Centerstage in Lake Forest

Rating: 4.83 stars   30 reviews

Issues:

Location: 400 E Illinois Rd Lake Forest IL 60045 USA

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.
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Working as an actor with CenterStage was a fabulous and enriching experience. In my many decades of participating in amateur theater productions, very few companies have come close to the level of professionalism, commitment and skill that CenterStage consistently demonstrated. From the first audition to the final strike of the set, it was clear that everyone associated with this group was invested not only in the task at hand, but also in their commitment to the production team and to the community they served. I grew as an actor by working on this production. I honed my craft and learned new skills. I developed new friendships and new affiliations. But for me, the most important benefit of my association with CenterStage was a renewed comitment to the idea that the performing arts can be so much more than "entertainment" or a way to pass the time. CenterStage showed me again that the theater can be a way to explore who we are as people, and what we can be as a community. For that, I will always be grateful.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

My family has been involved with CenterStage for the last 10 years, since our daughter first became enamored with theatre. At first, like most parents, we took on the role of "proud observer", watching our daughter's skills and confidence progress, but over time, we realized that CenterStage offered a UNIQUE opportunity for us to participate in our daughter's love of theatre, without necessarily having to be "in the spotlights". My wife began helping with costuming and general administrative and "front of the house" volunteering, and I found myself drawn to the set construction area. In these roles we've been able to volunteer alongside our daughter, often working hand in hand (almost literally, both in costuming and set construction!). The CenterStage leadership and volunteer group is unbelievably welcoming and supportive, and together we offer wonderful opportunities to our community - both in terms of participating in CenterStage as volunteers and actors, but also offering exceptional theatre at a low ticket price, offering the arts lo our community, locally.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

I have been associated with CenterStage in Lake Forest since 1973--if I didn't believe in their purpose and accomplishment, I wouldn't have such an extended relationship. CenterStage brings entertainment, teaching, community involvement, and just plain good old-fashioned fun to the theatrical and artistic community, not to mention some truly high quality performances. They would not be recognized as "typical" community theatre, although they are, for the most part, non-paid and volunteer. Any organizaton that can get people to volunteer for that many years and feel they are benefitting from the experiences provided is worth being a part of. I'm proud my name is among those.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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Rating: 5 stars  

Center Stage's Classic Series gives our community excellent theater right at home! No long drive, difficult parking or high ticket cost. Great theater: fun, thought provoking. Center Stage welcomes volunteers. I loved ushering for 12 Angry Men. Greeting neighbors and friends and then joining them in the audience. Give them a call and try it. We are very fortunate to have this talented dedicated group!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I have attended and acted in community theater productions in the Chicago area for many years. Your recent mounting of "12 Angry Men" was one of the best community theater productions I have ever seen. The acting, direction and production design were uniformly excellent. Thank you for an exciting and thought-provoking evening of theater.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A lot

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Quite well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 4 stars  

We are very lucky to have such a great, accessible theater so close to home. Talented actors in an intimate setting. Check out what Centerstage has to offer!

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Unsure

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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Rating: 5 stars  

It was a great show, very interestingly staged so we could be up close and involved. Felt like we were at a meeting, sitting in the usual array of chairs around the walls among the folks who needed to watch the "big boys" going through their corporate deliberations. Many of us have had that experience in our lives. Each cast member's character's personality came through. Excellent performances throughout. More important, the message of the play rang true and reminds us all that innocent until PROVEN guilty remains the foundation of our legal system and what makes us, in comparison to so many others, who we are. BRAVO!

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Unsure

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

We feel very fortunate to have a theater with the high caliber of talent so close to home. It is a treasure in the community and although it took a friend of ours staring in "12 Angry Men" to get us to come, we are hooked! The directing, stage sets, actors, volunteers were outstanding.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

We love the high quality of the performances and ease of getting tickets online. The last play that we saw was "Twelve Angry Men" and we liked the intimate stage setting where we were close to the actors and could see and hear everything. It is great to have such great entertainment so close to where we live...and knowing some of the performers is great fun, too!

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Likely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 4 stars  

Twelve Angry Men. The title didn't draw me to the theatre. I was pleasantly surprised by the creative staging CenterStage adopted to tell the story of a jury in a murder case. The theatre company smartly created a "black box" surrounding the central action of the jury room. As an audience member, I felt I was part of the jury myself, and able to see facial expression and nuance more clearly. It was a brilliant choice outside the "box" of their typical presentation. I was also impressed by the caliber of the acting and the commitment to excellence by the production team.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I've been attending plays and musicals at CenterStage for many years. They bring a lot of entertainment to our community.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Continue, as they have been, to bring in outside talent. Promote the talent of the community as well.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

What one change could this group make that would improve your volunteer experience?

They might look into improving the stage - it's small.

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

I enjoyed spending time at the rehearsals.

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

great!

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