After a relatively quiet summer, fall brings a surging theatre and performance season. Here are some to look out for — on now, and coming in the next few weeks.
(Note: Queer-centered arts highlighted in pink)
Series, Variety, & Short Runs
Short-run shows usually aren’t up long enough to see first and tell you about later. These selections are all recommended, based on past quality of work and/or early whispers.
Showing Out: Contemporary Black Choreographers, CD Forum (Tacoma & Central District)
This dance series features performances by eight choreographers, curated by Dani Tirrell — with a first showing at Tacoma Art Museum, plus three more shows at Langston Hughes. Different show each night. Show and ticketing info here.
How To Have a Body, Gay City Arts (Capitol Hill)
A solo theatrical show about the intersections of queerness and disability. Gina Stella dell’Assunta uses storytelling, spoken word, ritual and music to explore the trials and joys of living in a queer disabled body. Show and ticketing info here.
Open Mic Fundraiser, Gay City Arts (Capitol Hill)
This fundraiser for Orchid Counseling Services includes an open mic and featured poet. Show info here.
Local Sightings 2018 – Local Legends shorts, NW Film Forum (Capitol Hill)
Not a theatre/performance, but worth a shout-out anyway given the lineup of local filmmakers involved, and their film subjects. From poets to pranksters, musicians to cobblers, these documentary shorts celebrate the talent and spirit of Pacific Northwest residents. Show and ticketing info here.
RE/33 Open Rehearsal, Base (Georgetown)
Open rehearsal, run-through, and discussion with Base founder Dayna Hanson and company members, examining their reconstruction project, RE/33: 33 Fainting Spells Revisited. Free, with refreshments. Show info here.
Sara Porkalob @ Loud Mouth Lit, St. Andrews Bar (Green Lake)
Even the long-running author series is having its season opener — this one with theatre phenom Sara Porkalob, who promises to deliver stories on food and family. What more do you need? Well maybe a drink — which the bar will happily offer. Get there early. No tickets; info here.
The Luring Well, 18th & Union (Capitol Hill/Central District)
A ukulele horror song cycle about two midwest kids who discover a bottomless well in the woods and proceed to throw bad things into it: a feral cat, a menacing bully, a cruel teacher, a true love…. Let the well sort them out. Show and ticketing info here.
The Two-Step, 18th & Union (Capitol Hill/Central District)
Christine Longé’s solo show centers on Edith, a character inspired by her adventurous, gender role-defying grandmother, and explores how culture, memory and leaps of faith contribute to a life boldly lived. From sleepy suburbia to sweltering Saudi Arabia and everywhere in between, she struggles to balance her independence with her need for community. Longé is locally based, but toured the show in the U.S. and Canada to acclaim from critics (“Impossible to dislike”) and audiences (“Best of Fest” audience award, Boulder Fringe) alike. Show and ticketing info here.
“Ze”: queer as f*ck!, 18th & Union (Capitol Hill/Central District)
This late-night solo show is an autobiographical comedy about sex, gender, and the ever-expanding parade of queer labels and identities Michelle/Ryan (Ren) claims on zir way to PRIDE. Show and ticketing info here.
Other shows coming soon to 18th & Union include:
- Why the Moon Hides His Face (Bret Fetzer & the Moonshine Revival Tent) — storytelling and musical performances
- All Her Earthly Days (Bret Fetzer) — Fetzer’s characteristic storytelling style features twisted original fairy tales from Appalachia
- She Is FIERCE (various artists) — a storytelling event with female-identified and genderqueer artists
See full calendar here.
Solo: A Festival of Dance, On the Boards (Lower Queen Anne)
With a different show each night, this festival presents new work from well-known local and not-so-local choreographers, plus a lecture series. Show and ticketing info here.
Represent!: A Multicultural Playwrights Festival, Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute (Central District)
October 4-9 CORRECTION: NOVEMBER 4-9
With a different show each night, this festival presents a local artists showcase (10/4), plus full-length productions from the Hansberry Project, SIS Productions, Pratidhwani, and eSe Teatro. Show and ticketing info here.
Twist: Seattle Queer Film Festival, Three Dollar Bill (various cinemas) (Capitol Hill & Downtown)
Now in its 23rd season, Twist brings established and emerging filmmakers to town, with a full slate of queer-centered feature films and shorts, plus opening and closing events. (Read R Barron’s review of Every Act of Life, which played at SIFF and screens at Twist on October 13, here.) Festival and ticketing info here.
Longer Runs – On Now & Opening Soon
The Noteworthy Life of Howard Barnes, Village Theatre (Issaquah & Everett)
Thru October 21 in Issaquah; runs October 26-November 18 in Everett
Recommended! A world-premiere musical about what happens if an Average Joe’s life becomes … well, a musical. Has a wonderfully light feel, but tackles the very real and timely topic of opening yourself up to feel when life has become a rut. Lively, fun, and well-cast. Show and ticketing info here (Issaquah) and here (Everett).
Richard III, upstart crow collective/Seattle Shakespeare Co. (at Seattle Repertory Theatre) (Seattle Center/Lower Queen Anne)
Thru October 7
Recommended! An all-female re-creation of Shakespeare tales could be gimmicky or yawn-inspiring. Instead, upstart crow collective’s blend of modern, powerful interpretation, minimalist staging, and powerful cast makes for a riveting show. Features a cast of 15 that includes some of the area’s most exciting actors. (Read Michael Strangeways’ review here.) Show and ticketing info here.
Chocolate Hearts, Slate (International District)
Thru September 22
Trio of original comedies with quirky premises by local playwright. Show and ticketing info here.
Native Gardens, Intiman (at Jones Playhouse) (U-District)
Thru September 30
The Journey of the Saint, eSe Teatro/ACTLab (at ACT) (Downtown)
Thru September 30
A new translation, by eSe Teatro founder Rose Cano, of an 18th-century pilgrimage. Show and ticketing info here.
Two Sisters and a Piano, Theater Schmeater (Belltown)
Thru October 6
José Amador directs this play by Nilo Cruz, a game of cat and mouse set against the backdrop of 1991 Cuba, just as the Russian army is finally leaving.
8 pm. Show and ticketing info here.
Prelude to a Kiss, Strawberry Theatre Workshop (Capitol Hill)
Thru October 6
Written in response to the AIDS crisis, a man considers whether love transcends the sudden loss of physical beauty and vitality. Show and ticketing info here.
Skeleton Crew, ArtsWest (West Seattle)
Thru October 14
A tale of work-family vs. self-preservation at an auto plant in the Recession. Part of award-winning playwright Dominique Morisseau’s Detroit cycle. Show and ticketing info here.
Jane Eyre, Book-It Rep (Seattle Center)
Thru October 14
Called the “first historian of the private consciousness,” author Charlotte Brontë explores classism, personal agency, and feminine spirituality in this Gothic mystery. Show and ticketing info here.
Volta, Cirque du Soleil (at Marymoor Park) (Redmond)
Thru November 4
An acrobatic show under the big top, inspired by the adventurous spirit that fuels the culture of street sports. Volta is a story of a game show contestant looking for fame and acceptance and finding himself through his difference instead. Show and ticketing info here.
The Good Woman of Setzuan, ACTLab – Kenan Directing Fellowship (Downtown)
Opens September 21, thru September 29
The annual Kenan Directing Fellowship show is an intimate performance in the Lalie, this one a modern interpretation of a Brecht classic. Show and ticketing info here.
Everything You Touch, Washington Ensemble Theatre (Capitol Hill)
Opens September 21, thru October 8
Dark comedy of a road trip full of self-loathing and self-discovery, plus fashion. Show and ticketing info here.
Legally Blonde, Showtunes (at Cornish Playhouse) (Seattle Center/Lower Queen Anne)
Opens September 22, thru September 30
The Showtunes staging is unique for its concert format and for centering artistic excellence from people of color — including Gregory Award winner Alexandria Henderson in the lead role and Justin Huertas supporting. Show and ticketing info here.
A Small History of Amal, Age 7, Forward Flux + Pratidhwani (at West of Lenin) (Fremont)
Opens September 22, thru October 6
This sweet, smart new play was part of Forward Flux’s salon series last year, and returns for a much-deserved production this season. Show and ticketing info here.
Seven Homeless Mammoths Wander New England, Fantastic.Z (at Ballard Underground) (Ballard)
Opens September 28, thru October 13
Stuck in the middle of a campus financial crisis and an awkward love triangle, Dean Cynthia Wreen is tasked with navigating backlash from the community while juggling her relationship with both her current and former girlfriends who now happen to live under the same roof. What could go wrong? Show and ticketing info here.
Tags: 18th & Union, A Small History of Amal Age 7, ArtsWest, Book-It Rep, Cirque du Soleil, Dani Tirrell, Everything You Touch, Fantastic Z, Forward Flux, Jane Eyre, On the Boards, Pratidhwani, September Arts Guide Seattle, Seven Homeless Mammoths Wander New England, Showing Out: Contemporary Black Choreographers, Skeleton Crew, Solo: A Festival of Dance, The Two-Step, Theater Schmeater, Two Sisters and a Piano, Volta, Washington Ensemble Theatre