StoryBook Theater and Studio East

The final production of the StoryBook Theater season at Kirkland Performance Center will be a brand new production of Beauty and the Beast, opening April 23. This musical adaptation, designed for children from age 3-9, features a beast that is anything but beastly.

One of the cardinal rules of StoryBook Theater is that the stories cannot be scary-even to the youngest member of our audience.

As with all StoryBook shows, this 55-minute musical features adult professional actors, accompanied by an onstage musician.

Beauty and the Beast runs April 23 through May 1 at Kirkland Performance Center, 350 Kirkland Avenue. Public performances are Saturdays at 11, 1 and 3 p.m. and Sundays at 1 and 3 p.m. All tickets are $7.50, plus a $1 KPC box office service fee. To order tickets, call the KPC box office at 893-9900. Weekday school matinees are available for preschool and primary school groups of 10 or more. Please call 827-3123 for information on school shows.

StoryBook Theater is produced by Kirkland-based Studio East, Training for the Performing Arts, which offers year-round classes, workshops and youth theater productions for ages 4 through 19.

Currently the Studio is registering students for its eight-week spring quarter classes, as well as a wide variety of summer theater camps and programs. On the Studio East Mainstage (402 Sixth Street South, Kirkland) a student production of the musical "Honk!" will be performed weekends through April 10. "Honk!" is a full length adaptation of the fable of the "Ugly Duckling." Performances are Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. Tickets range from $9-$11. To order tickets or for more information on classes and summer programs, call Studio East at 827-3123.

It's been a big year for Studio East. This past winter, when the Kirkland Municipal Court moved out of the building it shared with Studio East and McDonald's Insurance, the Studio took the opportunity to lease an additional 1,200 square feet of space. The additional footage gave the Studio room for a large classroom, two new offices, a meeting/work room and lots of much-needed storage space.

The addition is bigger than the entire original home of Studio East, back in 1993, when it first opened its doors back in the basement of a building in downtown Kirkland. That first year the entire operating budget for Studio East was under $80,000. Slightly more than a decade later, Studio East is a respected Eastside arts and arts education resource that serves more than 2,000 students each year. More than 60,000 children and adults attend Studio East and StoryBook Theater performances each season, and the organization's annual operating budget is running almost $1 million per year.

For more about Studio East and StoryBook Theater, visit[[In-content Ad]]