None Too Fragile Theatre on Hiatus as It Seeks New Home

A lease issue has left the theater group with nowhere to stage plays

click to enlarge A production photo from "American Buffalo" - Courtesy None Too Fragile
Courtesy None Too Fragile
A production photo from "American Buffalo"

A fellow named Archimedes once said, "Give me a place to stand and I will move the world." The same is true for our local theaters.

But in the case of None Too Fragile Theatre (NTF) in Akron, their "place to stand" has been taken away, and their superb theatrical productions along with it. This means that until they find a new home, NTF's loyal patrons will be deprived of the moving experiences they could reliably find there.

As the Akron Beacon Journal recently reported, NTF's long-term lease expired at the end of 2023 and the theater couldn’t work out a new lease arrangement for the building owned by the Akron Woman's City Club.

NTF's absence on the local theater scene, whether brief or extended, will be painful. The company is led by co-founder, co-artistic director, frequent play director, and man-of-all-theater-trades Sean Derry, along with co-founder and co-artistic director Alanna Romansky. Working tirelessly together, they created perhaps the most consistently high-quality theater in the area.

"We're going to be dark for the foreseeable future. We don't have a space lined up," Derry told the ABJ. "Whatever we do, we're gonna do it slow... We're not gonna lose anybody because of this. Our audience is loyal. Our membership base is gonna come back."

And they should: A couple weeks ago this theater critic awarded NTF with the "Best Season Award for 2023" for their kickass lineup of four shows they presented last year. Those plays highlighted the mission of NTF, which included offering modern classics ("True West" by Sam Shepard and "American Buffalo" by David Mamet) along with excellent scripts that haven't been produced in this area for a long time, or ever ("Skylight" by David Hare and "Faith Healer" by Brian Friel). In addition, NTF specialized in presenting many local, regional, national and world premieres.

In short, None Too Fragile Theatre will be sorely missed by anyone who values theater. We can only hope that they soon find a new and affordable venue so their work can continue to move us in unexpected and unforgettable ways.

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Christine Howey

Christine Howey has been reviewing theater since 1997, first at Cleveland Free Times and then for other publications including City Pages in Minneapolis, MN and The Plain Dealer. Her blog, Rave and Pan, also features her play reviews. Christine is a former stage actor and director, primarily at Dobama Theatre...
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