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Tag: Dukesbay Productions


New Dukesbay Theater in Merlino building offers a cheaper, more permanent alternative for Tacoma’s fringe theater

Randy and Aya Hashiguchi Clark in their new Dukesbay Theater. Photo: Rosemary Ponnekanti
Randy and Aya Hashiguchi Clark in their new Dukesbay Theater. Photo: Rosemary Ponnekanti

Last week I wrote about Dukesbay Productions’ new black box theater in Tacoma’s Merlino Building, where New Muses is about to open their season with Neil Labute’s “The Shape of Things.” This week I got to see the theater from the inside, and the hard work that’s gone into making a permanent home for fringe theater in Tacoma

Husband-and-wife theater duo Randy and Aya Hashiguchi Clark are the masterminds behind the project. As Dukesbay Productions they’ve presented plays in other non-traditional venues like the revamped basement of First Congregational Church downtown, but instability is always the threat with such venues, like when they got double-booked, or when First Congregational recently got sold to Mars Hill Church. So when they got the chance to rent a large third floor studio in the historic Merlino Building (above The Grand Cinema) they took it.

“We built this not just for our use,” says Aya. “We want to see fringe and independent theater in Tacoma. A lot of small productions have no place in which they can perform that’s affordable. We’re charging a little less than comparable spaces.” Read more »


New Dukesbay Theater in Merlino building attracts new fringe theater group New Muses, with edgy season starting next week

Having just opened the doors of their new black box theater in the Merlino Building, Tacoma company Dukesbay Productions has already attracted a three-show season from South Sound company New Muses Theatre Company.

Producing fringe theater in Seattle and surrounds since 2009, New Muses will kick off their first show July 12 – Neil Labute’s dark comedy “The Shape of Things,” exploring modern ideals of love, art and manipulation.

8p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays July 12-28.

The season continues with “Angels in America” from Aug.16-Sept.1, Tony Kushner’s Pulitzer-winning play about the ’80s AIDS crisis, and goes on with a version of “Romeo and Juliet” updated for the social media age in late September.

“We are thrilled to be bringing our brand of independent fringe theater to Tacoma,” says managing artistic director Niclas Olson.

Renovated from a long, sunlit room on the top floor of the Merlino Arts Building, the Dukesbay Theater is the work of Tacoma theater husband-and-wife duo Randy and Aya Hashiguchi Clark, who have presented plays in other non-traditional venues like the revamped basement of First Congregational Church downtown. Watch this space for more details soon.

The theater is located at 508 6the Ave., Tacoma. All New Muses tickets will be $15 single, $33 season. newmuses.com, dukesbay.org Read more »


Critic’s Picks: B2 Gallery, Cathedrals rock at Immanuel Presbyterian, Java Tacoma and late-night Thursdays at Tacoma Att Museum

“Vice and Virtue” at B2 Gallery

Pastel artists and 30-year collaborators Ric Hall and Ron Schmitt create canvases together. Their current show at B2 gallery explores the seven deadly sins in “Vice and Virtue,” closing this weekend. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. third Thursdays through July 28. Free. 711 St. Helens Ave. Suite 100, Tacoma. 253-238-5065, b2finearts.com

Indie rock in second “Cathedrals” concert at Immanuel Presbyterian

Immanuel Presbyterian and the Broadway Center for Performing Arts team up for the second incarnation of the “Cathedrals” series, indie and new rock played in acoustically reverberant venues. This

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“Anchor Baby” offers a fun but simplistic theater take on culture clash at First Congregational Church, Tacoma

Chevi Chung (left) as Alita and James Gilletti as Bobby Anchor in "Anchor Baby." Courtesy image.

Tacoma has quite a history of small, independent theater in odd venues, and “Anchor Baby” is one of them. Mounted by Dukesbay Productions, who’ve been responsible for the “Java Tacoma” live local sit-com and other creative shows, Richard Tucker’s “Anchor Baby” opened Friday night at First Congregational Church and tells a culture-clash tale of what happens when brash, clueless Americans plonk themselves into the peaceful society of the fictional island of Mehlot. It’s a mostly fun piece of theater but the acting has some holes and the script is about as about as subtle as a lead hammer.

Dukesbay is a group of community theater folks with an emphasis on cast diversity. For this show they also have a star-studded production line-up which sets a professional tone from the moment you walk into the church’s musty alleyway door: Set designer Scott Campbell (formerly Lakewood Playhouse and Tacoma Little Theatre) has made a gorgeous tropical-apartment set out of an uninspiring church basement room, along with painter Maggie Knott (also formerly Lakewood). Composer Allan Loucks adds a quasi-steel-band touch to the scene change music.

The acting is less professional. Read more »