Photo courtesy of Weathervane Playhouse

Scene Stealers: 8 Community Theatre Groups to See in 2016

by Mary Menzemer

From intimate venues, sophisticated acting styles, and adaptations of classic tales performed in a barn, Akron has the type of theatre suitable for anyone. So whether you’re new to community theater or a seasoned veteran, 2016 has some great performances in store.

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Photo courtesy of The Actor's Summit
Photo courtesy of Actor’s Summit Theatre

Actors’ Summit Theatre at Greystone Hall

103 S. High St., Akron

Intimate is an appropriate adjective to describe the theatre in Greystone Hall. Whether you view a comedy or a drama, you’re sure to feel every ounce of the actors’ emotions. Coming in 2016 are two plays, “Same Time Next Year,” running from Jan. 21 to Feb. 9, and “Chapatti,” running from Feb. 25 to March 13.



None Too Fragile

1841 Merriman Rd., Akron

None Too Fragile stages edgy, “award-winning, kick-a** theatre” in a seemingly secret room adjacent to Pub Bricco, which means you can enjoy dinner, a show and your choice of wines and draught beers. In 2016, NTF will host productions of “A Kid Like Jake” by Daniel Pearle and “Sans Merci” by Johanna Adams.

Coach House Theatre

Photo courtesy of
Photo courtesy of Coach House Theatre

732 W. Exchange St., Akron

If your predilection for theatre is more rustic in nature, the barn-shaped Coach House Theatre specializes in shows set in the 19th and early 20th centuries. In 2016, you can see Agatha Christie’s “Murder on the Nile,” and “The Devil’s Disciple” by the George Bernard Shaw. CHT escaped harm when a fire recently erupted in the kitchen of the adjacent Akron Women’s Club.


The Hudson Players

41 S. Oviatt St., Hudson

Volunteer actors and stagehands produce the shows for The Hudson Players. Coming in 2016, a spin-off of “Romeo and Juliet” called “The People vs. Friar Laurence (The Man Who Killed Romeo and Juliet), which will be performed at the Barlow Community Center.


New World Performance Laboratory

Balch Street Theatre

220 S. Balch St., Akron

Sophisticated, modern and eclectic, the New World Performance Laboratory is an actor-centered, multicultural and inclusive production company that incorporates research on new techniques from around the globe into their work. Their latest work is “The Devil’s Milk Trilogy,” a three-part drama about the rubber industry here in Akron.


Rubber City Shakespeare

140 E. Market St., Akron

With a mission to bring affordable Shakespeare and classical drama to the Akron area, Rubber City Shakespeare offers both pay-as-you-like-it performances for each production and free staged readings throughout the year. Hosted upstairs in the Summit Artspace, RCS will host performances of Tim Rice & Elton John’s “Aida” and Shakespeare’s “The Comedy of Errors” in 2016.


Photo Courtesy of Wandering Aesthetics
Photo Courtesy of Wandering Aesthetics

Wandering Aesthetics

Various Akron Locations

Wandering Aesthetics is something else entirely: A company of storytellers, improvisers, magicians and the imaginative. Between scripted performances like their Cabaret Series, they host Full Circle Storytelling, which invites the audience to become performers, sharing their stories from the stage to embrace their own creativity and imagination. Another of their other popular events, The Electric Pressure Cooker, is an anything-goes open mic night, which occurs at seemingly random intervals of time throughout the year. (see listing in literary events for more)


Weathervane Playhouse

1301 Weathervane Ln., Akron

Weathervane Playhouse will be great in 2016 for comedic, lighthearted plays such as crowd favorite “Monty Python’s Spamalot,” which runs from June 2-June 26. Also in 2016, “The Man Who Came to Dinner,” which was written in the 1930s, outlines the bizarre but humorous tale of a surly New York theatre critic who comes to Ohio and is bedridden due to a broken hip.


Mary Menzemer is a quiet theatre goer. You will often find her lurking in the shadows of the none too fragile theatre on Wednesdays.