News and Features

North Bend’s Valley Center Stage prepares for another big season

Left, Danette Meline as Mrs. Bramson and Isaiah James as Danny in Valley Center Stage
Left, Danette Meline as Mrs. Bramson and Isaiah James as Danny in Valley Center Stage's production of 'Night Must Fall.'
— image credit: Photo courtesy of Valley Center Stage

By Evan Pappas

North Bend’s Valley Center Stage is gearing up for another busy season this fall with its debut of their first show on Oct. 14, “Night Must Fall.”

Jim Snyder, artistic director of Valley Center Stage, said last season saw an increase in audience attendance and with another full season of shows planned, the theater has been making great progress.

“It was a full season for us, more shows than we’ve done in the past and every one of them was better attended than we’ve had in the past,” Snyder said. “An uptick in audience and we did a full season. There’s great progress… We are launching into another quite full season.”

Valley Center Stage has chosen five productions to put on this season beginning with “Night Must Fall,” a psychological thriller opening this month.

The next shows include “A Christmas Carol” directed by Gary Schwartz in December, a one-act play festival in February, the comedy-drama “Superior Donuts” in March and the bridesmaid-themed comedy “Five Women Wearing the Same Dress” in May.

The process of choosing which plays to perform at the theater involved polling their actors, directors, and audience, Snyder explained, and taking the list created before the theater’s play selection committee.

“This year was a combination of things. We put out an email and other things to all the members and our email list to send us in the two most compelling shows you’ve seen,” he said. “We had a list of 100 plays sent in. They looked down through that list and came up with suggested shows for us to read. The directors also chose shows they had a specific interest in, between the list and what the directors were passionate about we came up with the season.”

In forming the show schedule, Snyder explained that the play selection committee tried to keep the season varied through genre, subject matter, and community interest.

“Everyone has opinions if the season is varied enough, do we have shows we think the community is interested in? Hitting traditional comedy, intrigue and hitting timely issues,” he said.

“I think our season is fairly well-balanced. We have thriller to a traditional favorite ‘Christmas Carol’ to discussing race (in ‘Superior Donuts’) and ending on a strong comedy to close the season.”

For this season, the theater has created a new schedule to be more consistent with show times among the different productions being run. Every opening weekend will have shows on Friday and Saturday, the next two weekends will have shows on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and a Sunday matinee, Snyder explained.

“Every one of the shows has something special about it which is what makes a great season,” Snyder said. “For me, if I’ve seen show or read a show and keep thinking about it months later, that’s a compelling story.”

Snyder also noted that the work the theater does would not be possible without the help of all the volunteers that spend their time at the theater.

“Night Must Fall,” the theater’s first show of the 2016-17 season, runs until Oct. 29.

For tickets and more information visit valleycenterstage.org.

 

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