Spectrum Design Architecs | Engineers

Attic Productions

Fincastle, Virginia

Attic Productions is an all-volunteer community theater organization for children and adults in Botetourt County, Virginia. It was founded in 1995 and produces five plays each year.

For its first 10 years, Attic Productions practiced and performed in local high school auditoriums. While this was economical, it was not ideal—and Attic Productions needed a place of their own. The organization purchased a 7-acre site on Route 220, just south of Fincastle, and asked Spectrum Design to create the plans for its new home, the D. Geraldine Lawson Performing Arts Center.

With a set budget, Attic Productions needed a cost-effective, yet creative, design solution. Spectrum Design recommended the organization utilize an economical, pre-engineered metal building—and "dress up" the entrance.

To accomplish this, metal was cut and pulled back, creating an inviting, 20-foot entryway that resembles a curtain opening (and is shaped like the letter "A"). A local artist painted a large mural in the lobby, so as theater-goers enter the building, they are greeted by the image of children playing in the attic. And, although the charcoal gray building seems to disappear in the dark, the curtain-shaped entrance does not. Outdoor lights illuminate it and add to the ambiance.

The ADA-accessible 11,000-square foot center includes plenty of color, as well as concrete-stained floors, an auditorium with nearly 300 seats (which were purchased at a discounted rate on eBay), a stage, make-up areas, and a partial lower level for rehearsals, storage and deliveries. To help with costs, actors from Attic Productions donated their time and helped with construction and installation.