The Theater Department at Truckee Meadows Community College announced plans to open a black box theater in The Oddie District in Sparks, with a target opening date of fall 2022.

Ron Marston, TMCC’s Art Department chair, emailed a statement yesterday that reads, in part:

“We are … excited to announce a new dedicated venue for the TMCC performing arts program. TMCC is planning to lease and develop a 4,300 sq. ft. teaching/performance space in the new Oddie District. TMCC has signed a letter of intent with the developers, Foothill Partners.”

A rendering of the Oddie District’s future exterior. Image courtesy of Jeff Frame, Frame Architecture, Inc.

The Oddie District is a residential and retail complex with an artistic bent that’s currently in development at 2450 Oddie Blvd., in a 209,000-square-foot building that once housed a Lowe’s. The Generator is a tenant (though its space isn’t yet open to the public). Future tenants include Innovation Collective, an Idaho-based business incubator, and a brewery/distillery, the name of which has not yet been announced.

The road to a permanent home

TMCC’s department lost its performance space in the Keystone Square Shopping Center in 2019. Marston said that long-term plans exist for a new building on the main Dandini campus that could include a 300 seat theater, but that project in on hold due to pandemic-related budget constraints. Meanwhile, even though the college saw theater enrollment drop in 2020, students and faculty stayed true to the “show must go on” maxim. The department began using a temporary, 50-seat performance space in TMCC’s Red Mountain Building for dance classes, rehearsals and performances—distanced and masked. Students also performed a virtual version of Godspell in April.

As arts institutions re-adjust to post-pandemic performing, TMCC’s Theater Department plans for faculty members Dave Anderson and Stacey Spain to continue collaborations that they’ve already started with Reno and Damonte Ranch High Schools, and there will likely be more performances in the temporary campus theater.

Regarding the Oddie District plans, Marston wrote, “We will be creating a black box theatre with seating for up to 150. We hope to be up and running by next fall (2022), and we may be doing some small test productions as early as spring 2022, as we develop the space over the next year.”

Marston said that the department will likely continue to specialize in musicals, as it always has.

“We’re also looking forward to discussing collaborations with other tenants at the Oddie District” he added.

Development is underway for the Oddie District residential/retail/art complex in a building that formerly housed a Lowe’s. Photo: Kris Vagner

Cover image: Ron Marston in the temporary theater space at TMCC’s Dandini campus. Photo: Kris Vagner

Posted by Kris Vagner

Kris Vagner is Double Scoop’s Editor & Publisher.