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Thinking About the MPS

As mentioned earlier, Design Your Neighborhood is officially back and this summer we’re partnering up with our friends at the Arts & Academics Academy to tackle the Multi-Purpose Studio, affectionately known as the MPS.

The MPS was originally built as a black box theater to accommodate the school’s theatrical productions. It is equipped with a green room, rooms worth of clothes & props, a mostly working sound and lighting system, durable catwalks, bleacher seating, a retractable projector screen, and more! With all of this, it might surprise you to learn that the MPS has actually been used for assemblies & a play hasn’t been performed in this space in 3 YEARS.

So, DYN & AAA are here to change that because come this fall, theater productions will resume at the school & and the youth are tasked with rediscovering all the potential the MPS has to offer and more.

The first week the teens explored all the nooks & crannies of the MPS. After breaking up into multiple brainstorming groups over the course of the first week, they narrowed down feasible projects for the MPS that can be accomplished in the couple weeks we have left (yikes!– but good yikes). The teens have spoken and have royally declared that the floor & walls have to be refurbished, storage areas dejunked, entrance & hallways dazzle-lized, and wish to turn the upstairs closet into a second green room.

So, far we have taken our measurements, calculated the appropriate amount of paint required, have started to decide color palettes, cleared out multiple rooms & begun the dejunk process. Chris, the wonderful carpenter from South Park’s Design Your Neighborhood has graciously returned with her power tools & mind for design. The amazing staff at On the Boards, a black box theater in Queen Anne, even opened up their doors to us to answer all of our questions about what it takes to run a successful theater space, understanding budgets, logistics, and maintenance, etc.

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The following week we visited The Vera Project at the Seattle Center to get even more ideas for the possibilities of MPS and how best to execute our final plans.

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