Seeking Wooden O Site Manager

David S. Hogan as King Henry in Seattle Shakespeare Company's 2013 Wooden O production of "Henry V."
David S. Hogan as King Henry in the 2013 Wooden O production of “Henry V.”

Seattle Shakespeare Company is currently accepting applications for a site manager for the theatre’s summer 2014 Wooden O outdoor productions. This 5-week part-time, temporary position involves primarily evening and weekend duties that will include:

  • Serving as a public representative of Seattle Shakespeare Company
  • Setting up an informative and welcoming station and signage
  • Coordinating and supervising volunteers
  • Giving brief speeches before each performance to welcome the audience
  • Selling merchandise and collecting donations
  • Soliciting free Groundling memberships
  • Serving as an information resource regarding Seattle Shakespeare Company and the performance.
  • Tallying cash donations after each performance
  • Submitting performance reports
  • Others duties as assigned

The position requires that the site manager have reliable transportation, be able to lift 30lbs, and have a schedule flexible enough to evening hours during the week and all weekends during stated work period. This position will start the week of July 7 and be employed through August 10, 2014. If you have questions or are interested in applying for the summer Wooden O site manager position, please send a cover letter and resume to:

Jeff Fickes, Communications Director | email
Seattle Shakespeare Company
PO Box 19595
Seattle, WA  98109

Salary: $10 per hour. All applications will be considered. Candidates will be called for an interview. Application deadline is March 14.

General Auditions for Wooden O 2014 Productions

The cast of Seattle Shakespeare Company's 2013 Wooden O production of "The Tempest."
The cast of Seattle Shakespeare Company’s 2013 Wooden O production of “The Tempest.”

Seattle Shakespeare Company will hold general auditions on Saturday March 1 from 11AM to 6PM for its two Wooden O summer 2014 productions directed by David Quicksall and Vanessa Miller.

Please email casting to schedule an available slot. To solicit a time for this audition please include a headshot and resume in your email message.

Where: Cornish Playhouse, 201 Mercer Street, Seattle WA 98109. The auditions will take place in the Founder’s Room located in the upper lobby near the bar. Please enter the building through the side door located near Seattle Rep.

Audition requirements: two heightened text pieces (90-second maximum per piece), and at least one of them should be by Shakespeare. The second piece will only be seen at the director’s discretion and request, so please be ready but don’t assume that both pieces will asked to be heard.  Also note, you may be asked to sing a capella.

Dates for the Wooden O productions are July 10 through August 17. Rehearsals will begin June 9, 2014. Both productions will perform in Walla Walla for one week.

Seattle Shakespeare Company to Transfer Productions to Walla Walla

Richard II
David Foubert, Reginald Andre Jackson, and Peter A. Jacobs in Seattle Shakespeare Company’s 2014 production of “Richard II” Photo by John Ulman.

Starting with our production of “Richard II” and continuing on with our Spring production of “The Importance of Being Earnest,” Seattle Shakespeare Company and Shakespeare Walla Walla are embarking on a partnership to bring professional classical theatre productions to Eastern Washington. 


“I’m thrilled that we’ll be returning to Walla Walla with our indoor productions,” says SSC’s Artistic Director George Mount. In the summer of 2008, Seattle Shakespeare Company transferred its outdoor production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” to Walla Walla to play at the Fort Walla Walla Amphitheatre and out of that initial effort Shakespeare Walla Walla was created. Since then the city has gone on to build a new indoor performing arts venue, the Gesa Power House Theatre. “We were the inaugural production at the Gesa Power House Theatre with our production of “The Merry Wives of Windsor,” but we’ve not been back to bring another one of our mainstage shows since that time. With the transfer of our productions of “Richard II” and “The Importance of Being Earnest” as well as a presentation of our collaboration on “Such Sweet Thunder Suite” with Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra, it’s wonderful to bring our work to Eastern Washington.


“This renewed partnership with Seattle Shakespeare Company helps us expand our programming and outreach,” says Shakespeare Walla Walla Executive Director Ron Williams. “We bring high-quality entertainment to the community, offer more shows in a variety of genres and have more time to focus on our education efforts. With some shows, we’ll be adding a Friday morning performance just for our local schools.”


Seattle Shakespeare Company’s production of “Richard II” will play at the Gesa Power House Theatre February 6-9 and “The Importance of Being Earnest” by Oscar Wilde will perform April 16-20. “Such Sweet Thunder Suite,” Duke Ellington’s 12-part suite inspired by Shakespeare’s works, will be performed in Spring 2014.


Tickets to the Walla Walla performances are available online or by calling (509) 529-6500. Visitor information about Walla Walla is available at

Bright Spots of 2013

At Seattle Shakespeare Company, we start our staff meetings by sharing Bright Spots that have happened to us in the week. These are triumphant moments, both big and small, that acknowledge the positive aspects of our jobs.  It’s fun to share them with staff members who may not have been around to experience them directly.

This year, we asked our board, staff, and artists to give us their Bright Spots of the past year, and what they had to share is listed below. Did you have a Bright Spot at Seattle Shakespeare Company in 2013? Let us know in the comments section.


Jennifer Lee Taylor as Beatrice and Matt Shimkus as Benedick in Seattle Shakespeare Company's 2013 production of "Much Ado About Nothing." Photo by John Ulman.

The interaction with the water feature in Much Ado.

David Allais, Board member


Jennifer Sue Johnson as Nora and Michael Patten as Torvald in Seattle Shakespeare Company's 2013 production of "A Doll's House." Photo by John Ulman.

A standout for me was the entire production of A Doll’s House. Great director, wonderful cast and very appreciative audiences.

Rod Pilloud, Stage Manager


1) Here’s a serious answer:
Seeing the energy, skill, dedication, and passion that the Wooden O actors and stage managers brought with them each night to every park — new or familiar — was nothing short of inspiring.

2) And here’s a laugh:
Also, if you ever wondered whether or not it’s a good idea to melt chocolate over an open flame that’s propped up on some stones on the grass (or if a tea towel will sufficiently put out the inevitable grass-fire without bursting into flames itself) … it’s not (and it won’t). The Great Flaming Fondue Fiasco of 2013. Never Forget.

To all my friends at Seattle Shakes — thanks for a beautiful summer and some lovely lasting friendships <3

Kaeline Kine, Wooden O Site Manager


Amy Thone as Prospero in Seattle Shakespeare Company's 2013 Wooden O production of "The Tempest."

The most memorable moment with Seattle Shakespeare this year was the final performance of The Tempest , specifically the curtain call. Being surrounded by these amazingly talented people who had inspired and taught me so much, with a lazy summer sun setting in the background casting a pink hue on everyone. I looked around and promised myself to never forget that moment: Holding Pilar’s hand, and George crying harder than anyone else and every face in the audience smiling. I couldn’t have asked for a better or more beautiful moment to recognize that my life had profoundly changed.

Kellyn Traeckenschuh, actor


Betsy Schwartz as Mrs. Linde and Peter Dylan O'Connor as Krogstad in Seattle Shakespeare Company's 2013 production of "A Doll's House." Photo by John Ulman.

The atmosphere of the rehearsal room over at SCT for A Doll’s House was one of the most supportive and generous that I have ever experience. From Russ down to little Mia, the cast and crew worked so lovingly and honestly on this powerful play. My contribution was small but I felt so honored to be included in the production.

Laura Ferri, actor


The War of Kindness between Tempest and Henry 5!

Michael Patten, actor


Romeo and Juliet at Olympic Sculpture ParkRomeo and Juliet at the Olympic Sculpture Park – how the cast improvised to incorporate the roof top of the temporary house into the balcony scene – also watching casual passers-by stop, astonished, to watch the superb performance. They tore themselves away so very reluctantly.

Sarah Alsdorf, Board member


Kelly Kitchens as Kate and David Quicksall as Petruchio in Seattle Shakespeare Company's 2013 production of "The Taming of the Shrew" Photo by Chris Bennion.

Watching audience members cry because they were laughing so hard at the antics of the cast of Taming of the Shrew, then watching Bash supporters raise their bid cards after Kelly Kitchens (our “Kate”) lifted them with her own moving story. I’m proud of SSC’s wonderful works and our fabulous fans!!

Sue Petitpas, Board member


Loved the story that Kelly Kitchens shared onstage at this year’s “Bash.” She crystalized the art and idealism that drives Seattle Shakespeare to do what we do. Brilliant.

Jeannie Blank, Board member


Mike Dooly as Stephano and Brian D. Simmons as Caliban in Seattle Shakespeare Company's 2013 Wooden O production of "The Tempest."

While performing at Seatac Park this summer in The Tempest, a young man approached me during setup and asked me what we were doing. I told him we would be performing Shakespeare tonight for free.

He then asked “What’s Shakespeare?” Inwardly I died a little, but I told him he should hang around and find out. He did. Sitting front row center with a huge smile. He came up after, shook my hand, and said than you. Best moment in my career.

Brian Simmons, actor


I suspect that most folks focus on the final product–the art. My highlight of the past year was watching the “making of” disc. George blossoming into his new role; Michelle and Casey coming into their own; John and George on stage opening night doing Martin & Lewis.

Phil Miller, Board member


Amy Thone (Prospero) standing on a big mossy rock in the island forest wilderness (the stage stairs/promontory), reaching her long thin arms toward the sky…my idea of an actor, reaching…

Susan Wilder, Board member


Love's Labour's Lost (2013)

Making my directing debut with Seattle Shakespeare Company last winter was a time of pure joy and deep fulfillment. Everyone in the Love’s Labours Lost family, both on stage and off, were so supportive, creative and loving that it made the process from first day of rehearsal through closing night unforgettable. On a personal note, Love’s Labours Lost was the first show I directed after conquering cancer last December and I cannot think of a more glorious way to celebrate life and art – my deepest gratitude and love to all of you!

Jon Kretzu, Director of Love’s Labour’s Lost


The Taming of the Shrew 2013When I cast Brandon Ryan as Biondello in our remount of The Taming of the Shrew… well, I had no idea how far we could go…

Because this actor is: CRAZY AND FREAKIN TALENTED!!!!

Brandon reminded me:

There are very few limitations in the theater…

We didn’t have to follow any of the rules!

What a joyful experience for a director to work with an actor who is so open to an organic, undetermined process!

Seriously – this is truly rare with any sort of actor.

Shrew will always hold a special place in my creative heart!

Aimée Bruneau, Director of The Taming of the Shrew


The absolutely stunning and poignant production of Taming of the Shrew – the intensity of the emotions and wonderful staging.

Shawn Aebi, Board member


The cast of Seattle Shakespeare Company's 2013 Wooden O production of "The Tempest."

Closing night of Tempest and Wooden O’s 20th anniversary season was one of the most moving events I’ve been a part of as an actor.

Jim Lapan, actor


Henry V 2013

It was so fulfilling to do the Fight Direction on Henry V for Wooden O. I had to leave for my honeymoon just before tech. When we returned 3 weeks later, it was an absolute delight to see the show after a few weeks of performances. It seemed that the players had really found their “sea legs” and I we truly loved the experience.

Peter Dylan O’Connor, actor/fight choreographer


The Taming of the Shrew 2013

The remount of Wooden O’s production of The Taming of the Shrew was last season’s highlight for me. The chance to be reunited with such a marvelous troupe of players was glorious. It was a real joy to rejoin Kelly Kitchens and unleash our inner rednecks while spouting the words of Shakespeare!

David Quicksall, actor


Love's Labour's Lost (2013)

All the bizarre rituals we created backstage during the run of Love’s Labour’s Lost. They got stranger and stranger as the run progressed.

Brandon Simmons


Much Ado About Nothing 2013

I truly enjoyed the hilariously funny Much Ado About Nothing, with its terrific set and cast. Seeing George Mount on stage as Don Pedro was a highlight!

Lynne Graybeal, Board member


Being present in the room at Bill’s Bash as Kelly Kitchens voiced the dreams of a little girl, brought to life by the visual power of live Shakespeare, and realizing Seattle Shakespeare Company has the power and the mission to continue that dream.

Roberta Greenwood, Board member


A highlight for me was our Bill’s Bash event this past spring. I was incredibly moved by the tremendous outpouring of support from our patrons and donors. It was a fun-filled night and the most successful fundraiser in SSC’s history, raising more than $210,000 to support our work in the community. Way to go, everyone!

Lauren Domino, Development Director

No Damsel in Distress: An Interview with Brenda Joyner

Brenda Joyner

Although she’s played enough of them on our stage, Brenda Joyner is no damsel in distress. She’s a huge Seattle Sounders fan and admits to eating popcorn almost every day. Growing up in Anchorage, Alaska, she had designs on being a ventriloquist and asked for a Howdy Doody doll for Christmas. “I was immediately terrified of it. I tried to learn with the little booklet that came with it to teach you how to talk without moving your mouth, but the doll just totally creeped me out.” Even though she played Lady Macbeth at age 16, never in a million years did she think she’d be doing so much Shakespeare. She only took one class on him in college at Western Washington University.

Brenda is playing the role of the Queen in Seattle Shakespeare Company’s production of “Richard II.”  This will be her second time working with director Rosa Joshi as she played Lavinia in the all-female upstart crow production of “Titus Andronicus” in 2012. We spoke with her during the run of “Much Ado About Nothing” while she was playing Hero and before rehearsals started up for “Richard II.”


Earliest Memory of Wanting to Be an Actor

When I was in third grade, the Missoula Children’s Theatre came to Alaska and we did “Alice in Wonderland” in a week. At the end, I remember we were all sitting in the front row of the theatre and the two instructors with Missoula Children’s Theatre were saying goodbye and talking about their next project. I said some inappropriate comment for a third grader… a very inappropriate comment about hanky panky behind the curtains or something like that. I don’t know where it came from, but then everyone laughed, and I was filled with the most glorious feeling in the world.  I remember thinking, “I want to make people laugh. I want to feel this way for the rest of my life. I want to make people laugh and feel things for the rest of my life.” There is no better feeling in the world than that.  And I fail at it mostly, but I just remember I was sitting there and I couldn’t believe that everyone was laughing at something that I said. And I just wanted to feel that way for the rest of my life. To make someone laugh…to make someone feel something. It’s the greatest.


On Playing Ingénues

What I love about playing ingénues…so often you people talk about them being thankless roles. Especially Hero, having done Hero again, it really dawned on me how little she says and how much people speak for her. They always say “Hero said…” and she’s standing right there on stage! It just presents such an interesting challenge. Just because you’re not talking doesn’t mean you’re not feeling things or experiencing things. You still have opinions about what’s happening on stage, so it just opens up this whole other world of portraying that. And I think they can be funny. I think they can be charming and endearing…especially with Hero. Claudio and Hero meet, you can give them a back story if you want, but they meet and suddenly he’s in love with her. And so I try to think, okay, what’s this thing that he falls in love with, and for me that’s her humor. That’s what’s endearing and charming to me. So I try, as much as I can, in the limited stage time you have as a Shakespeare ingénue, to be charming and funny and heartfelt, and real. You just can’t write them off


On Playing a Queen

Playing a Queen?! Good God! I honestly didn’t think there was any part for me in Richard, and then I was talking to Amy [Seattle Shakespeare Company’s Casting Director]. She said, “Well, there’s the Queen…”  The Queen? Oh I’m not…God!  That’ll be challenging! I don’t know what silly face I can make when playing a Queen. Ugh. I’ll have to work in some fart jokes somehow. She has like three scenes, right, and really only one, so you better make it count.

So in my deep Wikipedia research so far, I found out she does have a name, but Shakespeare didn’t give her one. It is Queen Isabella. So when I clicked on a link to Queen Isabella to read more about her, it said she was the Duchess of Bourbon….which is my favorite alcohol! I got so excited that I was going to be playing the Duchess of Bourbon. Of course I’m Queen Isabella the Duchess of Bourbon. That makes perfect sense. I am perfectly cast…. but, that’s a different Queen Isabella, so I don’t know what I’m going to do. All of my character work is out the window. She might still be the Duchess of Bourbon for my sake.  It was such a letdown.


On Working with Rosa Joshi

She’s phenomenal. She’s so smart and exciting and daring and crazy. I’m so thrilled that she’s working at Seattle Shakespeare Company. I’m really happy for her, and I can’t wait to work with her again. She’s just…she’s like Sheila Daniels, such a strong female director. She’s just a brilliant director, but then as a woman she has this great female voice. I can’t wait to work with her on the Queen. I could use her help a lot. She has fantastic ideas and she’s game for anything. It’s going to honest and real, because that’s just what Rosa does. The way that she approaches shows is so different. It’s hard to explain, but…yeah she’s awesome.


Dream Role

I would love another crack at Lady Macbeth.  Not that my performance at age 16 was shabby. I would love to play that one.  And I think, especially since it’s so fresh in my brain, I would to play Beatrice.  I love her humor, I love how…there’s just so much that I identify with in Beatrice. In her use of humor and wit as a way of life and a defense mechanism, and a thing to hide behind.  So I would love a crack at that. And I’ve had the pleasure of watching two phenomenal Beatrices. So, I could just steal everything they’ve done.

When people ask about what parts I want to play. I don’t think of it that way. I think of it as, “Oh, I’m auditioning for this? I would love to play that part. Yes, I think I would like to play that part.” There are really few roles I’m dying to play. I just don’t think of it that way, and I’m sometimes embarrassed about that. But I just kind of take what’s in front of me. What am I available to play right now?  ‘Cause I’ll do anything! Gladly!

I’d love to play a clown! I don’t know which one, but I would love it and it would be a terrifying thing.  I’ve watched so many great comedic actors work on Dogberry and Feste. I would love a crack at that. I might fail miserably, but I would love to try that, I guess.

I would love to do a comedy and be funny. Rather than trying to shoehorn my comedy into these dainty little ingénues.


Must Haves for Her Dressing Room

Bourbon. Bourbon and a pair of slippers. Those are my only go-to things. I don’t need pictures …if people give me cards throughout the run, I’ll keep them all there, but those are the only two things that I need, a pair of slippers and bourbon. And mascara!  Three things. I can do anything without makeup, but I have to have mascara!  Mascara, bourbon, and my shark slippers. They are shark slippers. They’re my show slippers. They’re simple little slippers, but the front is like a big toothy mouth. People think it’s a whale… it’s not a whale, it is a villainous shark, and it has little flippers. I found them at Target. I love sharks…well, no I don’t. I love them because I’m terrified of them. I have this love hate relationship with them.  “Jaws” is my favorite movie and I just think sharks are terrifying things. I respect them and I stay out of their water.  I also have shark footie pajamas at home.