King 5 Evening Features Kitsap Forest Theater - Get Tickets Today

"I went to the Kitsap Forest Theater over the weekend. This is something you need to check out!". - King 5 Evening. Learn more about the history of this "timeless Northwest tradition" and get tickets to our summer shows.
Gala Lindvall Gala Lindvall
Mountaineers Players Producer & Super Volunteer
July 23, 2021
King 5 Evening Features Kitsap Forest Theater - Get Tickets Today
Little Women - Photo by Alfonso Barrera

“The show must go on” has always been the motto of The Mountaineers Players who have been performing at the Kitsap Forest Theater since 1923. We produce shows to enrich the community by bringing stories to life in a magical outdoor setting that all ages can enjoy. We perform through all types of challenges (rain, record heat, cold, a closed Kitsap Cabin), and are thrilled to present Little Women on most weekends this summer. Come take a hike to visit our magical space and experience the wonder of outdoor theater for yourself

We were  thrilled to be contacted by Saint Bryan of King 5 Evening to do a story on the Players. We came to his attention because an audience member created a TikTok video that went viral.

Saint did his research and created a compelling story of the history of the theater and of our rich tradition of bringing generations of families together both on the stage and in the audience. We invite you to watch the King 5 video highlighting our incredible history and magical theater today. 


Persevering through lockdown

When the lockdowns happened last spring, two shows were already cast and we had started rehearsals for Beauty and the Beast. We transitioned to online rehearsals, but after a few weeks, we realized that there would be no shows in 2020. Fast forward to spring 2021, and with restrictions still in effect, it became apparent that we would not be able to pull off rehearsing and performing our large cast shows from 2020. So we again moved Beauty and the Beast and Bend in the Road, the Anne of Green Gables Musical to 2022.

After reading that many theaters throughout the country were creating outdoor venues, we were more determined than ever to produce a show at our beautiful outdoor stage. We felt  it was important to provide joy and inspiration for a soul-starved community of performers and live theater-lovers while balancing the psychological health benefits and the physical health risk for all concerned. 

With the enthusiastic support of our amazing CEO, Tom Vogl, we moved forward, researched smaller cast shows, and settled on Little Women, The Broadway Musical, with a cast of 10. It is a classic story, has beautiful music, and was a show that many Players wanted to be in. We advertised auditions with the caveat that we didn’t know for sure if we would be able to perform (we had no desire to perform a digital show). We had enough incredible talent to cast the show twice – so decided to perform one show all summer and alternate casts.

Our next challenge was finding a rehearsal venue. Serendipitously, one of our Players asked to use their church’s large basement room and they agreed enthusiastically. Another challenge was the performing restrictions. We wrote several letters requesting a loosening of restrictions for the safer outdoor venues as opposed to the indoor mandates. Tom stayed in close contact with the Governor’s office about these mandates and shared our letters with them.

We realized that even if we ended up not being able to perform, the act of creating live theater was a gift to the production staff and the actors – and everyone was ecstatic to be acting, singing and dancing again. We have now performed for five weekends, and have four weekends left. We are delighted to see the joy on the audiences' faces as they hike back up the trail, expressing such gratitude in being able to experience live theater again.

Experience Live Theater

Pack a picnic lunch and come spend a day in the forest enjoying superb entertainment. The trail to the theater opens at 1 pm – arrive early for the best choice of seats. Shows are July 24/25 and August 7/8, 14/15, 21/22. Come twice to see both casts!

Get tickets now

Main blog image of Little Women by Alfonso Barrera.