When CenterStage opened in 2009, the facility’s intimate Gottwald Playhouse stage was touted for its “revolutionary flexible seating arrangement” that would allow innovative set configurations and enhance “close encounters with top local talent.” But in reality, so-called resident companies such as Virginia Repertory Theatre haven’t staged shows there in years. Richmond Shakespeare did an amazing “Macbeth” last season but is now performing at St. Catherine’s [though a new merger with Henley Street begins in 2013-2014 season]. Other than Henley Street’s upcoming “Julius Caesar,” no locally produced shows were on the Gottwald schedule at press time. Instead of a revolutionary performance space, Richmond seems to have bought a really expensive echo chamber.
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