In celebration of its 75th season, UW’s School of Drama will present a generous 2015-16 slate of plays, readings and other activities celebrating Seattle theater.
Todd London sees Seattle’s bustling theater scene as something of an extension of the UW School of Drama — past, present and future.
That vision is manifested in the UW’s just-announced, 2015-16 theater season assembled by London, executive director of the drama school since last fall.
The season is a larger undertaking than in recent years, in celebration of the drama school’s 75th anniversary. The schedule contains more than 19 plays performed in readings, workshops and full productions open to the public. The shows will be aesthetically and ethnically diverse, including many contemporary works and collaborations with local theater companies — staged both on and off campus.
“The university is so deeply connected to this community,” says London, a prizewinning writer and the former head of New York’s New Dramatists organization. He notes that ACT Theatre, Seattle Children’s Theatre, Washington Ensemble Theatre and many other local companies were founded or have been led by UW drama grads and professors, and that the city functions “as a master teacher for our students.”
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Productions on and around campus and at UW’s Jones Playhouse on University Avenue will include Marc Blitzstein’s politically charged Depression-era musical “The Cradle Will Rock;” Joe Orton’s “Loot;” as well as “Beginnings: First Breath,” a collaboration with Jet City Improv; “The Walk Across America for Mother Earth,” by Taylor Mac, a coproduction with Washington Ensemble Theatre; Kia Corthron’s sociopolitical drama “Force Continuum”; the immersive piece “ … And Hilarity Ensues …” in conjunction with The Horse in Motion; and “Skies Over Seattle,” several pieces “built around and about three communities in the U-District.”
A coproduction of Melissa James Gibson’s “Brooklyn Bridge” with Seattle Children’s Theatre will also be presented, at SCT’s Charlotte Martin Theatre.
Other slated events: “Seattle Theatres: Lost and Founded,” which features a public symposium on the history of Seattle’s theaters (Nov. 2, 2015), and a play-reading series in partnership with Meany Hall and One Coast Collaboration (selected dates from September 2015 to March 2016) of representative scripts from the repertoire of now-extinct Seattle troupes such as Alice B. Theatre and Empty Space Theatre.
In addition, UW’s new Musical Theater Program will present “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” co-produced by the school’s drama, music and dance departments.
Single tickets for events go on sale Sept. 10, 2015, with ticket prices starting at $8.25. (Discounts are offered for students, seniors and UW alum and employees.) Dates and more details: drama.washington.edu.