Lacey will soon have its own theatrical troupe. Artistic director Kevin McManus explains, “Seven of my closest friends and I gathered together to form a theater company. We got ourselves a little 501(c)(3) license and are heading toward a three-production, inaugural season.”
That fledgling company is Goldfinch Productions. “It’s exciting and a bit intimidating,” McManus says, “but we’re equipped to handle it.”
Audiences may recognize McManus from roles in such shows as Communicating Doors at Olympia Little Theatre, but he’s also made his mark as a director. He helmed Shrek the Musical for Standing Room Only in Yelm and Blithe Spirit at Evergreen Playhouse in Centralia. He’ll helm Goldfinch’s first show, Shakespeare’s pastoral comedy As You Like It, this summer. After a debut at Yelm Prairie Days Festival, he’ll stage the show at Olympia’s LBA and Sunrise Parks in July.
As You Like It is the story of Celia and Rosalind, nobles born to fraternal dukes but hiding in the forest of Arden. When Rosalind’s crush, Orlando, also escapes to the woods, Rosalind commences flirting with him — a seduction complicated by her disguise as a boy. In Arden, it seems, gender and identity are fluid. “All the world’s a stage,” the character Jacques observes, “and all the men and women merely players. They have their exits and their entrances, and one man in his time plays many parts.”
Goldfinch’s rendition stars Amanda Kemp (The Winter’s Tale) as Rosalind, Laura Miller (Clockwork) as Celia and Jalen Penn as Orlando. Jacques is played by Andrea Weston-Smart, the dukes by Miro Bouchakian and Ed Thorpe.
Thorpe, a Goldfinch board member, says the play has “passionate characters from all walks of life, [with] women as the central focus. We believe audiences will respond to shows that are partly a reflection of themselves in dynamic situations. We also hope to produce shows from local playwrights about life in the South Sound.”
As You Like It
2 p.m. Sunday, June 30
Yelm City Park,
115 Mosman Ave. SE, Yelm