Seattle Shakespeare Company looks very different today than it did a month ago. We look very different today than we imagined we would. Tonight was meant to be the opening of Troilus and Cressida, but instead the seats in the Center Theatre are empty. In fact, the whole Armory building is empty after being closed to the public earlier this week.
On a typical opening day, there are actors rehearsing on stage and running lines in the dressing room as they put on their costumes and makeup. We have two dressing rooms that face each other across a short hallway, and there’s always a bubble of talk and laughter. Some actors sit quietly in the green room, listening to music or taking naps, all are preparing in their own way. There’s probably a dresser putting last minute stitches in a costume, and the staff is preparing the lobby, tickets, and opening night party.
But today is not a typical day, nor has this been a typical week since we announced the cancellation of the remainder of our season last Friday. The cast and crew of Troilus and Cressida weren’t able to finish their show’s tech process, the Seattle Shakespeare staff is working remotely, and the seats and stage of the Center Theatre are empty.
We’ve experienced incredible generosity from our community—the very people who would have filled our seats and stage tonight—but we’re not out of the woods. We’re not sure when we’ll be able to gather together again and until we do, it’s like standing in the empty lobby, waiting and hoping for the doors to open.
In the coming weeks we’ll keep you updated about the company as we navigate this strange new world. We hope that you and your families are safe, and that soon we’ll be able to join together (in person!) once again to share in some stage magic.
PS. Before we said goodbye to the Troilus and Cressida cast, Director David Quicksall, Ian Bond, and Angélica Duncan-Basile helped us film a video about intimacy direction and the rehearsal process. If we can’t share the whole play with you, we’re so glad we can still share this small piece of their work.