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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, May 15, 2015 - Volume 43 Issue 20
Centerstage presents For All That - A Major New Musical
Arts & Entertainment
ALL STORIES
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Centerstage presents For All That - A Major New Musical

CENTERSTAGE
FOR ALL THAT
KNUTZEN FAMILY THEATRE
DUMAS BAY CENTRE
May 1-24
For All That is a new musical by Alan Bryce and John Forster.

When war overwhelmed Europe in 1914, families were torn apart, lives were shattered and the world was changed forever. This is the story of two Scottish brothers and the woman they both loved during that time. With a breathtaking score, drawn from the masterpieces of the Scottish tradition, this epic tale promises to lift your spirits at the triumph of human nature in the face of adversity.

Recommended for 13+.

An hour before each show you can listen to the writer, Alan Bryce, as he gives in depth information and background about For All That. Free with your ticket to the show!

The Story
On July 1st, 1916, British and French forces attacked entrenched German positions astride the River Somme in rural northeastern France. It was a beautiful summer's day. By nightfall that evening, the British army had suffered 60,000 casualties, most of those in the first hour. It remains the bloodiest day in the history of the British Army.

Going over in the second attacking wave at 9:00 a.m., was a regiment drawn largely from the Scottish Isle of Lewis: The 2nd Battalion of the Seaforth Highlanders. Their story has been largely forgotten - obscured by the horrific sacrifices that surrounded them. Nonetheless, by roll call at noon that day, half of the 800 Seaforth men had fallen.

When Centerstage Artistic Director and playwright Alan Bryce came across their story while reading the Seaforth's War Diary of that day, being a Scot - and a playwright - he resolved to tell the tale onstage. The result is a major new musical: For All That.

'It's more than just a war story,' said Alan Bryce. 'It's a love story...about two brothers who both loved the same woman. But it has to be more than that, too.

'July 1st 1916 was a seminal day in the history of Western civilization. It was a day when the old world died forever, when the young men who fought and survived the carnage of the Somme began to question the world that had raised and nurtured them. It's my thesis that the twentieth century began on July 1st, 1916.'

Background
Alan Bryce spent the summer of 2013 in Europe. He visited the Somme Battlefield, researched extensively at the Imperial War Museum, spoke to leading historians of the period. He interviewed scholars, soldiers, ministers and musicians. He spent several days in the Seaforth Highlanders' regimental archive at Fort George in Inverness, Scotland. And finally, he spent two weeks on the Isle of Lewis, submerging himself in the culture and history of that beautiful island.

The Creative Team
Alan contacted his old friend, Karen Archer, a member of The Royal Shakespeare Company and bluntly asked 'who is the best young director in London?' Without hesitation, Ms. Archer recommended Eleanor Rhode. To arrange and compose the music, Bryce selected 5-time Grammy nominee, John Forster, who has a Broadway show and two off-Broadway shows to his nameĀ¬ to mention hits he has written for artists as diverse as Judy Collins, Roseanne Cash and Faith Hill.

The Cast
The casting process took several months - stretching from September 2014 through March of this year. Ms. Rhode and John Forster attended the first round of auditions in person and subsequent rounds were held by Skype or through recordings and forwarded to the director in London and the composer in New York. Playing the central character of Mairi is Katherine Jett, who will next appear in Godspell at Taproot Theatre. Playing the two brothers are Cooper Harris-Turner and Joshua Williamson. Featured in the many ensemble roles (in a cast of 19) are Seattle stalwarts Kate Witt, Allan Armstrong, Simon Pringle, Jamie Pederson and many others. The set is designed by Craig Wollam, with costumes by Janessa Jayne Styck, lighting by Christina Barrigan and music direction by Josh Zimmerman.

Reservations
For All That runs May 1-24 with performances Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., with Saturday matinees at 2 p.m. on May 14th and 23rd, and Sundays at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $30 adults; $25 for seniors and military; $10 for 25 years and younger. For special deals, patrons can call the Box Office at 253-661-1444. Tickets may also be purchased online at www.centerstagetheatre.com.

Centerstage and the Knutzen Family Theatre are located at the Dumas Bay Centre, 3200 SW Dash Point Rd, Federal Way, WA.

CENTERSTAGE is Federal Way's resident theatre company. It was founded in 1977. The company has produced shows at the Knutzen Family Theatre on the shores of Puget Sound since 1998. Artistic Director Alan Bryce is committed to producing 'innovative, accomplished productions of popular work and for new work with the widest possible audience appeal.' In April 2009, the City of Federal Way awarded Centerstage the contract to manage the Knutzen Family Theatre. The contract was renewed in April 2012 and again this year.

Courtesy of Centerstage

'Centerstage's For All That is a phenomenal show. I left the theater wondering how I could possibly review it when it left me speechless. In many ways this performance is the best thing I've seen on stage in years...For All That should go from here to major theaters across the land. I advise you to see it while it is here.'
-Alec Clayton, blogger, (The Tacoma News Tribune)

http://alecclayton.blogspot.com/2015/05/love-and-war-and-music.html#links

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