Wrapping Up a Momentous Year

We’ve been taking time to reflect on the year gone by and to start setting our sights on the horizon. It’s been a busy and exciting time for the company, and we are enormously proud of the achievements of the past year. When we compared our personal lists of highlights, they differed slightly, so we decided to share them both with you.

George: Richard II was definitely a highlight. Rosa Joshi’s simple yet beguiling production really resonated with audiences. It was heartening to learn that our audience would respond to this challenging and infrequently produced work.

John: Our subscriptions have grown for the 8th year in a row, reaching another all-time high. A 75% increase in season ticket purchases over the past 10 years is something to celebrate.

George: Victor Pappas crafted a sparkling, side-splittingly funny The Importance of Being Earnest that once again showed Oscar Wilde as one of the wittiest writers in the English language. It was great to see houses packed night after night.

John: Every year it just gets better and better. Our Bill’s Bash auction is surely the most fun that anyone will have at a fundraiser, and last spring it hit a high mark. Big thanks to everyone who rolls up their sleeves to make it happen.

George: From March through May a 6-actor troupe serve as our ambassadors across the state. Last spring’s touring productions of Romeo and Juliet and Othello played to more than 15,000 people from Spokane to Orcas Island. They really are our unsung heroes doing the work of inspiring a new generation of Shakespeare lovers.

George: Having director Shelia Daniels back is always a high point. Her King Learwas achingly sad with Dan Kremer’s Lear and Michael Winter’s Gloucester together for a devastating and pitiful Act IV encounter. I was moved every time I saw it.

John: How could anyone not enjoy our rollicking and rocking Wooden O production ofThe Two Gentlemen of Verona? It was also thrilling to see so many powerful and accomplished actresses bring an all-female Julius Caesar to life in the parks. Wooden O is truly my greatest summer treat, and it’s wonderful to know that nearly 10,000 people in 11 different cities also enjoyed free Shakespeare.  And, we returned to Walla Walla after a two year absence to perform Julius Caesar at the Gesa Powerhouse Theatre. A great cap to the summer.

John: I was tremendously proud of George’s staging of Waiting for Godot at ACT Theatre. He captured both the dark tones and the extraordinary humor of the play. George was also the driver behind the Seattle Beckett Festival, a unique, city-wide celebration of Samuel Beckett, with 20 different organizations involved. A wonderful and wide-ranging representation of this great artist’s work.

George: Bringing director Jon Kretzu back for Twelfth Night was a delight. His moody yet merry production surpassed sales expectations and had several folks returning to see it more than once.

John: Our Education Luncheon this fall, chaired by Laurie Stusser-McNeil, drew a full-house of supporters to help fund our state-wide education efforts. And our Power2Give campaign to help underwrite free Shakespeare workshops in schools hit its goal.

John: It was an honor to be invited to participate in ArtsFest with the Spokane Public Schools for the first time this past November. Our education staff provided the theatre component and taught acting skills, stage combat, Elizabethan dance, and scenes from Romeo and Juliet to 10 students from each of the five high schools that participated.

Clearly we (and that means you, too) have a lot to celebrate in these accomplishments. So what’s ahead? Well, for now it’s Measure for Measure with award-winning director Desdemona Chiang at the helm. Then it’s a very full spring filled with Tartuffe andOthello, a tour that already has 60 different schools set in its schedule, a full slate of school residencies, our blow-out auction Bill’s Bash, and much more.

Thank you for being a part of our community and our success.

Have a Happy New Year Year!

Best regards,


George Mount
Artistic Director


John Bradshaw
Managing Director

 

What’s in Your Wooden O Picnic Basket?

Picnic

Part of the fun for many Wooden O theater-goers is spreading out a feast on a picnic blanket to dine on the lawn before the show. We’ve seen everything from elaborate set ups with wine glasses and cloth napkins to buckets of fried chicken and a can of soda. After a mishap last summer, we can definitely tell you that fondue is not picnic food.

With our Wooden O productions of “Julius Caesar” and “The Two Gentlemen of Verona” starting performances on July 10, it got us thinking, “What’s in your picnic basket?”  Do you have a tradition of bringing the same foods to the park each summer?  Are you ambitious and try to create show-themed meals? (Julius Caesar Salad, anyone?) Or do you make a quick run through the grocery store on the way to the show, grabbing any item that looks portable and tasty? (Guilty as charged!)

Tell us about your Wooden O picnic traditions (or ambitions) and give us a peek at what’s planned for your picnic basket this summer. Let us know in the comments section.

A Shakespeare Picnic

ESSENTIALS

  • Blanket
  • Picnic basket or cooler
  • Plates, glasses, cups, cutlery, napkins (handi-wipes are helpful)
  • Serving spoons, forks and knives.
  • Bottle opener
  • Wooden cutting board  – totally useful even if you’re not cutting items
  • Small plastic bag for trash
  • Jackets and blankets (it is the Pacific Northwest, after all)
  • Your best behavior … remember you are dining with others in close proximity.

BEVERAGES OF YOUR CHOICE 

Here are some ideas to get you started on creating your own perfect picnic

  • Cheese.  Make it your favorites!  Brie is always a safe choice, but try some of the great local cheeses being created. It’s the perfect time to splurge a little and be adventurous.
  • You gotta have something for that cheese to sit on. Grab a baguette or some crackers.
  • Dips. Hummus is a favorite, or try spinach dip or smoked salmon spread. Good with cut up veggies
  • Sandwiches or sandwich rolls make things easy. Make them up at home with what you like.
  •  Salads. Caprese salad is an easy favorite. Potato salad, coleslaw, mixed green salad; just make sure it’s not too complicated to eat, since you want to enjoy the show and your food at the same time.
  • Fruit. We’ve got a bounty of it at this time of year. Strawberries, melon, cherries, apricots, blueberries.

SWEET ENDINGS

  • Bring your favorite cookies and enough to share
  • Brownies or cupcakes can be fun
  • Pre-sliced banana bread or zucchini bread

Have we got you hungry yet?  Pick a play and park and load up your basket.  We can’t wait to see what you bring.

First Rehearsal for Wooden O 2014

At Seattle Shakespeare Company summer officially starts with the first rehearsal for Wooden O.  This summer we’ve got our biggest casts ever — a total of 30 actors! Both “The Two Gentlemen of Verona” and our all-female “Julius Caesar” feature original music and choreography.  It’s going to be a great summer of Shakespeare.  Make your plans with friends to join us in the parks.