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Arts Addition to Downtown Monmouth

courtesy Doug Rankin/Monmouth College

The stage is set for the Fusion Theatre to take the spotlight this week.

The theatre, which is run by Monmouth College, will debut Thursday, February 27, with its production of "The Awesome 80s Prom."

"It (the play) is sort of an immersive theatre that you may have heard of with other plays like 'Tony and Tina's wedding'  where the audience sort of becomes part of the event,"s said Doug Rankin, Chair of the college's Theatre Department.

"Hopefully it will be a very different type of experience for the Monmouth community."

The play will be performed Thursday - Saturday, February 27 - March 1, at 7:30 pm, plus there will be a matinee at 2:00 pm on Sunday, March 2. Tickets are $6.00 for adults, $5.00 for seniors and students, and $4.00 for Monmouth College students and faculty.

Rankin said the Fusion will replace a "very small, cramped, and dirty" theatre located in the basement of the college's former science building, which was recently closed upon completion of a new science building. He said there we no suitable replacement sites on campus for the theatre, which is why the college decided to move the theatre to a building downtown.

The new location is 230 S. Main St.

"We can probably get in about 150 (seats) depending on the configuration, which is actually more than our main theatre on campus," said Rankin. "So it's a pretty good size for us."

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The college is renting the space from Frantz Community Developers. The Cedar Rapids, IA, based company specializes in acquiring and renovating historic properties before leasing them, often as luxury loft apartments.

Rankin said in addition to the theatre, the building will have an art gallery. He said the gallery will ensure the building is open at times when no productions are being staged.

Rankin said he's a lifelong Monmouth resident and he's excited to participate in the effort to revitalize the downtown.

Rich is TSPR's News Director.