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Taproot Theatre celebrates 25th anniversary


The Taproot Theatre Company, located at 204 N. 85th in Greenwood, is celebrating its 25th anniversary.

The live theater company was founded in March 1976 and was originally located on the campus of Seattle Pacific University.

In 1977, Ray Rupert of the Seattle Times wrote: "Six young people in pursuit of a dream which older heads might consider unlikely, if not impossible, have formed the Taproot Theatre Company..."

Today, Taproot employs 22 staff members who manage the activities of the company. Included in those activities are a year-round production schedule of six main stage plays with 158 performances at Typewrites permanent 226-seat theater space, an acting studio and a touring company, which performed 271 times in the past calendar year.

Scott Nolte, one of Taproot's founding members, serves as the company's Producing Artistic Director. Under his watch, the company has enjoyed steady growth in both size and reputation. In the 1980s, Taproot was a regional leader in school touring. In the 1990s, the company undertook and completed a $1 million capital campaign to turn a former movie house in Greenwood into a fully-equipped theatre for live plays.

Single ticket and subscription sales have continued to increase every year since the opening of the refurbished theater building in 1996.

Taproot gave a total of 546 performances last year, counting its mainstage, touring and workshop productions, to a combined audience of more than 125,000 people.

As part of its 25th celebration year, Taproot held a "Silver to Gold Gala" on March 17, featuring a banquet, entertainment and awards ceremony honoring the company's past 25 years. The gala also served as the occasion for launching Taproot's Sterling Fund, a fundraising campaign whose goal is to raise $250,000 to provide a protected financial reserve for the company's future.


Taproot, which kicked its 25th season off in February with a production of George S. Kaufman's "You Can't Take It With You," is scheduled to perform its next play, Robert Schenkkan's "Heaven On Earth," April 6-May 5. The play is described as a comedy involving a "30-something prodigal (who) challenges his devout grandmother to a duel over the existence of God. ..."

"When an image of Jesus appears on an abandoned freezer in grandma's yard, neither knows quite what to do. But it doesn't take long for Bobby Jr. to start cashing in on the Lourdes of West Texas while Martha watches in dismay as her world falls apart. It takes a savvy beauty parlor operator and a mysterious stranger to uncover the realities that hide inside a much deeper miracle waiting to be discovered..."

"Heaven On Earth" is directed by Nolte. The cast includes Patsy Benson as Martha, M. Christopher Boyer (Taproot's managing director) as Tom Dooley, Mark Lund as Bobby Jr., Matt McNerny as John Morrow, Shawn Michael Law as Miguel and Kim Morris as Jessie. For more information, contact Taproot at 781-9707. (