WALLA WALLA -- For the second act at the Power House Theatre: air conditioning, improved sight lines, a new art installation and continued improvements all around.
The transformation of the 120-year-old former gas plant/powerhouse continues, and will be apparent with the upcoming two-week run of "Swansong," theater operators say.
Based on feedback from patrons who attended the inaugural show "Merry Wives of Windsor" at the theater in May, the organization made air conditioning one of its immediate missions, according to an announcement from the operation.
Air conditioning is now in place to help provide relief, especially for those sitting in the balcony seats.
Sight lines have also been improved for all balcony seating with new railings.
This week a temporary art exhibit was installed at the property on Sixth Avenue and Rose Street.
Artist Bernard Hosey, the brother of Shakespeare Walla Walla board President Harry Hosey, created the eight-foot steel sphere installed in front of the building.
The changes since May are just part of what's expected to be a multi-year transformation of the building into a 340-seat year-round destination for the works of William Shakespeare, as well as other performances.
The "Shakespeare Walla Walla Summer Festival" will include three productions at two venues.
"Swansong" will be performed at the Power House Theatre. Written by Whitman College alumnus Patrick Page, who's currently performing as the Green Goblin in "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark" on Broadway, the play was nominated by the American Theatre Critics Association for Best New Play in 2006.
Fort Walla Walla Amphitheater will be the other venue for the festival's performances. "Macbeth" and "The Comedy of Errors" will be offered at the outdoor venue. The festival runs Aug. 3-14.
For ticket information, visit www.shakespearewallawalla.org or call 742-0739.