New Play Road Tripping: Humana Festival Part 2

The following post was written by playwright, translator, dramaturge, and former Seattle Rep Artistic Literary Intern, Kate Kremer. It’s the final installment of her new play road trip series—you can read about her previous adventures here and here.

The final two days of the Humana Festival were a whirlwind: on Saturday, mom and I went from Jordan Harrison’s The Grown-Up to SITI Company’s Steel Hammer to a series of ten-minute plays by Rachel Bonds, Jason Gray Platt, and Gregory Hirschak—and from there to a gala spanning the entire Actors Theatre building and also most of Main Street. Bourbon was prominently featured.

Partying in the middle of Main Street 1

Partying in the middle of Main Street!

The next day we were up unreasonably early for the apprentice showcase, Remix 38, which featured work by young playwrights Jackie Sibblies Drury, Idris Goodwin, Basil Kreimendahl, Justin Kuritzkes, and Amelia Roper inspired by dramatic elements, structural conceits, and vivid images from particularly influential plays from Humana’s 38-year history.

From there, we raced to the final show of a seven-show doozy of a weekend: Kimber Lee’s gorgeous and moving brownsville song (b-side for tray), which proved to be, for me, the absolute pinnacle of the Festival.

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New Play Road Tripping: Humana Festival Part 1

The following post was written by playwright, translator, dramaturge, and former Seattle Rep Artistic Literary Intern, Kate Kremer. 

On the road to Louisville

On the road to Louisville.

On Thursday, mom and I set out for Louisville, Kentucky to continue the “new play road trip” begun the weekend before on a trip to Chicago and chronicled in this previous blog post. We’re scouting out new American plays and the programs and theaters that sponsor them—and at 38 years old and running, Actors Theatre’s Humana Festival is prime territory for new play hunting.

We left Rock Island, Illinois at 9:00 am on what was supposed to be a six-hour drive, but with a clairvoyance born of practical experience, we left ourselves three extra hours. True to form, we got caught in a traffic jam on 1-74 and were rerouted off the freeway through the hamlet of Homer.

At which point we happened to drive past the graveyard where my great and great-great grandparents are buried. So we stopped in for a visit. Found them all looking good—great grandma and grandpa Jinkins had just had their tombstone refurbished after a run-in with a drunk driver (thank goodness they were already dead!).

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A Stage Management Intern’s Morning Ritual

The following post was written by Stage Management Intern Adrienne Mendoza.

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Adrienne on Theatre Selfie Day (2/22) with one of the props from A GREAT WILDERNESS!

9:30 a.m. – My day starts at the Rep and I change out of my rain boots into shoes that will let me quietly and quickly reset a scene during rehearsal (something that my clunky rain boots prohibit). I check in with SM (stage manager) and ASM (assistant stage manager) to make sure we’re all on the same page for the day.

9:35 a.m. – Look over new emails or email conversations that have happened in the last 90 minutes (the Rep starts its day at 8:00 a.m.). While I read, I munch on a Luna bar from my food stash I keep in my desk (a handy thing to have when there are long days and short breaks).

9:45 a.m. – I grab my keys and walk down the hall to start coffee. With three different shows in the building, I’m sure the coffee ground supply is getting low, and the extra grounds are kept (wisely) behind lock and key.

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New Play Road Tripping: First Leg, Chicago

The following post was written by playwright, translator, dramaturge, and former Seattle Rep Artistic Literary Intern, Kate Kremer. 

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On the road from Rock Island, Illinois to Chicago!

As the Artistic Literary Intern at the Rep last year, I had the privilege of working closely with the Writers Group and the playwrights involved in the New Play Festival. But now that I’m living in Rock Island, IL, I don’t get as many opportunities to observe the play development process first-hand. So I decided to take a road trip through the Midwest to see some new plays, check out new play programs, and report back on my findings to the Rep.

This past weekend, I headed to Chicago for performances of Walkabout Theatre’s The Wild, currently featured in Steppenwolf’s Garage Rep, as well as Marcus Gardley’s new play, The Gospel of Lovingkindness, which closed last night at Victory Gardens. And next weekend, my mom and I will head south for the Humana Festival of New American Plays in Louisville, Kentucky. Whether vacation, conjuration, or investigation, it’s a rite of spring: the middle-American new play road trip.

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Conversations at the Bar

Naked City

Good times had by all at last night’s Think & Drink!

Humanities Washington created an awesome program where they invite the public to hosted conversations on provocative topics…in bars and tasting rooms! And they call it “Think & Drink.”

When we secured The Suit (a story set in apartheid-era Johannesburg) as part of our season, we approached Humanities Washington to see if we could put together an outreach opportunity to talk about Seattle’s role in ending apartheid. The result was last night’s discussion, “A History of Protest: Civil Rights Movements in Seattle from the 1960s to 1980s,” which featured speakers Trevor Griffey, co-founder of the Seattle Civil Rights & Labor History Project, and Eddie Rye Jr., activist and host of Urban Forum Northwest. Humanities Washington teamed up with KUOW and hosted the discussion at Naked City Brewery and Taphouse.

While a room full of attentive listeners sipped craft beers, Eddie and Trevor shared stories of Seattle’s racially segregated history. They explained how Seattle prohibited people of color from owning land outside the Central and International districts until the 1940s, and how property deeds today still contain old language about restricting land ownership based on race. Residential segregation led to a segregated education system, which led to the busing project of the 1970s—the city’s attempt to integrate schools.

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A Taste of South Africa

Post and photos by Marketing Intern Caitlyn Williams.

Rooibos Cappuccino

Delicious rooibos cappuccino!

Interested in learning more about South Africa—the setting and home of Peter Brook’s The Suit—Communications Assistant Rose Woodbury and I looked to Cederberg Tea House located at the top of Queen Anne to show us the ins and outs of South African cuisine.

Named after the only place where rooibos tea grows naturally, Cederberg Tea House is well known for their rooibos espresso: rooibos tea pulled through an espresso maker and served with whole milk. (Other non-dairy options are offered.) I sampled a rooibos cappuccino topped with honey and cinnamon, and Rose had the rooibos white mocha also known as a “Red Symphony.” I found the earthy and grassy flavors of the tea to shine through its frothy cappuccino form, highlighted by the gentle sweetness of the honey. If its delicious taste wasn’t enough, Natasha, the owner of Cederberg Tea House, informed us that rooibos is also caffeine free and has five times the antioxidants of green tea. Not as harsh and acidic as traditional espresso drinks, rooibos espresso was the ideal primer for the food that we were about to taste.

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Y-WE Speak Through the Eyes of Our Lighting Design Intern

Y-WE show 3

Bob designed this beautiful and dramatic lighting that showcased Halimah Hussein when she sang! Photo: Erin Lodi.

The following post was written by Lighting Design Intern Bob Franklin

A few weeks ago, our lobby at Seattle Rep was again filled with the young faces, juice, and cookies that we’ve all come to associate with our Education events. We found ourselves doubly swamped this day as we hosted two interconnected facets of the Young Women Empowered (Y-WE) program: Y-WE Lead and Y-WE Speak. As the Rep’s Lighting Design Intern, I was fortunate to design Y-WE Speak, which gives young women a venue and a voice with which to tell their stories and make themselves heard. Through an often gut-wrenching process of sharing, writing, and voicing, each woman produced a truthful, personal, and finely articulated narrative worthy of sharing the stage that brought us A Great Wilderness and Bo-Nita.

Producing and designing our Education events is arguably one of our most exciting opportunities as interns. We shift from our supporting roles (as assistants/apprentices to the artists) to bearing full responsibility and ownership of the show. Our group of interns and former interns began collaborating on carefully planned design choices. Production Management Intern Christian Carter (projections/production management), former Arts Management Intern Kaeline Kine (sound design) and I developed a visual and aural language that best suited an evening of storytelling like Y-WE, which were executed by our stage manager (and Education Intern) Elizabeth Ingram. Our directors in the Education Department, Fran Kao and Zoe Wilson (both former interns) facilitated conversation while still trusting our decisions. We hoped to make our design as tasteful as possible, and created simple conventions that carried us from story to story without being intrusive or distracting from the young women.

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