The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

May 22, 2011

New community theater to open in the Harbor

ASHTABULA —  

 Shakespeare wrote, “The play’s the thing,” and The Harbor Playhouse Theatrical Co-op, 341 Lake Ave., (former Holy Cross Church), will host many community theater productions including the Bard’s plays.
“I always thought it would be cool to put a theater in an old church, because the acoustics would be great and plenty of space for the audience and back stage rooms,” said Sara Perts, who along with her husband, Ray, have created the non-profit theatrical co-op.
“Our vision is for this theater to be open for anyone who wants to come and do a family-friendly production,” she said.
The owners of the building wish to remain anonymous and Sara and Ray serve as the managers of the building and the theatrical co-op.
Four years ago the Perts developed a youth Shakespearean company called Chamberlains In-Training.
“Our youth company is separate from this theater co-op, but it will serve as our new home,” Sara said.
Today, Chamberlains In-Training has about 30 members and they are in rehearsals for their fourth production. “King Lear” will open July 15 for two weekends. Previous productions were “As You Like It,” “Macbeth,” and “Taming of the Shrew.”
“We started with “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” in someone’s backyard before 50 people and our company developed out of that,” Ray said.
Morgan Ruane, 16, Ashtabula, is a member of the Chamberlains In-Training and has performed in two of the productions.
“Having this new theater is awesome, because before we could only rehearse two times a week, but now we can rehearse as often as we need to,” she said.
Ruane and the Perts both understand the value of community theater as the three of them have appeared in many productions at the Ashtabula Arts Center  over the years. 
The Perts along with family, friends and their Chamberlains In-Training members, have been working hard cleaning, painting, and building a stage.

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