This theater isn’t matchbox-sized anymore — Douglas Stewart’s theater has a new home seating up to 99 people in a second-floor ballroom at 5415 ½ Nicollet Ave. S.
The Matchbox Theater previously performed in a “glorified broom closet” below the former Robin’s Nest at 5456 Nicollet Ave., Stewart said, until the theater was displaced by city-mandated building restoration work in 2015.
Stewart said he was thrilled to find a new space.
“When I saw this ballroom, I almost started crying,” he said.
Washburn High School recently used the ballroom for a student-directed musical.* Hwa Rang Do shares the space for classes.
Stewart is talking to staff at Simply Jane Studio about puppet shows in the courtyard. He’ll teach acting workshops in the ballroom, and he’s considering ideas for dance classes, special events and evening music.
Upcoming performances include “Einstein: A Stage Portrait,” a show featuring actor Thomas Schuch that’s toured nationally for 15 years. “The Weir,” which deals with ghost stories and Irish folklore, arrives in October. And Stewart will act in local playwright Marcus Anthony’s comedy “The Booby Trap” in December.
Stewart said all of the shows were cast in recent auditions.
“We’ve really got some great acting talent in this town,” he said.
*Corrected to say Washburn High School