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Geva Theatre Center

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Title: Geva Theatre Center  
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Subject: Thomas Babe, Theatre in New York, Jeanne Paulson, Brighton High School (Rochester, New York), Theatres in New York
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Geva Theatre Center

Naval Armory-Convention Hall
Rear-angle view of the theatre building
Geva Theatre Center is located in New York
Location Rochester, NY
Built 1868
Architect Warner,Andrew J.; Gorsline & Aldridge
Architectural style Classical Revival, Late Victorian
Governing body Geva Theatre Center
MPS Inner Loop MRA
NRHP Reference # 85002852
Added to NRHP October 4, 1985[1]

Geva Theatre Center is a regional professional theater company based in Rochester, New York. Founded in 1972, it is ranked with similar companies, including those of Buffalo and Syracuse.[2] Geva has two stages inside the former Naval Armory-Convention Hall, an 1868 building listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It was extensively renovated and redesigned in 1985 for use as a theater, with the second stage added in 1990.


  • History 1
  • Theater building 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4


In 1868 the Naval Armory and Convention Hall was constructed in Rochester. The Convention Hall was used for years and attracted high-quality touring productions and international performers to northern New York state, including opera singer Enrico Caruso and prima ballerina Anna Pavlova. It was also used for political conventions, but by the late 20th century was vacant.[2]

It was extensively renovated in a $2.8 million project and adapted as a 552-seat theatre, opening in 1985.[2] The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

In 1972,

  • Geva Theatre homepage
  • Google+ Local Page
  • Google Virtual Tour Inside the Theater

External links

  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places.  
  2. ^ a b c d e Mel Gussow, "THE STAGE: 'PLANET FIRES,' AT GEVA IN ROCHESTER", New York Times, 14 April 1985, accessed 27 February 2014
  3. ^ a b c d e "Geva Theatre's first 40 years". RocDocs. Democrat and Chronicle. September 2012. Archived from the original on September 4, 2012. Retrieved September 4, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b Low, Stuart (September 2, 2012). "Geva Theatre celebrates 40th season". Democrat and Chronicle (Rochester, New York). Gannet Company. Archived from the original on September 4, 2012. Retrieved September 4, 2012. 


Theater building

In 1997 the name of the company was changed to Geva Theatre Center, dropping the CamelCase formatting.[3] In 2011 Geva Theatre Center hosted the 2011 American Association of Community Theatre Festival.

The new theater opened in 1985 with a production of Planet Fires, a drama by Thomas Babe, a Rochester playwright. Featuring a newly freed black man and s Union deserter who have traveled North together, the play was set soon after the Civil War at a campground near Rochester.[4] GeVa commissioned additional renovations, and the 180-seat Nextstage was installed within the building, opening in 1990.[3] The Center has full seasons of programming, in addition to discussions based on plays and staged readings, and community outreach.

By 1982, GeVa had expanded to a "full-fledged company" ranked with those in Buffalo and Syracuse, and it needed an improved facility.[2] It purchased the former Naval Armory and Convention Hall across the street from the RBI building.[4] Extensive renovations to the hall created a 552-seat theater (now the Mainstage).


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