Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan is getting closer to having a permanent venue at its riverfront site.
On Monday, city committee voted to recommend the approval of a concrete stage base and amphitheatre seating for the theatre company.
Artistic producer Will Brooks told 650 CKOM the structure would allow the group to focus more on their specialty — producing Shakespearian plays.
“We build our seating configuration, risers (and tent). We do our summer, then we tear it all apart and do it all again,” he said.
“A lot of this is about getting to a physical set of infrastructures that’s way more efficient for us.”
The $3-million project, completely funded by Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan, includes the concrete stage base and seating rows along with permanent pavilions, which could be used as change rooms and ticket booths.
Brooks said the theatre company is working with the city and Meewasin Valley Authority (MVA), with hopes to open up the site near Kinsmen Park when it’s not in use.
Currently, the group has to lock their gates to protect the site.
“It’s really taking all of the wonderful things that Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan and our patrons have been fortunate enough to enjoy for the last 35 years, and cracking the doors open for everyone else,” he said.
Brooks noted conversations with the MVA are happening to bring the riverside trails right through the theatre grounds.
If built, he hopes people would get to enjoy the site year-round.
“Somebody could build an ice castle and have a great New Year’s celebration,” he said.
City council will consider approving the amphitheatre in principle during their May 28 meeting. A final design plan would go to councillors for approval at a later date.
Brooks said if all goes well, construction would begin in fall 2019 and the structures would be ready in time for the 2020 season.