2014-2015 Season Announced – Lead Us Into Temptation

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Artistic Director George Mount announced the company’s plans for 2014-2015 that include expanding to five plays for its indoor season, the return of directors Jon Kretzu and John Langs, and the mainstage directing debuts of Desdemona Chiang and Makaela Pollock.

“Many of the projects in this coming year have been in the works for several years,” said Mount. “It was really a matter of timing and getting the right pieces in place.  For the indoor season, the plays coalesce around the theme of ‘Lead Us Into Temptation’ since desire, both playful and sinister, are a factor in each show.”

The free, outdoor Wooden O shows for summer 2014 will be The Two Gentlemen of Verona directed by David Quicksall and Julius Caesar directed by Vanessa Miller.  “Both David and Vanessa are Wooden O veterans, and they know the demands it takes to create a great experience in the parks,” said Mount.  The Two Gentlemen of Verona will draw its setting from mid-century America while Julius Caesar will feature an all-female cast set in a contemporary world on the brink of war. The shows will start performances on July 10, 2014 and perform in parks at Mercer Island, Sammamish, Seattle, Lynnwood, Edmonds, SeaTac, Issaquah, Shoreline and other cities. All performances are free and open to the public with donations encouraged at the site.  After their run in Seattle, each show will transfer to Walla Walla for a week of performances.

Seattle Shakespeare Company expands its indoor programming next season by adding a fifth full production to its roster. Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot will be produced at the Falls Theatre at ACT Theatre September3-21, 2014. “Godot is a play I’ve wanted to direct for a long time, and I specifically wanted to direct it at ACT,” said Mount. “I’ve been working for almost three years with a group of artists to help realize this production, and I’m very excited that we can kick off our indoor season with this play that could arguably be the most influential play of the 20th century. And, we’ve got some very exciting city-wide partners and events related to Beckett in the works.”  Samuel Beckett introduced the world to Vladimir and Estragon in Waiting for Godot when much of humankind lived in fear of nuclear annihilation. Since then these two clowns, as well as their fellow travelers Pozzo and Lucky, have led the way in taking one falteringly dangerous step after another into an unknown future.

Shakespeare’s sparkling comedy Twelfth Night will be directed by Jon Kretzu October 21-November 16, 2014 at the Center Theatre at Seattle Center. “I’m so happy to welcome back Jon who showed us the charm and delight in Love’s Labour’s Lost in 2013,” said Mount.  “I know he’s interested in playing with both the twinkle of Twelfth Night as well as the darker tones of the play.”

Desdemona Chiang will direct Measure for Measure January 6-February 1, 2015 at the Center Theatre at Seattle Center. “Desdemona is an artist whose work really caught my attention, and I look forward to introducing her to our fans,” said Mount. “Measure for Measure is a play that raises hard questions and doesn’t provide any easy answers, and I’m counting on Desdemona to hold us to the fire for this one.”

Moliere’s Tartuffe will be directed by Makaela Pollock March 17-April 12, 2015 at the Center Theatre at Seattle Center. “Tartuffe is a crazy tale of a swindler who cons his way into a family’s household, and Moliere skewers false morality with great gusto,” said Mount. “I worked with Makaela for the 2012 Wooden O production of Twelfth Night, and I think her zany sensibilities will be spot on for the play.

Othello will be the final play in the company’s indoor season.  It will be directed by John Langs April 22-May 10, 2015 at the Cornish Playhouse at Seattle Center. “John doesn’t shy away from bringing a big vision of Shakespeare’s plays to the stage,” said Mount. “Time and time again he’s wowed our audiences, and I can’t wait see what he’ll bring to bear on Othello since it’s a firecracker of a play.”

Seattle Shakespeare Company will also tour two 6-actor Shakespeare productions to approximately 60 schools and communities across Washington State in the spring of 2015.

Season ticket packages are now on sale and range from $94 to $204 for all five indoor productions. Season ticket packages can be purchased by calling the ticket office at (206) 733-8222 or online at www.seattleshakespeare.org. Single tickets for all five productions will go on sale June 4, 2014 and range from $25-$48 per ticket.

Such Sweet Thunder on KPLU

Such Sweet Thunder

Seattle Shakespeare Company was part of a sensational concert in February with the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra Such Sweet Thunder: The Duke Meets the Bard. If you missed the concert or just want to relive the experience, tune in Jim Wilke’s program Jazz Northwest on Sunday, March 9 at 2 PM to KPLU 88.5 FM to hear a broadcast of the first half of the concert. The second half will be broadcast at 2 PM on Sunday, March 16.

Actors George Mount, Darragh Kennan, and Hana Lass (who is appearing in our upcoming production of The Importance of Being Earnest) performed excerpts from Shakespeare’s plays alongside the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra wonderful rendition of Duke Ellington’s Shakespeare inspired songs. We’re thrilled Jim is able broadcast the entire concert in these two installments.

For more information, visit kplu.org.

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.

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

Finding A Way to Give Back

Ray Gonzalez in Seattle Shakespeare Company's productions of "The Comedy of Errors" (2007), "Twelfth Night" (2009), and "As You Like It" (2012).
Ray Gonzalez in Seattle Shakespeare Company’s productions of “The Comedy of Errors” (2007), “Twelfth Night” (2009), and “As You Like It” (2012).

Ray Gonzalez made his professional acting debut in Seattle Shakespeare Company’s 1997 production of “Richard III,” and later went on to appear in more than 20 Seattle Shakespeare Company and Wooden O productions. He’s begun a new adventure as a real estate broker with Real Living Northwest, Realtors, and he’s come up with an innovative way to give back to the place that gave him his start in theatre.

“Seattle Shakespeare Company is like family to me and I’m so honored and excited to have the opportunity to give back to such a great company,” said Gonzalez. Ray is offering his real estate services to Seattle Shakespeare Company fans (as well as their family and friends), and will donate 10% of any commission earned on the sale to Seattle Shakespeare Company. “After all these years in the theatre, I found it very hard to just walk away,” said Gonzalez. “I wanted to find a way to stay involved and lend my support.”

Gonzalez hopes to generate at least $5000 in donations the first year, so if you are considering buying or selling a home, this is a great time to contact Ray and find out more about his services and how you can be a part of this opportunity. “I’m so grateful to John Bradshaw, the managing director of Seattle Shakespeare Company, for partnering with me in my vision to support this great company. It’s my way of staying involved and giving back to a community that has given so much to me.”

We’re thrilled to partner with Ray on this opportunity and do hope that you’ll think of him (and us!) if you’re in need of real estate services.  Contact Ray at 206-234-8726 (cell) or 888-391-9338.

Contact Ray Gonzalez