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The Belly Rules the Mind: Eat at the New Armory

June 26th, 2012 by Seattle Repertory Theatre

food court

A rendering of the new Armory/Center House! (Many of these renovations have already occured).

Venturing down to the Seattle Center soon to enjoy summer festivals and the Next 50 celebration? Then don’t miss out on the chance to check out the newly revamped food court at the Centerhouse (now called The Armory).

Now you may be wondering–why is Seattle Rep even talking about this? Let’s put it this way…the plethora of mouth-watering restaurants in the neighborhood makes it hard for our employees to honor that sack lunch they brought to work this morning. And besides, everybody loves finding a quick and tasty bite!

The revamped Armory isn’t your typical food court; some good stuff moved in recently and more will be coming soon! Think Eltana (wood-fired bagel cafe), Pie (savory and sweet flaky treats), Sweet Treats (think you can guess what this is), MOD PizzaCeres Roasting CompanySkillet, Dante’s Inferno Dogs, The Confectional, Bigfood (flatbread sandwiches, yum!) and Bean Sprout (health-focused cafe and kids’ cooking school). 

Kudos to Seattle Center for the revamp and providing folks with healthier options and more delicious choices. We’re thinking it will come in handy for those patrons this upcoming season who need  a quick bite before the show. (We definitely recommend trying the Chicken Pot Pie at Pie). 

There’s a Spanish proverb that says, “The belly rules the mind.”  Now go forth and eat!

 

 

Seattle Repertory Theatre

A Moment with Playwright Vincent Delaney

June 20th, 2012 by Seattle Repertory Theatre

Daddy/daughter hard at work: Vincent & Lila. Seattle playwright Vincent Delaney just returned to the Emerald City after having a staged reading of his new work Foreclosure performed in New York last week. An earlier reading of Foreclosure took place at Seattle Rep at the beginning of May as part of the Inaugural Seattle Rep Writers Group showcase.

We finally caught up with Delaney to ask a few questions about his new play and what’s next for him. 

About the play:

What happens when your best friends lose their home but refuse to leave it? Foreclosure examines what we really owe our neighbors and takes a sharply comical look at a modern collapse that shows no sign of ending.

SRT: What inspired you to write Foreclosure?
Foreclosure came from personal experience: we live in a tight cul de sac with three other families. All of us know each other, and the kids all play together. It’s warm, friendly, social.

I started thinking about the odd intimacy of neighbors–you know so much about each other, you’re friends (sort of), and yet there are boundaries. What happens when the boundaries fracture? And what might happen if your neighbor lost everything, and you were left standing? That was the genesis of the play. It led to questions about family, what we owe each other, and if we can truly survive when others are watching their world collapse.

(Our actual neighbors are wonderful parents btw, who are not the characters in the play…should they happen to read this!)

SRT: Tell us a bit about having the reading of Foreclosure in NYC. What was it like?
The reading in NY was thrilling. I was matched with a team of producers (the Broadway Consortium and Mondays Dark Theater Company) who were able to bring in investors to help move the play toward Off Broadway next season. One of the highlights was the producers panel afterwards, something I’ve never done. Instead of feedback on the script itself, the discussion was all about the viability of producing the play–everything from “is the title going to draw people in” to “what is the shelf life of this play, given how topical it is?” I found that discussion to be so illuminating, since I really had no idea how producers think.

SRT: How long have you been a playwright, and how did you get into playwriting?
I started as an actor (and still get to act from time to time, when my family lets me). Did an MFA in Playwriting in the 90s, tried to balance both careers, wasn’t doing too well at either. Around 2001 I finally realized I was a playwright who occasionally acted, not the reverse. But having started as an actor, I still see writing through that lens. Regardless of the style or genre, it always ends up being character driven. (Not that I’d want to be in my own stuff, but the dialogue always seems to feel as if I were personally in rehearsal.)

SRT: What do you like to write about?
Ideas come from everywhere. Three Screams came from a newspaper blurb about the repeated (and puzzling) theft of Munch’s painting. T or C came from my own terror at being a parent. 99 Layoffs came from hanging out with two fantastic actors (K. Brian Neel and Aimee Bruneau), who had asked me to write them a play. I think I swing wildly between genres (Foreclosure is serious, 99 Layoffs and ampersand are comedies), depending on how crazy I feel.

SRT: What’s the best and/or worst advice you’ve received about writing?
Worst advice: two years ago I wrote a comedy called ampersand, about a husband and wife who clone each other to improve their marriage. It’s high comedy, in the Feydeau style, with some Durangian wickedness thrown in. One of the first people who read it was a director who said it could never work as a play, the audience would understand nothing (and wouldn’t care), and my best hope was to turn it into a novel. The play just won the Reva Shiner Award from the Bloomington Playwrights Project, which is doing the second professional production next season. Glad I didn’t take that advice.

Best advice: don’t take any of this too seriously. (But don’t get lazy, either.)

SRT: Tell us something quirky about yourself. 
Quirky fact: when I’m not writing plays, I’m playing scooter soccer with kids at BF Day Elementary.

SRT: What’s next for you?  
What’s next: 99 Layoffs opens August 2nd at ACT, with the marvelous Aimee Bruneau and K. Brian Neel, directed by David Gassner. 

Foreclosure has a workshop at New Century Theatre this fall, ampersand opens in April 2013 in Bloomington, and hopefully we’ll have dates for the NY production of Foreclosure very soon.

This summer I’m trying to expand a ten minute play I wrote for New Century called Renditionation. It’s a comedy about enhanced interrogation.

Seattle Repertory Theatre

Meet Playwright Stephanie Timm

June 14th, 2012 by Seattle Repertory Theatre

Seattle Rep Writers Group playwright Stephanie Timm.

This Friday, June 15, marks the final staged reading in the Inaugural Writers Group Showcase.  Come see Stephanie Timm’s new play Rats in the Garden of Eden at the Rep’s PONCHO Forum at 3 p.m.–it’s free and open to the public!

About the play:

Rats in the Garden of Eden by Stephanie Timm, directed by Kathleen Collins
When Pearl shows up at her younger sister Opal’s doorstep with a suitcase and a box of “sensual products” to sell after a long, mysterious absence, she finds Opal living in an insular world of romance novels and poetry. Rats in the Garden of Eden explores what happens when someone has to choose between fantasy or reality—one leads to madness, the other to inevitable disappointment.

Read below for a little snippet about Stephanie and her new work. 

SRT: What inspired you to write Rats in the Garden of Eden?
A lot of little kernels inspired the play. I collect quirky news articles, and had one about a rat in a baby’s crib, and I got to thinking how that would affect that child growing up, dealing with a severe cosmetic abnormality like that. I was also inspired by True West by Sam Shepherd and Lonesome West by Martin McDonagh (which I think was inspired by True West). Both of these are about brothers, and I thought it’d be interesting to see that competitive dynamic played out between sisters. In many ways I think competition between sisters and between women is much more fierce and can be much more brutal.

SRT: How long have you been a playwright, and how did you get into playwriting?
In 1999, when I moved up to Seattle after graduating from Willamette University, I wanted to be an actor. I found it very challenging to find contemporary monologues for women my age to audition with. So I started writing those parts, first in a short, ten minute solo piece, then my first play The Frog, which I acted in. After being in two of my shows, I was totally in love with the writing and not the acting aspect. Ever since, I always write roles that I could play, roles for my “type” even though I don’t ever intend to act again. I want to always be creating good roles for women.

SRT: What do you like to write about?
I write a lot about the divided self. I am interested in those contradictory aspects of people, including myself.

SRT: What’s the best and/or worst advice you’ve received about writing?
The best advice I got about writing was when I went and saw Anna Quindlen read from a new novel. I remember she said, “If I sit around and wait for inspiration, I’ll never write anything. It’s when you ARE writing that you get inspired.” I have found that to be absolutely true. It’s when I’m in there, with the page, writing something that’s usually really bad, that I get the good idea.

The worst writing advice I ever got was from a teacher of mine who said, “I don’t give two shits what anyone else says about your draft. You need to listen to ME.” I think the most detrimental thing for someone’s work is a dictatorial teacher who insists they know what’s best for your play, instead of equipping you with tools to use and think for yourself when they are no longer around.

SRT: Tell us something quirky about yourself.
I’m an introvert posing as an extrovert.

SRT: What’s next for you?
I have been commissioned, along with composer David Austen, to write a new musical for 5th Avenue Theatre, as part of their brand new Alhadeff New Works Program. I am absolutely thrilled! In collaboration with composer Albert Evans, I wrote Rosie the Riveter! for their Adventure Musical Theatre program, and I had a great experience. I never saw myself writing musicals, but now that I’m doing it, I must say that I love it. Especially when I have such amazing collaborators!

Seattle Repertory Theatre

Stuck on what to get Dad? Try a SRT Gift Card

June 13th, 2012 by Seattle Repertory Theatre

Stuck on what to give Dad this weekend for Father’s Day? Or how about what to give that recent graduate, that soon-to-be newlywed couple, or the upcoming birthday girl?

Seattle Rep gift certificates make the perfect gift and are available through our box office (206-443-2222) or website. The best part? They never expire and can be used throughout our exciting 50th Anniversary season, highlighted below. . .

Pullman Porter Blues by Cheryl L. West—a world premiere production

A captivating coming of age story—woven with live blues music—that follows three generations of porters as they confront dark secrets from their past and tough truths about their future together. 

The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams

An imaginative and intimate take on Tennessee Williams’ shattering classic, in which an aging Southern Belle longs for her youth and dreams of a better life for her children.

Inspecting Carol by Daniel Sullivan and the Seattle Repertory Theatre Resident Company

This quirky Seattle Rep classic goes behind the scenes at a struggling theatre’s annual slapdash production of A Christmas Carol—a hilarious spoof that makes for a night at the theatre that is anything but show business as usual. 

American Buffalo by David Mamet

Set in a run-down junk shop, three men of great ambition and low morals plan a heist of a customer’s valuable coin collection in Mamet’s modern masterpiece. 

Photograph 51 by Anna Ziegler

An intriguing portrait of British scientist Rosalind Franklin and her—often overlooked—role in the discovery of DNA’s double helix structure. A complex tale of how a courageous woman operated in a field dominated by men. 

Good People by David Lindsay-Abaire

This Tony-nominated New York hit is an insightful comedy of class and culture that focuses on Margie, a single mother from the wrong side of the tracks who seeks a fresh start with an old flame.  

Boeing-Boeing by Marc Camoletti, adapted by Beverley Cross

It’s the 1960s and swinging bachelor Bernard couldn’t be happier: he’s juggling three stewardess fiancés at his flat in Paris. But his fun soon turns to chaos in this riotous farce when all three arrive in town at the same time! 

Visit our website for more info about the 50th Anniversary season and buying gift certificates!

Seattle Repertory Theatre

Playwright Profile: Meet Al Frank

May 31st, 2012 by Seattle Repertory Theatre

Seattle Rep Writers Group playwright Al Frank.

Stop by Seattle Rep this Friday, June 1 at 3 p.m. to catch the FREE staged reading of Al Frank’s Ain’t No Place Like Home in our PONCHO Forum. This reading marks the fourth new work presented during our Inaugural Seattle Rep Writers Group showcase, which will present again on June 15. 

About the play: It’s late June and Seattle is heating up. People camping in the I-5 greenbelt known as ‘the jungle’ worry about change. With no place else to go, they’re hoping a peaceful summer will keep them out of sight– at least until after the fireworks.

We asked Al to tell us more about himself and his new play.

SRT: What inspired you to write Ain’t No Place Like Home?

I was waiting at the foot of the Dearborn exit from I-5 South for the 2 a.m. traffic light to change when a vision of a homeless camp in the nearby brush sprung to life. More characters than I could accommodate auditioned to participate in the drama. Eight of them, loosely based on homeless people I had encountered in my neighborhoods, got the parts.

SRT: How long have you been a playwright, and how did you get into playwriting?

For a number of years I listened to a close friend discuss his work as a dramatist in great detail, telling me about plays he was writing and those he had written. At the time I had nary a notion of writing one of my own. After my late friend’s passing, I thought about what I had learned in our conversations. I had a sense that I owed him a play. As a lone play wouldn’t constitute a fair effort at unlocking and exploring the potential, I promised myself I’d write no fewer than three. I began to write Ain’t No Place Like Home, the first, in 2006.

SRT: What do you like to write about?

So far, I’ve enjoyed writing about characters on social and economic margins. I try to get them spinning top-like, listen and take notes as they bump into one other, revealing their thoughts, problems, stories, and dreams.

SRT: What’s the best and/or worst advice you’ve received about writing?

Best advice: Go get a pencil and a piece of paper.
Worst advice: Don’t do it.

SRT: Tell us something quirky about yourself.

I have a collection of more than twenty Borsalino fedoras, yet only one head.

SRT: What’s next for you?

Currently, I’m working on a full-length play, the third in a cycle, exploring homelessness and related themes. It will be set in a Goodwill-like job training facility. Hopefully, a strong draft will be rounding out by the time next year’s Writers Group Festival of Staged Readings arrives. Furthermore to that, I’ll probably need to write a comedy.

Danielle.Girard

Staff Picks: 15 Plays to Read Before You Die

May 25th, 2012 by Danielle.Girard

Artistic intern Kaytlin McIntyre gets cozy with Anton Chekhov and Tennessee Williams.

The Western canon of dramatic literature is huge. Which got me thinking…if you can’t read it all, where should you start?

Most  of us theatre makers and theatre enthusiasts hope to read or see a great many of these works during our lifetime, but the reality of life and time constraints usually makes keeping up with this “reading list” difficult. 

Since summer is on the horizon and is generally a time for pleasure reading and catching up on those projects we haven’t attended to yet, I decided to poll SRT staff members about some of their favorite plays to make a “suggested summer reading list.”

Here’s a list of the must-read plays folks mentioned this morning as I walked around the office.

- Lysistrata by Aristophanes

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (and if you don’t have time for all of them, SRT staff suggests the following: HamletA Midsummer Night’s Dream, and/or Macbeth

Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand

- Uncle Vanya by Anton Chekhov 

Private Lives by Noël Coward

- No Exit by Jean-Paul Sartre

A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams

Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett

Equus by Peter Shaffer 

Betrayal by Harold Pinter

- Fences by August Wilson

Our Country’s Good by Timberlake Wertenbaker

The Kentucky Cycle by Robert Schenkkan

Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes by Tony Kushner

Proof  by David Auburn

That’s our unofficial “plays to read before you die” list for today. But we know so many exciting and challenging plays aren’t on this recommended reading list. What plays would you add to the must-read/must-see list?


 

 

 

 

Seattle Repertory Theatre

Playwright Profile: Elizabeth Heffron and The Weatherman Project

May 17th, 2012 by Seattle Repertory Theatre

Seattle Rep Writers Group playwright Elizabeth Heffron.

Stop by Seattle Rep this Friday, May 18 at 3 p.m. to catch the FREE staged reading of Elizabeth Heffron and Kit Bakke’s The Weatherman Project in our PONCHO Forum. This reading marks the third new work presented during our Inaugural Seattle Rep Writers Group showcase, which will present again on June 1 and June 15. 

About the play: How far would you be willing to go to fix the problems you see in your country? In 1968, five young people are about to find out.

We asked Elizabeth to tell us a little about herself, as well as her new play. 

SRT: What inspired you and Kit Bakke to write The Weatherman Project?

Mainly, the events of the current day. It’s amazing to see young people rising up again, and facing, if not the same, then very similar entrenched interests and conflicts. Also, Kit was a part of the Movement, and was underground for several years, so she’s an amazing primary source!

SRT: How long have you been a playwright, and how did you get into playwriting?

Looooong time! Since the mid-90s at least. I got into theater by moving to Seattle. I was going to be a scientist and was armed with my BS in Psychobiology, but then Seattle theater people just suck you in…

SRT: What do you like to write about?

I like to write about the boundaries of science, ethics, and human behavior. I also find myself writing about the consequences of the systematic dismantling of our social safety net, especially those consequences for women. But this play isn’t about any of that, it’s about trying to effect change in the face of what seem like intractable forces.

SRT: What’s the best and/or worst advice you’ve received about writing?

Best advice I’ve gotten is to approach everything as a beginner. Be always beginning. I love that.

SRT: Tell us something quirky about yourself.

Quirky? I’m from St. Louis. St. Louis has quirk down.

SRT: What’s next for you?

My play for one woman, BO-NITA, will be part of the JAW Festival at Portland Center Stage this summer, and Braden Abraham’s directing it! Very excited for this…

Seattle Repertory Theatre

Meet Playwright Emily Conbere

May 10th, 2012 by Seattle Repertory Theatre

Seattle Rep Writers Group playwright Emily Conbere hard at work.

Last Friday we kicked off the Inaugural Seattle Rep Writers Group showcase with a reading of playwright Vincent Delaney‘s Foreclosure. The new work continues this week with the second staged reading in the series: The Harold Scholarship by Emily Conbere, directed by Erin Kraft. 

About the play: 

After the loss of their son six months prior, Mr. and Mrs. Harold invite the son’s best friend to spend the weekend with them. During this time, they offer him a scholarship with stakes that are exceedingly high.

We asked Emily to tell us a little about herself, as well as her new play. 

SRT: What inspired you to write The Harold Scholarship?
A lot of this play came out of a personal experience that happened ten years ago. Since then, I’ve been reworking and developing it, and it is interesting to see how it changes as I change. I’m aware that after a suicide, family dynamics change dramatically. The characters in this play feel absurd as they act in ways that used to feel traditional to them and now no longer work.

SRT: How long have you been a playwright, and how did you get into playwriting?
I started playwriting when I was twelve and involved in the Playwrights’ Center’s youth summer conference in Minnesota. My first play (ten minutes long) was called “Troubles with Kitty” and it starred Kevin Kling [who performed at Seattle Rep last month with Simone Perrin in A Fool's Paradise]. The whole experience set the stage for the rest of my life.

SRT: What do you like to write about?
I mostly write about loss, and how loss is like a blank world that needs to be recreated. I like being with my characters as they struggle to create and grow new worlds around them out of the emptiness they’ve experienced. And the loss could be anything- a death or the ending of a relationship, loss of time, or something as commonplace as losing a pair of glasses.

Emily Conbere and Vincent Delaney read a working script at a Writers Group meeeting.

SRT: What’s the best and/or worst advice you’ve received about writing?
Best advice: Sometimes you need to be kind of mean and just say “I can’t hang out or talk to you or engage with you” and close yourself off to others’ expectations so that you can get your writing done. It might feel selfish, but just drink a shot of tequila and start writing.

Worst advice: …just drink a shot of tequila and start writing.

SRT: Tell us something quirky about yourself.

I have a career outside of playwriting that I love; it’s been super helpful because now I’m not dependent on getting theater grants (even though I still apply for them) or taking jobs I don’t like to support myself while I write; starting the new career allowed me to fall in love with writing and theater all over again.

SRT: What’s next for you?
I have a reading of my play “The MAP Annual Fellowship Written by Gerald That” as part of the New Century Theater’s Pipelines Series on June 18th.  I’m also spending the summer developing a series of interviews I’m doing of theater companies in the NW for the Seattle Rep Writers Group blog.  The focus is on how they work with new writers. 

Stop by Seattle Rep this Friday, May 11 at 3 p.m. to catch the FREE staged reading of Emily Conbere’s The Harold Scholarship in our PONCHO Forum. Bring your friends and support local theatre!

Seattle Repertory Theatre

Speak Up! Urban Development in Belltown

May 9th, 2012 by Seattle Repertory Theatre

Check out http://www.belltown.org/bcc.php.

Our current production of Bruce Norris’ Pulitzer Prize-winning, Tony-nominated Clybourne Park explores issues of race, gentrification, and real estate. And while the play itself may be set in a fictional Chicago neighborhood, we recognize these issues’ relevance to Seattle’s own growth and development.

In an effort to start a conversation about these topics at home, we put together the Speak Up! series, which offers community members the chance to discuss the themes of the play as they relate to Seattle. Each discussion is held after Saturday matinee performances of Clybourne Park at Seattle Rep and features a panel of civic leaders, local academics, and community residents.

One of our Speak Up! panelists, Elizabeth Campbell, President of the Belltown Community Council, volunteered to participate in all three Speak Up! discussions, and was gracious enough to share more of her thoughts on the impact of urban development in Belltown on our blog.

Read on to learn more.

read full post »

Seattle Repertory Theatre

The Perfect Match

May 8th, 2012 by Seattle Repertory Theatre

We’re all looking for the perfect match.

And right now, thanks to a challenge grant from the Seattle Repertory Theatre Foundation, any new or increased gift made before June 30 will be matched, dollar for dollar. Your $50 becomes $100, $100 becomes $200.

In the spirit of a good match, here are some matches that never fail to delight:

Ben & Jerry

Seattle Rep’s Managing Director Benjamin Moore and Artistic Director Jerry Manning are a well-made match. Moore joined the Rep in 1985 as Managing Director, and Jerry (who joined SRT in 2001 as Casting Director and later served as Producing Artistic Director) became the Rep’s Artistic Director in 2010. 

Ben & Jerry’s 


Go ahead. Eat the whole pint. 

Bert & Ernie

What would Sesame Street be without these two? (And Ernie’s rubber ducky of course). 

Peanut Butter & Jelly

A match made in heaven. Or at least in our elementary school lunch boxes.

Sonny & Cher

The unforgettable celebrity duo that sold 80 million records worldwide. 

Peas & Carrots

To quote Forrest Gump, “Me and Jenny goes together like peas and carrots.”

You & Seattle Rep

Ticket sales only cover about half of the cost of producing our work. Support the Rep with a gift of any amount: donate during our match and double your impact. For more information on how to donate, visit our website http://www.seattlerep.org/Support/Donate/.

Thank you for your support!

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