The City of Lawrenceville is a long-time supporter of the arts and true believers in art as an economic driver, so when long-time Lawrenceville residents, The Aurora Theatre, found themselves busting at the seams, the city did not hesitate to hatch a plan. With Aurora’s success as the second largest professional theatre company in Georgia and the city’s creative vision and dedication, the idea for the Lawrenceville Arts Center was born.
Arts and culture are some of the top contributors to Georgia’s economy. A recent study by Americans for the Arts shows that in metro Atlanta alone, arts and culture bring $730,561,881 in economic impact, create 23,943 jobs and attract 10,555,893 visitors to our region. It’s no wonder that the visionary leaders in Lawrenceville have worked hard to make the city a regional, vibrant art-centered community.
“The City of Lawrenceville and the Aurora Theatre are delighted to bring the arts to the heart of Gwinnett,” said Mayor David Still. “Opening the Lawrenceville Arts Center is a major milestone in the transformation of the Downtown area and will further strengthen the economic vitality of the city’s core.”
When Aurora first set up shop in Lawrenceville, under the leadership of Co-founders Anthony Rodriguez and Ann-Carol Pence, they knew that expansion was the right path. “From the day we opened, I would look out my window at an abandoned gas station and dream of the possibility of expanded facilities and what that could mean for Aurora Theatre and for Downtown Lawrenceville,” said Rodriguez. “We already have people calling in to book the space a year out, and we haven’t even opened.”
Today that space, designed by architects at SSOE (formerly Stevens & Wilkinson), is home to a 500-seat grand theatre, which includes an orchestra pit and complete fly system and trap room, an outdoor performance courtyard, a flexible cabaret space, a costume shop, a full-sized rehearsal hall and ample dressing room space. The facility is going from two performance spaces to five and will now have the ability to partner with Broadway-bound producers, as well as local schools, businesses and community organizations.
In addition to upgraded performance space, the new facility will feature state-of-the-art safety features, such as bipolar ionization units and enhanced air filters, UV lights to sterilize and clean HVAC system coils, Hands-free devices incorporated throughout the facility and the purchase of touchless payment options.
You may have seen that the Lawrenceville Arts Center has already played host to performances and events in its outdoor courtyard space and will officially kick off the 2021-2022 season with their long-running original holiday revue, Christmas Canteen, on November 26. With COVID delays, Aurora rolled out a four-show lineup this season in the new Grand Theatre. In addition to Christmas Canteen, performances will include Feeding Beatrice, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella and Swindlers.
In addition to its award-winning productions, Aurora also hosts annual ghost tours, musical performances, children’s theatre, comedy nights and more. Subscriptions for Aurora’s 26th season are now available, as well as individual tickets for upcoming performances. Be sure to visit auroratheatre.com to learn more and to grab your tickets before they sell out!