March 13, 2012
Teenage performers skewer beauty pageants in KIDSTAGE musical ‘Hot Mess’
“Hot Mess” — a fledgling musical about beauty pageants — is not afraid to address some ugly truths.
The creators poke a high heel behind the scenes at a beauty pageant in the comedy, the latest offering from Village Theatre’s KIDSTAGE Company Originals program — a collaboration among young performers and theater professionals. The creators then perform the piece.
“Hot Mess” is due to receive a barebones reading — no costumes, no sets — at First Stage Theatre from March 23-25.
The team behind “Hot Mess” is a group of seven teenage girls, ages 14-17. Director Kiki Abba, a mentor and, more importantly, a grown-up, encouraged the girls to rely on personal experiences in the theater realm and the pressure cooker of high school to fashion the plot.
March 6, 2012
Opportunities abound in the Village Theatre KIDSTAGE program for children and teenagers interested in the performing arts.
The popular program includes a series of summer camps and theater classes for students of all ages.
In Issaquah, the class lineup includes popular classes throughout the summer. The summer camps in Issaquah start June 11.
The program makes KIDSTAGE students eligible for half-price single student tickets to any Village Theatre Mainstage production on sale during the course of the camp.
Village Theatre holds classes at the Francis J. Gaudette Theatre, 303 Front St. N., the First Stage Theatre, 120 Front St. N., and the Issaquah Train Depot, 50 Rainier Blvd. N.
Find a complete listing of classes on the Village Theatre website, www.villagetheatre.org/iss_summer2012_campschedule.php.
January 3, 2012
Months after professional actors re-imagined “Jesus Christ Superstar” on the Village Theatre Mainstage, teenage performers plan to raise the curtain soon on “Godspell” — a similar musical from the same era.
Both shows opened in 1971 and offered a contemporary — critics said blasphemous — perspective on the Gospels. In the years since, “Jesus Christ Superstar” and “Godspell” became rooted in pop culture.
“Jesus Christ Superstar” depicts the last days in Christ’s life. “Godspell” is structured as a series of parables.
January 3, 2012
September 9, 2011
NEW — 8 a.m. Sept. 9, 2011
The city Arts Commission seeks cultural organizations and programs for the latest round of arts grants.
The city offers grants each year for organizations to present performances and programs in public spaces and local schools.
Only projects inside Issaquah city limits or at Issaquah School District campuses qualify for funding. The deadline to apply for the grants is Nov. 4.
Commissioners awarded about $120,000 to 21 projects. The lineup included ArtWalk, Issaquah Farmers Market entertainment, Concerts on the Green, Shakespeare on the Green, performances at local schools and programs to help troubled youths.
July 26, 2011
“Hairspray” long ago earned a reputation for camp by casting a man in drag as mammoth matriarch Edna Turnblad.
The soon-to-open production at Village Theatre offers another gender bender: a male performer cast as a female character, in addition to Edna.
KIDSTAGE performers present “Hairspray” as a SummerStock production from July 30 to Aug. 7.
Andrew Gryniewicz, 15, a Sammamish Plateau resident and Bishop Blanchet High School student, stars as Edna, and Sheady Manning-Bruce, 17, a Renton resident and Liberty High School student, stars as smooth-as-silk television hostess Motormouth Maybelle.
Edna originated as a drag role. The drag queen Divine starred as Edna in director John Waters’ 1988 film and John Travolta donned a dress for the 2007 film musical.
The hefty heroine in the musical, Tracy Turnblad, is determined to sashay and shimmy on “The Corny Collins Show” — a segregated dance program in Baltimore — against unfavorable odds and Edna’s disapproval.
Kathryn Van Meter, “Hairspray” co-director and choreographer, adjusted the formula and cast a male performer as Motormouth, too.
The energy and sass Manning-Bruce unleashed during the audition tempted Van Meter to cast the actor in a less conventional role.
July 12, 2011
“Chicago” the stage musical is not so far off from Chicago the Midwestern metropolis.
Chicago is a synonym for corruption and scandal. “Chicago” revels in corruption and scandal.
So, Chicago functions as a seamless setting as murderesses Roxie Hart and Velma Kelly pursue a disposable sort of fame afforded to celebrity criminals. Prohibition serves as the backdrop for the smart satire about celebrity and media manipulation.
The razzle-dazzle musical is the latest offering from KIDSTAGE, the long-running youth education program at Village Theatre. “Chicago” is managed from opening number to curtain call by student-actors in the program.
Director Jacob Moe-Lange, a Skyline High School graduate and University of California, Berkeley, student, debuts as director on the production.
“‘Chicago’ is not a subtle show. It is a very in-your-face show about a lot of things,” he said. “What I want the audience to walk away with is, I want them to have seen the show and recognize that what happens onstage is not isolated from what happens in their own lives.”
The musical named for the Windy City peddles camp and vamp in equal measures. Theatergoers can catch “Chicago” starting July 15.
April 5, 2011
Village Theatre plans additional offerings at downtown venue
The curtain rises soon on the rebuilt First Stage Theatre in downtown Issaquah.
April 5, 2011
Some milestones trigger stomach-churning dread.
Turning 40 comes to mind, but turning, say, 18 or 21 does not.
The latest musical from the KIDSTAGE program at Village Theatre stares down another fraught numeral: 13, the year acne and angst transform cherubic children into temperamental teenagers.
The musical “13” offers a little more edge and sass than “High School Musical” and other shows geared for teenage performers. The show premieres at the rebuilt First Stage Theatre on April 7.
“Kids love the show” and the material, director and KIDSTAGE Programs Manager Suzie Bixler said.
Divorce upends life for Evan, a 12-year-old Manhattanite.
February 8, 2011
Jack and Annie climbed into their magic tree house and pointed at a book. As in all of the “Magic Tree House” stories, the book they chose sped them through time and space.
Random House Children’s Books brought the series to life with its Magic Tree House website, where a spunky Annie and eager Jack quiz readers about their historical, out-of-this-world adventures.
Issaquah Middle School sixth-grader Emily Rudolph knows the website well — she does the voice for Annie, guiding participants through games on the website.
“I’ve been reading ‘Magic Tree House’ since second grade,” she said. “I feel like I can relate to Annie.”
Emily has already recorded twice at Cricket Moon Media in Seattle, and Producer Laura Nash said she looked forward to more sessions with the pint-sized star.
“She just has a really great reading voice,” Nash said. “She is unusually peppy and friendly. She sounds like an all-American kid without trying, which is really hard to do.”
Though new to voice recording, Emily is familiar with show business. In 2007-08, she and her older brother Josh Rudolph played two of the King of Siam’s children in “The King and I” at Village Theatre.
The acting bug bit her. Onstage she could sing, dance and transform herself into another person.