Friday on Capitol Hill you can watch a play from the comfort of your car

Theater in the park is one way to enjoy the arts in a pandemic-safe way. Friday night, it will be theater in a parking lot as Capitol Hill’s Polish Home hosts the touring Dacha Theatre’s drive-in play Dears in Headlights:

Dacha’s summertime spectacular, DEARS IN HEADLIGHTS, invites audiences back to the drive-in theatre for an evening of movie magic—only this time, with a troupe of live actors instead of a silver screen. Accompanied by an FM radio soundtrack, this fully devised and larger-than-life love letter to classic cinema combines pastiche, clowning, vignettes, and physical theatre to create a playful immersive experience for viewers with and without cars. Whether you’d rather scare yourself silly with a horror movie or laugh along to a rom-com, you’ll be delighted by this original new take on a beloved summer pastime. Intended for audiences aged 10+, DEARS IN HEADLIGHTS asks you to keep your arms, legs, and laughter inside the vehicle at all times.

The show’s soundtrack is broadcast by low-powered FM radio. You’ll get the frequency when you arrive so you can tune in.

Tickets for Friday night’s 8:30 PM show at the 1714 18th Ave Polish Home are a suggested $70 per vehicle but are also available on pay what you can basis. You can also purchase chair/blanket tickets — though the car option sounds more fun.

“Car seats will offer an extra bit of immersion,” Dacha promises. “We’ll bring the action right to your windshield and rearview mirror.”

 

NEWS FOR ALL -- KEEP CHS PAYWALL-FREE
Give CHS a buck and support local journalism dedicated to your neighborhood. SUBSCRIBE HERE. Become a subscriber at $1/$5/$10 a month to help CHS provide community news with no paywall. You can also sign up for a one-time annual payment.

 

CHS CALENDAR: EDITOR'S PICKS | ALL EVENTS | ADD EVENTS

 

Alice in Wonderland, in person and outside this weekend in Volunteer Park

As we step into the curiouser and curiouser world of the pandemic reopening, finding ways to experience the transitions at your own pace is key. Starting Thursday, you can enjoy live theater performance again on Capitol Hill — outside in Volunteer Park.

Running July 29th through August 1st and again August 5th through 7th, Seattle’s Theatre22 is bringing Alice in Wonderland to the park’s grassy area north of the Seattle Asian Art Museum:

Alice in Wonderland
Theatre22 presents “an Alice for our time” as we journey down the rabbit hole into a topsy-turvy world where rules keep changing, time is fluid and power equals corruption. This contemporary, genre-bending adaptation combines the original beloved characters with song, dance, puppetry, and whimsical wordplay in an imaginative, hilarious, and outrageous interpretation with something for everyone.

DIRECTED by Julie Beckman and Jasmine Lomax

July 29 – Aug 1 Thurs – Sun 7pm

Aug 5 – Aug 7 Thurs – Sat 7pm

VOLUNTEER PARK  lawn north of the museum

The company’s performances are free with donations welcomed after the show. The performances are sponsored by the Washington State Arts Commission, the City of Seattle Office of Arts and Culture, and King County’s 4 Culture.

The performances come as construction continues on the park’s new $3 million amphitheater with a roof, storage and green room space, all-gender bathrooms, upgraded electrical access, and “a resilient floor that will even accommodate dance performances.” Construction is us expected to be completed this fall.

 

NEWS FOR ALL -- KEEP CHS PAYWALL-FREE
Give CHS a buck and support local journalism dedicated to your neighborhood. SUBSCRIBE HERE. Become a subscriber at $1/$5/$10 a month to help CHS provide community news with no paywall. You can also sign up for a one-time annual payment.

 

CHS CALENDAR: EDITOR'S PICKS | ALL EVENTS | ADD EVENTS

 

The PPP of live music and theater, Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program could boost recovery of Capitol Hill clubs and stages

(Image: Neumos)

Capitol Hill’s struggling live music, theater, and performance venues can join thousands of businesses across the country Thursday as the Small Business Administration finally begins accepting Shuttered Venue Operators Grant applications.

SVOG is the PPP of club and theater rescue plans with $16 billion lined up to help venues recover from a year of pandemic shutdowns. The first come, first served grant program is open to live music venues, performance theaters, small movie theaters, and even destinations like museums and aquariums.

CHS reported here on worries about potential losses in Capitol Hill’s live music and performance scenes as venues like Neumos and Chop Suey as well as small theaters struggled through pandemic restrictions. Velocity Dance has already announced the closure of its 12th Ave studio and a search for a new home after 24 years on Capitol Hill.

For applicants, SVOG joins a complicated matrix of federal assistance including PPP and Economic Injury Disaster Loans. The Seattle Office of Economic Development is offering assistance to help the city’s venues weigh options and apply for help. Continue reading

Capitol Hill-bound Intiman Theater adds new director

Intiman Theater, set to make a new home on Capitol Hill in an innovative partnership at Seattle Central hoped to create opportunities for BIPOC stage and performance workers, has announced a new leader to help guide its move into the new neighborhood.

Amy Zimerman has joined Intiman as its new managing director and will lead the organization alongside artistic director Jennifer Zeyl.

The nonprofit veteran will guide Intiman as it develops a new associate degree program emphasis in Technical Theatre for Social Justice at Seattle Central with training and roles for diverse designers, lighting techs, and theater crews.

The new partnership and program slated to start in fall of 2021 will put Intiman to work on Seattle Central’s stages inside Harvard Ave’s Erickson Theater and inside the Broadway Performance Hall and puts an end of the recent wanderings of Intiman productions and, hopefully, years of financial uncertainty.

The theater group hopes to raise $1.5 million as part of its move to Capitol Hill. You can learn more and donate here.

 

NEWS FOR ALL -- KEEP CHS PAYWALL-FREE
Give CHS a buck and support local journalism dedicated to your neighborhood. SUBSCRIBE HERE. Become a subscriber at $1/$5/$10 a month to help CHS provide community news with no paywall. You can also sign up for a one-time annual payment.

 

CHS CALENDAR: EDITOR'S PICKS | ALL EVENTS | ADD EVENTS

 

 

Reopening: Live theater during a pandemic — Some turning to live-stream, others on pause

1984 at 18th and Union (Image: 18th and Union Theater)

When the pandemic shuttered Seattle’s theaters and playhouses in March, the Central District’s 18th & Union was in the middle of an adaption of George Orwell’s dystopian novel “1984.” By the third week of production, it became clear the venue had to close.

“I think we were lucky that we at least got three solid weekends in before closing,” actor K. Brian Neel said. “I know a lot of theater artists who had to close shows right before opening or right towards the end of the rehearsal process and that would’ve been frustrating.”

According to state reopening guidelines, live entertainment falls under Phase 4 — the final stage — and King County has lingered in Phase 2 for over a month now. As cases rise across the county and Washington rolls back phased reopening, theater companies and accompanying venues are tasked with adapting live theater to an online format or staying closed indefinitely.

And for those planning to reopen in some capacity with live actors, performances will look markedly different.

Theaters reopening or not?
18th & Union is planning to live stream shows out of its space this fall with up to two cast members six feet apart. Producing director David Gassner says the venue has multiple shows — yet to be announced — lined up for September, and the studio is setting up with cameras and other necessary equipment.

“There won’t be any stage combat, there won’t be any kissing, there won’t be any touching — so we’re having to choose the kind of shows that we present knowing that those are the constraints,” Gassner said. Continue reading

Construction of $3M Volunteer Park amphitheater project planned for late summer start

Construction is planned to start in August on the project to replace Volunteer Park’s amphitheater.

The Volunteer Park Trust tells CHS the planned August start will allow community groups to use the stage through most of summer. Work was originally being planned to begin this month. “By starting in August, we will be able to maximize use of both the old stage this summer and the new Amphitheater for next season,” a VPT representative said. Continue reading

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

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