This beautiful theater was the brain child of Paul Kaskey, former city manager of North Port. The city planned to construct a fine arts building in 2004. The fine arts building took form with a proposal to utilize funds from the Sarasota County School District and the city of North Port. The combined fund of $6.5 million was approved by the Citizens Tax Oversight Committee. Vic Costello conceived, implemented and supported the construction of the North Port Performing Arts Center and this beautiful 1,000-seat auditorium opened in 2001.
The auditorium has a fully handicapped-accessible stage that is 36 feet deep and 50 feet wide. The auditorium has many extras, including a hydraulically operated orchestra pit, moveable band shell, light and sound control rooms, fly loft to hang scenery, catwalks that accommodate follow spots and other lighting, and a set-building room close at hand.
An auditorium of this size and sophistication, the largest performing arts hall between Van Wezel in Sarasota and Barbara B Mann Hall in Fort Myers, attracts off-Broadway plays, professional musical groups and a wide variety of performances. The PAC provides our high school students the opportunity, without leaving campus, to experience the rich variety of performing arts and cultural opportunities accessible to them.
The city of North Port and Sarasota County School District are proud of this accomplishment. The user groups, the North Port Concert Band, North Port Chorale and the Symphony echo that pride and thank the city of North Port and Sarasota County School District for such a wonderful center in which they perform.