Skip to Content
Everything Else

Jewel Box Theatre: Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow, But a New Stage Beckons…

11:08 AM EDT on April 21, 2023

Jewel Box Theatre is still here and going strong! 

This is the message the theatre’s managing director duo of Richard Lemin and Deborah Franklin are trying to get out to the community. 

Once located in the venerable Egg / Boob Church building, Jewel Box moved just a block down the street after the church was unceremoniously demoed this fall. This didn’t stop the local media from making it seem like Jewel Box was buried in the rubble.

“We talked to some of the reporters from the TV stations and said ‘Hey, even though they’re tearing the building down…why not come down and see what we’ve done…the church is going on and the theatre is going on so please put that in as your tagline for your stories.’” explained Richard.

Naturally, the TV stations didn’t listen.

To find the new Jewel Box Theatre, go north on N. Walker Ave. after turning off NW 36 St., then take the first right. This leads down a path to the old Trinity School which now houses Jewel Box and Disciples First, formerly named First Christian Church. The theatre is inside the old gym and shares the space with the church’s sanctuary, but is sectioned off by a wall of tall black curtains.

“We wanted to replicate the [old] seating area as much as possible, so what we’ve literally got is a half round,” Richard explained while walking across the stage, pointing to how close the audience is to the performance. “This really gives good seats all around.” 

Deborah added, “Once you get in here, it is less [like a] gymnasium.”

Deborah is right. Even if you’re wearing sneakers and dribbling a ball, stepping through the black curtains makes you immediately forget you're inside an old gym. The setting is intimate, and directors are encouraged to play into that setting. There’s not a bad seat in the house, unless you’re unlucky enough to be seated behind my big head. Richard and Deborah have done an incredible job using their decades worth of theatre experience to utilize the space they’ve been given, especially after such a big move in combination with a global pandemic.

Lemin and Franklin have many goals for the new home, many of which can only be realized until the old place sells.

“Once it sells then we can use some of the money from that sale to help fix up the theatre…That would be a huge boost for the church and the theatre,” Richard said. He mentioned the money could also help alleviate a lack of storage space and improve the theatre's lighting and sound system.

Their number one goal, however, hasn’t changed “We are going to do our best to give our audiences an evening of quality entertainment.” 

You can learn more about Jewel Box Theatre and its new location on Facebook. Also, check out their website for a list of upcoming shows and to buy tickets so that you can sit front row with me.

Already a user?Log in

Thanks for clicking!

Please provide your email address to continue reading.

See all subscription options

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter