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Tiny theatre in Citrus Heights offers comedy, drama in unlikely place

Theatre in the Heights, Citrus Heights
Theatre in the Heights opened on Auburn Boulevard in January 2017. // CH Sentinel

By Hazel Ford–
Citrus Heights residents no longer have to go downtown to see a quality show — as long as they don’t mind the size of the theatre, that is.

Tucked away next to a barber shop in the Aquarium Depot shopping plaza on Auburn Boulevard, a small theater is making a big step to bring entertaining shows to Citrus Heights. The Theatre In The Heights, which opened in January of this year, features a 52-seat auditorium sandwiched between a barber shop and Baskin Robins at 8215 Auburn Blvd.

The tiny theater has already earned 4.9-out-of-5 stars from reviewers on Facebook, with comments highlighting the unique hole-in-the-wall setting and surprising quality of performances. A ticket price of $15 earns an admission at the door, followed by the show and complimentary snacks and beverages included.

The theater is currently performing William Shakespeare’s “Love’s Labor’s Lost,” a romantic comedy set in Navarre in 1594. The King of Navarre and his three lords decide to have three years devoted to study, free of distraction from women. But when the Princess of France and her ladies in waiting arrive, each man unintentionally falls in love. The show stars Jason Markiewitz as King Ferdinand, Vanessa Voetsch as the Princess of France, and Cary Babka as Berowne, among others.

For several of the actors, Love’s Labor’s Lost was their first Shakespearean production, and while the talent was certainly present, there were moments when the dialogue seemed forced. The presentation was simple but appealing, however, and the costumes were well done. Many of the characters were comedic, and each actor clearly had deep passion for their role.

After the current production concludes on Aug. 6, the theatre plans on performing A Thousand Clowns, Blithe Spirit, and The Game’s Afoot, according to a schedule posted on the group’s website. Each play runs for approximately one month, and the cast takes a few weeks off between productions.

President Blake Flores founded The Theatre in the Heights along with Vanessa Voetsch, who is the secretary and treasurer, and also handles publicity. He said that while the theater functions like most community theaters, it is a bit smaller.

“Getting a building is expensive,” Flores said in an interview last week. “Finding a building we could afford is what drove the size.”

He said the small theatre operates as a nonprofit and none of the actors and actresses get paid for their roles. The group holds ongoing auditions to bring in new talent, and the theatre’s Facebook page has regular announcements with casting calls for upcoming shows.

Flores, who has performed as an actor in several prior shows, said he’s admired how appreciative the Citrus Heights community has been towards his theater, with attendees welcoming a chance to “enjoy quality shows without going down town.”

Upcoming performances of “Love’s Labor’s Lost” will be held on Aug. 4-6, with “A Thousand Clowns” beginning on Aug. 26 and continuing through Sept. 17. Tickets can be purchased online at

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