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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

14 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.

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.

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.

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

Megan26

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

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!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

I enjoy the shows that are put on here. I've been a volunteer also. Its a great thing for kids also. My daughter who is 9 has been in shows. They were life experiences she will cherish for ever.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I recently attended a sold-out production of 12 Angry Men by CenterStage Company (in its 41st year) in the John Baggett Auditorium of Gorton Community Center in Lake Forest, Illinois. Word is that the other seven performances were sold out, as well. The playbill promised we would sit on the edges of our seats and that statement was not an exaggeration! The audience was fully engaged in the dialogue of the 12 deliberating jurors on stage. What a talented and dedicated cast (and production crew)! Already looking forward to the summer production of The Music Man! Bravo!!!!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

They are very dedicated and friendly. They do a first class job.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Center Stage is Awesome, the productions they put on are always so much fun, it is amazing to see how many talented people there are in this community. Always a Pleasure!!!