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2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Centerstage in Lake Forest

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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

2 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters


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!!

Idona G.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I've worked with CenterStage both as an actress and as a director and I cannot say enough great things about my experience with this amazing organization. As a new member of the community in 2004, they embraced me and welcomed me and made me part of the family that is CenterStage.