Jun 20, 2013 3:20 PM by Dan Shadwell
Marian is getting a facelift, but she's no lady.
She's the main theatre constructed in 1968, where PCPA productions are staged at the Allan Hancock College campus in Santa Maria.
"The Wizard of Oz" was the last show to play in the older digs. Now, the race is on to make sure the 3-million-dollar-plus finishing touches are in place before "Mary Poppins" opens in the newly renovated space in November.
The exterior is fenced off, and taped-off. Inside, the house is dark and a little dusty.
"Watch your step," warns production manager Jeff Allen. "It's a construction zone and there are holes in the floor on occasion."
We donned hard hats before he walked us through the work in progress...down the long corridors... and into the theatre itself, where the house seats are wrapped in protective plastic.
"So, one of the things you're looking at here is, this is where the new catwalk and proscenium walls will go in," Allen says, pointing at the open space over the dark stage. "They had to take them all down in order to rebuild them. This section was originally put in by theatre technicians, so they're bringing them up to code and up to safety standards."
Back in his office, Jeff tracks the work in a phone book sized set of plans and points to the areas of focus off the main theatre space, near the dressing rooms.
"This is where we had a lot of water pipes and leakage because of showers and drinking fountains and so this was basically gutted inside and rebuilt."
He says as soon as demolition began, the cause of the problems became clear. He hoists a 4-foot section of pipe that's badly corroded and shows obvious breaks in the metal skin.
"When they originally built the building, they put galvanized steel in some of the water pipes." He rolls the pipe to show the weak spots. "So, just in this length of pipe, it had corroded three times."
But the new infrastructure replaces all of that. The Marian will have new plumbing, new heating and air conditioning and ducts; electrical; a new concessions area; new bathrooms; a refurbished dance studio; expanded lobby; even an enclosed passage to keep the costumed actors from ruining their outfits as they run through the paint studio.
The work's not done yet, but they're getting close.
By-the-way, "Fiddler On The Roof," which opened at the Clark Center in Arroyo Grande during the Marian's down time, continues its run at the Solvang Festival Theatre.
For more information on all the PCPA production shows and locations, just go to the KSBY home page and click on "links."
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