Arts and Entertainment

King’s West thespians set to showcase talents

King’s West thespians will perform the King’s West Production Company’s second production of the year, “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten,” beginning May 9 at King’s West School. - Wesley Remmer/staff photo
King’s West thespians will perform the King’s West Production Company’s second production of the year, “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten,” beginning May 9 at King’s West School.
— image credit: Wesley Remmer/staff photo

The whirlwind of life often blows our simple moral values out the door, swooping them away in politics, money and the daily grind, clouding what’s really important.

But beginning May 9, King’s West thespians will get back to basics, performing in the King’s West Performance Company’s second major production of the school year, Robert Fulghum’s “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.”

Conceived and adapted by Ernest Zulia, with music and lyrics by David Caldwell, the show combines music, comedy and drama to tell a series of stories reflecting the lessons learned along the path of life.

“It’s a collection of his stories from several books,” director Peggy Whelan said. “It’s a combination of comedy, music and drama.”

Fulghum’s work uses the “Kindergarten Creed” as a framework to living a happy life, a set of moral principles that if followed by everybody would lead to a more peaceful world.

“Share everything ... Play fair ... Don’t hit people,” the creed begins, unfolding into a set of core values.

Whelan’s version of the performance is what she called a “reflection of life,” implementing a series of short, unrelated scenes to illustrate and tell stories about the different stages of life.

“They’ve really had to do their homework,” Whelan said of the cast, preparing to act as a wide range of characters. “They are very passionate about what they do.”

Ranging from singing pigs to treating cancer, each act in the show takes on a different issue.

“Some (scenes) are very poignant, some are very funny,” Whelan said, describing the range of emotions the play will present. “There will probably be tears of laughter, and tears of joy.”

Each performer in the 10-member cast, Whelan said, was challenged to identify with each character they embody on stage.

“This is a really interesting play because it’s done in a lot of small vignettes,” cast member Allison Kramer said. “We really have to find different characters in our own self, and each (character) has to be just as well developed (as the next).”

Rehearsing every day after school, the entire cast is excited to finally hit the stage.

“I really like seeing everything fit together, all the different characters,” Kramer said.

And while Whelan chose to keep parts of the play a secret, meaning surprise will be in store for the audience, she made one promise during a Tuesday rehearsal.

“Opening Night is always magical,” she said.

Performances are scheduled through May 18 on Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Doors open 30 minutes before curtain. The performance is recommended for ages 11 and up as the setting is quiet and intimate.

Tickets cost $9 for adults, $7 for seniors and students, and $5 for KW students.

For tickets and more information, call Janis Miller at (360) 377-7700.

The King’s West Performance Company also is inviting mothers and their families to attend a Mother’s Day dessert prior to curtain at the May 11 shows, beginning at 1 and 5 p.m.

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