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New Coach House Theatre Directors Look To The Future, With Comedy

photo of Sergio Iriarte, Cassandra Capocci, Coach House Theatre
Sergio Iriarte and wife Cassandra Capocci have decades of experience directing, acting and producing community theater. They took over as artistic directors of Coach House Theatre in Akron on March 30.

Tickets go on sale today for Coach House Theatre's first production under its new artistic directors – the third creative team to run the theater in the past year.

Sergio Iriarte and Cassandra Capocci will finish out this 90th season after the departure last month of J.T. Buck, who left after saying the rights hadn’t been secured for his next shows. He had replaced Nancy Cates and Terry Burgler last year, who left after saying they did not get guarantees that this season would be funded by its parent organization, The Akron Woman’s City Club. But Sergio Iriarte says he hasn’t seen anything concerning about the theater’s financial health.

“Everything that we have talked to the committee about for the building and anything we’ve needed, hasn’t been any trouble at all. Whatever financial issues they may or may not be having, they don’t seem to be affecting the theater.”

Iriarte and Capocci say they’re not getting involved in the departures of their predecessors and instead are concentrating on making plans with the club’s board for next season.

“We’ve talked to them already about a family holiday type of event. Where they could come over and have a nice meal in the dining room. And then come over and see a holiday show that’s for the whole family,” says Iriarte. Capocci adds, “We’ve been in contact with Santa. We’re seeing if he can come down and make some appearances.”

Capocci also says they have other community outreach events planned, independent of any productions, such as opportunities for playwrights to workshop their scripts. The couple had planned a move to the west coast in the near future, but say they are excited to run Coach House for at least this season and next.

They’ll close out the season with two comedies. The first is “Life Happens: An Evening of Contemporary-ish Comedy,” which collects one-act plays by Elaine May and David Ives. The name of the second production will be announced this week.