The Man Behind the Living Room

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Tech rehearsal! Scenic Designer Matt Smucker (center) with Director Braden Abraham (right) and Producing Director Elisabeth Farwell-Moreland (left). Photo: Alabastro Photography.

Coming over to George and Martha’s house for an evening of fun and games? Here’s a glimpse into our scenic designer’s process of figuring out exactly how that iconic living room should look.

Matthew Smucker designed the set for Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, his second Edward Albee show at the Rep. (His first was Three Tall Women  in 2010.) When asked about what it’s like to design an Albee play, he said, “I find Albee’s writing to be utterly real and utterly absurd simultaneously. The best designs respond to this tension.”

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What Did You Think of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

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We want to know what you thought of Edward Albee’s American classic! Had you seen Virginia Woolf before? Did you enjoy seeing Pamela Reed and R. Hamilton Wright tackle the iconic roles of George and Martha? What about the set design? Please leave your comment below!

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.

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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

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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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