Spotlight on Encore! Theater


Linda L Anderson, KP News

Kathleen McGilliard has been performing since early childhood, using her gifts to entertain, to teach and to bring the theater experience to the community year after year.

The cast of the heavenly musical “Monky Business", which opens at Encore! Theater, located at 6615 38th Avenue Northwest, on March 2 and runs through March 18. Photo courtesy Encore!

With her birthday in January, McGilliard was delayed a year in starting school. Her mother, looking for something to challenge and occupy her child for another year, enrolled her in a dance class in Tacoma. McGilliard has been dancing and performing in theaters ever since. She has been a part of the Tacoma Ballet Co. and Tacoma Little Theater. She performed in college, where she earned a bachelor of science degree and then a master’s in fine arts. From there, McGilliard went on to teach at a New York college.

She returned to her roots and established the Gig Harbor School of Fine Arts, through which she was able to teach and produce both theater and dance performances. In 1973 she became a part of the Performance Circle — the Encore Theater, the production part of the operation. This group puts on four indoor and three outdoor stage productions each year plus a unique version of The Nutcracker.

One Lakebay resident, whose family are ardent theater goers, said, “We have enjoyed a number of performances at the Encore Theater over the years. One thing I really like is that they do add a comic flair to many of the stories and that is fun.”

All performers of the Encore Theater are volunteers who work very hard to bring a positive theater experience to our community; among them are Key Pen residents. The next show begins March 2.

In addition to performing, McGilliard offers weeklong theater workshops for children during various school breaks. This program is called the Encore Youth Theater. Children attend classes from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and, at the end of the week, perform a play before an audience. This is not only a great experience for the children of our community, but a helping hand to working parents who need some sort of daycare for their children when school is not in session.


‘Monky Business’

Performances for “Monky Business” will run March 2-18, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Organizers say this madcap show has been called the male version of “Nunsense.”

Written by Todd Mueller and Hank Boland, with music and lyrics by Gregg Opelka, “Monky Business” tells the story of the fun-loving monks of Saint Bernard’s monastery who just happen to be in a jam. Abbot Costello and the other brothers have just learned their monastery is to be turned into a gambling casino called Bernie’s Casino Royale unless the monks can earn $250,000 by midnight. The brothers have rented the WGOD radio station and are hosting a radiothon fundraiser with high hopes to raise the money with their singing dancing and vaudeville routines. All is going well, but one of the monks is really a devil in disguise and is out to sabotage their plans. Call 858-2282 for prices and reservations.[/box]