Arts and Entertainment

Kitsap Children’s Musical Theatre pushes ahead on plans for rehearsal and performance theater complex

POULSBO — Swing by a Kitsap Children’s Musical Theatre rehearsal, where performers are getting ready for their next production, “The Wizard of Oz,” and you might happen upon a rousing rendition of  “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.”

Did someone grab the wrong script? Are they doing a mash-up of “Mary Poppins” with “Oz”?

Actually, the young performers are preparing for an additional show this fall: a dinner and silent auction for which they will provide the entertainment, Oct. 8 at the Sons of Norway lodge in Poulsbo. The event marks the start of a fundraising effort to raise $5 million in five years for a rehearsal hall and theater complex that KCMT can call its own.

As envisioned by Executive Director Kerby Criss, who founded the all-volunteer community theater group in 2000, the complex will be a state-of-the-art facility in North Kitsap that encompasses an intimate recital hall, a grand auditorium and eventually a School of the Arts. The facility would be available for use by arts organizations throughout the community.

"The vision for a state-of-the-art performance facility was born out of a long-time dream and necessity due to the steady growth of our organization,” Criss said. “We have had our eye on a piece of property for a few years now that would be a perfect foundation for this dream come true. It looks like the doors of opportunity are opening and we are ready to take the leap."

She added, “We know that Kitsap County residents will rally behind this project because it will truly benefit the community for years to come.”

Eleven years ago, KCMT started with 33 young performers. Today the group is more than 150 strong. They rehearse in the former Chevrolet dealership building on Viking Avenue. Their next production, “The Wizard of Oz,” plays at North Kitsap Auditorium in December.

The fund-raising effort for a dedicated facility was jump-started in 2009 with a $40,000 grant from the Seattle Foundation. The auction is intended as an annual gala to continue the campaign. The Oct. 8 event runs from 6-10 p.m. at the Sons of Norway hall, 18891 Front St. in downtown Poulsbo. Admission of $50 includes appetizers, Mexican-style dinner (chicken and vegetarian options) and entertainment. The singers and dancers who will appear are among KCMT’s more experienced performers and include esteemed “alumni” of the organization.

Tickets are available in advance only. They may be purchased online at

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