For many years, the Egyptian YouTheatre held classes in the basement of what used to be the building owned by Mrs. Field’s Cookies. When the building was sold to new owners, this space was put up for sale and no longer available to us.
Formulating a plan, Executive Director, Randy Barton, finalized a contract to purchase the 9,000 square feet of space in the basement, which is connected to our Historic building through an underground tunnel that travels under Main Street. Immediately, a Capital Campaign aimed at purchasing the basement space and renovating it to meet the needs of the growing Egyptian Theatre YouTheatre program, was begun: SAVE OUR SPACE.
In 2017, the Save Our Space campaign was launched, beginning with “Dinners with Randy.” Members of our Theatre were invited to a catered meal in the Theatre where they were presented with the plan to buy and renovate the basement and breezeway space. After members, other local Park City residents were invited to these “Dinners with Randy,” and within 18 months, nearly $4 million had been raised. The Egyptian Theatre finalized the purchase of the basement, and renovations began!
This new performing arts complex secured a permanent home for our YouTheatre children’s program, including state-of-the-art areas for a unique black box theatre of 140 seats, along with rehearsal and classroom space for YouTheatre and event space for special Theatre activities.
Plans are still in place for future updates, which will upgrade the “Tunnel Under Main,” which connects our theatre to our new space. This public area will include art installations, ornate historic panels telling the story of our Theatre, our “Banksy,” and “Video Under Main” - a new experience for locals and visitors that gives a dynamic history of our town.
The first phase of completion could not have come at a better time, almost coinciding with the unprecedented Covid-19 global pandemic. Given the flexible and brilliant design of the Studios classrooms’ moveable walls, we were able to run completely sold out 2020 and 2021 summer camp semesters, while keeping all students socially distanced and safe. When it was so needed for the health and well-being of children everywhere, our students still got to come socialize and create with their peers.
Currently, the Egyptian Studios is bursting at the seams with our robust and growing YouTheatre program. With classes every afternoon during the school year, summer camps, and original stage productions, this once dark and unused space is bursting with life and purpose.
Thanks to our NEW tuition-free programming started in fall 2022, we’ve seen unprecedented levels of participation.