Oakland event to preview season

Staff report


The Oakland Center for the Arts, 220 W. Boardman St., downtown, will have its annual open house Friday to preview its upcoming theater season and to announce new programming that will include movies, music and a writers series.

The grand opening of the Living Room, the newly renovated performance space at the Oakland, will be part of Friday’s event.

Kristopher Ray North, the new managing director of the arts center, said the Oakland theater is perfect for screening independent and classic films.

“We are hoping to become Youngtown’s Cedar Lee,” said North, referring to the Cleveland Heights theater known for its cutting-edge fare.

The Living Room space, located on the second floor of the building that houses the Oakland, will be used for acoustic musical acts, literary readings, art shows and other intimate and experimental events.

“We are open to anything,” said North.

Friday’s open house will begin with a catered cocktail hour at 7 p.m. with complimentary beer and wine, and featuring music by Red Brick Rhoades in the Living Room, and Neon Spoons Photography in the Star Gallery.

Catering will be by Avalon Downtown, with dessert by Clarencedale Cupcakes.

The season preview will begin at 8 p.m., with excerpts from “Angels in America,” “Equus,” “Pink” and “Bare,” plus a performance by Fat Neil Comedy, and a preview of “Closet Space” by YOUnify Theatre Company, the Oakland’s LGBT youth group.

Season passes will be available for a special one-night-only rate of $50.

Call 330-746-0404 for information.

The new programming is being funded by a $25,000 grant received in July from the Youngstown Foundation.

The grant will also help fund the continuation of the Oakland’s youth theater program, including YOUnify theater company.

YOUnify is also funded through Mukti Fund’s Queer Youth Theater program.

The Oakland secured a total of $33,000 in grants last year.