They’re veterans of Edmonds Driftwood Players and Phoenix Theatre’s stages.
Now, after years of talking about it, they’ve finally launched their own theater company.
Cindy Giese French, Amy Gentry and Molly Hall are the founders of As If Theatre Co., whose debut show “The Clean House” opens Feb. 15 at the Kenmore Community Club.
The Pulitzer Prize-nominated romantic comedy written by Sarah Ruhl is about a career-minded doctor whose life is thrown into disarray when her husband falls in love with a terminally ill patient. Meanwhile, she must deal with her stubborn Brazilian cleaning woman who would rather be a comedian than a maid.
“This is what I love about Sarah Ruhl,” said French, the artistic director for As If Theatre. “She’s a very unconventional writer.”
The trio thought to start their theater company while involved in nearly two dozen productions at Edmonds’ two theaters, but didn’t get serious about it until last year. French, who lives in Kenmore, found out the Kenmore Community Club was looking to host theater offerings.
It was the break they needed after a long search for a stage. The added bonus, French pointed out, is that the new company fills a void in theater between Edmonds and Woodinville.
In addition to staging two productions per year, As If Theatre Co. will host a playwright class, short play festival and once-a-month monologue critiques. French said Driftwood and Phoenix fans are more than welcome.
“They’ve gone above and beyond to help us,” French said of the Edmonds theater community. “Theater people are just giving. I think they really do want other places to survive and thrive. It’s all about supporting the arts.”
Each of the founders have decades of experience.
Hall, of Mountlake Terrace, has been an actor, choreographer, theater instructor and playwright for 25 years. She is the engagement director for As If.
Shoreline’s Gentry is director of sales and marketing at ACT Theatre in Seattle and a marketing assistant for Phoenix Theatre. She is serving as managing director for As If.
French — who won BroadwayWorld Seattle’s 2015 award for best featured actress for playing Berthe in Driftwood Players’ “Boeing Boeing” — has been acting, writing, directing and producing theater and film for decades.
The three had to find their own theater equipment, including sets and backdrops, for the community club, which had nothing in the way of theatrical scenery. Some of it is rented and others borrowed from local theaters.
“Amy and I had to move them by ourselves,” French said of the backdrops.
Their hard work will pay off next week when “The Clean House” starts its Feb. 15 to March 3 run in Kenmore. The comedy will feature a few familiar faces from Edmonds theaters.
French will star as Lane, a doctor with high values, while Gentry will play her neurotic sister, Virginia.
When Lane’s husband Charles (played by Edmonds Driftwood Players veteran Terry Boyd), a surgeon, falls in love with a cancer patient, she must turn to Virginia and her wannabe comedian maid, Matilde (Devika Bhagwat), to sort out the mess.
Director Carissa Meisner Smit said “The Clean House” is ultimately about finding joy in life, even when things get messy.
“Lane is forced to see through the straight-and-narrow path she was going,” Meisner Smit said. “She sees all the different things in life that aren’t orderly and clean and logical — the chaos of passion and all of it’s different colors.
“It’s not all black and white.”
Evan Thompson: 425-339-3427, firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @ByEvanThompson.
If you go
As If Theatre Co.’s production of “The Clean House” stages Feb. 8-24 at the Kenmore Community Club, 7304 NE 17th St., Kenmore. Performances are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and 5 p.m. Sundays.
Tickets are $25 for general admission and $20 for students and seniors.
Order tickets online at https://asif.bpt.me or pick them up at the door. Go to www.asiftheatre.com for more information.
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