Arts & Entertainment: Lakewood Playhouse celebrates 75 years

  • THEATRE. The Lakewood Playhouse has since erected a memorial wall for Marcus Walker and renamed a street in his memory. (Photo by Steve Dunkelberger)

  • WALKER. City Councilmember Walter Neary honored Lakewood Playhouse Director Marcu Walker for his efforts in building community theater in the city. (Photo by Steve Dunkelberger)

Lakewood Playhouse will mark a milestone when the stage lights flicker on Friday night, Sept. 13.

“Arsenic and Old Lace,” will mark the community theater’s 75th anniversary, entertaining generations of South Sound residents with more than 400 shows.

Lakewood Playhouse opened in 1938 and has evolved with the city since its incorporation in 1996. An intimate theater seating 167, Lakewood Playhouse is the oldest “black box” theater in Washington. The black box theater environment concentrates on the theatrical performances, with minimal sets, and it parallels the playhouse’s focus on community.

“Theater is created through the relationship between performers and their audience,” said Lakewood Playhouse Managing Artistic Director John Munn. “Theater is like a family, and we look forward to many more generations of designers, actors, directors and audience members who will join ours for years to come. We can’t wait to share this momentous anniversary and 75th season with the community.”

During its 75 years, the playhouse has flourished, thanks to the Lakewood community’s involvement and love of the performing arts. Volunteers have donated more than a million hours as designers, actors, directors and front of the house staff. Additionally, the Lakewood Playhouse Institute of Theatre offers an education program to build confidence and theatrical skills. More than 4,500 children and young adults have graduated from the program during the last 15 years.

“Our community is fortunate to have a cultural gem for the performing arts such as the Lakewood Playhouse,” said Ellie Chambers-Grady, economic development manager for the City of Lakewood. “We’re looking forward to the 75th season and to someday celebrating the Playhouse’s centennial anniversary.”

Schedule of events

4:30 p.m. – Ribbon cutting with the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce and special guests Deputy Mayor Jason Whalen and City Councilwoman Marie Barth.

5:30 p.m. – Proclamation of “Lakewood Playhouse Day” from the City of Lakewood.

6:00 p.m. – Silent auction and wine and cheese reception generously donated by 21 Cellars Wine and hors d’oeuvres from Carr’s Restaurant.

8:00 p.m. – Performance of “Arsenic and Old Lace.”

9:00 p.m. – Live auction to support the Lakewood Institute of Theatre and the building endowment. Auction items include glass artwork, signed memorabilia from Broadway shows as well as memorabilia from Dustin Hoffman and Jerry Lewis.


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