Park Square Theatre and SteppingStone Theatre for Youth will join forces this fall to create “your theatre for life” in downtown St. Paul. The two companies have agreed to a collaboration that will lead to more robust regional theatre programming for all ages. Through joint management and mission, though operating as separate legal entities with separate boards and finances, the two companies will provide a full range of theatre experiences out of the Historic Hamm Building.
Those experiences will encompass all ages and the best that both theaters have to offer: classes and camps for young people, workshops for adults and intergenerational groups, family-oriented productions for young audiences, and Park Square’s full mainstage season of new works, classics, mysteries and musicals. In tandem, the partner organizations will serve an audience of 125,000 with more than 70,000 young people attending performances and educational programs.
“What excites me by joining forces is how together we truly become St. Paul’s “theatre for life” for artists and audiences. This is a natural outgrowth of the theater-in-residence concept Richard Cook started with the addition of Park Square’s Andy Boss Stage,” said Park Square executive director Michael-jon Pease.
SteppingStone’s artistic and executive director Mark Ferraro-Hauck agrees. “With the planned sale of our building on Victoria Street near Summit, SteppingStone will return to its downtown roots for performances while maintaining easy accessibility for our hundreds of camp and class families through neighborhood-based programs and facilities. Greater geographical flexibility and the strength of our combined resources are essential to meet the evolving needs of young artists, families, and schools.”
The agreement strengthens both companies by bringing assets and skills together; as well, it allows the Hamm Building — which also houses the former SPCO recital hall and the former Vieux Carré jazz club — to expand into a diverse performance center that can help rebuild downtown’s economy once the pandemic is over.