Courtesy photo
                                The lobby at Meydenbauer Center Theatre in Bellevue.

Courtesy photo The lobby at Meydenbauer Center Theatre in Bellevue.

Meydenbauer Center Theatre debuts new entertainment in Bellevue

Local performing arts center expands programming to meet booming Eastside’s need for arts.

More arts and culture is on the way to Meydenbauer Center Theatre.

Meydenbauer Center Theatre recently announced it will showcase new arts and entertainment options in downtown Bellevue starting this fall. It will begin with performances by the national touring company of The Second City and popular Vancouver, Canada based stomp-grass group The Paperboys.

Meydenbauer Center Theatre opened in 1995 with the goal to serve as a key community asset for local arts and entertainment for Bellevue. The Theatre is an intimate and well-equipped 410 seat proscenium theatre that supports a wide range of performances and events in Bellevue.

Meydenbauer Center Theatre is owned and operated by the Bellevue Convention Center Authority (BCCA), a public development authority. The seven-member BCCA Board is appointed by the Bellevue city manager and confirmed by the city council. The Theatre hosts a variety of community events. More than 130 performances are held at Meydenbauer Center annually attended by nearly 40,000 guests each year.

Since opening its doors, Meydenbauer Center Theatre has served the local community as a rental facility for local and regional arts organizations. The Theatre will begin hosting new entertainment that hasn’t been easily accessible to Bellevue residents in the past. The first year of new entertainment at Meydenbauer Center Theatre will focus on engaging audiences with popular live music, comedy and family programming.

“We recognize the theatre can do more for the community,” Jeff Vaughan, Meydenbauer Center director of facility services, said. “We’ve been seeing a lot of the same audiences and this is an opportunity for us to bring the community more arts and culture.”

Between returning clients, Vaughn said, there’s still room for the theatre to provide more arts to the community.

From 2010 to 2017, the population in downtown Bellevue area increased about 73 percent, making it the fifth largest city in the state of Washington. With more people moving to the area, Vaughn said new people—new families and new cultures—the Theatre can offer better programming to meet the need for diverse art on the Eastside.

“The arts are important to a community,” he said. “I’ve seen the transformation of a community when there’s more art.”

Devon Stern-Powell, the theatre services manager for Meydenbauer Center Theatre, works to book the acts and performances for the theatre.

“We’re dipping our toes into the water with this,” she said. “Our renters don’t bring a lot of music or comedy so that’s one thing we’re trying to include more of.”

Currently, Meydenbauer Center Theatre has scheduled The Paper Boys for October and two shows of the Second City. Coming next spring, Vaughn said Peking acrobats will perform.

For more information, visit Meydenbauer Center’s website (https://www.meydenbauer.com/).

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