In The News 2018-04-05T23:49:56+00:00

In The News, Around The Town

Yo ho, yo ho – a pirate’s life for Eastside Theater

‘Treasure Island,’ ‘Pirates of Penzance,’ open this week at The Chapel in Troutdale

Lisa K. Anderson, Gresham Outlook, Pamplin Media Group, Web June 5, 2018

Ahoy, maties!

Two swashbuckling plays are about to take the stage at Eastside Theater this week: “Treasure Island,” featuring the theater’s young rising star actors, and “Pirates of Penzance,” an all-ages cast.

“We had a “Peter Pan” show earlier this year, and these plays were a great transition for the end of the year,” says Production Manager Jalene Dick. “It’s fun to incorporate the pirate theme again.”

“Treasure Island” tells the thrilling tales of pirates, treasure maps and mutiny on the high seas. The story follows Jim Hawkins, an ordinary kid drawn into a dangerous race for buried treasure against the pirate Long John Silver.

The fun and lighthearted production retells the classic story by Robert Louis Stevenson for audiences of all ages. Both “Treasure Island” and “Pirates of Penzance” feature a cast and crew of 43.

Sidra Cohen-Mallon, a fifth-grader at Oregon Trail Academy, plays Long John Silver. “He’s a wise guy and I like that,” Cohen-Mallon says. “It’s fun to play an evil character — I’ve never done that before. The play has got a lot of action in it.”

Eli Argubright, a Phonics Phactory sixth-grader, plays Jim Hawkins, the young protagonist. His favorite part of the play is getting captured by a bunch of pirates. “It’s been really fun,” Argubright says. “All the actors have been working really hard.”

Phonics Phactory sixth-grader Ethan Knight plays Bill Bones. After playing one of the Lost Boys in “Peter Pan,” playing a pirate is a role reversal for Knight. “I’m like a new person!” Knight jokes. “In the play, I’m always on the run… always filled with adrenaline, trying to get away before I’m caught.”

If you go

‘Treasure Island’

When: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 7 and 14; 4:30 p.m. Saturday, June 9 and 16

Where: The Chapel 27132 S.E. Stark St. ,Troutdale

Cost: $12 for adults, $9.50 for students and seniors; $2 more at the door


“Pirates of Penzance”

Eastside Theater’s second adventuresome play, “Pirates of Penzance,” features a band of swashbuckling buccaneers, bumbling British bobbies, winsome Victorian maidens and the delightfully dotty “model of a modern Major-General” for a rollicking romp over the rocky coast of Cornwall.

Gilbert and Sullivan’s hilarious, hopeful farce follows young Frederic, an orphan who has mistakenly been apprenticed to an ineffectual but raucous band of pirates.

He disavows the pirates’ way of life and falls for the beautiful Mabel, but the road to romance is not as simple as it seems in this theater classic.

For Isaiah Johnson of Corbett, playing the Pirate King has been a dream role. “My family got the DVD when I was really young,” Johnson says. “It’s amazing that such an upbeat hilarious musical was written in 1870.”

Barb Isaac of Corbett is making her foray into acting after helping in the background on her kids’ productions for many years. “It occurred to me I had the chance to be part of a musical and wanted to seize that opportunity,” Isaac says. “It’s been lots of fun getting to work with people of a variety of ages.”

Gresham resident Meagan Johnson plays Mabel, the maiden. “She is a bit flirtatious and even desperate, but she also shows gumption and bravery,” Johnson says. “I’ve been having theater withdrawals and have been excited to form new bonds through Eastside Theater.”

Lauren Binney, a junior at Metro East Web Academy, plays the understudy for Mabel. “The best part of this play has been getting to be so free to try many different things and put together a hilarious show,” Binney says.

‘Pirates of Penzance’

When: 7:30 p.m. June 8-10 and 15-17; 1 p.m. Saturday matinees June 9 and 16

Where: The Chapel 27132 S.E. Stark St., Troutdale

Cost: $12 for adults, $9.50 for students and seniors; $2 more at the door


Eastside Theater Company's production of 'Honk!'

Eastside Theater Company Treasure Island features Eastside Theater’s young Rising Stars actors.

Eastside Theater Company's production of 'Honk!'

Eastside Theater Company Treasure Island features Eastside Theater’s young Rising Stars actors.

Eastside Theater Company's production of 'Pirates of Penzance'

Summer 2018 Eastside Theater Company presents Pirates of Penzance

Eastside Theater Company presents classic musical ‘Annie’

Lisa K. Anderson, ” Sunny musical set in 1933 opens on Friday at Eastside Theater Company in Troutdale ” Gresham Outlook, Pamplin Media Group, Web

Playing the title character of “Annie” has been a longtime dream for both fifth-grader Ania Vilius and fourth-grader Ellen Horton at Corbett Grade School.

The two share the lead role of Annie in Eastside Theater Company’s production of the beloved musical opening Friday, March 2, at The Chapel in Troutdale. Both say they hope audiences take away Annie’s positivity and hopefulness.

“Annie is always trying to make the best out of things,” notes Vilius. Horton adds “This is really a meaningful show.”

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Eastside Theater Company's production of 'Honk!'

COURTESY PHOTO: KAREN HAWLEY – Ania Vilius, left, and Ellen Horton portray the title character in Eastside Theater Companys upcoming production of Annie.

Articles below were written prior to July 2017

when Corbett Children’s Theater was renamed Eastside Theater Company.

Learn more about our history here.

Eastside Theatre Company to perform ‘Peter Pan’ at The Chapel in Troutdale in early December

Queen and Prince
Queen and Prince

Corey Buchanan, ” Off To Neverland ” Gresham Outlook, Pamplin Media Group, Web 28 November, 2017

The Eastside Theatre Company’s production of “Peter Pan” is a unique blend of versions of the iconic story told over the past century.

Script writer and assistant director Josh Johnson used the book “Peter and Wendy” as his narrative guide, incorporated elements from the movies “Peter Pan” and “Captain Hook” and mixed in modern language so the show is palatable for 21st century listeners.

But capturing the book’s essence was his primary objective.

“There was a lot of different changes that were in the movie, and not a lot of people know the true essence of the story of Peter Pan,” Johnson said. “That’s a big reason why I wrote it, trying to stay as true to the original story as possible.”

The Eastside Theatre Company will perform “Peter Pan” eight times from Dec. 1-Dec. 10 at The Chapel, 27132 S.E. Stark St., Troudale.

Though versions differ, “Peter Pan” is a coming of age story about a boy who flies to Neverland to embark on various adventures including a climactic battle with Captain Hook. During the script writing process, Johnson found that people probably wouldn’t understand a lot of the early 20th century dialogue in “Peter and Wendy.”

“A lot of the language from 100 years ago is completely different than how we talk now, ” Johnson said. “We changed the dialogue so people today could understand it.”

Johnson also drew inspiration from the movie “Hook,” which dives into the origins of Captain Hook’s rift with Peter Pan as well as elements from the “Peter Pan” movie.

“Mixing those films together and putting it on a stage, I don’t think someone has done that before,” Johnson said.

Katrina Nix, who plays Wendy, drew more inspiration from reading the book than seeing the movie.

“In a film you’re just watching them and only getting emotions by what you see. When you read the book the author often takes you into their mind and thoughts,” Nix said.

Sequoia Boom enjoyed watching the movie “Peter Pan” growing up and connected with the adventurous spirit of the film. So Boom tried out for the role of Peter Pan and earned the part.

“When the auditions first came out I thought to myself, ‘This is a cool opportunity. I’m going to shoot for Peter.’ He’s always been my favorite character in Peter Pan,” Boom said.

Boom says the swordfighting battle between Captain Hook and Peter Pan is one of her favorite scenes.

And Johnson, who once underwent combat training, enjoyed teaching the actors how to grip the sword properly and use proper footwork.

‘It’s a bit of a challenge teaching students how to properly handle a sword in a safe way but also that looks exciting to the audience,” Johnson said.

The crew utilizes visual projection and special effects to simulate the journey from the real world to Neverland and made puppets for the crocodile and the dog Nana. The crew includes 30 actors while about 45 volunteers helped out with the production process.

“We’re going miles beyond what we normally do on the technical side,” Johnson said.

Boom encourages local theater enthusiasts and Peter Pan fans to come out to see the production.

“There’s good humor, a lot of fun friendships you can see on stage, a lot of cool fighting, cool effects, and it’s just a fun play to see,” she said. “It can get emotional and it has a little bit of everything. It should be fun for all ages.”

Musical ‘Honks’ its horn for diversity

Corey Buchanan, ” Eastside Theatre Company performs ‘Honk! A Musical Tale of ‘The Ugly Duckling’ ” Gresham Outlook, Pamplin Media Group, Web October 03, 2017

Through songs, jokes and storytelling, “Honk! A Musical Tale of ‘The Ugly Duckling'” describes the value of authenticity, uniqueness and diversity.And the Eastside Theatre Company’s rendition of the play will be performed Oct. 5-7 and Oct. 12-14 at The Chapel, 27132 S.E. Stark St., Troutdale.

The production not only expresses these themes verbally but also exemplifies them through its cast.  Two of the main characters, Ugly and the Cat, are typically played by men, but in Eastside Theatre Company’s production female actors Abby Cohen and Jessie Turner earned these parts.

“I’m hoping that people will leave with a newfound sense of appreciation for their identity and what each individual has to offer and…[Continue Reading]

Eastside Theater Company's production of 'Honk!'

COURTESY PHOTO: KAREN HAWLEY – Abby Cohen, left, plays Ugly and Brook Mackaness plays the Bullfrog in ” Honk! A Musical Tale Of ‘The Ugly Duckling’ “

Newly renamed, Eastside Theater Company continues to impress

Formerly the Corbett Children’s Theater, the newly re-named Eastside Theater Company is now based in downtown Gresham.

The former Corbett Children’s Theater has a new name, but the performance remains the same.  Announced Monday, July 17, the newly dubbed Eastside Theater Company made its first appearance under the new name at the City of Gresham’s series of Monday concerts at the Arts Plaza downtown.  There, the troupe of young actors covered a series of scenes from The Wizard of Oz and other plays.  The company outgrew its former Corbett digs and now is based in Gresham, where it plans to begin its 2017-18 season on October 5 with “HONK!,” based on the story of the Ugly Duckling.  That production runs through October 15.  In the meantime, check out the photo gallery here with scenes from Monday’s performance, or visit


Eastside Theater Company’s Jess Turner plays Dorthy here in this rendition of ‘The Wizard of Oz’, performed July 17 in Gresham’s Arts Plaza.

Outlook Photo: Josh Kulla – Eastside Theater Company’s Jess Turner plays Dorthy here in this rendition of ‘The Wizard of Oz’

Corbett Children’s Theater performs two versions of the classic, ‘Princess and the Pea’

Queen Aggravain (right), played by Jessie Turner, embraces her son Prince Dauntless, played by Ethan Golden, in Corbett Children's Theater's production of 'Once upon a Mattress.'

Rob Cullivan, ” Two adaptations, lots of mattresses ” Gresham Outlook, Pamplin Media Group, Web 18 April 2017

When the Corbett Children’s Theater studies something, it really studies it. The company has decided to take on not one, but two renditions of the classic tale “The Princess and the Pea” for its spring performance season..

Both shows are absurdist, comedic riffs on Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale. “Once Upon a Mattress,” to be performed by the older actors, is a musical, while “The Princess and the Pea” theater adaptation is a straight play and will be performed by the company’s “Rising Stars.”

The premise behind both productions remains largely the same: a prince, shepherded by his pushy, devious matriarch (a grandmother in the play, mother in the musical), goes on a journey to find his true love. But, in order to marry the woman he chooses…”

[Continue Reading]