Broad Ripple's Storefront Theatre will move a few miles to Keystone

2022-06-28 11:57:25 By : Ms. Snow Fang

The theater that has made its name in a Broad Ripple basement is about to move above ground. Storefront Theatre of Indianapolis will relocate to a new building near the intersection of 56th Street and Keystone Avenue.

Since 2017, the intimate theater has been producing raw, hard-hitting works by women and underrepresented playwrights, and in 2019, it opened its first permanent home in the basement at 717 Broad Ripple Avenue. Founder Ronan Marra and his team are now revamping the new location at 2416 E. 55th Place. Plans are for a to-be-named group to perform in the space in October, and Storefront will produce its first show there in December or January.

"It was really important to keep it here, and I was lucky to find this," Marra said.

Storefront found its new spot after Marra said its current location was sold and the new owners decided not to renew its lease. The theater's building on 55th Place was formerly a church with several rooms that will easily transition into all of the spaces needed to run the theater. On either side of the entry hallway will be offices, a restroom, box office and a gallery devoted to local artists. The latter will be the site of arts marketplaces, too. 

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The theater itself will be flexible enough to move the stage and seating, which will hover around 30. On the other side of the auditorium space will be green and dressing rooms, storage and, conveniently for set-building, a loading dock.

"I love the old space and all the work that we put into it," said Marra, who co-founded Signal Ensemble Theatre in Chicago. "But we're kind of going a little bit — not that the old space wasn't gritty, but — kind of traditional Chicago gritty storefront space. 

"The type of space it is and a lot of its layout is actually really similar to my Chicago company, Signal."

To revamp the space, Storefront is launching a capital campaign to raise $25,000. Those who would like to donate can do so via

A welcome programming change will accompany the move, too: Storefront will increase its productions to three each year, in addition to its residency program and public readings. It also will continue a recent decision to make tickets donation-only — a move that Marra said sharpens the theater's focus on equity and access. 

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The space comes to more than 4,600 square feet — considerably less than the Broad Ripple Avenue location's 7,500 square feet. Marra said managing less space on one main level without an elevator will be easier. Parking is available all the way around the building and nearby.

He said that patrons and arts groups Storefront works with are pleased that the theater will remain so close.

"We were very warmly welcomed," Marra said. "That was a big reason why we wanted to stay in the area."

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Contact IndyStar reporter Domenica Bongiovanni at 317-444-7339 or Follow her on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter: @domenicareports.