Arts and Entertainment

Shakespeare up next in Centerstage Theatre's 'renaissance'

For the Mirror

There’s a double dose of renaissance at Centerstage Theater.

The Federal Way-based theater company, now in its 28th year, has undergone radical changes in the last 12 months. Perhaps the biggest is in the numbers. Centerstage officials said the last two productions –– “Rumors” and “A Christmas Carol”” –– were the best-selling in the company’s history.

Add a new strategic plan, a new pro bono association with a marketing firm and new productions for the new season, and Centerstage is feeling good about its future.

The other renaissance is Centerstage’s first foray into the works of William Shakespeare. “Twelfth Night” stakes its claim as one of the greatest comedies ever written, with its story of mistaken identity, separated twins and obstacles to true love, Centerstage officials said.

Scheduled to open this Friday at Knutzen Family Theater, it features an uproarious subplot in which the self-adoring Malvolio, is brought to his

knees by the drunkard, Sir Toby Belch.

an uproarious subplot in which the self-adoring Malvolio is brought to his knees by the drunkard Sir Toby Belch.

The cast features Samara Lerman, Stephen Grenley, Erik Maahs, Ian Lindsay and Taralynn Thompson.

“Twelfth Night” is directed by Rosa Joshi, a graduate of the Yale School of Drama, an assistant drama professor at Seattle University and an old hand at directing Shakespearean plays (she’s done three others). The sets are designed by Craig Wollam of Seattle Scenic Studios, costumes are by Lynda Salsbury (whose previous credits include “Singin’ in the Rain” at Fifth Avenue Theater in Seattle), and the music composer is Eyvind Kang, whose compositions have been featured in regional theaters nationwide, according to Allen Bryce, Centerstage’s artistic director.

Bryce explained that assembling the “accomplished team” was a result of insisting on having the “the best people for the job.”

“It couldn’t be simpler. We have a job that needs to be done. You simply don’t compromise until you find the right person,” he said.

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