Circle Members Spotlight: The Beguns

An interview with Shayna and Andrew Begun, Circles Members at The 5th on why they love it here and why supporting The 5th is important to them.

Beguns at First Date

Shayna and Andrew Begun
Subscribers – 8 years
Donors – 7 years

What does coming to The 5th mean for you?

Andrew bought me season tickets for my birthday in 2008, and Cabaret was our first show. We have been hooked ever since! It started as just a guaranteed “date night” once in a while, and with two toddlers at home that was much needed! Now with the kids getting older, we are enjoying introducing them to our love of musical theater with shows like The Sound of Music, Oliver!, A Christmas Story and Les Miserables. We are so lucky to live in a community with such an amazing arts and music community, and we have loved becoming a part of that through our contributions to The 5th.

What do you enjoy most about The 5th?

From the second we walk in the door of The 5th we feel right at home. We are always greeted with a warm smile from the staff and volunteers, and then we sit down and are amazed at the beauty that happens on the stage and in the pit for each show.

Why do you support The 5th?

We believe that music and the arts are a critical part of our community. Our children are lucky to attend a public school that has a focus on the arts/drama, but we know that sadly this isn’t common across the country. The 5th Avenue’s Education and Outreach programs are phenomenal and we support The 5th so that they can continue to offer and expand these programs.

What has been your favorite musical at The 5th?

It is so hard to pick just one! Shayna’s favorites were Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and First Date. Joseph brought back great memories because it was a musical production that she played in the pit of during a summer performance in high school, and First Date because it had her laughing from start to finish. Andrew has particularly enjoyed the development of 5th Avenue premieres including A Christmas Story, Memphis, and First Date from The 5th Avenue stage to their Broadway and traveling incarnations.

Andrew and Shayna live in Redmond and have two young children. Andrew is originally from Princeton, NJ and Shayna is from Fargo, ND, but they moved to the Seattle area after college and began careers at Microsoft. Shayna later left Microsoft to spend more time with the kids and has become very involved in volunteering at their school while pursuing her interest in yoga. When not at The 5th, the entire family loves enjoying the Pacific Northwest, skiing and cycling.

Click here to find out more about Circles Membership.

Interview by CHRISTINE JOHNSON, Circles Manager

The Art of Making Music: 2016 Director’s Dinner

On January 8th, The 5th’s Executive Producer and Artistic Director, David Armstrong hosted the annual Director’s Dinner and presented a discussion on The Art of Making Music. Fifty Director’s Circle members gathered on the historic 5th Avenue stage to enjoy a festive dinner by Duos and participate in a discussion with Larry Blank, Jason deBord, and Ian Eisendrath.

deBord, Blank, Walsh, Eisendrath
Left to right: Special Guests Jason deBord and Larry Blank with Connie Walsh and Ian Eisendrath

The theme of the evening was focused on how the music makes a musical. Our guests learned about the impact orchestrators, conductors, musical directors, and dance arrangers play in shaping the story on stage.

Mr. Blank received a Drama Desk Award for orchestrations for A Christmas Story (which premiered at The 5th in 2010) and has been nominated for both the Tony Award® and the Drama Desk Award for his orchestrations in The Drowsy Chaperone, Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, and Catch Me If You Can (also heard at the 5th Avenue).

Bloome, Kagan, Porters
Left to right: Board Members Sharon Bloome and Richard Kagan with Beth and Buzz Porter

Mr. deBord was the Resident Music Supervisor for Once, as well as conductor/music director for RENT and Priscilla Queen of the Desert. At The 5th, he was associate music director and associate conductor on  Shrek – The Musical, dance arranger for Yankee Doodle Dandy and is joining the team as dance arranger for with the upcoming production of Paint Your Wagon.

Mr. Eisendrath is The 5th Avenue’s Music Supervisor and Alhadeff Family Director of New Works. Most recently, he was the music supervisor conductor and arranger for the highly acclaimed Seattle Repertory Theatre and LaJolla Playhouse co-production of Come From Away, a new musical developed here at the 5th Avenue.

Atkinson, Covey, Weber, Crowe, Weber
Left to right: Linda Atkinson, Marilyn Covey, Jeffrey Weber, Barbara Crowe, Karen Weber

This once a year opportunity to engage with artists and explore the 5th Avenue stage in its raw form was a fun and informative experience enjoyed by all!

For more information on how you can become a Circles member, please call Christine Johnson at 206.260.2171.

The Votes Are In!

At the end of the 2014/15 season, we asked our subscribers to vote on the highlights of the year, from Outstanding Actor and Actress to Outstanding Lighting Design and Best Musical Moment, in our annual Subscriber Choice Awards. The non-profit 5th Avenue Theatre has over 25,000 subscribers, one of the largest theater subscription bases in the country, and many eagerly participated in the voting. We tallied the votes, and are pleased to announce the recipients of the 2014/15 Subscriber Choice Awards:

Continue reading “The Votes Are In!”

Member Events Provide a Unique Look Behind the Scenes!

All season-long our 5th Avenue Members have special access to events that bring them closer to the art on our stage. These opportunities allow our Members to explore productions beyond the performance, and literally bring them on stage, backstage and into the rehearsal process.

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NextFest at The 5th

NextFest 2015 BeatsvilleWhat a thrilling summer it was atThe 5th Avenue Theatre! Over four weekends in July and August, The 5th held its first-ever New Works festival–NextFest!  Circles donors had the opportunity see and hear eight new musicals at various stages of development—from a first read-through to a fully staged studio presentation. The festival allowed our donors a chance to see and hear the work of established and up-and-coming writers, lyricists, & composers while fully engaging in the development of new musicals.

Continue reading “NextFest at The 5th”