A new stage in Davis

The opening of a new theatrical venue is an uncommon event, but that’s just what the Davis Musical Theatre Company (DMTC) has planned for this weekend. The new Hoblit Performing Arts Center is a 10,000-square-foot facility with a stage, an orchestra pit and 240 seats. That’s about 100 more than the B Street Theatre and almost as many as the Sacramento Theatre Company.

DMTC is leasing the space under a long-term agreement. Its old venue was the city-owned Varsity Theater, which was primarily designed for movies and later retrofitted to accommodate live performances. Backstage facilities at the Varsity are minimal, so DMTC’s rehearsals, costume shop, office operations and other activities were spread over other locations around Davis.

The new theater will bring everything together in one place, which is a huge logistical advantage. Because the DMTC isn’t sharing the new theater with other groups, it also will be able to leave its sets and gear on the stage between weekend performances, instead of clearing out and locking up (which was necessary at the Varsity).

The new venue has a total cost of about $1.3 million and has taken about three years to complete. DMTC received many donations but also took out a loan to finish the building. The theater’s name, the Hoblit Performing Arts Center, reflects a donation for naming rights by the Hoblit auto dealerships.

DMTC was founded in 1984 by Steve and Jan Isaacson and specializes in community productions of popular musicals. Jan will direct the first show at the new theater, Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods. It opens November 11 and runs through December 4. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday at 8:15 p.m., and Sunday at 2:15 p.m. Admission is $12 to $15. The Hoblit Performing Arts Center is located at 607 Peña Drive in Davis. Call (530) 756-3682 or visit www.dmtc.org for more information.