The Anacortes live theater is a one-of-a-kind small-town gem

Photos and text copyright National Lilac Publishing, LLC

My now grown kids grew up with the Anacortes live theater -- The Anacortes Community Theatre (ACT) to be exact. It’s a longstanding community live theater -- and it’s still going strong. (Anacortes also has a great movie cinema, also.)                                        

The small town of Anacortes has even had its tiny share of Hollywood star citizens who sometimes performed for the larger concerts in town or even this local live theater itself, including the late Burl Ives and TJ Fantini - - natural born singer and actor who grew up here, took part in local town plays and musical events, then went on to get chosen as a television Disney Mickey Mouse Club child singer/actor.

But he returned to our Anacortes home town during a break and played a part in one of Anacortes theater's holiday plays. I remember how many of us thought it was so interesting that he had to get “permission” from Disney to act in his old Anacortes Community Theatre!

But mostly, this small town live theater is about the hidden talent of our local grocery clerks, at-home dads, plumbers and elementary teachers entertaining us all by expressing themselves through acting as a second (or hidden first) passion in their lives.

Our live theater in Anacortes has its own charming old building to perform in. Favorite dramas and comedies they’ve put on over the years include the King and I, and The Odd Couple written to switch the genders so the odd couple roommates are two women instead of two men.

They also put on musicals including The Sound of Music and Annie. And, they always have a winter holiday play. In the past they’ve put on A Christmas Carol, and a charming lesser-known musical acted by all local children (including my daughter when she was about 12). Many plays at this theater include adults and kids. 

My two kids both acted in various plays in the Anacortes theater and my son was a backstage helper for Annie. I recently donated some no-longer-used costumes and an overhead projector to them. I love supporting them.

They’re also affiliated with an Anacortes performing arts school: Class Act -- Anacortes Community Theater’s School for the Performing Arts where they teach all ages not only about live acting, but the other non-acting aspects of live theater.

This means that along with the regular full play productions at the Anacortes theater, there is something called “second stage” where the people in the local acting school get to perform on the actual Anacortes Community Theatre stage in front of an audience -- in this case usually with free admission.

They offer dinner theaters (although the dinner itself is served beforehand in the lower level of the theater rather than during the show in the seating area), and they also allow free viewings as first come first serve to their main performance's dress rehearsals.

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