Our Favorite Things of 2015—From Your Education Department at The 5th Avenue Theatre

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2015 has been a truly incredible year full of engaging and inspiring educational programming for audiences of all ages. Each of us in the Education Department here at The 5th is grateful for the opportunity to work with an amazing community of students, patrons and donors who support our work year after year. There are many favorite moments from the past year, but here are just a few:

“In 2015 our Adventure Musical Theater Touring Company production was Baseball Saved Us, a musical that told the story of a Japanese American family from Seattle who was sent to an internment camp in Idaho during WWII. One of my absolute favorite memories from that production was when we coordinated a shared performance for local elementary students and members of the Japanese American community who had lived through the internment camps. It was amazing to watch an audience, aged 5-95 (three generations!), watch, respond and interact with the story and then share their own stories!”

LAUREN RUHL, Adventure Musical Theater Coordinator

1516_Edu Wrap Up_SoM School Matinee
Photo by Kwapi Vengesayi

“Our sold out school performance of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The Sound of Music was amazing. To look out at the audience of nearly 2000 students who arrived by bus from cities as far away as Yakima to see this classic musical was inspiring. Even more so when I talked to students afterward who were giddy with excitement and energy. Many of them told me this was their first time seeing a show, and thanked me for the opportunity.”

ANYA RUDNICK, Director of Education and Outreach

“One of my favorite experiences was working with the Thai Association of Washington and the local Thai community on our production of Waterfall. Every project and event we collaborated on, from Show Talks to the Waterfall meet and greet, the Thai Festival to Royal Orchid providing dinner for the cast, was planned with genuine excitement and executed with a sincere desire to build bridges between The 5th Avenue Theatre and the Thai community.”

KWAPI VENGESAYI, Community Engagement Specialist

“Some of my favorite things included watching the Outstanding Overall nominees perform on stage at The 5th during the The 5th Avenue Awards ceremony, seeing the young actors who play the children in  The Sound of Music come to see their understudies speak at Show Talk and having the opportunity to share my excitement about The 5th Avenue Awards: Honoring High School Musical Theater with teachers at our first Educator’s Night.”

CONNIE CORRICK, Education Programs Manager

1516_Edu Wrap Up_Next Fest Charlie Johnson
Photo by Charlie Johnson

“One of my favorite things was watching the great group of interns who worked so hard, and learned so much about theater production during Next Fest. They were an incredible group of talented young people who came together to make the festival run smoothly. They gained valuable life skills that will carry them through any career they choose and I was proud to work alongside them for a fantastic series of events.”

BILL BERRY, Producing Artistic Director


“I had many great post-Show Talk conversations this year with folks who had a personal connection with my topics: the eloquent German woman who remembered Lotte Lenya; the man who had been stationed in South Korea in 1965 and saw the Sound of Music film, edited for time with all the songs cut out; and of course Duane Chase (Kurt from the film The Sound of Music), who told hilarious stories of the filming and later shared with me a copy of a letter sent to Oscar Hammerstein in 1956, warning him to turn down the hopeless Trapp Family project.”

ALBERT EVANS, Artistic Associate

“One of my favorite things was hearing the recent KPLU feature on the Rainier Beach High School International Baccalaureate program which is a reminder of the transformative work that is happening in our partner schools. We’ve had the privilege of knowing and creating theater with some amazing RBHS students since 2011.  And it’s also our privilege to be one of the many that are applauding their continuing transformation! Go Vikings!!”

ORLANDO MORALES, Director of Rising Star Project and Internships

By ANYA RUDNICK, Director of Education and Outreach
Group photo by Christine Johnson

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