Tuesday, November 24, 2009

THE place for theater, dance, music and more! The David A. Straz, Jr. Performing Arts Center

This scene of the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center was taken from across the Hillsborough River and only shows a portion of the 335,000 square foot building. Just renamed the David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts (click HERE to get more information), after a major gift from the David A. Straz Foundation, the center is the largest performing arts complex south of the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Originally built for $57 million, the entire facility is made up of five separate theaters. In over 20 years more than 10 million guests have enjoyed events of almost every size, kind and description including major Broadway plays and musicals, opera, dance performances, television productions, awards programs (such as the Miss Tampa pageant which I was asked to judge one year), films, conventions, and meetings. The Straz Center is located downtown on nine-acres along the river. It's a beautiful place, day or night, and it stays busy and packed. 680,000 guests attended more than 4,000 events during the 2007-2008 season. The complex consists of five theaters, a rehearsal hall, retail shops, restaurants and banquet facilities. The five theaters are the Carol Morsani Hall - 2,610 seats, Louise Lykes Ferguson Hall - 1,042 seats, the Robert and Lorena Jaeb Theater - 292 seats, the TECO Energy Foundation Theater - 250 seats and the Hinks and Elaine Shimberg Playhouse - 130 seats. In addition, the Straz Center boasts the Patel Conservatory (HERE), a 45,000-square-feet space for education programs. The Conservatory contains 20 studios for students of music, dance and theater. Although Morsani Hall is where I’ve enjoyed some great music and Broadway magic, the much smaller Jaeb Theater is the most interesting performance and audience space in the complex.

No other performing arts center within a 1,000 miles can match the one right here in Tampa.

1 comment:

Lois said...

Impressive! I like the picture in black and white and the reflection is a nice bonus.