Racine Theatre Guild Model

A model of the completed construction of the Racine Theatre Guild.

Photo Courtesy of Racine Theatre Guild

RACINE — Patrons and visitors can get free backstage access to the Racine Theatre Guild this summer and all they have to do is walk in the door.

The Racine Theatre Guild began construction Tuesday on its theater, 2519 Northwestern Ave., to upgrade the stairs on the north side of the building.

The staircase in the theater now is very steep. With the money raised through the guild’s Stairway to the Stage fundraiser, which raised more than $100,000, they opted to re-grade the stairs. The construction did not interfere with the show schedules.

“One thing we did was move our summer musical a little earlier and fall show a little later so it doesn’t interrupt our shows,” said Susan Sandvick, director of marketing and development for the Racine Theatre Guild.

Additional construction will also move the main stairway to the east side of the building, create a second staircase to ease pedestrian traffic, and add patio furniture for classes, meetings, social events and rentals.

“We’re hoping (the patio) can generate more revenue,” Sandvick said.

Due to the construction, visitors are asked to use the stage door of the building.

“One thing that makes it interesting is if you come to get tickets you’ll kind of get a back stage tour,” Sandvick said. “We’re still a working theater, but everyone is entering through the stage door.”

One of the road entrances is also inaccessible due to the construction on Northwestern Avenue. Sandvick said people should use the east entrance instead of the west entrance.

Construction is expected to be completed by the start of the season in September for the guild’s production of “Lend Me a Tenor.”

“Excuse our mess for now,” Sandvick said, “but it’s going to look good for the next season.”

“Excuse our mess for now, but it’s going to look good for the next season.“—Susan Sandvick, director of marketing and development for the Racine Theatre Guild

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