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Originally published September 2, 2007 at 12:00 AM | Page modified September 2, 2007 at 2:04 AM

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Couple shares passion for stage, starts theater company

For Phil and Jackie Edwards, of Auburn, theater is a family affair. The couple, who have performed in community theaters throughout the...

Special to The Seattle Times

Scheduled shows

"The Tempest" Sept. 21-23 and 28-30 at Auburn Riverside High School Theatre

"Narnia" Nov. 30, Dec. 1-2, 7-9, 14-16 at Auburn Mountainview High School Auditorium

"Kiss Me Kate" April 18-20 and 25-27 at Auburn Riverside High School Theatre

For more information: Visit the Auburn Regional Theatre Web site at www.experience-art.org.

Source: Auburn Regional Theater

For Phil and Jackie Edwards, of Auburn, theater is a family affair.

The couple, who have performed in community theaters throughout the region, met in 1998 while doing "Man of La Mancha" at the Renton Civic Theater.

Jackie Edwards' children, Jordin and Elisa Rosin, also are performers. Both enjoy acting and singing, and both play musical instruments and have performed in several shows, including "Oliver!" and "Carmen."

"It is somewhat unusual for an entire family to be involved," Jackie Edwards said. "But we all love it equally."

The family love of the theater spurred the couple to start the Auburn Regional Theatre in April.

"We have loved and grown up with the theater," Jackie Edwards said. "Having our own theater company has always been a pipe dream, but we thought if we don't do it now, we may never get another chance. It's been a whirlwind."

The theater is led by an eight-member board. Phil Edwards is managing director, and his wife is artistic director. For the first season, the Edwardses have set a schedule of plays they hope offers something for everyone. Three upcoming productions are scheduled to be performed at Auburn high-school facilities.

The couple wants the new theater to become a regional community where actors, singers and musicians of all ages can audition and perform.

Jordin Rosin, who graduated from Auburn Riverside High School, and Elisa Rosin, an Auburn Riverside freshman, have been involved in the school district's theater program for years, Jackie Edwards said.

Phil and Jackie Edwards are known around the area — but not necessarily as themselves. The couple performs at community festivals, including the city's Fourth of July celebration and Auburn Good Ol' Days, as Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe.

The couple hold drama workshops and perform with Jordin and Elisa Rosin at senior centers around the area.

The family also owns Seventh Child Productions, a company it bought three years ago and renamed for Jackie Edwards, who is the youngest of seven children. The company (www.seventhchildproductions.com) holds dress-up theme parties that can include magic shows, visits from special characters and more.

Laurie Rose, Auburn's cultural-arts manager, says the city is excited to have the Edwardses and Auburn Regional Theatre in the community.

In January, Auburn began leasing and renovating the Auburn Avenue Theater, a longtime venue for dinner theater. By providing a community performance space, the city's undertaking will create an opportunity for the new theater group and other local arts organizations.

Phil and Jackie Edwards are pleased with the help they've gotten from the city.

"I feel like Auburn is really stepping up and helping us," Jackie Edwards said. "The amount of support from the community has been phenomenal."

Dana Blozis is a Kent freelance writer: dana@virtuallyyourz.com

Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company

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