May 14, 2021
Island Theatre cofounders Kate Meyers and Steve Stolee discuss the origins and history of Island Theatre, the company's evolution from a more-or-less conventional community theater, to finding a niche with a small room, on-book performances, and the annual Ten Minute Play Festival. Friends for nearly forty years, Steve and Kate will also share stories of the local theatre scene in the eighties, including their first exposure to the community, the Susie Glass Burdick production of Grease, and how it led to an international musical theatre collaboration with a theatre company in Siberia.
Incorporated in 1994, Island Theatre is a 501(c)3 non-profit community theater company in Bainbridge Island, Washington. Specializing in theatrical presentations mainly by and for adults, it has three main performing components: Island Theatre At The Library, a bi-monthly series of on-book performances at the Bainbridge Library; Island Theatre At Your House (YoHo), a bi-monthly series of open play readings hosted in private homes; and Island Theatre Ten-Minute Play Festival, an annual juried short play invitational and presentation of selected plays held at Bainbridge Performing Arts.
Kate received her B.A. in Theatre from Washington State University and first set foot on BPA’s stage almost 35 years ago. Kate cherishes the many roles she has played at BPA since then, from backstage crew to actor, board member (co-chairing the initial Capital Campaign to build BPA’s playhouse), and Director.
Onstage, Kate has played roles in Grease, Marvin’s Room, Blithe Spirit, The Butler Did It, and You Can’t Take it With You.
Her directing credits at BPA have ranged from the classical (Romeo and Juliet, Much Ado About Nothing) to comedic (Art; Picasso at the Lapin Agile), dramatic (The Kentucky Cycle, Snow Falling on Cedars, The Grapes of Wrath, Amadeus, Arcadia), and – more recently – to contemporary “dramedies” (The Revolutionists, August: Osage County). Kate’s plays often take deep dives into the human condition, examining history, culture, and the importance of family. Several have contemplated art and the nature of artistic genius, as well as quantum physics, and even time travel.
Steve Stolee is a freelance photographer, videographer, graphic designer, Bainbridge Islander since 1979, and a BFA from U.W. School of Art. He is a cofounder of Island Theatre and managing Director of the I.T. Ten-Minute Play Festival; a 2019 recipient of the Island Treasure Award for Arts and Humanities, cofounder of The Picture Project, and creator of the documentary film, “Another Man’s Treasure,” a story about the biggest rummage sale in the world. An honest man and a hell of a nice guy, he proudly claims to have danced with the great Cloris Leachman at the Port Townsend Film Festival.