New home for local theater

After a successful opening season with plenty of packed houses—including an award from the RN&R readers for Best Theater Production of 2001 (Damn Yankees)—the Riverfront Theatre looked as if it would be over before it really began.

Citing high overhead, founder Bob Barsanti began moving out of the theater’s former space at 15 N. Virginia St. when he was offered an intriguing deal: If the Riverfront moved into the Club Cal-Neva Virginian, the casino would waive the rent as long as the theater company paid its share of the utilities. Calling it “an unprecedented alliance between the arts and industry,” Barsanti accepted the offer.

“When I asked why they were interested in making such a generous offer, they said, ‘Reno needs the arts to move forward, and we would just like to see you succeed,’ “ Barsanti said.

The Riverfront Theatre will re-open Dec. 1 at the Cal-Neva with a stage adaptation of Frank Capra’s holiday movie classic It’s a Wonderful Life.

Auditions for It’s a Wonderful Life will be held tonight at 7 p.m., and again Oct. 27 at 2 p.m. Auditions will be held in the Riverfront’s temporary rehearsal space, Room 19 of the Church Fine Arts Complex at the University of Nevada, Reno. Call 337-8505