Christmas comes early at Warren's 2nd Story

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The Liberty Street School is going to be getting some work.

2nd Story Theatre just got word that is has been awarded a $125,000 grant from The Champlin Foundations to assist in the restoration of the old brick school, which it purchased earlier this year for use as a set building workshop and rehearsal studio. Executive director Lynn Collinson said the money will be used to replace 87 inefficient, 50-year-old windows. Exterior doors will be replaced and the roof will be insulated.

“Preserving these local landmarks ( the school and the theater’s home at the corner of Market and Main) will continue to have a positive impact on all of the town’s citizens, whether they attend the theatre or not,” artistic director Ed Shea said.

The building’s acquisition — voters approved its sale for $100,000 — has had a profound impact on the theatre company. Apart from freeing up space to make more elaborate sets and giving actors a place to rehearse, moving the set workshop to a secondary location allowed 2nd Story to build a second, smaller stage. It opened for the first time this past September to rave reviews, and will host simpler, more intimate productions than the main stage upstairs.

Founded in Newport in 1978, 2nd Story moved to Warren in 2001.

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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.