Founded in 1984 as American Showcase Theatre Company, Inc., MetroStage is the oldest professional theatre in Northern Virginia. From its inception until 1996, MetroStage operated out of a series of converted storefronts on Duke Street, until redevelopment in the area required their demolition. MetroStage re-opened in its new theatre at 1201 North Royal Street in north Old Town Alexandria in July 2001. The theatre’s opening came about through Producing Artistic Director Carolyn Griffin’s commitment to finding a new home for the theatre, which required a major $450,000 fundraising effort. Today, MetroStage is once again a significant member of the Washington theatre community, drawing its audiences from the Washington metropolitan area and beyond.
MetroStage’s new theatre is a converted lumber warehouse, the former home of Alexandria’s Smoot Lumber Company. Board member and architect Skip Maginniss converted the 35-year-old, 4000 square foot building into a modern, 130-seat theatre with a stunning glass entrance and a floating staircase leading to theatre offices. The 30-foot high warehouse offers an interior volume that lends an expansive, dramatic feel to the space. Yet to maintain the intimate theatre environment for which MetroStage has become recognized, seats on risers wrapping around a “thrust” stage keep the audience in close proximity to the actors. The location offers on-site and street parking and is convenient to many local restaurants and shops for before- or after-theatre enjoyment