[image-1] PURE Theatre will move to its new location at 134 Cannon St. a.k.a. Cannon Street Art Center this October, christening the space with an extended run of the MOJA performance, Sweat, which kicks off the company’s 16th season. Sweat, a 2017 Pulitzer Prize winner about the woes of the working class, sees an initial run at Dock Street Theatre Oct. 4-7 and following the fest, Sweat plays at PURE’s new home the weekends of Oct. 11-20.
PURE’s move comes after six years at its location on upper King Street, one our theater critic Maura Hogan discussed in last fall’s cover story, “Could the crush of development mean curtains for the peninsula’s theaters?” Hogan wrote of 477 King St., “But at the end of this season, Graci [PURE’s artistic director] is giving this home the hook. Situated on a block that is now hot property for national franchises and swarms of sightseers and scene-makers, the coveted address is far from ideal for a non-profit theater company hoping to stay afloat.”
Goodbye upper King, hello former church. The Cannon Street Art Center and PURE love connection was made possible with the help of Patterson Smith Company Inc. and the City of Charleston; the theater will operate as an anchoring tenant and resident theater company in the new Art Center.
Following Sweat‘s run, PURE’s season continues with A Doll’s House, Part 2 (Lucas Hnath’s 2017 sequel to Ibsen’s classic) running through November. In January and February 2019 PURE will pay tribute to playwright Sam Shepard with the production of two of his works, True West and Fool For Love, presented in rotating repertory. March through May, Small Mouth Sounds, Bess Wohl’s 2017 play about six runaways from city life embarking on a silent retreat, and a to-be-announced Tony award-winning work finish up the season.
In a press release PURE co-founder and artistic director Sharon Graci says, “As the head of an arts organization that is turning 16, I have a whole new appreciation for what 16 means. PURE is mature, seasoned, but not as wizened as our older counterparts.There’s still much to learn, but we’re confident and thoughtful, with a firm understanding of audience expectations. We’re bold and balanced, and we are not afraid to challenge our patrons to expect more and to challenge ourselves to deliver more. We work hard, we take risks, and we dream of a future that is welcoming to all. It’s exciting to manifest that dream, and it’s terribly, terribly sweet. Just as it should be.”