CSTOCK Live Community Theater in Kitsap County WA has a rich and longstanding tradition for producing shows that appeal to family audiences.
So it’s not surprising to discover that many of the shows performed by CSTOCK in their theater at the Silverdale Community Center are comprised of cast members which contain entire families.
Such is the case with the recent popular run of CSTOCK’s ‘Music Man,’ the well-known Meredith Wilson hit musical of how ‘Trouble’ comes to a small Midwest town in Iowa in the form of a pool table and a musical instrument peddling flim-flam man named Harold Hill.
An hour before curtain, the ‘Green Room’ (otherwise known as the Poplar Room) is a flurry of pre-show activity. The Beddoe Family (consisting of Dad Dave, Mom Deb, and children Katharine, Calvin, George, and Henry) are busily applying make-up and doing last minute hair touch-up. George is the lone non-acting hold-out, simply content to watch his family perform and consume his fair share of cast refreshments. Henry is the show scene stealer and obvious choice for ‘Most Adorable Actor’ when he struts out on stage towards the end of the show, wearing his ‘Boy’s Band’ uniform and carrying a snare drum almost as big as he is!
The Gray Clan is an equally invested tribe, beginning with Dad Rod who serves on the CSTOCK Board of Directors and lends his vocal/acting skills as one of the four credential-chasing school board quartet members. As one of two Stage Managers, wife Maria keeps the production flowing smoothly each night as she skillfully coordinates nearly 50 cast members and navigates the hard-working stage crew through a myriad of challenging set changes. Their daughters Jenny and Kimberly skillfully portray Amaryllis, the wannabe piano player turned lisp lover, and “Ye Gads” spouting Zaneeta Shin, respectively.
This show signals the 3rd directorial outing for Chris Borer (Damn Yankees and 1940’s Radio Hour). He is the son of veteran C-STOCK legends Dale and Karen Borer. In this production, Karen lends her usual expertise in the light booth, along with younger brother Matthew, while Father Dale skillfully provides light design and performs onstage as River City’s town ‘boob.’
Additional families include father & son, Bill and Billy Buhl; husband & wife Joe and Sharon Martinelli; brother & sister Caitlyn and Cameron McConnell; husband & wife Bob and Clarice Nash; father & son Cameron and Wallace Ross; mother & daughter Maddie and Palmer Scheutzow; husband & wife Jess and Ann Sveen, and daughter Sarah; father & daughter Al and Alli Verhofstadt; father & son Carrey and Rand Wiseman.
It normally begins rather innocently when one member of the family gets bitten by the acting bug. A son or daughter tags along with a friend from school and auditions for a show. Next thing you know, “they’re playing for money in a pinch back suit”…(opps, sorry, just habit!) Then Dad is at the theater on the weekends, helping build sets, and Moms selling refreshments during the performances.
A great example of this during Music Man was Raoul and Rebecca Dominguiano, parents of Abigail (Wa Tan Ye girl) who attended nearly every rehearsal and performance, providing valued supervision of the show’s younger performers. No doubt Abigail’s two younger brothers will find their way up on stage in the near future!
And such is the bittersweet ending to a wonderfully enjoyable and rewarding experience. For two months, you spend nearly 3 hours every weekday in rehearsals with these people. Many weekends you’re either practicing dance steps with the choreographer or building sets. Then a full week of run-through dress rehearsals, followed by opening weekend and 12 performances. You actually end up spending more time with these folks than you do your own ‘real’ family!
Then, suddenly, the show is over. The sense of loss and emptiness is pronounced, almost palpable. It feels as though a small piece of your creative heart and soul has been ripped out, joining together to become part of a larger, cherished collective memory.
And, like a moth to the flame, you audition for the next show, and start the entire process all over!
CSTOCK’s Vision Statement
To be the premier Theatrical Performing Arts Organization in the West Puget Sound.
CSTOCK’s Mission Statement
Provide educational opportunities for all ages.
Provide a significant positive cultural influence.
Provide quality community-oriented entertainment.