UA and Rubber City Theatre form new partnership


The University of Akron (UA) announced a two-year residency deal with Rubber City Theatre (RCT) to provide production design and technical support for UA shows in exchange for using UA's performance spaces, scene shop and offices. The move to UA will provide network and cross-collaboration for students, faculty and its professional theatre network.

The residency will provide RCT the opportunity to expand the quality of its work while providing students with more performance opportunities and the chance to work alongside professionals in the industry. RTC, a local Equity company, will produce its full schedule of performances at Sandefur Theatre at Guzzetta Hall as well as Paul A. Daum Theatre at Kolbe Hall.

Marc Reed, director of the School of Dance, Theatre and Arts Administration at UA, said that having the local professional theatre company in residence supports the mission of UA's AkronArts plan. Reed serves on the AkronArts committee.

“We are thrilled to now house Rubber City Theatre to bolster our theatre offerings. RCT has an excellent history of producing engaging and audience-friendly productions that enhance the arts landscape in Akron,” Reed remarked. “Our students will benefit from the expertise that RCT’s staff provides. We are excited to work with them on a daily basis.”

For RCT’s executive artistic director Dane Leasure, this feels like a bit of a homecoming.

“In 2013 Rubber City Theatre started at The University of Akron in Schrank Hall. UA is also where I attended college and learned my craft. We’re incredibly proud of this opportunity to work, learn and grow with the vast talent here at the University.”

Leasure has taught theatre classes part time at UA since fall 2020, most recently directing UA’s spring 2021 production of “Clue.” He began talking to UA about bringing RCT into residency after President Gary L. Miller announced the AkronArts initiative in May of 2021. A key principle of the plan calls for partnerships with existing community arts organizations across the city. 

"This partnership is a shining example of that," said Reed. "One of the basic tenets of the initiative is the fact that we're trying to bolster our relationships with local and regional arts organizations."

Leasure remarked that “theatre has such a long history at the university. I wanted to make sure that that continues as well." He also hopes to get voice and instrumental School of Music students involved in Rubber City musicals.

The next performance for UA’s theatre program is Shakespeare’s “MacBeth,” running April 22-24 in the Varian Studio at Guzzetta Hall.

Media contact: Cristine Boyd, 330-972-6476 or