Arts & Entertainment in Kent


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Sharon and Norm Munsey founded Centerstage! Theatre in 1977 to help bring popular shows to their region. Decades later, their artistic ensemble keeps that mission in mind while staging a repertoire of new works. Family-friendly shows such as Shipwrecked!, heart-warming pieces including For All That, and tinsel-coated traditional English Christmas pantomimes take the boards at the intimate Knutzen Family Theater. That focus on feel-good entertainment has won Centerstage audiences and acclaim?several shows have proven popular enough to be transported to bigger venues such as Seattle's ACT Theatre and Tacoma's Broadway Center, and revues have been granted awards that include Best Actress, Best Director, and two acceptances of Best New Play.
3200 SW Dash Point Rd.
Federal Way,
WA
US
Within the century-old confines of Uptown Glassworks' warehouse, furnaces melt handfuls of kaleidoscopic frit into malleable shapes manipulated by a team of professional glass blowers. But these tradesmen don't just create works for the gallery; they also share their secrets with students in a variety of activities, from introductory courses on making beads and paperweights to advanced instruction that can be applied toward college credit or used to fix the pockmarked walls of glass houses. During the shop's Blow-Your-Own sessions, participants apply color to clear, molten glass that has recently emerged from a 2,000-degree furnace, then blow their mixture into 1 of 20 different shapes. The next day, patrons can pick up their cooled and packaged creations, comparing their handiwork to the gallery's collection of products, which are made by more than 90 local and regional glass artists.
230 Main Ave S
Renton,
WA
US
Thousands of hand-blown ornaments and floats glint from the shelves of Tacoma Glassblowing Studio, which earned recognition as the No. 1 attraction in Tacoma by TripAdvisor, and western Washington’s Best Art Gallery by CityVoter. Shoppers browse a polychromatic panoply of 3- to 4-inch glass spheres blown onsite ($15–$25), which can adorn mantelpieces, float in ponds, or serve as attractive lane dividers in the kiddie pool. A husband-and-wife duo runs the studio, and deploys a dedicated six-person staff to help inflate the translucent orbs and assist customers with bauble selection.
114 South 23rd Street
Tacoma,
WA
US
Bathed in the intense light of its blazing furnaces, the industrial brick walls and naked concrete floors of the hot shop at Area 253 Glassblowing belie the delicacy and beauty of their creations. Experienced artisans instruct students of all skill levels, manipulating glowing gobs of molten glass on the ends of rods to produce floating balls, bowls, and decorative shards. Pointed blue-tip flame-working torches coax glass into shiny beads and borosilicate into baubles such as pendants and swizzle sticks. The shop also rents out its amenities for visiting artists, including furnaces, torches, and garage space.
2514 South Holgate Street
Federal Way,
WA
US
Inside Children's Bookshop & Teaching Supplies, one can find literature for adolescents and infants just as easily as shelves and tables overflowing with colorful games and toys. Though the full-service bookstore's two retail locations focus on educational materials, such as school and art supplies, they also aim to give kids equipment that inspires fun. The store proffers a rainbow of glitter, crayons, and pastels; colorful picture books accompanied by CDs; and a range of modernized and classic board games such as bingo, dominoes, checkers, and mancala. To facilitate creative learning and instill children with an early understanding of zoning codes, the store carries interlocking-piece construction sets. Store staffers also arrange a wooden railway table and a Calico Critters Play Table.
707 River Rd
Puyallup,
WA
US
Frame Central, where the upbeat, fun-loving staff works alongside customers preserving their artwork and keepsakes. Frame Central prides itself on its expedient one-day framing. Staffers have devoted years to learning how to craft custom frames fast without sacrificing quality. For one thing, they keep all their materials on hand, saving on time spent sending off for special orders. For another, customers can design and make the frames themselves or meet staffers halfway by allowing them to professionally cut the materials for easy home assembly.
1568 Highlands Drive Northeast
Issaquah,
WA
US
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