press release from Southern Rep, photos by Lisa Amoss

Southern Rep Theatre, Rose CDC and Alembic Community Development Announce Plans for Performing Arts Space to Revitalize Historic Church Building on Bayou Treme Center campus on Bayou Road

announce1New Orleans, La. (February 18th, 2016) – Today, Southern Rep Theatre, Rose Community Development Corporation and Alembic Community Development announced plans for launching the Bayou Tremé Center campus development project, which will renovate the long-vacant former St Rose de Lima Church into a hub for the performing arts in the city and a cultural anchor on the Bayou Road corridor. The ceremony was followed by guided tours through the historic building and around the site of the upcoming campus development.

“This historic building is the perfect home for Southern Rep Theatre,” said Aimée Hayes, Producing Artistic Director for Southern Rep Theatre. “It offers everything we have envisioned in our search for a permanent space. The prospect of making theatre at this historic crossroads of New Orleans is inspiring and humbling for us. A permanent home of our own affords us the opportunity to build on the expansive arts education programs we already have in place, continue to produce artistically innovative new plays, and reach out to both the Tremé and neighboring communities in a comprehensive and vital way.”

announce2Originally constructed in 1915 to replace a 19th century structure that was lost to a fire, the iconic Gothic Tudor church operated for 90 years before being closed by the Archdiocese of New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Rose CDC and Alembic will jointly own the 47,000 square foot campus, which includes the church building and two former Catholic schoolhouses directly across Columbus Street, and will work to redevelop the properties into an arts and education campus that supports the ongoing revitalization of Bayou Road and serves as a hub for the performing arts industry throughout the city. The project partners anticipate that construction will begin in 2017, with a projected opening date in 2018.

“Alembic is thrilled to be partnered with Southern Rep and Rose CDC, as well as a great team in MetroStudio, Ryan Gootee General Contractors and Spackman Mossop Michaels landscape architects, on this high impact project,” said Jonathan Leit, director of Alembic’s New Orleans office. “Southern Rep is such an important institution for the arts and creative economy in New Orleans, and we look forward to seeing it flourish in the re-purposed St Rose church building towards supporting the continued revitalization of Bayou Road.”

The centerpiece of the Bayou Tremé Center campus will be a 13,400 square foot theater complex operated by Southern Rep Theatre, New Orleans’ premiere theatre company. The theater complex includes a 125-seat Mainstage proscenium, a 65-seat Lagniappe Stage convertible to a cabaret or black box configuration, an Outdoor Stage for pre-performance activities, administrative offices, rehearsal room, and a bar/café.

In addition, the Bayou Tremé Center campus will include the renovation of the 23,000 square-foot schoolhouse at 2539 Columbus Street into a new space for a school operator, while the 11,000 square-foot schoolhouse at 2533 Columbus Street is planned as office space.

“When Rose CDC first began this project several years ago, it was with a community-driven vision to bring an arts and education campus to Bayou Road,” said Shawn Kennedy, board member of Rose CDC. “On behalf of the board of Rose CDC, I could not be more excited to share the announcement of our agreement with Southern Rep Theatre to occupy the repurposed St Rose church building. We look forward to seeing the impact that the pairing of this beautiful historic building and Southern Rep will bring to Bayou Road and the city.”

For more information about the project, please contact Jenny Windstrup by phone: 504-523-9857 or by email:, or Jonathan Leit by phone: 504-569-0014 or by email:

Founded in 1986, Southern Rep Theatre’s mission is to develop and produce new plays that reflect the diversity of New Orleans, to provide its audience with professional theatre of the highest artistic quality and achievement, and to establish a creative working environment that nurtures theatre professionals. As the city’s premiere nonprofit professional theatre, Southern Rep strives to use the artistry of theatre to enlighten, educate, and entertain audiences, and to further extend that service through educational and outreach programs.

Rose Community Development Corporation is a nonprofit community development corporation founded to rejuvenate the Bayou Road neighborhood, with an initial focus to realize the vision for the Bayou Tremé Center.

Alembic Community Development invests in long-term partnerships in underserved neighborhoods through real estate development and organizational capacity building.   Through its offices in New Orleans and New York City, Alembic has developed a range of mixed-use properties in collaboration with mission-driven partners, including affordable and supportive housing and commercial and community spaces.