Be a part of the magic happening at Orcas Center

In need of a little artistic expression?

Then Orcas Center is your place to be.

OC staff presented a “Role Out” to the community on Sept. 8, highlighting the past accomplishments and future offerings at the island’s arts center. The nearly two-hour presentation was led by technical director Jake Perrine and included live performances from actors in the upcoming “Lost Virginity Tour” and dance students of Stephanie Moss and Anthony the Dancer.

“Orcas Center is a community arts center, performing arts venue and rental facility. But none of these things would be possible without community participation,” according to Perrine. “Take a class; audition for a show or become a volunteer, member or sponsor.”

What’s next

For the 2019-20 season, which will be the first under the leadership of new executive director Dimitri Stankevich, there are a total of 46 classes on topics ranging from art to dance to stage lighting.

The offerings include: yoga with Patsy Stephens; painting with Terry Johnson; kids’ art with Brook Meinhardt; a wide variety of adult and child dance classes with Moss, Anthony and Tiffany Loney; Island Aerial Acrobatics classes; monthly lectures from the Orcas Island Garden Club; lighting and directing courses by Robert Hall; a youth acting program by Loney and Perrine that culminates in a spring performance of “Where the Sidewalk Ends;” and an adult acting class by Perrine that also ends in a spring production.

Island artists can submit work to the Visual Arts Committee, which currently consists of 13 volunteers and has been part of the OC community since the 1980s. They are tasked with presenting monthly artwork in the lobby and Madrona Room.

The center’s upcoming season of productions launches on Sept. 12 with the “Lost Virginity Tour” and finishes next July with the “Fantasticks.” The shows in between include “Whale of a Show,” “Rocky Horror Show,” “The Roasted Nut,” “Oleanna,” “Chicago” and an all-female “Hamlet.”

In addition to shows and screenings, the following festivals use the OC as a venue: Orcas Island Jazz Festival, Orcas Island Film Festival, Orcas Island Lit Fest and the Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival. The upcoming season will feature shows from Woman in the Woods Productions, Olga Symphony, Choral Society, public school musicians, Island Sinfonia and the Community Band.

Booked touring artists include Che Appalache, Mariachi Huenatchi, The Gothard Sisters and Run Boy Run, to name a few. Patrons can also enjoy such on-screen offerings as “Kinky Boots” and “42nd Street,” which will play a week before OC’s upcoming productions of “Rocky Horror Show” and “Chicago,” respectively. Those who want to boogie down can attend a series of dances in the Black Box led by island DJs Bruce Pavitt, Carrie Barroll, Charlie Eon and Ian Welch.

For a full schedule and calendar of events, visit

A look back at 2018-19

Perrine also gave a recap of the center’s latest season, which had the highest number of ticket sales to date; highest number of unique ticket buyers; highest grossing box office; and best concessions number. The 2018-19 season included three of the top five grossing OC shows of all time: “Cirque Us” (#1), “Mamma Mia!” (#2) and “La Cage Aux Folles” (#5). Staff also introduced a tiered ticket pricing program where patrons can pay a lower or higher rate based on what they can afford.

The center’s building also received facility maintenance such as painting the exterior of the ground floor and interior of the lobby, installing LED lighting inside the building and improved lighting outside, repainting parking stripes, putting in new sound in the Madrona Room and refurbishing backstage audio and video and upgrading listening assist so patrons who are hearing impaired can listen to performances with headphones. A new HVAC system is slated to be installed this October. Other building accomplishments were creating a functional dance studio, moving the box office to where it was located originally, buying new lobby furniture and cleaning out the costume and scene shops and props warehouse.

On the technical side of things, OC recently unveiled a new website hosted by a company that is wind-powered, connected to fiber through Rock Island Communications, switched to a new ticketing software and moved many of its programs such as QuickBooks and contract signing to now be on online.

Buy a seat

OC is hoping to replace all 213 seats in front of center stage. Two local donors have offered a seat-for-seat matching campaign of up to $5,000 each. To purchase a new seat for $500, which can be inscribed with the name of you or your loved one, your name or a loved, contact Stankevich at For more information, visit,