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Bread & Circus Theater Company moves to Westgate
|Company players in a scene from Agatha Christie’s “Black Coffee,” performed at the NRG Gallery in Westgate.
The Bread & Circus Theater Company now calls Westgate home.
Mimi Ferrari-Ninde, Bread & Circus president, said the company called the city of Hilliard home for 10 years, but for the last year has searched for a new location.
“Eventually the Hilliard facilities priced themselves out of the market because we are a non-profit,” Ferrari-Ninde said.
Over the last year Bread & Circus performed one show in Olde Town East at the CS Gallery, a second show in the Grove City Christian Childcare Center and their most recent show, “Black Coffee,” by Agatha Christy in the NRG Gallery in Westgate.
“Westgate was so kind to us, they really put their money where their mouth is,” Ferrari-Ninde said. “They really showed that they want a theater in their neighborhood. (Residents) showed up, bought tickets and sold out seven of eight shows.”
After their performance at the NRG Gallery organizers permanently located the group to the Hoge Memorial Presbyterian Church, 2930 W. Broad St.
“It’s a real facility with a real stage, restroom,” she said. “After the last year of searching I know more about zoning and occupancy than I ever wanted to.”
Theater officials considered hosting the theater at CS Gallery in Olde Town East, but encountered zoning restrictions. The space was not ADA (American with Disabilities Act) compliant and the theater was not rated for assembly.
If there are more than 50 people the theater moves from commercial to assembly and must meet requirements like having handicap accessible restrooms, a certain number of exits, proper lighting and ventilation, Ferrari-Ninde said.
“The ventilation really put it out of the park,” she said. “It was going to cost $2,000 to get the ventilation up where we needed it to be. We would be turning cartwheels if we ever earned that much.”
Bread & Circus plans to start theater classes and reinstate and expand the summer education program, Ferrari-Ninde said. Organizers would also like to implement a badge program for the Boy Scouts of America.
The theater company’s upcoming production is Shakespeare’s “Anthony and Cleopatra.” Auditions will be held June 17 and 18.
The group received a grant from the Greater Columbus Arts Council. A third of the grant will be used to distribute tickets to students.
Bread & Circus will also host an open house on June 3 at 3 p.m. at the Hoge Memorial Presbyterian Church.
The theater company holds open auditions for all of its production. Actors do not need experience. They show up for the audition, read for a part and are paired up with other actors. Those interested in helping out with stage crew or costumes do not need experience either.
“If you want to learn about costuming let us know, whatever you are interested in, anything theater,” she said.
Organizers also produce at least one children’s production a year, ranging from “James and the Giant Peach,” to an adaptation of Shakespeare’s, “Midsummer Night’s Dream.”
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