by Mariah Hicks

Rubber City Theatre has announced a pending move to a new space near Cascade Valley and the Northside district.

Previously located at a Salvation Army facility on Romig Road, the theater company is excited to expand into an 80 to 90-seat theater with office space at 243 Furnace St. The building also houses WhiteSpace Creative and the Akron Recording Company.

Dane Leasure, Rubber City Theatre’s Founder and Artistic Director, believes the move will be beneficial to the community as well as the theatre company.

“A more populated area will be better for us and for our patrons experience,” Leasure said. “We were looking for a space where people would be only a couple of minutes away from food and drink options and other types of shopping and things.”

The new location will enable Rubber City Theatre to provide the community with a genuine theatre experience. The space will start out as a three-quarter thrust theatre, where the audience is seated on three sides of the stage.

“After we get into the space and after we’ve gotten comfortable with it, I’m sure there’s other ways that we’ll figure out how to use the space, but that’s going to be the primary setup for the theatre,” Leasure said.

The space will also include bathrooms and dressing rooms for the actors, a scenic workshop area, storage space, a control booth, light and sound board operators, office space and a black-box concession stand.

Rubber City Theatre believes this is an amazing upgrade from what Leasure calls the “theater transition” that they’ve been operating out of, where they’ve used drapes to signify where walls should’ve been. “Being able to provide a real theater experience for our patrons and for the community is really exciting,” Leasure said.

Their target opening date is April, just in time for their production of Romeo and Juliet.

“We have a couple of really cool theatre companies and intimate spaces in Akron,” Leasure said. “We’ll be excited to join those ranks in providing those opportunities for our patrons.”

Mariah Hicks is a senior at Kent State University. She studies journalism and has a minor in creative writing.

Photos used with permission from Dane Leasure.

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