RCCL dedicates new practice theater

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"Elyria" is a late-night show that will be performed on Celebrity Cruises ships. Photo Credit: Tom Stieghorst

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCCL) dedicated a new practice area for performers at Florida International University that will allow it to train more performers.

The 130,000-square-foot rehearsal and production studio has ceilings as high as 36 feet to provide training space for aerialists, who perform on many ships.

The facility was built in partnership with FIU on the school’s Biscayne Bay campus in North Miami. RCCL Chairman Richard Fain was on hand to open the new building, which will be called the Royal Caribbean Production Studio. 

In addition to training RCCL performers, the studio will give FIU students hands-on experience in cruise line operations, stage management, lighting, stage design, audio engineering and production. FIU faculty and staff will have access to RCCL marketing and sales data from its six cruise brands to conduct original research and present findings to RCCL.

The building includes a 285-seat theater, 20,000-square-foot costume-making facility, 10 rehearsal studios, a recording room and video-editing facilities.

Completion of the building was one of the main factors in a decision by RCCL’s Celebrity Cruises brand to bring its main stage productions in house, said Royal Caribbean International President Michael Bayley.

Celebrity is working on 18 new shows to be rolled out in the next 18 months, according to Becky Thomson Foley, Celebrity's director of entertainment.

The first show, "Elyria," was previewed for an audience of VIPs. It is one of two late-night shows that will be performed after 11 p.m. and features risqué content, costuming and choreography.

Thomson Foley said the show compliments Celebrity’s “Modern Luxury” market niche and responds to requests from guests for more programming in the late evening. “They’re up at night and looking for things to do,” she said.

"Elyria" will make its debut on the Celebrity Constellation in April. 

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