Rockford native who owned theater in collapsed Iowa building speaks out

Published: May. 30, 2023 at 6:09 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - A Rockford native who owned a theater in the mixed-used building that partially collapsed last Sunday in the Quad Cities is currently deciding whether to relocate.

”To see the outpour of love and support that we’ve gotten from the community–I didn’t realize how many lives we had affected and touched,” said Savannah Bay Strandin. “So many people have reached out.”

Savannah and her husband, Tristan Tapscott, opened the Mockingbird on Main theater two years ago. Sunday night, they lost everything when a portion of their downtown Davenport, Iowa, building was reduced to a heap of rubble.

The community offered to help the couple relocate. But, that’s not what’s currently on their mind.

“We will figure things out if we decide to rebuild,” she said. “We will ask for help later down the road. Right now, we really want to turn the focus to the families who have lost everything.”

Savannah’s dream of making acting her career began at Rock Valley College’s Starlight Theatre. And, after beating cancer in 2019, she says she can overcome just about anything.

“We are truly starting over, which is daunting,” she said. “But, silver lining, it could turn into something really cool and really amazing.”

Those who know the couple say if anyone can build back better it’s Savannah and Tristan.

”I’ve know Savannah for a long time, and she is a resilient person,” said Chris Brady, a Starlight Theatre producer. She’s a very positive person.“

Tapscott said he’s up for the challenge of finding another home for the theater he and his wife were also using as an art incubator.

”I go back to a lot of blank sheets of paper metaphors,” he said, “and this blank sheet could be terrifying but it could be an amazing opportunity.”

Savannah and Tristan are both professional actors.

An official cause of Sunday’s building collapse has not been announced.