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Archive for September, 2011

Lorenzo and Larry Pisoni.

A young man runs away from home to New York City at age fifteen. A string of jobs land him in a nightclub where he meets acrobats, jugglers, and other performers. He starts learning acrobatics and juggling on weekends. He’s pretty good. Then one day he leaves NYC and heads to San Francisco. He calls up a theatre troupe and says, “Here I am, and I’m going to teach you circus skills.” They dig it. In a few years, he starts his own circus and creates a legacy.

In anticipation of Seattle Rep’s opening production of Lorenzo Pisoni and Erica Schmidt’s Humor Abuse, a play that explores Lorenzo’s relationship with his father and his experience growing up in his father’s Pickle Family Circus, we sat down with the man behind it all—Larry Pisoni, Lorenzo’s father.

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What did you think of Humor Abuse?

September 22nd, 2011 by Danielle.Girard

No really, what'd you think?

Opening night of Humor Abuse is approaching fast! Preview performances start next week, and we’d like to give you a place to share your thoughts about the show. So what’d you think? Ready to join the circus? Leave a comment on this post and let us know how you feel.


5 favorite moments from season sneak peek

September 21st, 2011 by Danielle.Girard

Jerry Manning, Seattle Rep's Artistic Director, introduces the season preview's panel of speakers.

After last Thursday night’s sneak preview of Seattle Rep’s upcoming season, a patron shared with me how the event increased her growing excitement about our upcoming season. I couldn’t agree more. As the new Communications Intern at Seattle Rep, I volunteered to help out with our Season Preview. By attending, I enjoyed the same privileges as our donors and subscribers: the chance to hear intimate details about this season’s productions from seven of the artists involved. Some highlights and insights of the night included:

1. Watching Jolene Obertin, Seattle Rep’s properties director, don goggles and gloves as she discussed the exciting scenic challenges posed by our upcoming production of John Logan’s Red, a Tony-award winning drama about the relationship between painter Mark Rothko and his apprentice. Jolene mentioned the difficulty of stretching canvas, an activity the actors will perform on stage each night, in addition to painting during the play.

2. Learning that Lorenzo Pisoni, the star of Humor Abuse, kicked director Erica Schmidt out of a show he was performing in during their pre-Humor Abuse days because she was laughing too loudly. When she walked back in, Pisoni and his fellow performer decided to duct tape her to her chair. The friendship and artistic relationship that began during their college years led to their collaboration on this season’s production of Humor Abuse.

3. Hearing Erin Kraft, Seattle Rep’s casting director, list – from memory – every actor currently cast for this season’s productions when asked by a patron.

4. Laughing with audience members in anticipation of our Dogs Night Out performance of Sylvia.  If you’re a dog lover, mark your calendars for November 13 and bring your pooch with you to see the show!

5. Listening to Jerry Manning, Seattle Rep’s artistic director, discuss the theme of this season— relationships—and chat about our world-premiere co-production with Berkeley Repertory Theatre of Bill Cain’s How to Write a New Book for the Bible.

I am excited to be a part of the Seattle Rep family. Last Thursday’s season preview only increased my anticipation for this season’s productions. If you want to find out more information about any of our upcoming productions, check out this link:

Also, below you’ll find a list of the entire panel of speakers from Thursday night:

Jerry Manning (Seattle Rep’s Artistic Director and director of this season’s production of I Am My Own Wife), Erica Schmidt (director of Humor Abuse), Elisabeth Farwell-Mooreland (Seattle Rep’s producing director), Cary Wong (scenic designer of Sylvia), Jolene Obertin (Seattle Rep’s properties director), Erin Kraft (Seattle Rep’s casting director), and Braden Abraham (Seattle Rep’s associate artistic director and director of Clybourne Park).


Our wonderful Company Manager Sarah Petty and her fiance Rob Scherzer (both actors around town… maybe you caught them in RK Productions’ 25th Annual Putnam Country Spelling Bee?) were set to get married in Mexico this November. And they will. But first, they’ll be getting hitched tomorrow on a rollercoaster at the Puyallup Fair after winning a radio contest. Here’s Sarah’s story of what happened:

Sarah and Rob after finding out they'd won the rollercoaster wedding.

I entered a radio contest on Star 101.5 – “In 100 words or less describe the most romantic thing that your fiancé ever did for you.” I wrote a sweet story about the first time Rob said, “I love you” to me. (Download the audio here.) The judges must’ve liked it, because as of last week Thursday…we won!  Which means that tomorrow, September 15th, we will be getting married at 7:00am on the giant wooden rollercoaster at the Puyallup fair by ‘Reverend’ Kent Phillips (he actually is an ordained minister!), followed by a ‘scone reception’ and cake, where our guests will be pulled by tractor on a kind of people mover thing.  Weird? Yes. Awesome??!  YES!!

We are still getting married in Mexico in November and we’re extremely excited. The plan was to always have a legal ceremony here in the states (the red tape of getting legally wed in Mexico is way more trouble than it’s worth). We were going to get our papers signed and everything legal in a courtroom in Seattle, but I guess our plans have changed (in a great way that involves someone else footing the bill!)

So if you see me a bit frantic in the halls tomorrow please know it’s just because I have had to plan a wedding in 7 days. Here is what we did in the first 72 hours:

·        Obtained our wedding license.

·        Drove it to the radio station to ‘make it official,’ sign papers,
and have a little photoshoot (see pic to right)

·        Picked our colors (Sounders Blue and Green of course!!)

·        Picked our cake flavor and design with a local bakery in Puyallup.

Sarah and Rob (top left and top middle) in 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Photo Photo courtesy Matthew R. Throssell.

·        Had Rob and his impromptu groomsmen fitted for tuxes (my Dad will be his best man)

·        Bought a cheap wedding dress and veil to wear for Thursday.

·        Gathered guest passes and maps from radio station to give to our now almost 100 people coming!!

·        Went to Ben Bridge and picked out our wedding bands.

·        E-mailed/called/texted our friends and family both on this coast and back East to fill them in.

·        Fielded all e-mails/calls/texts from our friends and family wanting ALL the details.

·        Wrote our vows to be said as we climb up the rollercoaster.

So, make sure to listen this Thursday to Star 101.5 as they will air the ceremony, as well as watch Komo TV where they will show a quick segment!

Let the good times roll!

Participants from a previous TAT workshop explore a movement exercise.

An eight-month training program for Washington teaching artists kicks off tomorrow at Seattle Rep!

Over 40 teaching artists from across the state will meet at the Rep this Thursday through Saturday as part of the 2011-2012 Washington State Teaching Artist Training Lab, also known around the office as the TAT Lab. This exciting professional development program provides teaching artists a chance to learn new approaches and reflect on their goals for the classroom.

For those of you who don’t know, teaching artists enrich Washington classrooms by partnering with schools and classroom teachers to provide opportunities for students to experience art first hand. Teaching artists share their passion for theatre, visual art, dance, music, literature, poetry, and creative writing through demonstrations, lessons, and exercises that are relevant and meaningful for students.

Seattle Rep Education Intern Matt Giles talks about TAT Lab: “It’s not simply a three-day training course. It takes place over the course of the year. That’s unique. The people who were accepted into the program are committing to all aspects of the training, from this weekend through the end of the school year.”

Want to know more? Here are some cool facts about the TAT Lab program and this weekend’s TAT Lab session:

  • The Teaching Artist Training Lab was started in 2005 by education professionals and teaching artists from the Shakespeare Theatre Company, the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, and Seattle Repertory Theatre.
  • While the Lab initially focused on theatre practitioners, by 2008 Seattle Rep started working with dancers and visual artists as well. Participant interest and demand continued, which led to the development of the 2011-2012 statewide, eight-month TAT Lab.
  • This weekend’s TAT Lab will include workshops, teleconferences, and activities that focus on improving lesson plans to provide quality educational experiences for all students. It will offer new ideas for identifying and achieving learning objectives, as well as better assessment criteria for lessons.
  • The TAT Lab also values self-reflection and exploring the question of “Why am I a teaching artist?” Journal exercises and other workshops will guide participants through exploring personal challenges and goals for their work.
  • In addition to the educational benefit, it should also be a good time as teachers learn through discussion, writing, reflection, and movement.

The Washington State Arts Commission partnered with Seattle Rep to offer this exciting eight-month professional development program. Other collaborators of the program include the Seattle Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs, 4Culture, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Seattle Repertory Theatre

Donors and subscribers get sneak peek at the season

September 2nd, 2011 by Seattle Repertory Theatre

Patrons talk to the cast of The Cure at Troy, 2009.

Sorry to be exclusive, but being in the in-crowd has a few perks…

If you’re a Seattle Rep donor or subscriber, you should have received an invite in the mail to our Season Preview Event happening Thursday, September 15. We hope you can join us.

7 p.m. Reception in the Rotunda

7:30 p.m. Season Preview with Artistic Director Jerry Manning

This free event is a special opportunity to meet Jerry, Associate Artistic Director Braden Abraham, and artists from the upcoming season. Get the inside scoop on the plays first hand—directly from the people working on them!

If you haven’t RSVP’d yet, call 206-443-2222 by Sept. 9

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