Venice Gondolier-Sun


VENICE — Venice Theatre is going to see new improvements in coming months.

According to a news release, Sweet Sparkman Architecture & Interiors has partnered the theater “and will spearhead new growth initiatives across its campus.”

SSAI is a “multi-disciplinary architecture and planning firm” based in Sarasota.

The announcement was made Wednesday.

“We are thrilled to collaborate on this ambitious next phase for Venice Theatre,” SSAI partner John Bryant said in the news release. “We look forward to helping further Venice Theatre’s role as a cultural centerpiece for the arts community across South West Florida through inspired, functional design.”

Theater officials are thrilled with the future.

“We understand that creating the best possible outcomes requires the combination of dedication, creativity and raw talent. We know Sweet Sparkman’s team brings that to the table and will be an incredible partner for helping us shape the future of Venice Theatre,” said Venice Theatre’s Producing Executive Director Murray Chase.

The news release said SSAI will commence planning and redesign concepts “immediately” for the three-building campus of Venice Theatre.

It will include “the Main Performance Building, Technical Arts Building and a recently purchased Arts Education Building … Additionally, SSAI will provide conceptual master planning services to Venice Theatre for all future growth opportunities.”

The initiatives will begin in early May, according to the news release.

“They will be scheduled over a three-year period to facilitate the least possible disruption of Venice Theatre’s programming and services,” it said. “Work is currently planned to begin first at the Technical Arts Building, Main Performance Building, and new Arts Education building, respectively.”

It said the Arts Education Building “will see the most significant change as a result of the initiative.”

The one-story former temporary site of the Venice Public Library will undergo a redesign.

“The redesign will create spaces for classroom and rehearsal areas, a complete review of its electrical and lighting systems, new flooring, as well as other changes to meet A.D.A. compliance,” it said. “Expected upgrades will also encompass cosmetic improvements to the exterior of the building and rooms. State-of-the-art sound, lighting, intercom, video, and security will also be installed to improve the space’s functionality.”

The news release said a focus will also be in “assessing much-needed infrastructure upgrades to the Technical Arts and Arts Education buildings.”

Each need roof replacements, a review of their heating and air conditioning systems and “weather tightening assessments,” it said — along with other potential work.

There will also be changes in the Main Performance Building to “enhance production capabilities and modernize its ergonomics, as well as cosmetic remodeling to its lobby and restrooms.”

For more information about SSAI, visit

Venice Theatre is the second-largest of 10,000 community theaters in the country.

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