|Actors' Summit is returning to Akron. Since 2001 the professional theater has been producing in Hudson, Ohio. Actors' Summit presented its first performance in Akron in April of 1999 in what was then the Masonic Temple. On October 14, 2010 it will present its first performance in its new home, Greystone Hall. Greystone Hall, 103 South High Street, is owned by the City of Akron and managed by the Akron/Summit Convention and Visitors' Bureau. The theater will occupy the sixth and seventh floors of the building.
"This move would not have been possible without the support of the mayor's office of the City of Akron, the Akron/Summit Convention and Visitors' Bureau, and Local 48 of IATSE," said theater founder and co-artistic director Neil Thackaberry. "Finding a new home has been a long, difficult process, and we've ended up right where we began and it's where we want to be."
"It's difficult to leave Hudson," Thackaberry said. "We have had great support from the city, and our friends there. We hope that they will follow us to our new home."
The sixth floor will be reconfigured to accommodate a small, 150 seat thrust theater. "The new space will continue our commitment to an intimate theater experience." said MaryJo Alexander, co-artistic director. "No seat will be more than 22 feet from the stage."
The new space will allow a much improved experience for both the audience and the artists. "It's a beautiful space with carved oak panels, a vaulted beam ceiling, a spacious lobby and amazing acoustics," said Thackaberry. "For the first time we will have real dressing rooms, a costume shop, scene shop, offices, and the support of professional stage hands from IATSE."
With the assistance of the Akron/Summit Convention & Visitor's Bureau, patrons will have access to a full service bar in the theater lobby. Season subscribers will also have a 'Dinner and a Show' option. Dinners will be served in the Garden Room on the third floor.
Actors' Summit is a professional theater. Half of its actors are members of Actors' Equity, the union for professional actors and stage managers. All of the performers are paid for their work. Productions run for three to six weeks, with 4 performances per week (Thursday, Friday, & Saturday at 8:00 PM, and Sundays at 2:00 PM.) Actors' Summit will announce its 2010 - 2011 in the near future.
From 1999 through 2000 Actors' Summit produced in a number of locations, including: the Masonic Temple, the University of Akron, Cleveland State University, Akron Civic Theater, and the Balch Street Community Center. In 2001 the theater moved to Hudson performing at the Church on the Green, the Sherman hardware store, and finally 86 Owen Brown Street where they have been performing since September of 2001.
Since its inception, Actors' Summit has mounted 96 major productions, performed for over 100,000 patrons, sold over $1.3 million in tickets and raised over $1 million in donations and foundation support. It has commissioned two new translations of classic texts (Oedipus Rex & Tartuffe), commissioned two new works (Cricket on the Hearth & The Fight Against Slavery), produced one world premiere (Tremont), one English language premiere (Chekhov's The Cat), and numerous regional premieres.
The theater mounts 8 to 10 plays, offering 120 to 140 performances per year.