Good Theater presents its shows in the 110-seat Parish Hall theater at the St. Lawrence Arts Center in Portland. The theater opened in May 2001, Good Theater staged its first show there in November of that year and has been anchor tenant since.

It has been a mutually beneficial relationship. Good Theater books about 100 dates a year, and pays $40,000 in rent to the St. Lawrence. In return, it mounts its shows in a theater large enough to accommodate Good Theater’s robust audience. Co-founder and artistic director Brian Allen said Good Theater operates at 95 percent capacity, selling just shy of 10,000 tickets each season.

The Parish Hall theater accommodates the range of dramas, comedies and musicals that Good Theater favors, he said. “I think it’s one of the most comfortable spaces in town to see a show. Every seat has a great view, and the intimacy is amazing,” he said.

Deirdre Nice, the arts center’s executive director, said the theater cannot meet the current level of demand. More than a dozen theater and dance companies use the hall nearly every weekend of the year. “There are a lot of theater companies that want to use it. They are having trouble finding space,” she said.

The arts center is working with the city on a conditional zoning agreement that will formalize plans for a new 401-seat theater and expansion of the Parish Hall theater. A fundraising campaign to pay for the project will follow final approval from the city.

The new theater will be mostly for music, Nice said. The existing theater would be retrofitted with retractable risers to increase the number of seats by 15 or 20.

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