WILMINGTON -- At the corner of 3rd and Marstellar Streets in Wilmington, a new theater has risen out of an old garage. Red Barn Studio is the vision of actress Linda Lavin and her husband Steve Bakunas. The couple christens its stage this month when they star in the award-winning play "Doubt" about a nun's suspicions of a priest's relationship with a student. It is Lavin's first stage performance in Wilmington since moving here 12 years ago. "This play just came up," Lavin said. "The opportunity to act was to act with him in this play and create our own theater space." Bakunas and others have spent months working to build the theater, which Lavin and others will use to teach aspiring actors. It also provides a place to rehearse, which should help actors better prepare for shows. "My desire is that when people come, they can see an elevated quality of performance," Bakunas said. Bakunas and Lavin hope it will also enhance what they call the vital theater community in the Port City that they have grown to love and be a part of. "We want to give back," Lavin said. "This gives us a chance to say, 'Here. This is what we do. Come and enjoy it.'" With opening night on the horizon, they are pleased with the way their Red Barn Studio has turned out so far. "It's satisfying to see something that was in your head, an idea, realized," Bakunas said. "Now that it's happened," Lavin said, "I know that this was the right time for it." "Doubt" runs April 11-14, 18-21, 26 and 27 at 8 p.m and April 15 and 22 at 3 p.m. Tickets are $25 ($23 for seniors and students). For reservations, call (910) 762-0955.
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