Hello darkness, my old friend, it’s time for theater again. Fall, after all, brings not only 5 p.m. sunsets but also the start of most theater seasons.
Perennial favorite “The Wiz” opens at the Fifth Avenue on Nov. 19, directed by Kelli Foster Warder. Kataka Corn stars as Dorothy, and, if I can see them share the stage with Nicholas Japaul Bernard (understudy for the Scarecrow, last reviewed in this paper for his performance in the ACT/Fifth co-production of “Choir Boy”), I’m in.
At the Seattle Center through Nov. 20, aptly from Seattle Shakespeare, is “Macbeth,” directed by ACT Artistic Director John Langs. The theater provides plenty of content warnings, including an abundance of blood, gore, murder and suicide.
We’ll get into holiday shows more next month, but Black Friday is trying to rebrand itself as more focused on theater than deals. Opening that day, we have “Mr. Dickens and His Carol” at Seattle Rep, “A Very Die Hard Christmas” at Seattle Public Theater, “Q Brothers Christmas Carol” at ArtsWest and, for the traditionalists, “A Christmas Carol” at ACT.
But what really excites me about Seattle’s theater scene is all the groups you may not have heard of: LANGSTON, Wayward Works, Pork Filled Productions, Pony World, Sound, Taproot, Dacha (of which this writer is a company member), Reboot. Many of these groups focus on inclusive casting and ticketing, with sliding scales allowing attendees to pick a price that’s comfortable for them — sometimes even free.
James Baldwin’s “The Amen Project” is on a Seattle stage for the first time ever, presented by LANGSTON and the Williams Project and directed by Reggie D. White. The production, running Nov. 2 through 20, follows the Williams Project’s “Summer of Baldwin,” which included a free book club and an event at the Frye — the kind of community-building I love to see.
Opening Nov. 4, Reboot Theatre Company is presenting “Jesus Christ Superstar,” directed and choreographed by Harry Turpin. I’m not sure if this counts as a holiday play or not, but the rock opera will at least set the stage for some delightful family discussions over turkey and stuffing.
Another twist on a real classic is coming to the stage on Nov. 4: “Not / Our Town,” by Pony World Theatre at 12th Avenue Arts. The new adaptation, written and directed by Brendan Healy, depends on the audience to see how much it’s like the 1938 original, but attendees also do not need to be familiar with “Our Town” to enjoy. (If you want to be, Cornish students are putting on “Our Town” Nov. 5 and 6 at the Raisbeck Auditorium.)
Dacha Theatre will have a one-weekend staged reading of the newly devised, super queer play “Girls School Memory Play” (working title). I’m excited to be part of the cast and honored to be working with director Leah Sainz-Jones and writer Donovan Olsen to bring that piece to the stage. Check us out at West of Lenin, Nov. 17–20.
I’m running out of room and need to keep in that bit of self-promotion, so I’ll end with this: Theater is for everyone, so show up and make it yours!
Read more of the Nov. 2-8, 2022 issue.