August always seems to stretch for too long but also zip by too fast. Make sure to take advantage of Seattle’s fantastic outdoor shows, from Shakespeare to Star Wars. NWtheatre.org has a wonderful calendar with all these shows, many of which are absolutely free. And, yes, you’ll catch me in one of them! If you need somewhere to cool down, there are several indoor options.
Aug. 4 to 12, West of Lenin, free to $100
I have a confession: I’ve never seen this classic play. So you’ll absolutely catch me — hopefully front row — at whatever showing I can fit into my schedule. This production is General Gabler’s Theatre’s first; the company was founded recently to primarily produce the works of Henrik Ibsen, “using non-normative casting that prioritizes women and non-binary actors.”
‘Wars Outdoors: Return of the Jedi in the Park’
Weekends in August, Dr. Blanche Lavizzo Park, free
Hello Earth is a perennial Seattle summer favorite for me, although I personally am more likely to show up for a “Star Trek” rendition — but this column has no room for that kind of division. Instead, just be dazzled by how far a tiny budget can go.
‘Shapeshifters: A Queer Comic Book Musical’
Aug. 11 to 14, the Black Box at Edmonds College, $17 to $20
If you’re the type to support theater outside of just downtown Seattle, then you should also try to be the type to go all the way to Edmonds to support this brand new musical in its pilot production after its premiere in NYC. As more queer and trans creators find their voices in all sorts of art, I hope we’ll see more boundary-breaking pieces of art like this one.
‘In Between, a collection of short plays’
Aug. 17 to 27, Center Theatre at Seattle Center, $15 to $25
Yun Theatre received more than 170 submissions for this short play festival, and those that were chosen are sure to be gems, all stories focusing on the theme of “migrate.” These plays ask questions about why and how we migrate and then, once we do, why and how we adapt. Yun Theatre is a bicultural experimental theater company that reflects the intersection of Chinese and American ideologies.
‘Bethany Sees the Stars’
Aug. 24 to Sept. 9, West of Lenin, $5 to $40
This world premiere is about a young girl who gets a chance to travel to Mars and leave everything behind. As we leave summer and long days behind, it can be valuable to reflect on tender topics; there are themes of loss and references to suicide. Lola Rei Fukushima took my breath away in “Miku and the Gods” last year, so I’m excited to see her perform again.
Henry Behrens is arts editor of Real Change.
Read more of the Aug. 2-8, 2023 issue.