EDITORIAL | Holidays take to our stages

One of the greatest things about living on South Whidbey is our theatrical community and the untold thousands of hours put in by hundreds of actors, dancers, directors and stage hands to bring magic to our holiday season.

Where else can one find three fine holiday stage productions within city blocks of each other, if we had city blocks. The amazing Charlene Brown is finishing her 20th year leading “The Nutcracker,” with its final showings this weekend at the South Whidbey High School Auditorium. This incredible production annually features our finest artists of virtually all disciplines and should not be missed. For tickets call 341-2221 or visit www.widtonline.org.

Meanwhile, “Scrooge, The Musical,” has been entertaining crowds at WICA in Langley, featuring a cast of extremely talented locals dedicated to putting on a show of professional quality. We can always count on WICA Executive Director Stacie Burgua and her talented minions to make the holidays memorable. The final show is tonight so get your tickets early. Visit tickets@wicaonline.com or call 221-8268. The theater is located at 565 Camano Ave. in Langley.

Joining the holiday fun is Whidbey Children’s Theater, founded many years ago by Martha Murphy and still very much contributing to South Whidbey’s cultural scene. These talented children are presenting Roald Dahl’s “Willy Wonka Junior” through Dec. 22, with shows Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m. For tickets, call 221-2282. Their theater is located on Anthes Avenue in Langley.

We are indeed blessed to have the dedicated people necessary to keep the theatrical arts alive in our community, not only for audiences but for performers. For every child viewer that gets a lifetime of memorable images implanted in their minds, there is another child learning to dance, sing, speak clearly in front of an audience, and work seamlessly with others.

The performing arts are an integral part of our community. It’s unfortunate that the Great Recession and the accompanying great migration from our schools has made it hard to keep a high-level arts program continuing in our schools, but the community is helping there, too, with an artist in residence program and other efforts.

The arts have had an immeasurably positive impact in this community for several decades now. Help keep it going by attending one or more of our holiday shows this weekend and next.

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