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.
January 4, 2011
The 1980s are back with Village Theatre KIDSTAGE’s production of “Footloose,” drawing audiences into a small California town that has a ban on dancing and many young, eager dancers trying to repeal the stifling law.
KIDSTAGE last performed “Footloose” in 2002, shortly after the musical made popular by the 1984 movie with Kevin Bacon, Sarah Jessica Parker, John Lithgow and Dianne Wiest was turned into a stage show. Director Faith Russell and her colleagues chose it again for its high-energy music and dancing, and good take-home messages, Production Coordinator Helen Voelker said.
“The musical is about having an obstacle and overcoming that obstacle — and having a dance,” she said.
The play follows Ren McCormack (Jordon Bolden) and his mother Ethel (Joell Weil) when they move from Chicago, where Ren is the king of teenage dancers at Windy City nightclubs, to Bomont, Calif. Read more
January 4, 2011
Danny Kam, a 2006 Liberty High School graduate, has landed the lead role in “Don Giovanni: A New Musical,” at Seattle Musical Theatre and Fruition Productions.
Kam, who graduated from Western Washington University in 2010, said he was excited to play Don Giovanni so soon after college.
He recently talked about his background and his impressions about the musical:
November 2, 2010
At the beginning of most services during the past 50 years, organist Vern Lindquist has played a quiet prelude, helping people transition from their busy lives into the serenity of worship at Issaquah’s Our Savior Lutheran Church.
Lindquist played the piano for the first service, Oct. 1, 1960, at the Village Theatre KIDSTAGE, just as he will play the organ at the church’s three-day, 50th-anniversary celebration this weekend, when the church celebrates its past, current and future members.
The first Lutheran church in Issaquah, Our Savior Lutheran moved from the theater a year later, after its members dedicated the first phase of their new church building. The founding pastor, Ernest Collard, circled the rural city and built a congregation of 82 members at a time when the city was less than 4,000 people.
From there, the church grew, and today it has more than 300 families in its congregation.
September 9, 2010
NEW — 6 a.m. Sept. 9, 2010
Village Theatre KIDSTAGE has released the fall line-up of exploratory and musical theater classes.
Professional arts educators teach the classes. The offerings include “Exploratory Acting” for children as young as pre-kindergarten, “Musical Theatre” for grades one and two, “Singing for Musical Theatre” for grades four through 10, and various dance courses and acting courses, including “Acting 1 — Character Voyage to Narnia” for third- through fifth-graders.
Find a complete class listing here.
July 27, 2010
The power and drama of the American experience at the turn of the 20th century unfolds on Village Theatre’s Mainstage as aspiring young actors from the theater’s KIDSTAGE program present “Ragtime” July 31 – Aug. 8.
Tackling issues of poverty and wealth, hope and despair, and freedom and prejudice, the musical unfolds as a story told from the perspectives of three very different families living in post-industrial America.
One of the show’s main characters, Harlem musician Coalhouse Walker Jr., is faced with racism as he tries to make a career for himself as an artist.
The show is a challenge for young actors, because it deals with a wide variety of issues that allows them to stretch their abilities, said Renton resident Jordan Bolden, 16, who plays Walker.
July 27, 2010
Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning Issaquah High School alumnus Brian Yorkey returns to Village Theatre in May to direct the blockbuster “Jesus Christ Superstar.”
The rock musical about the last days of Jesus Christ runs in Issaquah from May 11 to July 3, and then opens for a monthlong run in Everett.
Before he headed to Broadway, Yorkey served as associate artistic director for Village Theatre. He started at the theater as a pioneering force in the popular youth education program, KIDSTAGE.
July 13, 2010
The curtain has fallen for a downtown Issaquah landmark.
Crews brought down the outdated, frontier-era First Stage Theatre last week, as Village Theatre readies to build a modern facility on the same site.
Foushée & Associates, a Bellevue contractor, started to disassemble the building in late June, and completed the task July 8. Before the teardown, workers salvaged material from the old theater to be used in the planned building.
Plans for the soon-to-be-constructed theater call for better seating, more space onstage and backstage, and a similar façade to the former structure.
Theater executives launched a capital campaign to fund the First Stage reconstruction, after they realized the extent of decay to the 1913 theater and shelved renovation plans.
Crews detoured pedestrians through wooden scaffolding built adjacent to the street for the duration of the project. The sidewalk closure runs through March 2011.
The first Village Theatre show — “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” — opened there in 1979. Until the Francis J. Gaudette Theatre — referred to as the Mainstage — opened, First Stage Theatre housed the Issaquah theater. KIDSTAGE and the Village Originals programs occupied the space after Village Theatre built the Mainstage in the early 1990s.
July 13, 2010
There’s a whole lot of shakin’ going on at Village Theatre’s Mainstage as the KIDSTAGE cast gets ready to debut “All Shook Up” July 17.
Inspired by the songs of Elvis Presley, “All Shook Up” is a family-friendly comedy, cast members said. Think part “Rebel Without a Cause,” part Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night,” part “Footloose” and a whole lot of The King.
“I saw it at a high school last summer and from then on, I knew I wanted to do the show,” Director Kelsey Thorgalsen, 20, said. “I love the energy of it. It’s just fun and funny to watch how the love element takes over the people in the town and changes them.”
The KIDSTAGE youth theater program — which began in 1985 as Village Theatre’s youth program for children and young adults, ages 3-20 — produces two full theatrical productions each summer.
“All Shook Up” is the program’s annual Summer Independent production, managed from inception to final curtain call by youths and young adults from 13-20.
The program allows children and young adults to discover all aspects of theater work, including choreography, technical set design and acting, connecting with professionals and pushing themselves, Production Manager Michael McManus said.
McManus, a 2010 graduate from Issaquah High School, said without KIDSTAGE he wouldn’t have had the opportunities to meet the people he did, nor develop the body of work that helped him gain admittance to George Washington University.
In all, more than 30 youths make up this year’s Summer Independent cast. Read more
July 8, 2010
NEW — 4:15 p.m. July 8, 2010
Crews brought down the outdated, frontier-era First Stage Theatre on Thursday afternoon, as Village Theatre readies to build a modern facility on the same downtown Issaquah site.
Foushée & Associates, a Bellevue builder, started to disassemble the building in late June, and completed the task Thursday. Before the teardown, workers salvaged material from the old theater to be used in the planned building.