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|Purpose||Performing arts training|
|Eastside (King County, Washington)|
Studio East is a 501(c)(3) non-profit performing arts training organization, dedicated to creating opportunities for children to discover and explore the performing arts. Studio East is located in Kirkland, Washington and serves the entire Seattle area. Studio East programs include mainstage shows, school break and summer camps, Young Actors Professional Intensive (YAPI), and Storybook Theater.
Studio East was founded in 1992 by Lani Brockman. It specializes in children's theater. In 1993, Studio East merged with Kirkland Youth Theater, and it was incorporated as a non-profit organization in 1994. In 2010, Studio East moved from its old space near downtown Kirkland to a new home in the Totem Lake area.
Studio East produces 5 mainstage productions per year. These are performed at Studio East's stage in Kirkland. If a show is popular, it will be repeated in a minimum of four years, though five or six is more likely. The shows generally fall into five categories per season:
- For the Kids (Like The Magic Mrs. Piggle Wiggle and Pippi Longstocking)
- Family Show for the Holidays ('Twas the Night since 2001)
- Small Cast Show (Like Little Women or Quilters)
- For The Teens (Like Little Shop of Horrors or Into the Woods)
- Big Cast Show (Like Annie or Seussical)
In 2004-2005, there were only 4 mainstage shows due to construction to expand the space, and the February production of A Midsummer Night's Dream was cancelled.
In 2010-2011, there were only 4 mainstage shows due to the third show being replaced by the two Teen Ensemble and Young Performers Series productions.
StoryBook Theater presents interactive musical comedies aimed at ages three through nine, performed by adults. The shows are one-hour musical adaptations of classic fairy tales, like The Three Little Pigs or The Frog Prince, written by Lani Brockman and Susan Bardsley. The plays are presented at a variety of venues including the Kirkland Performance Center, the Museum of History and Industry, IKEA Performing Arts Center, Highline Performing Arts Center, and the Everett PUD Auditorium. Storybook Theatre has earned several awards in the Eastside area for Youth Entertainment.
Studio East offers school break camps for grades 2-6, as well as summer camps from age 4 to grade 10. Every summer a Teen Musical features students entering grades 7-12.
The summer camps include Little Players (ages 4–6), TaleSpinners (entering grades 1-2), Summer Stage (entering grades 3-6), and Teen Camps (entering grades 7-10). The camps are held at various schools and churches in the area.
Added in 2009, the Teen Ensemble is a program for teens (ages 13–19) to perform in more serious plays or musicals, with smaller casts, that would not normally be considered for the season. Overtime, the programs grew into performing only Shakespearian plays.
In 2010, the two plays, The Wrestling Season and Chamber Music, were performed independently of the season. In 2011, the Teen Ensemble was included in the season with A Midsummer Night's Dream and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Due to popular demand for Shakespeare, Macbeth was added later in the season, in May.
Young Performers Series
In 2010 Studio East created a new program called The Young Performers Series. This program allows young performers (ages 8–14) to play leads in shows were the teenage group would normally play leads. The first show in this series was Cinderella, August 6 & 7. 2010. The second show of the 2010-2011 season was A Thousand Cranes and Seagirl, a pair of two one-acts, February 4–6, 2011.
In the summer of 2011, the Young Performers Series show was The Wizard of Oz, and was performed with the older age group, with the 10-14 age group being limited to playing munchkins. The 2012 spring show was Monkey Magic, and the summer show was Godspell.
In Fall 2012, the upper age limit was extended to 16 to accommodate for I Never Saw Another Butterfly, which contains mature themes. The 2013 Summer YPS show will be two one-acts, The Falcon and The Masque of Beauty and the Beast.
YPS has been notable for repeating shows that Studio East has not done for several years, such as Godspell (10 years) and The Falcon (7 years). The Spring 2012 production of Monkey Magic was also the first non-Shakespeare straight play at the Studio since A Little Princess in 2009.
Summer Teen Musical
Beginning in 1998, Studio East has produced a musical every summer around the end of July at the Kirkland Performance Center. Although the shows began as just an extension of the family friendly season, with shows such as Oklahoma! and The Music Man, the program has shifted to focus on shows of more mature nature, such as 2006's Footloose and 2009's Sweeney Todd (A notable exception being The Wizard of Oz (2011), performed to be the YPS summer show as well).
Notable show changes include:
- In 2009, West Side Story was announced, but was changed to Sweeney Todd due to the announcement of the same show by Village Theatre later that year.
- In 2012, Legally Blonde was announced, but was changed just before auditions to a production of Thoroughly Modern Millie.
As of Summer 2013, only five shows have been repeated:
- Grease and Wizard of Oz were both done as mainstage shows (2001 and 2004/2008, respectively) before being done as Summer Teen Musicals (2008 and 2011, respectively).
- Sweeney Todd is the only show to be done as a Summer Teen Musical (2009) before being done as a mainstage show (2013)
- Thoroughly Modern Millie and Les Misérables are the only two shows to be done as a Summer Teen Musical twice (2007 and 2012 for Millie, 2003 and 2013 for Les Miz).
Young Actors Professional Intensive is a six-week theater program for serious acting students. YAPI students pursue college-level classes including Audition Technique, Acting for the Camera, Scene Study, Shakespeare, Combat, Improvisation, Musical Theater, The Business and more. At the conclusion of the program, students have an opportunity to travel to New York City to see Broadway shows.
KPC partnership (defunct)
From 2005-2007, Studio East produced a spring show in partnership with the Kirkland Performance Center. These included (in order): The Music Man, Fiddler on the Roof, and Gypsy. However, the spring 2008 KPC Musical, Oliver!, was not a partnership with Studio East, and KPC has not produced a spring musical since then.