatery. However, thanks to a partnership between the Victoria Theatre Association (VTA) and PNC Bank, they may have a new option. On Nov. 30, the grand opening of the PNC Arts Annex, a 12,000 square foot, 200-seat performance space located in downtown Dayton, will take place.
This brand-new space includes a black box theatre, lobby, studio and warming kitchen for food services. With a total cost reaching almost $2 million, the Arts Annex features professional sound and lighting equipment as well as quality spring floors for various types of performances.
So what does this mean for the UD community? VTA hopes to bring younger people downtown, while also working with the university to open up the space to students as well. Currently, there is a student discount offer for select shows. With a student ID, individuals will receive 50 percent off the price of their ticket on the day of a performance.
“We are grateful for the generosity of PNC, an organization who truly understands the benefit of investing in our community,” VTA president and CEO Ty Sutton said at a media event on Nov. 7. “Their gift to the PNC Arts Annex creates opportunities for artistic success and growth through formal education projects and a wide variety of public performances.”
With new opportunities comes new goals. VTA hopes to reach a younger audience with the Arts Annex, while also making shows more affordable. The association has learned through recent statistics that the theater generally attracts an older crowd, and many Dayton residents feel it is too expensive for them.
While VTA can’t necessarily give a set average price range for ticket costs at the Arts Annex, the first performance, Side Show, is selling student tickets starting at $22.50. When booking a show, VTA looks not only for performances they feel the community would enjoy, but also shows that would match the budget of those in the Dayton area.
“VTA works to grow and reach new audiences. What we believe, is that the PNC Arts Annex will provide a need for those in the Dayton area that wish to have a more hands-on experience,” VTA Media Intern and UD senior Kelsey Reiser said. “So hopefully this space is not only a hub for people to feel comfortable, but we also hope they notice what the Victoria Theatre Association as a whole has to offer.”
Another major goal for the Arts Annex is to expand the education and engagement aspect of VTA. The space already has a number of classes and workshops scheduled to be offered in 2019. Some of these opportunities include Masters classes, steel drumming workshops and performance-based discovery classes.
“The key for VTA as an organization is introducing new audiences to performances and events,” Sutton said. “When those audiences become long-term patrons of our varied venues and offerings, we are creating future success for the entire organization and our community.”
Photos courtesy of Emily Battaglia.