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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Spokane Valley Summer Theatre, Stage Left Theater leader win Governor’s Arts awards

Laura Ingalls (Jennifer Tindall) and Nellie Oleson (Sophia Williams) face off in Spokane Valley Summer Theatre’s “Little House on the Prairie.”  (Kevin Egeland)

Spokane Valley Summer Theatre and Jeremy Whittington of Stage Left Theater in Spokane each received a Luminary Award as part of the 2021 Governor’s Arts & Heritage Luminary Awards.

The awards recognize individuals and organizations for their significant contributions to Washington’s creative vitality, according to a Washington State Arts Commission news release. This year, the awards acknowledge arts and heritage organizations and cultural leaders who stood as shining lights for their communities during the coronavirus pandemic.

Whittington was the Eastern Washington individual winner, while Spokane Valley Summer Theatre was the Eastern Washington organization winner.

Whittington “assembled a team of artists willing to push the limitations of theater past the traditional physical space and into the exciting new world of virtual production,” the release said. “Within a few months, Stage Left had produced multiple playwrighting festivals and special events on a virtual platform, as well as two full-length one-person productions, with two more scheduled for later in the season.”

Spokane Valley Summer Theatre will return to indoor productions with audiences of up to 550-plus per show, the release said. “Months of planning went into their decision” to bring shows back in person this season, the release said. “It was of paramount importance to their company to return to producing high-quality musicals.”