By Don Ford

DANVILLE (CBS SF) — Despite these difficult times, with the pandemic and economic uncertainty weighing us down, one local Theater Company in Danville is moving beyond survival to expansion.

The I Can Do That Theater Company (ICDT) attracts youth from all across the East Bay. The company performs four times a year and over time, they outgrew their original 1000 Sq foot-space.

“Eighteen kids in the first show and it grew next show to 35, then 45 then 50,” Executive Director ICDT, Shayna Ronen said. “Then we had 75 kids show up for auditions!”

After the state ordered a lockdown to prevent the spread of COVID-19, performances stopped at ICDT but socially distanced, mask-required rehearsals did not.

“We had outdoor rehearsals with four different groups of ten,” says Artistic Director, Jarusha Ariel.

Seeing the limits of their space, ICDT tapped a local plumbing contractor, Guaranteed Plumbing, and raised over $550,000 in donations, to move into and refurbish a new 6000 Sq. Foot space.

In the 1950’s, the building ICDT’s converting was a Tac Shop for horses, then, for decades, a dance studio. Once construction is completed, the performing arts center will consist of three separate studios serving youth of all backgrounds.

Ronen says that the new performing arts center will be a place for youth to just hang out and feel safe.

“We also were seeing that we became the second home to these students and they were coming early and staying late and they felt like they belonged,” Ronen said.

On Wednesday night, ICDT held the first rehearsal for the official groundbreaking event, scheduled for Thursday evening with local dignitaries.

As of Thursday, the ICDT was still $150,000 short of covering the cost of the new performing arts center. To donate, visit icandothatpac.org.

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