After the Modern Theater Spokane announced its closure at the end of last year, the future of the theater’s Coeur d’Alene location appeared to be up in the air. Now it’s official: The Modern Coeur d’Alene has rechristened itself Lake City Playhouse, the name that had adorned the Garden Avenue location for years before it took on the Modern moniker in 2014.
To support the playhouse’s upcoming slate of shows, which kicks off with “Jesus Christ Superstar” on March 31, the theater will host a benefit concert featuring actors who are familiar faces on local stages.
“We’ve put together a really great two-act show of music from a lot of people that have a rich history at the playhouse,” said Troy Nickerson, who has been serving as the theater’s interim artistic director, naming Abbey Crawford, Andrew Ware Lewis and Robby French as some of the night’s notable performers. “It’s going to be a really great evening of music, and there will be opportunities for people to give and save the playhouse … It’s starting over.”
Saturday evening’s show comes on the heels of a town hall meeting that was held at the playhouse last week, where the board of directors reportedly addressed the lack of communication following the Coeur d’Alene location’s brief closure at the beginning of the year.
“Most of the people in attendance were actually very supportive,” Nickerson said, “and it became more about, what are we going to do so that we don’t lose another theater?”
Along with the name change, the new Lake City Playhouse will also revert to its old volunteer model. Nickerson will remain as interim artistic director at the theater, and he says more titles in the playhouse’s upcoming schedule will be announced on Saturday. It’s important, he says, that community theater remain a major creative outlet in the Spokane area.
“That’s where I was exposed to theater as a kid,” Nickerson said. “The arts in general are vital to any community. That building and that space in Coeur d’Alene holds a lot of history, and a lot of talent has gone through there.”