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