Sunday, January 01, 2023

2023 Starts With A Bang in Seattle Theaters


William Eames and Bretteney Beverly,
A Woman of No Importance, Taproot Theatre (Photo by Robert Wade)

2023 is starting off with several bangs with productions of classic plays, world premieres, new to us stories, and intriguing plays referencing classic writing. There is something for everyone, this month. Get outcher calendars! Happy New Year!

The World’s a Stage: Becoming Othello, A Black Girl’s Journey, Seattle Shakespeare Company, 1/3-29/23
This autobiographical solo show from Debra Ann Byrd, the Founding Artistic Director of the Harlem Shakespeare Festival and Artistic Director of Southwest Shakespeare Company, is a living memoir of her life’s trials and triumphs. Through verses from Othello and dynamic multimedia elements, she chronicles her youth growing up in Harlem, her tumultuous teen years, and navigating race in classics as a gender-flipped Othello.
I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter, Seattle Rep, 1/13/23-2/5/23
As she grieves the death of her older sister, Julia Reyes faces pressure to put her own dreams of becoming a writer on hold. She finds herself caught between her family’s expectations and the less-than-perfect life she grapples with every day as a 15-year-old growing up in Chicago. A rich and poignant exploration of how to transcend your circumstances while remaining true to who you are.

Arlington, Washington Ensemble Theatre (WET), 1/13-30/23 (at 12th Ave Arts)
Set in futuristic Ireland, Isla waits for her number to be called. Her fate is on the line and she meets a young man who faces a stark decision. Combining poetry, art, and dance, it's a love story amid a bleak dystopia.

Gloria: A Life, Strawberry Theatre Workshop, 1/19/23-2/18/23 (at 12th Ave Arts)
Five decades after Gloria Steinem began raising her voice for equality and championing the voices of others, she remains a leader of the American feminist movement. Emily Mann's play traces the progress of Steinem's extraordinary life, from her undercover Playboy bunny exposé in the 1960s, through her founding of Ms. Magazine in the 1970s, to her activism in today's women's movement.
Thoreau At Home, 18th & Union, 1/19-22/23
As we wrestle with the effect the human race has had on the natural world, a timely visit connects us to the poet/naturist Thoreau shortly before his early death. Planning the fullest life he could imagine, he finds wonderment in the smallest details of the landscape he called home. Directed by Richard E.T. White featuring Todd Jefferson Moore.
Thank You For Coming: Space, On the Boards, 1/19-22/23
Faye Driscoll’s Thank You For Coming: Space is the final performance in her celebrated Thank You For Coming series—which includes Attendance and Play. Space unfolds within an intimate installation, wired for sound and upheld by pulleys, ropes, and the weight of others, where Driscoll appears alone with the audience. She builds a moving requiem for the human body and conjures a world that is, like ourselves, alive and forever changeable.
A Woman of No Importance, Taproot Theatre, 1/25/23-2/25/23
Gerald’s prospects are bright as he celebrates his new position with the notorious Lord Illingworth. But amidst the glittering banter at Lady Hunstanton’s party, a long-buried scandal is revealed. Will the unveiling of Gerald’s lineage change the trajectory of his future? And what of the lovely American who’s captured his heart? This comedic classic from Oscar Wilde (the fourth one done at Taproot) will charm you with its cleverness and wit.
An Endless Shift, ArtsWest, 1/26/23-2/19/23
ArtsWest is calling this a “documentary theater project” and it’s devised by local writers Gloria Alcalá and Alma Davenport. Created from verbatim accounts of the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic by the Seattle nurses who were there, An Endless Shift is a tribute to the everyday heroes who were confronted with what would become the longest shift of their lives. Gloria Alcalá, in a solo performance, embodies and voices the multitude of perspectives on the harrowing journey Seattle nurses faced in an ever-shifting landscape.  It is a journey of challenge, hope, and deep recognition of our common humanity.

An Incomplete List of All the Things I’m Going to Miss When the World is No Longer, Dacha Theatre, 1/27/23-2/11/23 (at Theatre Off-Jackson)
A bold new electro-synth musical about the end of the world, AILOATTIGTMWTWINL tells of a global announcement of the exact time Earth, as we know it, will cease to exist. A community of young queer friends and lovers decide the only reasonable thing would be to gather together for one last rager. This musical invites you to the last party on Earth to celebrate and mourn the delights and deceptions of the human experience.
Metamorphoses, Seattle Rep, 1/27/23-2/26/23
A daring and intimate new production inspired by Ovid’s epic poems of transformation. This modern interpretation performed by a quartet of actors weaves together a collection of both well-known and rarely told myths that excavate the extremes of human experience through the purest forms of theatrical storytelling.
This Bitter Earth, Seattle Public Theater, 1/27/23-2/19/23
Jesse, an introspective black playwright, finds his choices called into question when his boyfriend, Neil, a white Black Lives Matter activist, calls him out for his political apathy. As passions and priorities collide, this couple is forced to reckon with issues of race, class and the bravery it takes to love out loud.
The Hatmaker’s Wife, Centerstage Theatre, 1/27/23-2/19/23
Hetchman the retired hatmaker loves his hat – and his wife. When both go missing, he vows to find them. But first he needs to muster the strength to leave the comforts of his beloved armchair. It’s a surreal time-bending fable set in a home where walls talk, words magically appear, and a sweet unexplainable love triangle develops between a man, his wife, and his hat. (If you follow Lauren Yee plays, here is one to see.)
History of Theatre: About, By, For and Near, ACT Theatre and The Hansberry Project, 1/28/23-2/12/23 (world premiere)
Reginald André Jackson, well-regarded local actor, writes this unique dive into the rich legacy of his artistic ancestors, from the early days of enslavement through the ensuing 200 years. Full of music, dance, and profound insights, the show traces the brilliance, perseverance, and artistry of our theatrical fore-bearers restoring and highlighting forgotten and unsung artists to their rightful place in history.

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