None Too Fragile has obtained a 4½-year lease from the Akron Woman's City Club to move its theater to the space that Coach House Theatre formerly occupied at 732 W. Exchange St. in Akron.
None Too Fragile started the move Friday from its tiny, black box theater space in Akron's Merriman Valley adjacent to Pub Bricco, where it had operated for seven years. The small indie theater, which will operate autonomously from the Akron Woman's City Club, will remount "Boogieban" Aug. 2-3 in its new space, followed by the remainder of its 2019 season.
"With the changing of ownership [at Pub Bricco], we felt that was a good time to spread our wings and grow," None Too Fragile co-artistic director Sean Derry said Saturday.
The restaurant, formerly owned by Dave Glenny, was recently purchased by Dave Sharp of Cuyahoga Falls.
The professional theater company, which announced its move in a news release Friday night, is calling its new home None Too Fragile Theatre at the Coach House, which is located along the rear of the Akron Woman's City Club property on the city's west side.
The nonprofit club announced Coach House's closure in December, midway through the community theater's 91st season.
"We commend them for keeping such a historic building as well as an arts organization going for that long, and also recognizing that it was time to let it go and to allow None Too Fragile to take theater into the 21st century in this historic space," Derry said of the club.
None Too Fragile, which formerly had up to 80 seats on two sides of its stage at the pub, will adapt the Coach House space to fit its needs. The proscenium stage will remain but the rake in audience seating will be heightened for improved sight lines.
"It will definitely have a black box feel," Derry said.
Theater seating will be reduced from 93 to about 75 at the Coach House. The theater house's side walls also will closed in with acoustic panels to improve the sound. That means the single restrooms on either side of the stage will be accessible to the public only through the lobby.
"I would say that there's more space in the audience. It's a more comfortable seating arrangement than what we had," Derry said.
None Too Fragile will build a lighting grid and bring in its own sound equipment. A control booth also will be built in the back of the house.
The theater company, which had next to no backstage space in its former location, will have greatly expanded backstage space at Coach House with its dressing room, green room and more behind the stage.
None Too Fragile, which formerly operated without a scene shop and built its sets in a trailer, will now have a backstage wood shop. That will widen the possible shows that the company can mount to include those with multiple sets.
The theater won't be operating in a shared space anymore, either: None Too Fragile formerly shared its stage with jazz groups that performed on Wednesday nights at Pub Bricco.
Looking toward the future, the company would like to eventually build handicap-accessible restrooms off the front lobby, into the parking lot area.
Arts writer Kerry Clawson may be reached at 330-996-3527 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her at @KerryClawsonABJ or www.facebook.com/kclawsonabj