Destinations: Kitsap Forest Theater presents Newsies - with cast members from Lake Forest Park

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Newsies is a hit musical about the 1899 New York newsboys strike
Photo by Alfonso Barrera

By Diane Hettrick

Not only does the current production of Newsies at the Kitsap Forest Theater include four members of the Pettiross family from Lake Forest Park, the producer is a long-time Shoreline resident!

The Forest Theater, just outside of Bremerton on the Kitsap peninsula. is a beautiful place.

A quarter-mile trail transports visitors to another time and place where stories for all ages have come to life since 1923. The presentation of our spring show coincides with the blooming of the wild rhododendrons that grow along the hillsides and down the trail to the theater. 
Generations of theatergoers have enjoyed the scenic drive or ferry ride to the theater, and often come early to picnic under the firs before the trail to the theater opens at 1:00 pm. Enjoy the treehouse play structure or hike to Big Tree before or after the show.

I haven't been there since it was called the Mountaineers Theater but I still remember the deep forest and the 8 foot tall rhododendrons. The theater is in a deep, natural amphitheatre surrounded with rows of natural seating built into the hillside. The "footlights" are ferns. The whole thing is in the middle of a 460 acre rhododendron preserve.

The Pettiross family in costume for Newsies
Clara Pettiross is in front
Back, from left, Kuran, Vicki, Jeff
Photo courtesy Mountaineers Players

The Pettiross Family of Lake Forest Park is hooked on the Forest Theater.

Last year the dad and daughter, Jeff and Clara, 12, appeared in their first shows at Kitsap. For Peter Pan Jeff was a pirate and Clara was a lost boy. For the summer show, they both appeared in the ensemble of Tuck Everlasting. During their time at the theater, the Mom, Vicki, and son Kuran, 16, volunteered as ushers and Kuran even began learning about running the sound board.

The entire family had so much fun being part of the theater in the woods that they decided they should all audition for the 2019 season. For the spring show Jeff is appearing as Mr. Pulitzer, Vicki is the Mayor, and both kids are Newsies in the ensemble. It has been a great bonding experience to do theater together and more special by being out in nature.

The producer for the Mountaineers is Gala Lindvall of Shoreline. She has been producing shows at the Forest Theater since 1999 but has been going to the shows since 1987. She says that living in Richmond Beach makes it easy to get to the Edmonds ferry - but be sure to go early during the summer months.

It's a family affair for the Lindvalls too. Gala's husband Brian Lindvall is also in the show, playing Bunson, who works in Pulitzer's office.

Newsies at the Kitsap Forest Theater
June 1-2, 8-9m, 15-16 at 2pm
Doors open at 1pm
3000 Seabeck Hwy. Bremerton, WA 98312 

Tickets - $18 adult; $16 adults of 60+, military; $10 youth 6-12
Festival seating. They recommend arriving at 1pm for best choice.

The summer production of the Mountaineers will be Mamma Mia!


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