Arts and performance journalism
Arts and performance journalism
In Heidi Schreck's "What the Constitution Means to Me," she stands onstage in a yellow blazer as sunny as her disposition and delves into 250 years of national pain and a weighty dose of personal agony too.
There's never been a Village Theatre without Robb Hunt. He was part of a group that founded the Issaquah-based institution in 1979 and, at the end of this season, he will step down, following the "monumental" challenge of the last two years.
Valerie Curtis-Newton misses live theater. The head of directing and playwriting at the University of Washington School of Drama and the founding artistic director for Seattle-based theater company The Hansberry Project, Curtis-Newton is firm in this belief: The magic of theater is untranslatable to another medium.
Seattle Shakespeare Company's artistic director George Mount would like to clear up a misconception: The 18th century isn't an English-language theater wasteland. "[In classical theater], you get lots of Shakespeare and lots of Shaw - but there is some good stuff in between there," Mount said.
For nearly 20 years, the 5th Ave has served as a testing ground for new work, giving them the out-of-town tryout that's a rite of passage on the path to the Great White Way. How have those shows fared?
The noise builds gradually in the Seattle Repertory Theatre rehearsal room where preparations are underway for "As You Like It," the second production in the Rep's nascent Public Works program. Like 2017's "The Odyssey," the cast of "As You Like It" numbers close to 100. In this packed room, a din is inevitable.
Roger Guenveur Smith, whose one-man shows about Rodney King and Huey P. Newton were brought to the big screen by Spike Lee, is bringing his solo show "Frederick Douglass Now" to the stage at the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute. It's no mere history lesson.
Steve Tomkins isn’t really in the mood for reminiscing. The longtime Village Theatre artistic director is retiring next spring at the conclusion of his 25th season at the helm. But he's not thinking about that. “I haven’t done a memory lane in a long time,” said Tomkins, 70. “I’m a here-and-now kind of guy.”
Desdemona Chiang can’t see into the future, but that’s not going to stop her from trying. The prolific director, 37, who has a new show opening at Seattle Public Theater (SPT) this week, is hesitant to ascribe too much responsibility for social change to the theater.
Any doubts that a musical about 9/11 could work were quelled long ago by "Come From Away," the disarming tale of how the citizens of a small town in Newfoundland, Canada, rose to the occasion when 38 commercial planes were diverted there following the terrorist attacks.
Paul and Jean are a couple from Wisconsin celebrating their 24th anniversary in Cairo. It's not going so well. A romantic evening with a Nile River cruise has fallen apart, and an offhand remark has spiraled into an admission that he doesn't find her sexually attractive anymore.
The faint scent of distant wildfires and a low, hazy sky functioned as the backdrop to the opening of José Rivera’s “Marisol,” from The Williams Project, last Friday, Aug. 13. Performed outdoors, through Aug. 29, it’s one of Seattle’s first full-scale theater productions since the pandemic began. But before the show, director Ryan Guzzo Purcell’s safety preamble had nothing to do with COVID-19.
Branden Jacobs-Jenkins' An Octoroon is a play that gives you a shot in the arm and a punch to the gut. It's thrilling and mesmerizing and discomfiting. It's framed by meta-theatrical pretense, but its center is a kind of artifice that used to be more palatable to theatre audiences: the melodrama.
Oh, hello. Who's that at the door? Why it's that creaky old Hollywood property all gussied up in a new wig and a fresh set of false teeth, here with designs to take up residence again in our pop-culture-loving hearts.
Howard Barnes shoves a wandering jazz hand behind his back and grits his teeth, to no avail: He's gotta sing. His life has turned into a musical, and he has no idea how to stop it.
A queasy feeling descends early watching Scottish playwright David Harrower’s 2005 play, Blackbird. The setting is deadly depressing: a charmless break room in an anonymous warehouse, a folding table and chairs sitting among piles of food packaging strewn everywhere. The theater’s air conditioner moans with regularity, providing the perfect soundscape to this fluorescent-lit hell, and perhaps, offering a reminder to breathe.
The stage is swathed in omnipresent murk in Book-It Repertory Theatre’s stylishly languorous production of “The Picture of Dorian Gray.” This haze that never seems to lift signifies the actual — clouds of cigarette smoke or an oppressively foggy London night — and the intangible — the amoral miasma that Dorian chooses to live in.
A megawatt-cheerful, innuendo-laden tap dance opens Clare Barron’s Dance Nation, a jolt of sunshine that gave me a good feeling about the play to come. Then, there’s a gruesome leg injury — and I got really excited.
News and feature reporting
Residents of three Oklahoma counties were eligible to file their tax returns late this year, but the state Tax Commission is sending many of those taxpayers penalty notices anyway.
Marc Bernhard is serious about absinthe. The owner of Pacific Distillery, he's been collecting varieties of the controversy-laden spirit for more than a decade, but it wasn't until he tasted a 100-year-old bottle that he finally got it.
Tatyana "Tanya” Golubeva starts her work day around 8 p.m. and most days, it isn’t quitting time until 4 or 5 in the morning. She doesn’t have a graveyard shift; she’s in a time zone 11 hours ahead of the rest of her office.