Tag Archives: josh padgett

Construction update: Video and pictures

A coating called "fluid applied air barrier" is being sprayed on this week over golden "dense board." They're they'll be followed by more layers of insulation before metal siding goes on. Photos by Hans Holznagel

A coating called “fluid applied air barrier” is being sprayed this week onto gold-colored “dense board.” They’ll be followed by more kinds of insulation before metal siding goes on this fall. Photos by Hans Holznagel

With cranes gone and steel beams no longer flying overhead, we’ve been able walk through our framed-in future home several times during these latter weeks of summer. With just over four months of basic construction to go, we’re now seeing three-dimensional spaces that in the past we could only visualize with drawings, models and lots of imagination. Filmmaker Ted Sikora, who has been shooting a piece about our art and mission since Move On! rehearsals, took a quick August tour with two guys who will spend long work hours in the new building once it’s done: Technical Director and Production Manager Josh Padgett and Stage Manager and Assistant Production Manager Ryan Wolf. Here’s the fun result. (By the way, actors and staff, that side door, with the ladder: it’ll be a real door with stairs when it’s done!)

Below are still photos of a few emerging features of the building that might help you envision what the theater will eventually look like, even with daylight currently streaming through places that will eventually be sealed up tightly for the sake energy efficiency and the beauty of theatrical lighting.

As for timing: We’re still planning on getting occupancy to the building in early January 2015, holding a series of “sneak preview, theater-in-progress” events and parties there from February through April (including our Annual Benefit on a Saturday in late February), and producing our grand-opening, main-stage musical in April and May. — Hans Holznagel

Donors Chuck and Char Fowler, Board President Jason Bristol, and staffers Stephanie Morrison Hrbek and Josh Padgett toured the auditorium Aug. 21.

Donors Chuck and Char Fowler, Board President Jason Bristol, and staffers Stephanie Morrison Hrbek and Josh Padgett toured the auditorium Aug. 21.

Jason Bristol, president of NWT Board of Trustees, and donors Char and Chuck Fowler pause of an upstage-center picture Aug. 21 on recently completed concrete.

Jason Bristol, president of NWT Board of Trustees, and donors Char and Chuck Fowler paused Aug. 21 for an upstage-center picture on recently completed concrete.

The back wall separating the auditorium from the lobby was becoming visible in this Aug. 25 photo.

The back wall separating the auditorium from the lobby was becoming visible in this Aug. 25 photo. Above it is the balcony.

A ramp from the house to the stage, seen here Aug. 21, is one of the features that will make us compliant -- and gladly so -- with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

A ramp from the house to the stage, seen here Aug. 21, is one of the features that will make us compliant — and gladly so — with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

One of two sets of stairs connecting lower level, lobby and balcony was being installed Aug. 20.

One of two sets of stairs connecting lower level, lobby and balcony was being installed Aug. 20.

The windows that will serve our lower-level refreshment counter were becoming visible on Aug. 20.

The windows that will serve our lower-level refreshment counter were becoming visible on Aug. 20.

On Aug. 25, only the northwest corner remained to be closed in with "dense board" insulation over the wood that surrounds the steel frame.

On Aug. 25, only the northwest corner remained to be closed in with “dense board” — the first layer of insulation — over the wood that surrounds the steel frame.

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Near West Theatre’s $7.3 million construction project is part of the cooperative Gordon Square Arts District capital campaign, which has raised nearly $30 million not only for the new NWT but also for the renovation of the now-reopened Capitol (film) Theatre, extensive physical improvements at Cleveland Public Theatre, districtwide streetscape improvements and parking. Near West Theatre is also grateful for ongoing programmatic support from the Ohio Arts CouncilCuyahoga Arts and Culture, and Greater Cleveland Community Shares, and for special support from Ronald McDonald House Charities of Northeastern Ohio for equipment used by young people in technical workshops and other backstage experiences.

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Theater stuff on sale July 31, Aug. 1

Our St. Pat's tear-down as it looked on July 8. Photo by Josh Padgett

Our St. Pat’s tear-down as it looked on July 8. Photo by Josh Padgett

As we complete the tear-down of our 36-year home in the St. Pat’s Club Building, we’re ready to part with items that won’t make the trip to our new theater. We’re selling speakers, lights, monitors, a lighting console, tools, casters and more this Thursday, July 31, and Friday, Aug. 1, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 3606 Bridge Ave., third floor. We can only accept cash and company checks, and you’ll need to take the items away with you when you buy them. All sales are final! Questions? Send an e-mail to Near West Theatre Technical Director Josh Padgett, padgett_josh@hotmail.com.

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Near West Theatre is grateful for ongoing programmatic support from the Ohio Arts CouncilCuyahoga Arts and Culture, and Greater Cleveland Community Shares, and for special support from Ronald McDonald House Charities of Northeastern Ohio for equipment used by young people in technical workshops and other backstage experiences.


Building new experiences through dismantling past ones: summer tech work sessions in action

Kristin, Mary, and Hayden first pose for a photo before another day of packing away equipment.

Kristin, Mary and Hayden pose for a photo before another day of packing away equipment. Photos by Nathan Cole

Now that Near West Theatre has “moved on” from St. Pat’s, pieces from the last production linger in the space, along with equipment used in many years of shows. With the help of NWT’s technical staff, three area students are assisting in tearing it all down during the theater’s Summer Tech Work Sessions. On a recent Monday, Kristin Seastrand, Mary Halm, and Hayden Cook were deconstructing the theater’s risers.

Mary, a rising sophomore at Montessori High School, found dismantling the set odd. “There’s so much work that went into building the set,” she said. “It’s a long process to tear it down.” From now through Aug. 7, the students will be taking apart the theater’s technical equipment and set, recording an inventory, and organizing what’s being saved for a winter move to Near West Theatre’s new home.

Although this is Mary’s first time lending her hand in the technical work of theater, she does have stage experience with NWT. After watching her sister be so involved with the theater and the relationships she developed, Mary wanted the chance for herself. She performed in Once on This Island in 2009, and has been in several productions since – including Move On!, NWT’s last-ever production at St. Pat’s, which closed June 29.

Some Tech Work Session participants are experiencing NWT for the first time. Kristin, a rising senior at James Ford Rhodes High School, found out about the program on the last day of the application cycle. Her aunt encouraged her to apply after seeing Move On! Hayden found NWT through his involvement in a summer job program. He jumped right in. A rising senior at Euclid High School, Hayden has acting experience outside of NWT and hopes to pursue a theatre education after high school. Hayden noted this program is giving him a “huge respect” for set building.

Hayden taking apart the risers.

Hayden taking apart the risers.

Since Near West’s new theater in the Gordon Square Arts District will be finished early in 2015, Mary is eager to build a set at next year’s work sessions. Asked if it was a hard process leaving St. Pat’s, Mary replied, “Yes and no.” She added, “I have so many memories that will live on, but I will make new memories at the new space.”

All three students agree this experience is giving them a greater appreciation for theater and would recommend it to others. “Jump in where you can,” Hayden said. “You can’t be afraid to start.” Josh Padgett, Technical Director of NWT, said participants next year will build a set at the new theater.

Between now and the winter move to our new building, we’re also preparing for a big, transitional fall production of Jesus Christ Superstar across the street from St. Pat’s, at West Side United Church of Christ (auditions Sept. 2, 3 and 4; performances Nov. 21 through Dec. 7; watch for details at the Near West website).

Till then, this summer’s Technical Work Sessions are another step in moving on: preparing the physical parts of the St. Pat’s legacy that will live on at West 67th Street and Detroit Avenue. Like the community itself, the artifacts that make the trip will help create a continuing legacy of art and mission in a new space. – Nathan Cole

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Near West Theatre is grateful for ongoing programmatic support from the Ohio Arts Council, Cuyahoga Arts and Culture, and Greater Cleveland Community Shares, and for special support from Ronald McDonald House Charities of Northeastern Ohio for equipment used by young people in technical workshops and other backstage experiences.


Help us get the theater ready on Sat., Oct. 26

Hot pizza, cold pop and that warm feeling of having made a difference: they’re all benefits of showing up for an hour or the whole afternoon of Near West Theatre’s Community Work Day on Saturday, Oct. 26. We need your help preparing the theater for A Christmas Story, the Musical, which will be in tech rehearsals before you know it.

Molly Andrews-Hinders and Jason Dugger worked on a coffin and other set pieces at the 2011 Community Work Day. Photos by Mo Eutazia.

Molly Andrews-Hinders and Jason Dugger worked on a coffin and other set pieces at the 2011 Community Work Day. Photos by Mo Eutazia.

No special skills are needed. Just show up, sign in and work side-by-side with Technical Director Josh Padgett, Assistant Technical Director Perren Hedderson, Designer Laura Carlson Tarantowski and other members of the production staff to get things organized for the show. At an NWT work day you never know till you show up exactly what work is needed. You might paint, sew, organize costumes and props, or just move things around. But you’ll definitely get lunch on us (if you’re not too late!) and get that great experience of being part of the community that makes our art and mission happen. Join us at our St. Pat’s performance site, 3606 Bridge Ave., Cleveland. — Hans Holznagel

Roxy Reminick (left) and Katie Medvec (center) were on patch-sewing, costume-organizing duty in 2011.

Roxy Reminick (left) and Katie Medvec (center) sewed patches and organized costumes in 2011.

Sam Utterback immersed herself in set-piece painting in 2011.

Sam Utterback immersed herself in set-piece painting in 2011.

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Near West Theatre is grateful for ongoing programmatic support from the Ohio Arts CouncilCuyahoga Arts and Culture, and Greater Cleveland Community Shares.

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A Christmas Story, the Musical

Musical by Joseph Robinette, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul,

 based upon A Christmas Story © 1983 Turner Entertainment Co., distributed by Warner Bros., written by Jean Shepherd, Leigh Brown and Bob Clark, and on the book In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash by Jean Shepherd.

A Christmas Story, the Musical, is produced by special arrangement with THE DRAMATIC PUBLISHING COMPANY, INC., of Woodstock, Illinois. Produced with permission of Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures, Inc.


Kids, teens: we’ve still got room this summer

Looking for ways to fill summer days? Near West Theatre has ’em for kids 9 to 13, and youths 14 to 21, described blow.  Auditions and application deadlines have passed, but don’t worry: spaces are still available. If you’re interested, contact us!

Our summer youth tech workshop runs June 10 through July 17 at the theater, 3606 Bridge Ave. You’ll learn basic principles of stagecraft, including set building, construction of props, scenic painting and lighting, and the safe operation of various hand and power tools as they relate to the technical side of theater. You’ll help construct the set for our summer youth production of Side Show. The tech workshop is free; we only ask that you join the production crew of one or more of our productions between this summer and June 2014 in any of a variety of jobs (set crew, spotlight operator, props crew, costume crew or sound technician). Participants, ages 14 to 21, meet Mondays and Wednesdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., but flexibility can be arranged. To apply, contact the Near West Theatre office, 216-961-9750. Questions? Contact Technical Director Josh Padgett (440-915-5484; padgett_josh at hotmail dot com).

KLAMOR, our free theater workshop for 9- to 13-year-olds, runs Monday through Thursday mornings, June 19 through July 25, concluding with “showcase” performances on July 25, 27 and 28. This year’s theme is, “You Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’!” Click here for info. Interested? Contact Program Director Kelcie Dugger (216-961-9750; kdugger at nearwesttheatre dot org).

Sanding and painting are just two of the skills you'll put to work in our teen summer theater tech workshop.

Sanding and painting, as these 2012 participants did, are just two of the skills you’ll put to work in our youth theater tech workshop. Photo by Sarah Burdette

Meet new friends and lMeet new friends and learn teamwork at KLAMOR. Our 2012 kids did! Photo by Christian Flaherty

Meet new friends and learn teamwork at KLAMOR. Our 2012 kids did! Photo by Christian Flaherty


We claim this ground

Today we begin. In a groundbreaking ceremony at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 27, we stake our artistic claim at the site of our future home. It will mark the start of an estimated two-year process of constructing Near West Theatre’s own 25,550-square-foot building on West 67th Street near Detroit Avenue. Join us for a brief outdoor ceremony in a formation that will be familiar to Near West participants: a circle of people (a couple-hundred, in this case!) gathered around a fire. Artistic Director Bob Navis Jr. has crafted a meaningful “We claim this ground” call-and-response litany, during which wooden stakes with colorful ribbons will be planted in the ground, symbolizing our theater’s art, mission and values.  This will be followed by a joyous, drum-accompanied walk to the nearby Capitol Theatre for an indoor celebration starting about 4:30, including:

  • projected images of our past, present and future;
  • Bob’s and Stephanie Morrison-Hrbek’s thoughts on what has brought us here and what this new building will mean to the spirit and work of the theater;
  • kudos from dignitaries such as Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson and Council Members Matt Zone and Joe Cimperman;
  • the honoring of Gordon Square Arts District leaders and generous lead donors who have raised and given 87 percent of the $6.8 million NWT project cost so far;
  • “In the Beginning,” sung by members of the cast of our current production of Children of Eden; and
  • refreshments in the Capitol lobby afterwards!

The proceedings won’t go on too long. We have to wrap up by 5:30 so that we can clear out in time for the Capitol to prepare for evening movies!

Electronic and mailed invitations drew more than 250 “yesses.” A  front-page article  in The Plain Dealer on Nov. 23 also called attention to our new building and this special occasion. Parking and shuttle information can be found here.

We’re grateful to Grant Thornton LLP for its financial support of this groundbreaking event. — Hans Holznagel

Groundbreaking prep, Nov. 26, 2012

This historic first touch of the shovel at the site of Near West Theatre’s future home on Monday morning, Nov. 26, 2012, was actually just a loosening of soil for the Nov. 27 groundbreaking. Observers included Technical Director Josh Padgett, Executive Director Stephanie Morrison-Hrbek, Development Director Lindsay Doerr and Steve Nock of Panzica Construction. Photo by Gregory Wilson

Site awaits groundbreaking, Nov. 26, 2012

Facing west at dusk from atop the Gordon Square Arcade Building, photographer Gregory Wilson captured this view of the site of Near West Theatre’s future home on Nov. 26, 2012, awaiting a groundbreaking ceremony the next day.