Geva Theatre Center
Naval Armory-Convention Hall
Rear-angle view of the theatre building
|Architect||Warner,Andrew J.; Gorsline & Aldridge|
|Architectural style||Classical Revival, Late Victorian|
|Governing body||Geva Theatre Center|
|MPS||Inner Loop MRA|
|NRHP Reference #||85002852|
|Added to NRHP||October 4, 1985|
Geva Theatre Center is a regional professional theater company based in Rochester, New York. Geva has two stages inside the former Naval Armory-Convention Hall, a building that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Two residents of nearby Avon, William Markham Selden (one of the co-creators of the COBOL programming language) and Cynthia Mason Selden (a British actress), founded the company in 1972 as GeVa, an abbreviation for "Genesee Valley". The first shows, short lunchtime dramas, were produced in 1973 at the Rochester Business Institute. Actors appearing at GeVa in the early years included Samuel L. Jackson (in A Raisin in the Sun), Scott Bakula, and Georgia Engel.
In 1982, the organization purchased the former Naval Armory and Convention Hall across the street from the RBI building. Extensive renovations to the hall created a 552-seat theater (now the Mainstage), which opened in 1985 with a production of Planet Fires. The 180-seat Nextstage opened in 1980.
The name of the company was changed to Geva Theatre Center in 1997, dropping the CamelCase formatting.
Geva hosted the 2011 American Association of Community Theatre Festival.
Geva's current building, originally constructed in 1868 as a Naval Armory and Convention Hall, was re-opened as a theatre in 1985 after extensive renovation. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2007-01-23.
- "Geva Theatre's first 40 years". RocDocs. Democrat and Chronicle. September 2012. Archived from the original on September 4, 2012. Retrieved September 4, 2012.
- Low, Stuart (September 2, 2012). "Geva Theatre celebrates 40th season". Democrat and Chronicle (Rochester, New York). Gannet Company. Archived from the original on September 4, 2012. Retrieved September 4, 2012.
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