Starting out was rocky
Red Barn Studio is the creation of husband and wife team Steve Bakunas & Linda Lavin.
Four years ago, they purchased the house on the hill, just next door. During an extensive renovation, problems such as the theft of Steve’s tools, stolen cars left in the alley, and four stitches over Steve’s eye after confronting a burglar at work, made them wonder if they had made a mistake.
With a little help from friends
After much thought, they decided that if they could purchase additional properties in the area, perhaps they could affect the neighborhood in a positive way. They were able to arrange the purchase of four other properties, and with the help of their friend Mike O’Neil, they embarked on completely renovating all five houses. During the process, another neighborhood property came on the market – the building that now houses the Red Barn. At the time, the building was being used as a garage/warehouse, and Steve and Linda decided to buy it.
How a garage became a top-notch theatre!
In the fall of 2006, while Linda was directing Steve and Mike in “Art” for Theatre Exchange, Steve (who was designing and building the set) saw the advantages of building the set in the “warehouse.” Eventually rehearsals were moved there. After the success of that experiment, the process was repeated for Big Dawg’s “Moby Dick Rehearsed.” When another friend, actor and teacher Peter Jurasik, asked if they knew of a place he could give classes and workshops, Linda and Steve decided to surrender to the inevitable – and the Red Barn Studio was born.
Mike and Steve completely renovated the building, a process which included the removal of the automotive lifts, relocating walls, insulating, replacing the exterior, rewiring, adding bathrooms and a light booth, and installing a grid for the theatrical lighting package.
Where did the name come from?
The Red Barn Studio’s name was inspired by the classic childhood fantasy – a stock feature from movies of a certain era – of children getting together to create theatre. “My dad has a barn, let’s put on a show.”
What was the first production at The Red Barn Studio Theatre?
The Red Barn opened in April of 2007 with a production of the John Patrick Shanley drama, “Doubt.”