Catch a summer play under the trees

(From left) Adrienne Easton “Henrietta,” Linnea Svensson “Luisa” and Peter Stone “Mortimer” act out a scene in the Mountaineer Player’s rendition of “The Fantasticks” at Kitsap Forest Theater. - Courtesy photo
(From left) Adrienne Easton “Henrietta,” Linnea Svensson “Luisa” and Peter Stone “Mortimer” act out a scene in the Mountaineer Player’s rendition of “The Fantasticks” at Kitsap Forest Theater.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

With summer days spent trying to stay cool, the Mountaineer Players and Kitsap Forest Theater invite anyone with a palette for the theater for an afternoon of cool breezes, swaying trees, floral fragrances and Broadway entertainment.

The Mountaineer Players will be putting on their rendition of “The Fantasticks,” a famous Broadway musical that has run for more than 40 years at the Kitsap Forest Theater in Seabeck. The play opens at 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 4. Tickets are $13 prepaid or $15 at the door for adults and $8 prepaid or $10 at the door for children 18 and younger. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at Kitsap Mall in Silverdale, Liberty Bay Books in Poulsbo, the Mountaineers in Seattle or online at

In the lush setting of the Kitsap Forest Theater in Seabeck, the audience can enjoy not only the music talents of the actors and actresses, but also that of surrounding songbirds, critters and medleys of nature.

“(The theater) is in a very unique setting,” said Mountaineers spokesman Tony Stephano. “You’re right in the middle of a forest.”

In stadium seating style, the stage is set at the base of many rows of bleachers. The actors are one with nature during their entire performance as their stage is the forest floor. Acting among leaves, twigs and underbrush, all becomes a setting for the featured presentation.

“The thing that’s interesting is here you are not too far from a city and you’re walking through a beautiful forest,” Stephano said. “Local people performing makes it very intimate and makes you feel good.”

“The Fantasticks” is a musical based on a book by Tom Jones. It has become the longest running musical in the world. It boasts a moving tale of young lovers who become disillusioned, only to discover a more mature, meaningful love that is punctuated by a series of catchy and memorable songs.

“Because we’re outdoors, we always try to make the show match and work with the outdoors,” said musical director Craig Schieber. “It’s a small cast with beautiful music.”

Although the show boasts minimal costumes, a small band and virtually non-existent set, “The Fantasticks” is an intimate show that engages audience imagination while showcasing a strong cast. With quippy poetry, sophisticated theatrics and memorable musical numbers, “The Fantasticks” is a timeless tale of love.

Schieber said the twist that the Mountaineers are putting on the popular musical, other than its outdoor setting, is the theme is designed to take place during the 1920s, which is the same decade the Kitsap Forest Theater was constructed.

“We feel it’s a pretty unique take on the show,” Schieber said.

For more information on the musical or tickets, call (206) 284-6310 or (800) 573-8484.

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