Dane Stokinger and Joshua Carter in 'Trails'  Photo Credit: Mike Hipple

There are a lot of reasons to check out live theater outside of Seattle. The hustle and bustle that it takes to manuever through downtown streets in time for an 8:00 p.m. curtain call can be nerve wracking. The drive in, compiled with extremely limited street parking, adds costs and headache to a night that’s supposed to be fun and entertaining. To top it off, the bigger theater houses seem bent on bringing us plays and musicals adapted from films. Not a lot of new creativity going on for those who want to see and hear something fresh.

For a night out on the town with less hassle I suggest taking in a night in Issaquah at their Village Theatre. It has a state of the art stage, sound and lighting system, that creates a more intimate atmosphere. You don’t have to pay $100 a seat to have a good vantage point and you can arrive twenty minutes before curtain, park for free, and be in the door in a timely manner. Your first thought might be quality of the production. From what I’ve seen, including last month’s ‘Mousetrap,‘ the stage craft and the plays offered rival that of Seattle. For the cost (see below) I think it’s a great choice for a night out on the town without the headache.

There’s also another reason you might not be familiar with: The Village Theatre is making good on its commitment to nurturing new musicals. From the creative team of Christy Hall (book), Jordan Mann (lyrics), and Jeff Thomson (music), comes a more traditional musical that takes place in a non-traditional setting called ‘Trails.’ It takes place along the Appalachians Mountain Trail (2,000+ miles long) where old childhood friends attempt to reconnect their friendships. Over the course of their hike, they discover and explore each other’s new lives and how their early beginnings shaped who they are now. In particular, the love they both share for a woman.

The ‘Trails’ cast members include: Dane Stokinger (Mike), Joshua Carter (Seth), Kirsten deLohr Helland (Amy), John Patrick Lowrie, Bobbi Kotula and Sarah Rose Davis. It is directed by Eric Ankrim and R.J. Tancioco is the music director. Jen Zeyl, Robert Aguilar, Chelsea Blum and Brent Warwick are the set, lighting, costume and sound designers (respectively).

Tickets on sale now for both theaters.

Issaquah Run: March 14 – April 21, 2013
Everett Run: April 26 – May 19, 2013

Francis J. Gaudette Theatre
303 Front Street North Issaquah, WA 98027
Box Office: (425) 392-2202

Everett Performing Arts Center
2710 Wetmore Avenue Everett, WA 98201
Box Office: (425) 257-8600

Culture Musical 'Trails' to premiere at Village Theatre in Issaquah