Timeline and Construction


Arena Stage considers relocating to Seventh Street NW, but after discussions with Mayor Anthony Williams and the City Council, decides to stay in Southwest as a crucial part of the Southwest Waterfront revitalization. 


June: Arena Stage reviews 60 architectural candidates to design the new complex and selects Bing Thom Architects of Vancouver, Canada.

July: Arena Stage completes its fundraising feasibility study.


Arena Stage completes its engineering study.


July: The design of Arena’s new theater campus by Bing Thom Architects is approved by both the Historic Preservation Review Board and the Fine Arts Commission.

September: Arena Stage receives the Mayor’s Agent Approval for Exemplary Architecture.

October: Arena Stage begins the quiet phase of its fundraising campaign.


January: Arena Stage selects a Trustee Steering Committee to serve as its campaign leadership.

June: Arena Stage receives approval of zoning variances by the Advisory Neighborhood Commission.

October: Bing Thom Architects’ final design is approved by the Board of Zoning Adjustments. 


Arena Stage files for the needed permits for the renovation project. 


Bing Thom Architects completes construction drawings. 


December: Arena Stage announces $100 million has been raised towards the multipurpose goal of $125 million for the project, publicly launches the Next Stage Campaign, and begins the bid process for the construction contract. The theater also announces the new facility will bear the name Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater, after visionary benefactors and Life Trustees Dr. Jaylee M. Mead and the late Gilbert Mead, who pledged $35 million towards the project—the largest gift from a single household to a not-for-profit regional theater.


May: Clark Construction is chosen for the construction contract.

October: Arena Stage Board of Trustees votes to commence construction and announces plans to break ground in January 2008.

December: Performances begin at Arena Stage in Crystal City, 1800 S. Bell Street, Arlington, VA; one of the temporary theater spaces Arena uses during the two-year construction in Southwest D.C. 


January: Arena Stage breaks ground on its historic Southwest, D.C. theater complex.

September: Performances begin at the historic Lincoln Theatre, 1215 U Street NW, Washington, D.C.; the second temporary space to be used during expansion.


July: Arena Stage staff moves out of temporary operating facilities and into the new campus.

October: Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater opens for the 2010/11 season.