A fun and safe summer thanks to our local non-profit organizations


By Mary Beth Harrington, CVA

One of my fondest summer memories is attending Shakespeare in the Park. These shows in Dallas usually started at 8pm and by the end of the 2 hour show the temperature had dropped to 90 degrees! The shows were funded by donations and were a great way to introduce our children to the world of Shakespearean theatre.

Shakespeare returns to Thurston County

Last Saturday we once again enjoyed the experience of witnessing actors portraying the great works of The Bard in an outdoor venue although this time it was much cooler (in more ways than the temperature of the room). ‘air). After a three-year pandemic hiatus, Animal Fire Theater is once again bringing Shakespeare to Squaxin Park (formerly Priest Point Park). This year they are presenting Twelfth Night. Shows are offered every Friday, Saturday and Sunday until September 4th, they start at 6.30pm and are free for all – although donations are gratefully accepted… and stylish t-shirts are also available!

I recently spoke with two of the cast/executives/board members/production crew; you see, Animal Fire Theater is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and all-volunteer organization, so everyone plays multiple roles. According to Scott Douglas (aka Illyria executive Duke Orsino), the organization was started by a group of theater students from the University of Idaho’s theater program. The Founders produced their favorite Shakespearean plays in any space they could find with any budget they could muster. “The band named themselves ‘Animal’ after ‘Animal Exercise’ that inspired them during their U of I and ‘Fire’ classes for their passion and inspiration,” Orsino (I mean Douglas ). “William Shakespeare’s plays are meant to be performed, not read. When you read a Shakespeare play, instead of seeing it performed, you miss out on a lot of comedy and humor.

The mission of Animal Fire Theater is toengage our community in the exploration of the human experience through passionate, quality theatrical productions accessible to all. “We think of ourselves as a theater entrance drug,” says Rachel Permann (aka the director of 12e Night as well as Maria, Olivia’s lady-in-waiting). “People are often reluctant to see Shakespeare, and we give ourselves a little pat on the back in that we are able to make it understandable.”

If you’ve never been to a Shakespeare play, I encourage you to attend one of these shows and see how much fun it can be – oh, and you might want to bring a blanket! Click here for more details.

Another park event

The Junior League of Olympia is hosting an open house at Woodruff Park (see map) this Thursday, August 18 from 6-7 p.m. Attend to learn more about how, as a member of the Junior League of Olympia, you can make a difference in your community, grow your leadership through training, develop lasting friendships and advance well-being social and emotional impact of children and young people in our region. Click here for more details.

Have a beer

Celebrate the legacy of brewing and its significance to Tumwater’s history at the Tumwater Artesian Brewfest at the Tumwater Valley Golf Course on Saturday, August 20 from 1-8 p.m. The Tumwater Artesian Brewfest offers a unique outdoor venue (in the shadow of the old Olympia Brewery). to sip craft beers from regional breweries as well as cider, wine and spirits; savor food from local vendors and restaurants and play big beer pong, try your hand at putt-putt golf, participate in beer competitions and more! There will be over 100 drink choices in all, not to mention delicious food, fun games and engaging entertainment. This is a 21+ event. Click here for more details.

Solicit your ideas

If you know of a nonprofit that’s doing something great, celebrating a success, needs amazing volunteers, or hosting an event, let me know! This column (aside from a little education) celebrates nonprofits!

Mary Beth Harrington, CVA (Certified Volunteer Administrator) lives in Tumwater. She travels the country speaking at conferences and for individual organizations articulating issues facing nonprofits. Send your ideas to [email protected]


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