Here is the latest news for Washington State local stage entertainment as of March 17th: “Inslee announces statewide move to Phase 3 of recovery plan, return to spectator events.”
Most of our local stage production theatres have been almost a year now without live productions. While donations are always accepted, it is live productions, real people in the seats, experiencing the joy of stories being told and shared just feet or yards away that fuel these community treasures. Writers write, actors act, directors direct, set builders build, and musicians play. Empty seats destroy the shared dreams on both sides of the stage.
Behind the dark theatres and the silent applause, dedicated theatre staff efforts are working and planning on a re-birth . . . another opening, another show . . . a singular sensation . . . the roar of the crowd . . . and more.
Jon Douglas Rake of Tacoma Musical Playhouse says, “It is still very hard to make Phase 3 work financially. We are also waiting for an update from the Department of Health. We may do some small productions in the summer and ramp up in the fall. We may also do something simple outside. Stay tuned!” This is good news indeed. In the past TMP has had food truck gatherings in their parking lot as well as other fun events. Their production of “Addams Family Musical” blew us away in September of 2019. Here was our review – thesubtimes.com/2019/09/19/the-addams-family-the-musical-review-tacoma-musical-playhouse/
Tacoma Little Theatre has left their set of “A Chorus Line” on stage during their remodel and shut down. Managing Artistic Director Chris Serface says, “Our dream is to bring back A Chorus Line.” I’ll be first in line. Peg and I saw two performances of the wonderful production last March. Here was our review – thesubtimes.com/2020/03/12/a-chorus-line-at-tacoma-little-theatre-play-review-tacoma/
Chris shared more good news as well, “Our hope is to open with some small cast productions in July with a ramp up to normal operations in Fall. We are also going to possibly have a fun festival in August. As more restrictions are lifted, we will also look at returning to in-person education for both youth and adults.”
Local theaters depend on local talent. Many actors that we see on our stages are products of our young actor programs in the South Sound. Here is a review of the young actors program of Tacoma Little Theatre – thesubtimes.com/2018/08/14/cyrano-de-burger-shack-and-young-actor-training/
“Cyrano De Burger Shack” featured students from Bellarmine Preparatory, Curtis High School, and St. Patrick’s Catholic School. Peg and I took grandkids to the production and all of us laughed, and sang along. We all had seen many of the students in earlier productions. They felt like family. The same went for numerous other productions as well, for example the Les Miserables student production at Lakewood Playhouse – thesubtimes.com/2019/08/22/les-miserables-student-production-lakewood-institute-of-theatre-musical-review/
“The Lakewood Institute of Theatre is in early preparations for a theatre education summer that will potentially be hybrid (virtual and in-person) camps and classes, as long as we can do so safely.”
The next production at Lakewood Playhouse will be a virtual reading of “She Stoops to Conquer,” by Oliver Goldsmith, adapted by Ben Stahl, premiering March 27, 2021, at 7pm PDT. The tickets for this farcical staple of English Literature are free and the reservation link is available on our website at lakewoodplayhouse.org.
Aya Hashiguchi Clark of Dukesbay Productions doesn’t plan to put on any shows in their space until, perhaps, Fall of 2021. Since Phase 3 allows for indoor gatherings in theaters with up to 50% capacity, it is very likely that another independent theatre company, who has used their space before, might want to produce a show this summer (or even late Spring). They are certainly open to that, and their family of theatre companies who frequent The Dukesbay Theater will be welcome to talk with them about that possibility.
Here is a review of a hilarious Dukesbay production “Waltz of the Toreadors”- nwadventures.us/Waltz-2017.html
Although Centerstage Theatre is located in Federal Way, I always think of it as being in Northeast Tacoma or Brown’s Point. It’s just up the coast at Dumas Bay. I would hate to lose their Christmas time pantos. Our grandchildren enjoyed those productions so much. Centerstage continues to produce excellent plays like the surprising “Hound of the Baskerville’s.” Here is our review from that production – thesubtimes.com/2019/10/08/centerstage-hound-of-the-Baskervilles-review/
We can hardly wait for these theatres to open their doors again. We miss the actors. We can do without the smell of grease paint, but we certainly want to reinstate the roar of the crowd.
The views expressed in this article are the writer’s own.