Lakeshore Players Theatre has been rehearsing and performing in the former Swedish Lutheran Church in downtown White Bear Lake since 1971, and they’re long overdue for an upgrade, to say the least. The theater has grown tremendously since the ’70s, and is now one of the longest continuously operating theatres in Minnesota, as well as the premier performing arts hub for the northeast Twin Cities metro. Lakeshore Players’ new home will be located at 4941 Long Ave., the old Twin Cities Nursery space, which is right next door to White Bear Center for the Arts.
BWBR Architects, the same company that completed Park Square Theater’s 2010 renovation, will design the new facility, which is estimated to cost $6.2 million. So far, $1.6 million has been raised. “Depending on fundraising, we are hoping to start construction in 2017,” says Lakeshore Players’ executive director Joan Elwell, adding that if fundraising goals are met, construction can begin sooner since the land purchase will be complete on November 1, 2014.