Duval headlining in new role for Centerstage Theatre

Trista Duval

Trista Duval

It was a blessing in disguise.

Trista Duval, interim artistic director for Centerstage Theatre, always imagined herself being a performer after seeing “The Little Mermaid” as a child.

Duval’s dreams were put on hold though for six years as an adult when she contracted an illness that damaged her vocal cords, affecting her ability to sing and perform.

Rather than give up her lifelong dreams, Duval expanded her passion into other areas of the theater, broadening her horizons from just singing and acting.

During that time, Duval learned how to direct, hire, supervise and support people following their own dreams.

“It was one of those things in your life that takes a different direction than expected,” Duval said. “I wanted to keep being an artist. The break I took from acting gave me time to possess other artistic skills.”

Now, Duval is combining all of her skills and her love of drama at Centerstage Theatre by stepping in for Alan Bryce following his retirement earlier this summer.

Duval’s job requires her to supervise anything in the realm of the artistic production, and as long as she stays in budget, she is free to create and supervise all artistic creations this season. Centerstage Theatre will kick off the new season Sept. 22 with “Witness for the Prosecution,” a drama written by Agatha Christie.

Duval said her strong background in acting, combined with the skills necessary for an artistic director, helps her connect with actors auditioning for roles, as she has gone through the same experiences.

“You absolutely can be a working artist, but you need to be able to wear multiple different hats,” Duval said.

And while her new position is considered temporary, Duval does not intend to relinquish this hat any time soon.

“I’m not leaving unless someone comes who I have complete faith can take over this job from me and do it well,” Duval said. “Technically, my title is interim, but realistically I’ll be here a few years at least.”

Duval’s job also requires her to choose the plays almost a year in advance. She said it is a tricky process, as she needs to select strong opening and closing performances and incorporate a few that people may not know about but would find very interesting.

She is also trying to generate more interest in the theater by reaching out to millenials through behind-the-scene interviews with actors and interactions with the public through social media.

Duval wants to get the younger generation involved with theater through a project called Page to the Stage, which features modern plays with strong references to classic and historical theater.

This season’s play, “Return to the Forbidden Planet,” heavily incorporates Shakespeare’s “The Tempest,” for example.

The purpose is to subtly introduce students to and interest them in classic literature while exposing them to the theater world.

“The students can see the whole development of the play, and then they get VIP seats and get goodies. Afterwards they get to go behind the scenes and talk with the actors and director,” Duval said.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@federalwaymirror.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.federalwaymirror.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Life

2021 Kia Sorento X-Line AWD. Courtesy photo
Car review: 2021 Kia Sorento X-Line AWD

By Larry Lark, contributor Kia’s fourth-generation Sorrento sports utility vehicle is a… Continue reading

2021 Mercedes Benz GLB250 4MATIC. Courtesy photo
Car review: 2021 Mercedes Benz GLB250 4MATIC

By Larry Lark, contributor The 2021 GLB250 4MATIC is a brand-spanking new… Continue reading

Kiddus Fecto. Photo courtesy of the Museum of Pop Culture
MoPOP’s Sound Off! contest showcases local Federal Way talent

Kiddus Fecto, 21, is among eight performers of the museum’s 20th annual event on May 15.

Rajiv Nagaich is an elder law attorney, author, adjunct law school professor, and retirement planning visionary who has achieved national recognition for his cutting-edge work with retirees and his contributions to the practice of elder law. He is the founder of two firms based in Federal Way: Life Point Law, an elder law and estate planning firm, and AgingOptions, a firm that provides retirement-related education to consumers and professionals.
Kick the Can: It’s the American Way | Senior Lifestyles

If you’re a certain age, you probably played Kick the Can. Do… Continue reading

2021 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray
Car review: 2021 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

By Larry Lark, contributor How do you top the 2021 Dodge Durango… Continue reading

Shelley Pauls photo
March of Diapers collects more than 305K diapers for local nonprofits

The seventh-annual event included donations from local businesses, nearby cities, and dozens of generous individuals.

2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat AWD
Car review: 2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat AWD

By Larry Lark, contributor If you want something truly special, get in… Continue reading

Local resident Marianna, 14, dressed up as Bun Bun the Easter Bunny to visit dozens of families in Federal Way and nearby cities in March and April. Photo courtesy of Maggie Cante Tinza
Easter celebrations in Federal Way

Residents enjoyed socially-distanced scavenger hunts, sweet treats galore, and Easter Bunny visits.

2021 GR Supra 2.0
Car review: 2021 GR Supra 2.0

By Larry Lark, contributor Cars seem to be built for stages of… Continue reading

2021 Genesis G80 RWD 2.5T Prestige
Car review: 2021 Genesis G80 RWD 2.5T Prestige

By Larry Lark, contributor The 2021 Genesis G80 RWD 2.5T Prestige is… Continue reading

Cheryl Hurst stands among the thousands of diapers being stored at Billy McHale’s in Federal Way as part of the annual March of Diapers charity drive. (Photo by Andy Hobbs/Federal Way Mirror)
Local charity collects thousands of diapers in annual drive

Federal Way area nonprofit organization Do the Right Thing has been collecting… Continue reading

Rajiv Nagaich is an elder law attorney, author, adjunct law school professor, and retirement planning visionary who has achieved national recognition for his cutting-edge work with retirees and his contributions to the practice of elder law. He is the founder of two firms based in Federal Way: Life Point Law, an elder law and estate planning firm, and AgingOptions, a firm that provides retirement-related education to consumers and professionals.
The bride was 19, and the groom was 89 | Senior lifestyles

Is it love? Or is it exploitation? Last fall, a 19-year-old employee… Continue reading