Release Date: July 14,2021

Akron Civic Theatre’s announces launch of BOOM! Theater

New company will engage older adults as theater-makers;
Cabaret to be pilot production

AKRON, Ohio (July 12, 2021) – This summer, the Akron Civic Theatre is launching BOOM! Theater, a new company focused on theatrical productions presented by older adults, largely Baby Boomers and Gen Xers.

BOOM! follows in the footsteps of The Civic’s All-City Musical, which presents an annual full-scale musical theater production with area high school students, and Millennial Theatre Project, launched in 2016. Both offer unique opportunities for the creation of theater with niche participants. The new company will stage musicals, comedies and dramas with largely older adult casts and creative teams (ages 50+), but presented for a general audience in the new John, James and Clara Knight Stage.

“What is known as ‘senior theater’ is, indeed, a thing,” said Val Renner, associate director of programming at the Civic. “There are over 800 known companies worldwide dedicated to this idea. BOOM! is unique in Summit County; among the area’s 25+ theater companies, none is focused on working with this demographic.”

The project provides a meaningful creative and social outlet for older adults and a vehicle for healthier aging. “Older adults comprise a high percentage of the audience for arts and culture fare, but they are not as often participants as the creators of arts and culture content,” explained Renner. “BOOM! Theater will engage older adult theater-makers across the socioeconomic spectrum in the creation of live theater for the community.”

BOOM! Theater will premiere in September 2021 with a production of Cabaret. Six public performances are scheduled for Friday and Saturday evenings at 8:00 p.m. on Sept. 24 and 25, Oct. 1 and 2, and Oct. 8 and 9.

The production is looking for actors ages 50+. Auditions will take place on Monday, July 26, from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. at the Knight Stage, 182 S. Main St. in Akron. To schedule an audition, email or call the Civic at 330-535-3179 Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. For the audition, performers should prepare two 16-bar songs of their choice in the style of the show. All songs will be performed acapella. 

BOOM! Theater is produced by Renner and fellow Civic staff member Lisa Martinez. Cabaret will be directed by Sharon Alberson, who served as musical director at Weathervane Playhouse for several years. She is a graduate of the Kent State University School of Music and was a Blossom Music Scholar with the Cleveland Orchestra. A graduate of The University of Akron School of Law, Harvard Divinity School and Oxford University, Sharon is a minister, lawyer and musician.

About the Akron Civic Theatre

The Akron Civic Theater was built in 1929 by Marcus Loew and designed by famed theater architect, John Eberson.  The interior structure was fashioned after a Moorish castle featuring Mediterranean decor, including medieval carvings, authentic European antiques and Italian alabaster sculptures.  In June 2001, the Akron Civic Theatre underwent the most comprehensive restoration and expansion project in its history, whereby the theater was brought up to modern performance and patron standards.  The theater now attracts nearly 110,000 people annually for nationally touring concerts, comedians, and family shows, as well as a wide variety of events featuring local and regional artists.  For more information visit