Arts and Entertainment

Federal Way Summer Theatre Festival presents '25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee' and 'All in the Timing'

Centerstage Theatre and Central Washington University are hosting the 2012 Federal Way Summer Theatre Festival. - Courtesy photo
Centerstage Theatre and Central Washington University are hosting the 2012 Federal Way Summer Theatre Festival.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

Centerstage Theatre and Central Washington University have teamed up to deliver the 2012 Federal Way Summer Theatre Festival.

Six student interns from CWU in Ellensburg, Wash., will work with local professional actors and directors to produce two shows: "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" by William Finn and Rachel Sheinkin and "All In The Timing" by David Ives. The shows run Aug. 16-26 at the Knutzen Family Theatre in Federal Way.

Scott Robinson, the theater department chairman at CWU, said the program is an excellent internship opportunity for his students — who rarely get to work with professionals on the west side of the mountains because of scheduling conflicts.

His department is supplying the costume and scenic lighting designers. Most of the sets and props were built at the CWU campus and were hauled to Centerstage earlier this week. The students involved with the production are staying at dorms available at the Federal Way site.

Robinson hopes the partnership continues next year.

"It's a win-win for Federal Way, for Central Washington University and for Centerstage," he said.

Alan Bryce, artistic director at Centerstage, says audiences will appreciate this West Coast professional spin on the East Coast tradition of summer stock theater.

"There are perhaps none like it in the area," Bryce said of the inaugural Federal Way festival.

About the shows

• "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" chronicles the experience of six adolescent outsiders vying for the spelling championship of a lifetime. This Tony-Award winning musical celebrates the unlikeliest of heroes: a quirky yet charming cast of outsiders for whom a spelling bee is the one place where they can stand out and fit in at the same time.

• "All in the Timing" is a collection of six humorous plays from renowned playwright David Ives. The New York Times wrote: “There is indeed a real heart beneath Mr. Ives’s intellectual tomfoolery, which may explain why one leaves the theater without the slight pangs of emptiness that sometimes follow determinedly clever revues. There is sustenance as well as pure entertainment here.”

FYI

The festival is made possible by a $35,000 from Federal Way's lodging tax fund, which was awarded to Centerstage back in March. The goal is for the program to grow into a new major summer event that will encourage visitors to Federal Way, said city spokesman Chris Carrel. In addition, Centerstage recently renewed its contract with the city for rental/management of the Knutzen Family Theatre, 3200 SW Dash Point Road.

If you go

• Centerstage will host the inaugural Federal Way Summer Theatre Festival from Aug. 16-26 in collaboration with Central Washington University.

• Featured shows are "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" by William Finn and Rachel Sheinkin and "All In The Timing" by David Ives.

• The shows will run in repertory. "Spelling Bee" runs 8 p.m. Aug. 16, 22, 24 and 25, and 2 p.m. Aug. 18 and 19. "All in the Timing" runs 8 p.m. Aug. 17, 18 and 23, and 2 p.m. Aug. 25 and 26.

• All shows take place at the Knutzen Family Theatre, 3200 SW Dash Point Road. Learn more at centerstagetheatre.com or call (253) 661-1444.

• All tickets come with a free pass to the Northwest Sand Festival, which runs Aug. 16 to Sept. 3 at The Commons Mall parking lot in Federal Way. Out-of-town guests are eligible for discounts at Best Western or Clarion hotels in Federal Way.

• Tickets are $27.50 for adults with discounts for seniors, military and youth. Purchase tickets to both shows and get two adult tickets for $49, or two senior/military tickets for $40.

 

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