Theater gets welcome reception at a new home

December 21, 2013 by  

Tampa’s Gorilla Theatre, one of the oldest professional theaters in the city, has found a new home in the shape of the Unity of Tampa church.

Founded in 1990 by Aubrey Hampton and Susan Hussey, the troupe performed in a warehouse located in Drew Park for many years, and gave Tampa’s acting community a professional venue in which to practice their craft.

All that changed when Hampton died in 2010, however, and the theater lost both its home and its major benefactor. Since then, the theater has been doing a number of fundraisers, and won a grant for $8,000 from the Hillsborough County Arts Council. This gave its members the energy they needed to keep going, and then rescue came in the form of the church.

Unity of Tampa, which has recently completed major renovations, wanted to get more involved with the Tampa community, and saw a collaboration with the Gorilla Theatre as a perfect means of doing so, according to co-pastor Debbie Moss. She noted the theater needed a home and the church wanted to support community activities, adding she enjoys the productions she’s seen.

The theater and church celebrated their new relationship with a cabaret on December 6, called ‘Dreaming of a White Christmas’. Next up is the first production in the new venue, ‘An Iliad’, a one-man show based on Homer’s epic poem, to be performed on January 10, 2014.

The theater could work with a poster printing company to create exciting display advertising for the upcoming show, and highlighting the new partnership.