Local theater company Mettlesome announced this morning that it is opening a new venue on Durham’s Golden Belt Campus in the spring of 2022 near Hi-Wire Brewing and the Golden Belt Artist Studios. It is also launching an accompanying Kickstarter to raise funds for the venue. 

“Mettlesome really delivers the missing piece for the artistic vision of Golden Belt. Having a working theater here will provide a magnet for creatives and supporters of the arts, rain or shine, 12 months out of the year,” Justin Sacco of LRC Properties said in the press release. 

Founded in 2016 by local producer Ashley Melzer, the company holds classes and produces comedy, podcasts, and live shows. Previously, Mettlesome was based at Okay Alright within The Mothership, the co-working space off Geer Street in Durham that shuttered in the summer of 2020.

For a while, it seemed that Mettlesome, displaced and in the same dire position as other local theater companies, might be another casualty of the pandemic.

But news of a reopening—the theater is also restarting classes—also brings news of expansion. According to the press release, the new 1,400-square-foot space at Golden Belt will be “at least three times” the size of the Mothership location, and plans are moving ahead for the venue, which will host musical performances, stand-up comedy, readings, and more. 

Mettlesome hopes to open its doors in March. 

“When we had to close our physical space mid-2020, to keep the safety of others as well as our financial security top of mind, we always knew we wanted to bring our theater back someday,” April Dudash, a Mettlesome stakeholder, told the INDY over email. “Local artists are craving creative spaces and the opportunity to safely perform together again. We are looking forward to providing that in Durham’s Golden Belt, a campus that is strongly committed to advancing the arts in Durham.”

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