Hi-Liners find new home after arson damages their Burien Annex stage

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The Hi-Liners – like Burien Actors Theatre – were victims of last Tuesday’s arson at the Burien Annex, but “the show must go on,” and the group will be performing “Bye Bye Birdie” at the Renton Civic Theatre starting Jan. 10.

“The morning of December 10 presented our organization with a new challenge,” said Hi-Liners President Gerry Gilbert in an email. “The Burien Annex Auditorium was the victim of an apparent arson and our performance space has been damaged not only by the fire and smoke, but also by the equipment and water used to extinguish the fire.”

Gilbert added that initially it looked like their studios might also be unusable for a significant period, but by days’ end the news improved greatly – the Hi-Liners studios were certified for occupancy.

“I was asked, as I stood by watching the magnificent fire fighters do their jobs, if the fire was going to shut us down and my answer is a resounding ‘NO!'” Gilbert said. “We are not defined by our building; we are defined by our volunteers, staff, students and those who attend our shows. Where we all gather, that is where The Hi-Liners Musical Theatre is located. While this has created some short term inconveniences, it is not a show stopper by any means.”

“Renton Civic Theatre has generously opened their doors to us, so the show will go on, and classes resumed on December 11,” Gilbert said. “The biggest challenge for the upcoming months will be finding a rehearsal space big enough to accommodate our large casts during the repair process. Burien Evangelical Church and Momentum Music and Dance Academy have been helping us in the last few weeks of Birdie rehearsal, and for that, we are very grateful.”

The Hi-Liners production of “Bye Bye Birdie” will open Jan. 10, as planned. Here’s the synopsis:

Bye Bye Birdie is one of the funniest musicals of our time. It is a satire done with the fondest affection, and tells the story of an Elvis type rock and roll singer who is about to be inducted into the army. An English Teacher, What Did I Ever See in Him?, Put on a Happy Face, One Boy, A Lot of Livin’ to Do, Kids, Rosie, and Spanish Rose are musical theatre classics. This is the tops in imagination and good old fashion fun.

Performance Schedule

  • Friday, January 10, 7pm
  • Saturday, January 11, 3pm
  • Saturday, January 11, 7pm
  • Sunday, January 12, 3pm
  • Friday, January 17, 7pm
  • Saturday, January 18, 3pm
  • Saturday, January 18, 7pm
  • Sunday, January 19, 3pm

“People have been asking what they can do to help,” added Artistic Director Kathleen Edwards. “Of course, financial support is always appreciated, and you can make a donation on the support page of our website. If you would like to make an additional long-term impact, please use the power of the pen. Write a letter to the newspaper, the B-Town Blog, and especially, the Burien Arts Commission and/or City Council. We need to make our community aware that the only viable, alternative theater space for us is outside the city limits. Let’s “project our voices” and let people know how important it is for Burien theatre arts to be produced in Burien.”

For more information, visit http://hi-liners.org/index.html

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One Response to “Hi-Liners find new home after arson damages their Burien Annex stage”
  1. Tina Giesbers says:

    A huge thank you to the Burien community for their support in the days following the fire. A special thank you to the B-Town Blog for reaching out to The Hi-Liners and asking how they can help. Burien is a great place to live, work, and play. Let’s keep theatre thriving in Burien!

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