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New Theater to Open at UVA - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

New Theater to Open at UVA

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Construction at Ruth Caplin Theater Construction at Ruth Caplin Theater

The new Ruth Caplin Theatre at the University of Virginia is getting closer to making its debut. The 300-seat theatre is set to open to the public Thursday night.

Construction teams have been working throughout Wednesday to put on the finishes touches for the production of "You Can't Take It with You."

One of the most noticeable changes is that the theatre is now connected to the old drama building, which houses the Culbreth and Helms theaters. A vastly renovated lobby allows easy access to each of them.

Another feature is that the Ruth Caplin Theatre has a thrust-style design, which means the stage projects out into the house and the audience surrounds the stage on three sides.

"This really is an open space, an open space to the public. It invites the public to the space just by virtue of this glass front. There's an openness, a receptiveness to this. We want to see you here," said Tom Bloom, chair of UVA's drama department.

Construction started about two years ago, and the current cost of the entire theatre facility is estimated at $14 million.

There will be a special dedication ceremony later this month to honor Ruth and Mortimer Caplin, who were the lead donors.

The public opening is Thursday at 8 p.m.

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