The following post was written by Artistic Associate Kate Kremer.
If the first week of the Writers Group Showcase was all about the dangers of work and the perils of parties, the second week delved into questions of home and humanity. Over the course of three head-spinning, heart-stopping, brain-tangling days, Emily Conbere, Scot Augustson, Vincent Delaney, and Keri Healey brought to the stage four incredibly diverse plays exploring the dynamics of trauma, otherness, exploitation, and, in the midst of everything, love.
Enough naval-gazing. It’s time for round two of SRT’s Super-Quick Statistics, better known as The Showcase Show-Off Showdown Quiz Show:
Number of artists participating in the second weekend of the showcase: 28
Number of artists involved in the showcase as a whole: 54
Day on which the greatest number of artists was in the building: Saturday, June 15 (This weekend, the high-density day was Saturday, June 22, with 21 artists in the building. Friday, June 21 was a close second with 20. However, last Friday and Saturday were even more crowded, what with 23 and 26 artists filling up every possible rehearsal space including the boardroom.)
Number of plays set in Seattle and/or Washington this weekend: 2 (Vincent Delaney’s The Ansel Intimacy makes mention of Solo Bar; Keri Healey’s T.B.I. takes place in Shoreline and Texas)
Total number of plays set in Seattle and/or Washington: 5
Number of plays featuring non-humans: 2 (Saturday was “monster day,” with Scot Augustson’s Wuf, a contemporary adaptation of Beowulf, replete with heroes and monsters as well as a dragon, a rabbit, a beetle, and a very steamy sex scene. Vincent Delaney picked up the themes of love and otherness in the evening with his dystopia, The Ansel Intimacy, which explores a world in which people cultivate “sharers,” clones whose organs they harvest when their own bodies fail them.)
Number of plays in which domestic spaces play a central role: 2 (Emily Conbere’s Knocking Bird both looks out on and takes place in a bird house, and in Keri Healey’s T.B.I., a woman desperately seeks out an apartment for her nephew, who is returning from Afghanistan.)
Plays in which a character grapples with severe physical trauma: Knocking Bird, T.B.I.
Plays in which Nietzsche is mentioned or German is spoken: Wuf, The Ansel Intimacy
Plays that shift between multiple realities or time periods: Knocking Bird, Wuf, and T.B.I. (The Ansel Intimacy also moves quickly through time, but does so chronologically.)
Largest cast this weekend: Wuf (cast of six)
Smallest cast this weekend: Knocking Bird and The Ansel Intimacy (casts of three)
Plays that make use of projections (or will, once produced): Wuf, T.B.I.
Plays in which children are importantly absent or in/unconceivable: Knocking Bird, The Ansel Intimacy
Plays in which parents are absent or deceased: Wuf, T.B.I.
Plays featuring animals: Knocking Bird (freebie), Wuf, and T.B.I.
Youngest person: Maxwell Ferdinand, son of company manager Sarah Scherzer (7 weeks and already reading)
Tiniest dramaturge: Charles Wallace, son of playwright Emily Conbere, was a powerful voice and intellect in Knocking Bird rehearsals
Busiest director: Paul Budraitis warped the fabric of time and directed two readings (Knocking Bird, T.B.I.) in a single weekend.
Best performance by an offstage character: Gavin Reub as “Best Man” and “Jesus Man” in The Ansel Intimacy
Most devoted staff member: Flat tie between Artistic Director Jerry Manning and Director of Board Relations Sarah Newell, both of whom were sighted at almost every performance by someone or other
MVP “talkbacker”: Braden Abraham led the team in carefully orchestrated post-play discussions after each and every Showcase performance—though it was audience members who scored the real goals with their generous and thoughtful feedback.
Most literary pizza: Via Tribunali, Queen Anne—on Monday, June 24th, the playwrights gathered to discuss their work. Words were spoken. Pizza was eaten. Wine was drunk. We recommend the Spaccanapoli.
Most wistful assistant: me. I already miss the festival.
Last week I ended my blog post with verbose one-sentence descriptions of each of the four plays. This round, in honor of Ernest Hemingway, Keri Healey, and the accelerating pace of change in the modern world, I present you with the story of each of this weekend’s plays in only six words:
- Knock, knock. Whose “their” is it?
- Hero, monster: Movie reel, tragicomic strip.
- Bone bags barf; boy becomes human.
- Lost people look for hope, apartments.
And a final six:
Thanks, all, for a wonderful year.