Vegas Theatre Hub to depart The 705 due to city-planned redevelopment
Vegas Theatre Hub says "Farewell" to their former home online, June 28th
For the past few years, Vegas Theatre Hub has been proud to call 705 Las Vegas Blvd. North home after its nomadic founding in 2015 by professional improv artists Darren Pitura, Derek Shipman, and Natalie Shipman. Unfortunately, the City of Las Vegas has claimed The 705 space, now famous for its outdoor mural "A Phalanx of Angels Ascending" by local artist James Stanford, and the area will be built up to further "redevelop" the Cultural Corridor.
Awarded "Best Comedy Boot Camp" in 2019 by the Las Vegas Weekly, students and teaching artists made The 705 a home for emerging talent and original comedy in Southern Nevada, reviving the former VFW building interior with their bare hands and inclusive community spirit. Sadly, the Hub had to cancel its 5th Anniversary Show last March with the onslaught of COVID. Due to the uncertainty brought on by the pandemic (and the ongoing struggle for the Arts to survive Downtown gentrification without policies to protect them) the Hub's future in a new location is uncertain.
One can only hope that local policymakers will address the needs of our local cultural industry as smaller nonprofits and arts-adjacent businesses struggle to survive. The Vegas Theatre Hub has been a rare gem for members of the public to become lifelong learners, polished professionals, and connected to the community with low-cost classes, drop-in sessions, and a collaborative creative incubator. It is one of several local arts groups that are impossible to replace threads in our community's fabric.
Our recovery can and must begin with the "redevelopment" of local nonprofits and locally-run venues invested in by the public with their savings and sweat equity if we are looking to leverage resources for the greatest social and economic gains.
In order to say "Thank you" to the neighborhood and to all of the students and artists who have made The 705 a home for talent and comedy in Southern Nevada, founder Darren Pitura has put together a virtual celebration featuring comedy, improv, sketches, clowning, and storytelling.
This show is free, and because of the group's uncertain future they will not be accepting donations for the Hub; however, viewers of the telethon-style livestream will be encouraged to support the Vegas Freedom Fund, a bail relief organization working to combat mass incarceration in Clark County, and the Las Vegas Rescue Mission, a shelter providing meals and housing to downtown’s homeless population.
Participating contributors in the event include Matt Donnelly and Paul Mattingly ("Matt & Mattingly's Ice Cream Social," "Penn & Teller's Fool Us," and more), Marc Roberts ("Blue Man Group"), Shannan Calcutt & Darren Pitura ("Cirque du Soleil"), Noah Bremer ("Cirque du Soleil," "Clowns after Midnight"), Derek Shipman ("Cirque du Soleil"), and actor Adriane McLean.
Hopefully, this special event is merely the marking of a pause in programming for Vegas Theatre Hub. Southern Nevada needs a community that is trained and ready to improvise in the New World for local arts and our society that, now more than ever, is hungry for them.