Phinney Ridge actress Trish LaGrua will appear in Issaquah’s Village Theatre production of “Anne of Green Gables” from Nov. 10 through Jan. 2.
“I pinch myself every day,” said LaGrua at her Phinney Ridge home of 18 years. “It’s my dream life and I can’t believe I’m living it.”
LaGrua, a member of the Phinney Neighborhood Association for as long as she has lived in the area, said, “I love Phinney; we know all of our neighbors. I can run around Green Lake on sunny days, walk to Starbucks on dreary days, and I can walk to the library and watch the sunset with my husband every day.”
Trish LaGrua outside of the Phinney Ridge Starbucks.
The only challenge for LaGrua has been taking care of her two children, who both attended the Phinney Neighborhood Preschool Co-op, while maintaining the late-night hours of a professional actress for the last three years.
“It’s tough to be an actress and have a family because it’s completely different hours,” she said, referring to the hectic “tech week,” the week before the show opens. “So, most actors don’t have families.”
“During tech, all the layers of the processes come together,” said stage director Vanessa Miller, a Ballard resident. “We’re basically putting the whole show together.”
Miller, a mother of a 6-year-old and teacher of theater arts at The Evergreen School in Shoreline, said of the Village Theatre production, “It’s a really excellent family show for the holiday season that will frankly amaze the audience with the production values, lush sets and costumes.”
Village Theatre Public Relations Manager Michelle Sanders said she understands that Issaquah is a long drive from the Greenwood and Phinney Ridge areas to see a show.
Nonetheless, the show is worth the trip, especially “during the holiday season, [when] people travel to have their ideal entertainment experience with family,” Sanders suggested in an email message.
“It’s a beautiful, mosaic score that the whole family can enjoy,” LaGrua said.
She said her main role in the upcoming production is Mrs. Blewett, “a nasty, stingy woman,” who treats Anne like an indentured servant.
“She plays that role beautifully,” said Miller, as she prepared to get back to moving the technical elements and costumes to the stage. “Trish is a very versatile comic actress with a huge range—and she knows comedy.”
LaGrua also will play Mrs. Hammond, one of Anne’s foster parents.
“I can conceptualize characters into real people,” said LaGrua, who is most proud of her “ability to create characters.”
Trish LaGrua in the Village Theatre production of “The Gypsy King.” Photo by Jay Koh.
Village Theatre productions are performed at the Francis J. Gaudette Theatre, 303 Front St. N. in Issaquah. Tickets can be purchased at the Francis J. Gaudette box office, by calling 425-392-2202 or online.
Tyler Steele is PhinneyWood’s intern. He is a journalism student at the University of Washington.