At the old armory on Highland Avenue, the Massachusetts National Guard has long since exited stage right.
But come March, Shakespeare will take over the soldiers' former quarters with a production of his military play, "Coriolanus."
It will mark the transformation of the building into Somerville's first major community arts center.
The project was immense. The 30,000-square-foot space had stood largely unused for 30 years when Joseph and Nabil Sater bought it in 2004. The building and renovations have cost more than $4 million, Joseph Sater said.
"It is a wonderfully evocative space," said Ben Evett, artistic director and founder of the Actors' Shakespeare Project, now based on the second floor. He envisioned actors descending from the ceiling on ropes.