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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Dance, Music, Theater

Mission: Founded as "Group For..." in 1971, CenterStage has been providing a creative outlet and source of entertainment to the Lake Forest and Lake Bluff communities for over 40 years. The mission of CenterStage is to produce theatrical events with people of all ages from Lake Forest, Lake Bluff, Knollwood, and surrounding communities. We attract, train, and retain talent in all aspects of the theater arts, while emphasizing a fun, rewarding experience.

Geographic areas served: Lake Bluff, Lake Forest, Knollwood, Highland Park, Waukegan

Programs: CenterStage in Lake Forest provides not only a source of live entertainment to its audiences but, more importantly, a wealth of educational opportunity in theater arts for all members of the community. Its mostly volunteer casts and crews represent a kaleidoscope of young and old, dedicated amateurs and aspiring professionals, seasoned veterans and rookies. Through the years, our productions have served as a foundation for many a career in theater and the related arts. Many more have discovered their lifelong love of theater, literature, music, art, design, and other creative pursuits while working on our shows.

Community Stories

30 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1 Scott25

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have supporting Community Theater for over 25 years. And the quality of shows, talent, etc at CenterStage of Lake Forest, IL is second to none. I have introduced their shows to friends and they have been amazed at what they do there, bringing top entertainment to the area.

Previous Stories
2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been involved with CenterStage Theater in Lake Forest for 21 years now, having first acted in one of their plays. I have never been involved with a better organization, full of people who are passionate with bringing great amateur entertainment as a professional level. The level of impact that the theater has had on the community is the number of kids who started acting in shows at a young and kept coming back thru high school and college. And to see their faces in the audience, at a rehearsal when they come back into town for a visit. Ive seen theaters come and go, especially in a tight economy, but CenterStage has found a way to keep it going. This is truly a labor of love, of family (whole families have acted together in shows there, even where the parents never acted before). Last year I had friends who never seen a play there before (Joseph) and were blown away with the quality of the production.

5

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

CenterStage in Lake Forest has existed for 43 years. The group has always attracted professional directors, choreographers, costumers, and musicians as well as technical directors to provide a great experience for the cast, crew and audience members alike. A hallmark of their annual summer musicals is a live orchestra, and, in fact, often the smaller shows feature a combo when appropriate. The group presents a variety of productions, from the recent Twelve Angry Men and The Glass Menagerie, with the audience and set all on stage, to Guys and Dolls, The Music Man and Oliver! Dozens of volunteers work behind the scenes to create the productions, manage the house, sell the tickets...all jobs that need to be done. I have worked many shows and can attest to the quality of the productions. In addition, the group is famous for a welcoming attitude, from auditions to set strike. This is community theatre as it is meant to be. While not guaranteed, several couples met and got married thanks to their participation in CenterStage shows!!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Centerstage has put on a number of wonderful plays we have attended for many years. As an example, the last one, 12 Angry Men, was a powerful lesson to put aside our prejudices about race and social standing and put ourselves in another person's shoes. The audience and also the participants benefit as well- to expand their talents in the arts- whether acting, directing, scripting, casting or set creating.

3 Sandy H.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Centerstage in Lake Forest is a community theatre with over 100 productions over the past 30 years. There is a place for everyone of all ages and experience from novice to pro in the cast or crew. Where else can someone like me with a lot more passion than talent have a chance to perform some of the best music ever written? I will always remember being a part of Kiss Me Kate, Annie, The Pirates of Penzance, and Community Capers. Music and theatre reach people in unique ways, and Centerstage is a labor of love that deserves all the support they can get.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

CenterStage is a great community theater! I have been a performer in the shows as well as an audience member, and I have found the people to be warm and welcoming. The shows are always well done. CenterStage is a wonderful place to meet new friends, and it provides a great source of entertainment for the entire community!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Twelve Angry Me
Upon arriving for the production of “Twelve Angry Men,” I was warmly greeted by the production staff and shown to the seating area. The audience seating around the stage area gave an intimate view and made the audience feel part of the production. The set was simple, yet detailed enough to highlight the actor’s passionate delivery of their lines. Their passion made me feel like I was living in that time period, seated in the jury room listening to the deliberations. The actors assumed the characters they were portraying as angry, argumentative, begrudging, with fairness, or quick to condemn. They showed how stereotyped people could be. The play brought out many emotions we all have felt in our lives. It was well worth seeing this play.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

For over 40 years, CenterStage in Lake Forest has exemplified the full potential of community theatre for developing and showcasing local talent. CenterStage has been a home to gifted performers of all ages, from all over the Chicago area. I have been a supporter of CenterStage for almost twenty years. While I now participate as an audience member and financial supporter, in past years, my wife, two daughters, and I have all participated both on-stage and behind the scenes. Not only has CenterStage provided us with wonderful entertainment, it has been the source of many new friends. When I count my blessings, my wonderful extended CenterStage family is always included.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

First time to the theater and loved Twelve Angry Men. Great use of space and superb acting. Felt this show could have been at Northlight with a higher ticket price.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Centerstage in Lake Forest is a wonderful community organization that provides entertainment that includes a wide variety of venues. Lively musicals, hilarious comedy and thought-provoking dramas give us in the community an opportunity to enjoy our talented neighbors and friends right in our own background (Gorton Community Center in Lake Forest).

1 Liliana M.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

Although I have yet to see a show at the theatre as I just very recently joined the group, I am very please at the communication level the theatre provides. Reading past reviews and the theatre's location is the main reason I decided to join up as a member. I look forward to upcoming shows (when my rehearsal schedule allows) and am pleased to know we have Centerstage as a substitute for downtown shows. Lili