New medallions mark Capitol Hill Arts District bastions of ‘art, cinema, music, books, theater’

They’re symbols, sure, but you can also think of them as good user interface design. New Capitol Hill Arts District medallions are being installed across the neighborhood to help identify the 40 or so cultural and arts spaces part of the district.

“The medallions are a low-tech complement to the Arts District website, Facebook page, and the dozens of online event calendars,” Michael Seiwerath of Capitol Hill Housing tells CHS about the new additions to the neighborhood streetscape. “On a Saturday night, Pike/Pine can attract more people than Key Arena, so it’s a good marker for the thousands of people who visit the neighborhood each week.” Continue reading

Next arts and culture space to lose its lease: Capitol Hill’s Eclectic Theater

(Image: Alex Garland)

Where do small theatre companies take the stage when their affordable performance spaces can no longer afford the rent? While many actors having long been priced out of the neighborhood, the Capitol Hill theatre community is losing another piece of its charm: affordable rents.

Rik Deskin, the founder of Eclectic Theater, has announced the end of the venue’s 11-year run on 10th Ave at the end of the month.

“We knew that we had a five year lease, and we knew the end was coming. We started exploring the possibility of renewing the lease,” Deskin said. “At the same time, we were having difficulties paying the current rent so we decided to not renew the lease. We heard from some other people who looked into it that he’s expecting $3,500 a month for the space, which is ridiculous in my opinion. With no upgrades, not that I’m aware of.”

“Capitol Hill is the densest area of arts and culture businesses and organizations in the state,” says Tonya Lockyer, executive director at the neighborhood’s globally respected Velocity Dance. “Imagine if you have this incredible natural resource — creative businesses, organizations, and people. When that is threatened, you want to preserve it.” Continue reading

Guest Artist Series: Joanna Kotze (NYC) / Kim Lusk (SEA)


It Happened It Had Happened It Is Happening It Will Happen by Joanna Kotze
in a special split-bill with Seattle’s Kim Lusk
November 3-5, 2017
Velocity Founders Theater

Award-winning New York choreographer Joanna Kotze will be joined in this special split-bill Guest Artist Series performance with rising choreographer and local favorite Kim Lusk.

It Happened It Had Happened It Is Happening It Will Happen
Choreographed by: Joanna Kotze in collaboration with the dancers
Performed by: Raja Feather Kelly, Joanna Kotze, Netta Yerushalmy
Music by: Dave Ruder
Costumes by: Reid Bartelme
Lighting Design by: Kathy Kaufman

Joanna Kotze’s It Happened It Had Happened It Is Happening It Will Happen—a site-responsive piece drawing from Kotze’s background in architecture—won her a prestigious New York Dance and Performance “Bessie” Award for Outstanding Emerging Choreographer. Acclaimed trio Raja Feather Kelly (Princess Grace Awardee and 2017 Seattle Festival of Dance Improvisation instructor), Netta Yerushalmy, (Guggenheim Fellowship in Choreography) and Kotze will perform the piece in its West Coast Premiere at Velocity.

It Happened It Had Happened It Is Happening It Will Happen which confronts the seductiveness of classifying, ordering, and structuring, while attempting to hold onto the character of the unnamable, vulnerable, and imaginable. Playing with ideas of performance, intimacy, and space in our digital age, the dancers’ physicality and vulnerability are viscerally felt, as breathe, sweat, stomp, clap, and dance in close proximity to the audience.

Trio in Silver
Choreographed by: Kim Lusk
Kim Lusk—Velocity’s 2018 Made in Seattle artist—will showcase her first full-length work, Trio in Silver, before it premieres in its entirety at Velocity next spring. Lusk has developed much of her work at Velocity through the organization’s residency, production support, and mentorship.

Mark “Mom” Finley’s Somebody Get Me a Chainsaw


She’s Still At Large!!

“Chainsaw” Announces Encore Performances – Fri. June 23 & 30, 8pm

Producers announce Mark “Mom” Finley’s new one-man show Someone Get Me A Chainsaw! which recently played to packed audiences at INArtsNW (1633 17th Ave.) for Capitol Hill Artwalk’s Pride kick-off will play two encore performances – Fri. June 23 and 30, at 8pm. Tickets are $10 – reservations are highly suggested as seating is limited.

Don’t miss your chance to see legendary performer Mark “Mom” Finley in his new world premiere one-man show Someone Get Me A Chainsaw! The Stranger’s Adrian Ryan calls Finley: A natural disaster in heels! A scandal in a wig! Harder to kill than a Kevlar cockroach! And funnier than falling down a flight of stairs!

Every performance of the show is a unique collection of Finley’s unbelievable stories, funny songs, and classic performances. As the ‘script’ is chosen by random audience members out of a button bag filled with 200 possibilities as the show begins – he won’t know what he’s performing until that minute! And you wonder why she wants a chainsaw!

Finley is excited to be back onstage again. In October of ’92 New City Theatre produced his third one-man show in Seattle Life Lessons where he held each audience hostage at gun point (unloaded, of course), had them choose 12 pieces of paper out of a bag with 170 possible stories, numbers, acts, etc. He said at the time that he was telling his life story whether people wanted to hear it or not because he didn’t know how long he’d be around.

It’s been 25 years since that production and Finley has plenty to tell! The past show focused mainly on his early life growing up in a small town, traveling the world to follow his dreams and surviving New York City in the 80s only to end up in Seattle. No subject matter is off limits to “Mom”. Everything is on menu – the ups and downs – the scandals – the successes – and the surprise that changed his life.

Also Finley promises that if an audience member was part of on the evenings stories – they’ll be able to tell their side of it as well. The Capitol Hill Art Walk shows were standing room only at INArtsNW downstairs black box theater. So get your reservations now! It’s only $10 – and you can BYOB!! Come join Seattle LGBTQ+ Community’s original “Mom” – Mark Finley – for a night out you won’t soon forget!

Someone Get Me A Chainsaw! – 8pm Friday, June 23 & 30 – INArtsNW, 1633 17th Ave. – Tickets: $10 – Call 206-953-1069 for reservations.

Mark “Mom” Finley premiering his new one man show “Somebody Get Me a Chainsaw”

Mark “Mom” Finley deep in storytelling at his one man show “Someone Get Me a Chainsaw”

Central District’s 18th & Union theater aims to be a home for solo performers

Gassner (Image: CHS)

Gassner (Image: CHS)

David Gassner, an actor, director and producer, has wanted to help solo performers present their work. His vision is becoming a reality. Gassner got the keys to the former New City Theater at 1406 18th Ave on September 1st and with a few small changes, is reopening it as 18th & Union.

Seattle has a lack of venues for solo performers to present their work, Gassner said. He wants to fill that void and provide solo and small-scale artists who create theater, poetry, music, comedy and other art with an audience.

“It’s a big deal for people who are working in this style,” he said. Continue reading

Capitol Hill’s Annex Theatre recognized for legacy as company prepares to enter 30th season

In 1986 a group of friends started the Annex Theatre to help emerging Seattle artists produce work. Their endeavor and the effort of those who have lead Annex after was honored this month when Capitol Hill’s Annex Theatre received a legacy honor at the Mayor’s Arts Awards. The theatre is celebrating its 30th season in 2017.

After receiving the award, outgoing Annex artistic director Pamala Mijatov carried it off the stage and handed it to the new AD Catherine Smith.

“I said, ‘This is yours. … I carried this for a long time, but it’s yours now,’” Mijatov told CHS. Continue reading

CHS Pics | Tempest staged without a stage in Volunteer Park

In a neighborhood crunched for arts spaces that arts groups can actually afford, the REBATEnsemble might present a few useful lessons.

Bringing “engaging theatre to unconventional spaces,” the “Recession-Era Broke-Ass Theatre Ensemble” has learned how to stage even the greatest works of performance without a stage. Or a theater, for that matter. Continue reading

‘Girl’ aims to flip heroic journey on its head

The cast of Girl (Image: Mary Hubert)

Cast members of Girl (Image: Mary Hubert)

Creators of a new play at Capitol Hill’s Annex Theater aim to unravel the classic hero’s journey story framework famously outlined by Joseph Campbell.

“Back in college I was really interested in the hero’s journey structure, but I never really felt like it related that much to women,” said director and cowriter of Girl, Mary Hubert. She came up with the idea for the play in 2015 and said she wanted the work to lay bare the heroic story formula’s “lack of applicability to modern-day women.”

For example, a traditional hero’s journey can be considered a success when the protagonist completes their quest by winning a prize. “In most people’s lives, not just women’s, they don’t get a prize,” said Hubert. Continue reading