by Miryam Gordon -
SGN A&E Writer
It's July, so that means the Seattle Outdoor Theater Festival, at Volunteer Park, July 15th and 16th. It's an opportunity to try to see all the 'park shows' in one weekend, if you'd like. 16 performances by nine local theater companies on three stages over two days. Participating companies are GreenStage (Richard II and The Comedy of Errors), Seattle Shakespeare Company's Wooden O (Pericles and Much Ado About Nothing), Last Leaf Productions (The Comedy of Errors), Theater Schmeater (The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe), The 14/48 Projects (Coyote Tails), Freehold Theatre (Hamlet - Engaged), Jet City Improv (The Lost Folio), Young Shakespeare Workshop (Hamlet), and Shakespeare Northwest (Once Upon a Shakespearean Time). The full schedule for the festival is online. http://greenstage.org/sotf/ Of course, all these shows will be at other parks throughout July and into August.
There is also a lot of other really exciting theater to see this month, so take a look at this list and plan to catch some amazing entertainment.
Greensward, MAP Theatre, 7/7-29 (at 12th Avenue Arts) - World Premiere
Greensward is a new play by R. Hamilton Wright set in a world almost exactly like ours, but not quite. Scientist Tim Hei has created PT-109, a perfect yard turf that never needs mowing, watering or fertilizing, and is greener than regular grass by a factor of 5. What drove him to create it is as compelling as the corporate forces that will go to dangerous lengths to keep it suppressed. A little bit sci-fi, a little bit madcap thriller, and a little bit sociopolitical commentary.
Fun Home, The 5th Avenue Theatre, 7/11-30 (opens 7/13) (tour)
Based on Alison Bechdel's best-selling graphic memoir, Fun Home introduces us to Alison at three different ages as she explores and unravels the many mysteries of her childhood that connect with her in surprising new ways. A finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, Fun Home is a refreshingly honest, wholly original musical about seeing your parents through grown-up eyes.
Persuasion (the musical), Taproot Theatre, 7/12-8/19 - World Premiere
Written/composed by Harold Taw (book) and Chris Jeffries (music and lyrics), Jane Austen's final novel soars to life in this new musical about love, longing and second chances. Years ago, Anne Elliott was persuaded to abandon true love but now her past mistakes and long-lost hopes have returned. Can she summon the courage to follow her heart?
Hoodoo Love, Sound Theatre Company/Hansberry Project, 7/13-30 (at Seattle Center's Armory)
Young Toulou has run away from the cotton fields of Mississippi to big city Memphis to make it as a blues singer. When she falls in love with a rambling bluesman, Ace of Spades, she gives into the suggestions of the local madam, Candylady, and conjures up a hoodoo trick to make him fall in love with her. When her brother Jib, a born-again Christian missionary, arrives in town, Toulou is forced to confront all that she was running away from, and a chain of events with devastating consequences is set in motion. The Seattle premiere of playwright Katori Hall's (The Mountaintop) first play about blues music and black life in her native Memphis Tennessee during the 1930s.
Mud (Barro), ese Teatro, 7/13-30 (at the Slate Theater)
(In Spanish: 7/15-16, 7/22-23, 7/29)
Informed by the current crisis on homelessness in Seattle, this production of Maria Irene Fornes' play highlights the precarious situation of three individuals who form a family out of sheer necessity, living on the thin edge of survival and the margins of society. May (Maya) works in manual labor and is learning to read. Lloyd (Eloy) is sick and can't afford medicine. Henry (Henri) moves in and shows May the possibility of using her intellect. More than a love triangle, Mud is a survival triangle with no safety net to catch Henry when he falls. It will be presented in English and Spanish (separate performances).
Alex & Aris, ACT Theatre, 7/14-8/6 (opens 7/20) - World Premiere
Moby Pomerance writes the story of Aristotle and his young pupil, Alexander, who will become known to the world as Alexander the Great. A mystery that explores how the Macedonians went from a small kingdom to leading all the Greek states, and how Aristotle painstakingly set the moral compass of Alexander, the man who would conquer the known world.
For Better, Phoenix Theatre, 7/20-30
Eric Coble's (Dead Man's Cell Phone) play about a plugged in world of email, texts and camera phones. Maybe a bride and groom don't even need to be in the same country to go on a honeymoon! A modern play that pokes fun at our over-dependence on gadgets.
Resistance Is Fertile, UMO Ensemble, 7/21-23 (at ACT Theatre)
UMO Resistance Cabaret asks the questions of 'What does resistance look like? How do we resist? What is irresistible?' UMO and an amazing group of guest artists - featuring new buffoons, ladies in white, aerialists, musicians, singers, dancers, burlesque artists and more - will explore and explode these questions, with the vital help of the audience. Presidential addresses, suffrage speeches, found text and comic improvisation meld together in a show unlike anything else.
Sundown at the Devil's House, Cafe Nordo, 7/20-8/12
It's the Devil's last night on Earth, and she and her cohorts will titillate, beguile, and entertain the audience with stories of the Devil's greatest triumphs and darkest secrets. A capricious and fantastical piece of anarchic theatre, and live music that interlaces into a story about the Devil's love for music and mankind.
Statements After An Arrest Under the Immorality Act, Theater Schmeater, 7/21-8/12
Athol Fugard writes about Errol Philander, a 'colored' African and local principal, who sneaks into the library at night for secret assignations with a white librarian, Frieda Joubert. Their love is illegal under apartheid and they are arrested. Written in 1972, Fugard based the play on pictures he saw in the newspaper of an interracial couple being arrested for 'immorality.' This play shows us how destructive hatred and ignorance can go.
Nite Skool, Annex Theatre, 7/28-8/19
Created by The Libertinis with Max Kirchner and the ensemble, it's a genre-blending, boundary-crushing skool nite full of music, dance, comedy, and so much more as we plumb the depths of our education system (including, but not limited to: sex 'education,' American imperialism, and dreams drowned in a bucket of meatballs). This generative production will shake theatre, neo-burlesque, and clown into one deliciously weird cocktail.
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