Center for Living Arts becomes the next act of old Establishment theatre

Local News

More shows will take the stage at a downtown Rock Island theatre.

The Center for Living Arts will move into the former Establishment theatre.

As Local 4 News reported in May, ComedySportz dominated that space for the last nine years but decided to move to a new location earlier this year.

That gave Living Arts a chance to move into a bigger space for classes and performances.

Co-owner of the Center for Living Arts Tina Hayz said, “We started to outgrow our space probably four or five years ago, getting more and more students.”

Husband and wife Dino and Tina Hayz are the directing duo behind Center for Living Arts

Tina said, “We each have our own things that we do and we cover it all and we’ve done quite a few shows that way.”

Provide a stage for young actors has been their dream.

Co-owner of the Center of Living Arts Dino Hayz said, “One of my favorite things to do is to introduce theatre to people who had never done it before.”

Debuting in 2006, they had 12 students.

Tina said, “185 students is what our class-load is right now.”

“Programs are very full and that was one of the best things about this space is we’re busting at the seams at our current location so this place allows for more actors to be here. It allows for a lot more parents to be able to come,” said Dino.

That kind of growth keeps their playhouse busy.

Dino said, “Converted an old business technology store and we built a theatre in a place that wasn’t a theater.”

It also meant some packed performances.

Tina said, “More and more classes, which meant more and more audience which meant more and more lines at the bathrooms.”

So more and more space isn’t a plot twist, that’s why they jumped when the theatre’s previous owner decided it was time for a curtain call.

Dino said, “Looked at this space 12 years ago before we got our current location. We were ready to make an offer on it but someone got it before we did.”

As of July 1st, Dino and Tina get to call it theirs now and they have a cast of excited young performers ready to make it their home.

Dino said, “Feels like we’re where we’re supposed to be and our students, they’ve been going crazy.”
Tina said, “Skies the limit right now, so we’re really trying to dream big.”

The youth community theatre will finish up the summer at their current location, about two blocks from their new home.

In the meantime, they’re to build out the stage and other improvements.

The plan is by September to have their programs up and running in the just acquired space.

They will also keep their existing location, which will mainly be used for storage.

July 11th they’re also celebrating their 13th anniversary with current and former members of the Center and their families, which will include a peak inside the new home.

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