By Mike Schuh

BALTIMORE (WJZ)—From humble beginnings, 23 years ago, the Everyman Theatre has grown and outgrown every place it called home.

Now, as Mike Schuh reports, its new home opens Monday night.

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Before you get to the ribbon cutting ceremony, you need to raise millions.

That was Gina Hirshhorn’s job.

“It is really very surreal right now to think that we started this six , seven years ago and are finally here in this beautiful, beautiful extraordinary building,” said Hirshhorn, senior VP Bank of America.

Originally the Empire Theatre, the E at its pinnacle, now stands for Everyman.

“Today we are proud to be opening it for its original purpose, a live theatre for the people of Baltimore,” said Ian Tresselt, Everyman managing director.

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Monday night, for the first time, there will be a preview performance in the new theatre.

Opening a new arts space in this economy is nothing short of spectacular, something the mayor appreciates.

“You had to be a visionary to have this be what it is today,” said Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.

Besides all who donated their time and money, she’s talking about the founding artistic director Vincent Lancisi.

“Have a conversation as a community, with the actors. Laugh, cry, clap, applaud, guffaw, gasp, participate,” Lancisi said.

Now, let the show begin!

And in keeping with its populist roots, Tuesday is pay-what-you-can night. Show up at the box office at 5 p.m. and give them what you can and you will be here enjoying Baltimore’s newest performance space.

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The entire house of 250 seats is open for that pay-what-you-can performance on Tuesday. Tickets for the rest of their six plays this season run between $10 and $60.