Theater Notes

I Need Your Vote!

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Daniel’s voter registration card (and Daniel)

“I need your vote!” “I want to vote.” “Are you going to vote?” These phrases run, like a strong, connective thread, through Thalia’s Umbrella’s upcoming production of Richard Nelson’s smart, funny and very timely play Sorry, set on Election Day, 2012. But with this play, nothing—including voting—is ever just what it seems.

Are we doing the ...

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The Model Made Real

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Making the Model Real

In our last post we showed you Roberta’s model of the set.  Today we start technical rehearsals on that set!  The trees are not yet tacked down, and the floor paint is not finished.  But it’s such an exciting space to act in, and to watch actors in!  This is a house very much connected to the ...

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Look Who’s SORRY Now, Part 1

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“This warm gem of a place…”

Director Daniel Wilson talks with SORRY’s lighting and scenery designer, Roberta Russell.

Before our most recent production meeting for Sorry, I sat down to talk with Roberta. She is the lighting design professor at Cornish College of the Arts, and has lit numerous shows I’ve directed. Any conversation with her is a delight. — DW

Roberta, ...

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Meet the Apples!

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We’ve just finished the first week of rehearsal, and already this family of ordinary, remarkable people is starting to resolve into sharp, funny, unforgettable individuals.

 

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UNCLE BENJAMIN (played by the always charming William Hall, Jr—he played Steve in ...

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Don’t be Sorry: GiveSMALL!

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Give Small

 

Our esteemed director, Daniel, does deep, detailed textual analysis as he prepares to direct a play (or maybe he just has too much time on his hands).  Sometimes this takes strange forms, such as this recent email:

“The word ‘sorry’ is used 18 times in the play. 12 times as ‘I’m sorry’; 5 times just ‘Sorry’; and one time in the phrase ‘And are you sorry?’ ‘Sorrow’ is used twice, both ...

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It Ain’t Easy to Pick a Play, Part II

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It leapt off the shelf and hit him on the head. I swear! I saw it happen. We were strolling innocently through the stacks at the downtown Seattle Public Library discussing Kierkegaard (we’d completely given up on finding a play by then) when the collected Apple FamVersion 2ily plays, by Richard Nelson, leapt off the shelf and dropped onto Daniel’s head.

An intervention by Thalia herself? Did she take pity on our ...

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It Ain’t Easy to Pick a Play!

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I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.”
—E.B. White

My Thalia’s Umbrella theater partner, Daniel Wilson, loves this quote. (Perhaps because it so aptly describes him—and his day.) Torn thus every day, it’s no wonder Daniel jumped at my first draft of ...

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‘A Lesson From Aloes’: South Africa’s Divisions Made Painfully Real

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A review of Thalia’s Umbrella’s production of an intensely personal, political play by South African writer Athol Fugard

By Misha Berson, Seattle Times Theater Critic

Playwright Athol Fugard calls the aloe plant “one of South Africa’s most powerful, beautiful and celebratory symbols. It survives out there in the wild when everything else is dried. At the end of one of our terrible recurrent droughts, the aloe is still there.”

In “A Lesson From Aloes,” the title symbolism feels obvious at first as ...

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ALOES Interview #1: William Hall, Jr.

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Bill, this is your third time with A LESSON FROM ALOES, though the first time in Seattle. Why does this play continue to attract you?

It’s so well-written! And it can touch everyone. You think it’s only about a racially-charged situation, but no, it’s about all humanity coming to grips with itself. We’re all kind of like aloes, really, living in the desert of our reality. We take turns as the gardener, and the plant… I think Athol Fugard, the playwright, ...

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Our Recent Production Meeting

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Pictured are Rik Deskin, our sleepy stage manager; Daniel Wilson, our director; Megan Tuschhoff, properties designer; Jason Phillips, set designer; and, on the laptop, Lucy, a hyper-intelligent pan-dimensional being—or attending by Skype, I forget which.

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