Mudlark Theater, a troupe that produces thoughtful work with young actors, is taking over the Noyes Street Theater space in Evanston’s Noyes Cultural Arts Center.

Previously occupied by Next Theatre, which was a staple of the Evanston community for many years, the city-owned space has been less used since that company’s dissolution. The Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre will continue to use the space for its summer season, with Mudlark taking over the rest of the year’s rental. 

Mudlark’s residency begins Oct. 1. The first production in the season will be an original adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Treasure Island” co-directed by Artistic Director Andrew Biliter and Executive Director Michael Miro.

Writer and co-director Biliter says of the inaugural production, “At Mudlark, we like to think of the stage as a space where young actors can explore inhabiting other characters and other worlds, and Treasure Island is the perfect vehicle for that. Our production will focus on the choices people make in high-stakes situations, and who they become as a result.”

The rest of the season includes a modernized retelling of “Cinderella” written and directed by Brian Crawford; a production of “The Nutcracker” for the holiday season; “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” in April; and Mudlark’s traditional “Mudpie” in May.

Miro says, “We want to make the space” at Noyes “feel like a completely different space every time we use the theater. We want to transform it every time. We want to play with different sizes and dimensions depending on the needs of each show, and to find an innovative way to take audiences from a contemporary urban landscape (modernized “Cinderella”), to a German country house (“The Nutcracker”), to the high seas (“Treasure Island”).”

Miro’s final hope for the season? “Break all our box office records!”     

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