Sculpture adds to theater's transformation

Air conditioning and improved sight lines are also included as theater prepares its next production.

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Sculptor Bernard Hosey unchains "Round and Roud," one of his 8-foot spheres that weighs roughly 5-tons, in preparation to lift it from his truck to be placed in front of the Powerhouse Theater on North 6th Street Thursday morning. Hosey said he has made around 80 of the spheres but only owns four currently. Most of his work is throughout China, including seven monumental sculptures. Thursday, July 21, 2011

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Like a celestial body from the sky, Sculptor Bernard Hosey (left) carefully lowers his steel sphere "Round and Round" as his brother Harry Hosey (black) and fellow workers Nick Jagger (second from right) and Mike Needham (right) wait to place beams on the sidewalk to keep it from rolling while they work to place it permanently out front of the Powerhouse Theater on N 6th Street Thursday morning. Thursday, July 21, 2011

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Light passes from one celestial body to another as sculptor Bernard Hosey's 8-foot sphere named "Round and Round' is lowered to the ground in front of the sun Thursday morning outside the Powerhouse Theater. Thursday, July 21, 2011

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Nick Jaggar (left) and Mike Needham (right) stabilize the base for one of sculptor Bernard Hosey's 8-foot steel spheres on loan to the Powerhouse Theater. Hosey (center) craned the sphere and base off his truck to the front of the theater much to his brother's delight. Thursday, July 21, 2011

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.

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