LEWISTON — A tour of the city’s newest and smallest stage takes only a moment.

Two folding chairs stand in for the rows of seats where an audience of 50 will sit. A few steps away, the narrow backstage corridor resembles a not-so-big walk-in closet. The tour concludes on the stage, a wooden platform about the size of a hood from a 1970s Buick.

“Fantastic!” said Andrew Harris, L/A Arts’ executive director, passing through a set of double doors and walking onto the stage. A once and future actor from England, Harris stood and gazed away, as if reciting a soliloquy in his mind.

“You can see that I am excited,” he said. “I can’t wait until we begin.”

That will happen Aug. 28, when the newly dubbed DownStage at L/A Arts debuts with a production of the Greek tragedy “Medea.”

For weeks, the nonprofit Out of the Box Theater Company has been renovating the space as they rehearse the dense, two-hour play. They have been building the stage, hanging lights and clearing away debris. Meanwhile, volunteer workers have built a ramp inside and installed a window onto the alley.

“It’s going to get done,” insisted director Linda Britt. Coordinating all of the work and the rehearsals has been a chore, she said. But when it’s done, the finished venue ought to be more intimate than anything else in Lewiston-Auburn.

Harris has lots of plans: Plays, readings and lunchtime performances.

Since coming to L/A Arts in early 2005, Harris has longed for a small venue that was under his agency’s control. This space, the basement under his 221 Lisbon St. office, was being used by a model railroading club. Then, the club cleared out. It gave him his chance.

“I hope the Out of the Box people like it enough to stay,” Harris said. He also hopes to offer actors a chance to give readings. And he plans to hold classes for children. Some youth classes will likely happen in the space, too.

The place will first need to be finished.

“It’s a little bit frantic,” he said. “We should be further along than we are.”

He is still looking for odds and ends, such as cabaret tables for some events. But most of the events will be relatively simple, needing little of the fuss of big productions.

Likewise, the amenities will be kept simple. The room will be handicapped accessible and have a single, unisex bathroom. No kitchen is planned.

“We’ll be serving the finest water,” Harris joked.

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“Medea” by Out of the Box Theater

Friday, Aug. 28, at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 29, at 9:30 p.m. and Sunday, Aug. 30, at 2 p.m.

DownStage at L/A Arts, located directly behind 221 Lisbon St., enter via Canal Street alley

Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door

Tickets may be purchased at www.laarts.org or by phone at 782-7228

Stan Spilecki, resident designer and technical director for Out of the Box Theater, clears old material from renovations being done at DownStage beneath L/A Arts in Lewiston.

“Medea,” a classic Greek play presented by Out of the Box Theater, will be the first production in the renovated performing arts space.

Stan Spilecki, resident designer and technical director for Out of the Box Theater, clears old material from renovations being done at DownStage beneath L/A Arts in Lewiston. The performing arts space is on Canal Street Alley.


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