In preparation for its grand reopening after a $28 million renovation, Center Stage has unveiled an updated name, a new logo and a new website.
After going by the mashup CENTERSTAGE for many years, the multi-stage theater at 700 N. Calvert Street will be called Baltimore Center Stage from now on.
It’s a subtle but meaningful change, comparable in some respects to the change made when the Maryland Institute, College of Art dropped the comma and became the Maryland Institute College of Art, or MICA for short.
A new logo, designed by Abbott Miller of Pentagram, has three words with white letters on a red
background. The inspiration, representatives say, is the marking tape used onstage to show actors where to stand in a particular scene. It also looks like a series of signposts.
“This is a transformational time for our theater. The changes to our building, our name and our look reflect our commitment to innovation and accessibility and the positive impact the arts can have on the community,” said artistic director Kwame Kwei-Armah.
The word “Baltimore” has been added to the name to reflect the theater’s roots in the Baltimore community, even as it reaches audiences throughout the state and beyond, Kwei-Armah explained. It also helps avoid confusion with other theaters around the country named Center Stage.
“As we transform, Baltimore is in the midst of its own Renaissance,” Kwei-Armah said. “Adding Baltimore to the theater’s name allows us to honor our vibrant hometown wherever our work takes us.”
The new name already has been spelled out in the archway above the theater’s Calvert Street entrance. Along with the new name, Baltimore Center Stage has begun to use a different logo, color palette and graphic identity.
The new look, staff say, supports the theater’s mission of Access for All, which propels Baltimore Center Stage to reach audiences not only inside the theater walls but wherever they may be — including schools, suburbs, city streets, assisted living facilities, prisons and shelters — through the theater’s mobile unit, digital initiatives and other community programs.
Miller, with Pentagram, worked with the theater to shape the new visual identity, which can be seen on the theater’s new website. According to public relations manager Lisa Lance, “the new logo will be used anywhere Baltimore Center Stage is represented—on our website and social media sites, on all of our marketing materials…The new visual identity will also be evident throughout the building through signage and wayfinding. You can see it now on our website, on advertising, and on our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages.”
Baltimore Center Stage, named the State Theater of Maryland in 1978, is scheduled to reopen to the public on March 3 with the opening night of “The White Snake.”
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