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KIDSTAGE Produces RAGTIME 7/31-8/8

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Village Theatre's KIDSTAGE SummerStock produces RAGTIME, July 31-August 8, 2010 at the Francis J. Gaudette Theatre in Issaquah.

In the KIDSTAGE SummerStock program, after a rigorous audition process, over 40 young people have the opportunity to join together to perform on the Mainstage. SummerStock is the perfect answer for the passionate performer looking to stay happy and very busy in the summer months. Their musical experience is fully directed and designed by theatre professionals and features a live orchestra, beautiful sets, costumes, lighting, and sound.

Taking place in turn-of-the-century America, the musical production, RAGTIME, centers around three different socio-economic groups in New York City: upper class white-Americans, African Americans, and Eastern European immigrants. The heavy subject matter makes the piece challenging for KIDSTAGE students, given the age range of participants-8 to 18 years old. Considering the creative leadership, however, the rehearsal process has proven to be an "even more in-depth learning experience," comments Suzie C. Bixler, KIDSTAGE Programs Manager in Issaquah. "It has been exciting for the team and kids to truly learn about and experience our country's history."

The students participating in SummerStock this year are directed by Mainstage veteran, both on and off stage, Eric Polani Jensen. He was last seen in Chasing Nicolette (2009) playing Count Valence meanwhile also serving as assistant director of that production. Jensen comments about the heavy subject matter, "Since we're exploring an era where racism was overt and damaging, we have created an environment for the kids to feel safe with each other in as they delve into these emotional moments. Hopefully, they take away an awareness of how far we've come as a country and still realize how much we still need to work on it."

Jensen is supported by a creative team consisting of KIDSTAGE alumni Brandon Ivie handling the musical staging, longtime Village Theatre affiliate R.J. Tancioco (The Gypsy King) as musical director, and Village Theatre regulars, Alex Berry (Beauty and the Beast) as scenic and lighting designer, and Deane Middleton (Beauty and the Beast) as costume designer.

RAGTIME features 44 actors from the following cities: Bellevue, Black Diamond, Covington, Issaquah, Kent, Kirkland, Newcastle, North Bend, Redmond, Renton, Sammamish, Seattle, and Snoqualmie. Pre-production photos are now available at: http://www.villagetheatre.org/photos_ks_Ragtime.php. Please also see a performance preview guide for more details about the show here: http://www.villagetheatre.org/Ragtime.php.

SYNOPSIS:
A powerful portrait of life in turn-of-the-century America, this relevant musical for today intertwines the stories of three extraordinary families, as they confront history's timeless contradictions: wealth and poverty, freedom and prejudice, hope and despair. Featured are such show-stopping songs as "Your Daddy's Son," "Wheels of a Dream," and "Make Them Hear You." This thrilling musical is sure to inspire!

What: Ragtime
Book by Terrence McNally
Lyrics by Lynn Ahrens
Music by Stephen Flaherty
Based on the novel, Ragtime, by E.L. Doctorow

Where: Francis J. Gaudette Theatre
303 Front Street North
Issaquah, WA 98027

When: July 31-August 8, 2010
Wednesday-Saturday 7:30 PM
Sunday August 1 at 2 PM & 7:30 PM
Sunday August 8 at 2:00 PM

Tickets:$15 (General), $13 (Youth & Seniors) - ON SALE NOW
Box Office: (425) 392-2202 or
www.villagetheatre.org

About KIDSTAGE:
Designed to encourage teamwork, personal integrity, self-esteem, and a life-long appreciation for live theatre, KIDSTAGE is a year-round performing arts training program for young people ages 3-20, in Issaquah and Everett. KIDSTAGE students participate in classes and camps, workshops, and full-scale KIDSTAGE productions. All performances are by KIDSTAGE students and classes are taught by professional theatrical instructors, active in their field.

Village Theatre season sponsors are Continental Airlines, Microsoft, and Lombardi's

Village Theatre is also funded in part by 4Culture, ArtsFund, ArtsUnited, Axonus, City of Everett, City of Issaquah /Issaquah Arts Commission, Continental Airlines, Encore Arts Program, The Herald, Issaquah/Sammamish Reporter, KING5.com, Larkspur Landing, Lombardi's Neighborhood Italian, Margaret A. Cargill Foundation, Microsoft, National Endowment for the Arts, Overlake Hospital and Medical Center, Port Blakely Communities/Issaquah Highlands, Rowley Properties, SeattlePI.com, and Washington State Arts Commission. Village Theatre is a member of the National Alliance for Musical Theatre and Theatre Puget Sound.


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