Actors Theatre Finishes New Artist Dormitory

by Devin Katayama on January 30, 2012

Louisville’s Actors Theatre will open the doors of 18 new downtown apartments this week, which will be used to house actors and actresses throughout the year.

“Everything is brand spanking new,” said designer Kevin Troxall.

Troxall designed all the apartments for free, which is partly how Actors Theatre was able to pull off securing and renovating the space at 300 Main Street including three floors of one-bedroom and studio apartments.

“If someone was a couple that was working together in one of the shows they can share a unit,” said Jennifer Bielstein, Actors Theatre’s managing director.

The $1.15 million project was supported by in-kind donations and support, like from Troxall, and a $1 million investment from FBM Properties.

“It was really the generosity of FBM Properties and these other businesses that allowed us to make this happen because Actors Theatre is a non profit organization and we didn’t just have this amount of money,” said Bielstein.

Actors Theatre used to pay another building to house the actors several blocks away, but the new arrangement has the potential to save the theatre up to $800,000 over its 20-year lease, she said.

The fully furnished apartments are immediately adjacent to the theatre providing the actors and actresses easy access to their work. The apartments will host nearly 170 visiting artists throughout the year, said Bielstein. The first tenants will move in Wednesday to prepare for the 36th annual Humana Festival of New American Plays this spring.

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