Not familiar with George Bernard Shaw’s comedy Arms and the Man? Don’t worry, we’re here to set you at ease with some fun facts about the show.
Take a glimpse into the rehearsal room for Arms and the Man, directed by David Armstrong. George Bernard Shaw’s sparkling romantic comedy starts Oct. 23 at the Center Theatre.
George Bernard Shaw’s recipe for fun mixes smarts with silliness and adds just a dash of morality. Arms and the Man takes center stage at Seattle Shakespeare Company helmed by David Armstrong, former artistic director of the 5th Avenue Theatre. “This is a really exciting project for Seattle Shakespeare Company,” said Artistic Director George Mount at the first rehearsal for Arms and the Man. “It’s our third show with Shaw, who is fast becoming a friend of the company, and I’m completely pleased and proud to welcome Allen Fitzpatrick and David Armstrong for their Seattle Shakes debuts.” “One of my goals as I stepped down from 18 years at the 5th Avenue was to do some things I hadn’t had a chance to do in a long time. On the top of my list was to do a classic play,” remarked Arms and the Man Director David Armstrong. “I’ve always been drawn to Shaw. I think it’s the language, the big ideas, and the audaciousness. And I like audacious theatre. It’s why I like Shakespeare. It’s why I like musicals.” One of George Bernard Shaw’s earliest successes, Arms and the Man is a comic send-up of the romantic notions of love and war. Raina Petkoff is young, beautiful, and filled with idealistic ideas about love. She’s all set to marry war hero Major Saranoff, but then the combat crashes through her window in the form a soldier fighting for the opposing side. Intrigued, Raina agrees to hide him, but only after learning he carries chocolates instead of bullets. After the war ends, both rival soldiers return for their love, and that’s when the real battle for Raina’s heart begins. A frequent artist at Seattle Shakespeare Company, Brenda Joyner plays Raina Petkoff. Joyner last appeared in Bring Down the House and The Winter’s Tale. Sylvester Kamara plays Captain Bluntschli. Kamara recently appeared in Medea and Titus Andronicus. Major Saranoff will be played by Richard Sloniker who appeared last season in The Merchant of Venice. Joining them will be Allen Fitzpatrick (Major Petkoff), Suzy Hunt (Catherine Petkoff), Jonelle Jordan (Louka), and George Mount (Nicola). The design team for Arms and the Man will invoke the rolling mountainous region of Bulgaria in the late 1880s. Set design for the production is by Julia Hays Welch, costume design by Jocelyne Fowler, lighting design by Tristan Roberson, and sound design by Jay Weinland. Tickets to Arms and the Man are available now through the Seattle Shakespeare Company Box Office at 206-733-8222 as well as online at www.seattleshakespeare.org.
Classical plays with strong female leads make up Seattle Shakespeare Company’s upcoming season just announced by Artistic Director George Mount. Plans for the company’s 2018-2019 season include Richard III, Arms and the Man, All’s Well That Ends Well, She Stoops to Conquer, and As You Like It. “The thematic narrative for the shows is All’s Fair in Love and War,” said Mount. “Each of the plays has something to say about the efforts that people go through to get what they want either in the field of combat or the field of romance.” The company previously announced its selection for the free Wooden O summer 2018 park shows: King Lear and The Merry Wives of Windsor. In the spring of 2019 Seattle Shakespeare Company will tour Macbeth and Romeo and Juliet to schools and venues across Washington State. “Even though some of these plays deal with heavy subjects as well as compelling ideas, I felt that it was time for a bit of theatre escapism,” said Mount. “This season is more of a way to let ourselves be entertained, distracted, elevated, absolved, or removed from the daily headlines.” Following up on the success in 2017 of Bring Down the House, a two-part adaptation Shakespeare’s Henry VI trilogy, Seattle Shakespeare Company will partner again with upstart crow collective to finish out the final chapter in the Wars of the Roses with Richard III. “The compelling nature of that production and the riveting performance of Sarah Harlett as Richard of Gloucester made it too irresistible not to produce Richard III,” said Mount. Rosa Joshi will direct an all-female staging of the rise and downfall of Shakespeare’s most cunning villain. Richard III will perform at the Leo K. Theatre September 12-October 7, 2018. “Shaw is so great at popping the bubble of our conventional notions. I’m glad his words and ideas will be back on our stage,” said Mount. Arms and the Man is a story about romantic love and about the romantic notions of war and valor. “It’s a near perfect comedy. It’s so charming it’s so funny, and it unfolds in such a delightful and unexpected ways. I’m excited to welcome David Armstrong, outgoing Artistic Director at the 5th Avenue Theatre, into the fold of our family to direct this show.” Arms and the Man will perform at the Center Theatre October 23-November 18, 2018. Director Victor Pappas, who staged the company’s productions of The Importance of Being Earnest and Mrs. Warren’s Profession, returns to direct All’s Well That Ends Well. “This is a play that Victor really, really wanted to do. It was on his ‘bucket list!’” said Mount. “I know Victor will bring his thoughtful care to this often challenging comedy. All’s Well That Ends Well will perform at the Center Theatre January 8-February 3, 2019. “This is a play I’ve wanted to produce for quite some time, and director Makaela Pollock and I have batted around the best time to bring it to the stage. This is the season,” said Mount. “She Stoops to Conquer is probably the funniest of the Restoration comedies. While it does have disguises, mistaken identities, and goofy characters, it’s really more about the wile, charm, and intelligence of some of the characters. Well, that and some really ridiculous situations and bawdy jokes. It’s an absolute delight.” She Stoops to Conquer will perform at the Center Theatre March 19-April 14, 2019. “We’ve had such great times with Kelly Kitchens as an actor on our stage and recently as director when she created such a exhilarating Medea for us,” said Mount “As You Like It is a play that she’s enamored with. She’s performed in it several times and has long wanted to direct it. Having her back to romp around in the woods in Shakespeare’s comedy is a slam dunk.” As You Like It will perform at the Center Theatre, April 23- May 19, 2019. The largest audiences for Seattle Shakespeare Company are the more than 16,000 students who get to experience one of the company’s touring productions. Seattle Shakespeare Company’s touring program crisscrosses the state with two 90-minute, 6-actor shows that bring Shakespeare to communities that don’t often see professional productions. During the spring of 2019 Macbeth and Romeo and Juliet will tour to schools and venues from Pullman to Wenatchee to Port Angeles. Free Shakespeare in the park is now a summer tradition for much of the region. Seattle Shakespeare Company’s Wooden O productions of King Lear and The Merry Wives of Windsor will perform in parks throughout the region from July 12 through August 12, 2018. The full schedule of dates and venues is available on the company’s website. Season ticket packages will go on sale April 17 and range from $100 to $210 for all five indoor productions. Season ticket packages can be purchased by calling the ticket office at (206) 733-8222 or online.