This Week in Arts: Wednesday Roundup (10/16)

This week brings some fun seasonal openings, two anticipated dance picks, and several closings to catch before they’re gone.   


Just Dance

Two top picks this week both fall under the dance banner. At Velocity, Sean Dorsey Dance Company — the acclaimed company led by San Francisco-based choreographer/dancer Dorsey, a transgender man — brings his touring work on masculinity, called Boys in Trouble. Dorsey visited Velocity earlier this year with a touching piece called The Missing Generation, which brought with it the stories and voices of survivors of the AIDS crisis, and NWT is excited to see his return. Boys in Trouble runs Thursday-Sunday; info and tickets here.

In conjunction with Dorsey’s visit, tonight he’ll talk with documentary filmmaker and teaching artist Elliat Graney-Saucke (Boys on the InsideThe Resilience of King Khazm) at Gay City, part of the Seattle Queer Film Festival. The discussion, called Let’s Talk About Trans and Queer Masculinities, follows a showing of the 18-minute dance film Dance Dance Evolution (by Jules Rosskam). Info here; reserve free tickets here. And Saturday afternoon at Velocity, Dorsey will teach a free class called Dance Your Story: Movement + Self-Expression Workshop, centering trans and queer people of all levels, with “terrified non-dancers” enthusiastically welcomed; info here.

Also tonight, On the Boards kicks off this season’s Performance Lab series with one in the round. Curated by On the Boards’ Charles Smith and guest co-curator KT Kusmaul (“a fat, queer, genderqueer femme performance artist, dancer, choreographer, and community builder” and founder and Artistic Director of Body Home Fat Dance), tonight’s installment is a series of experimental performances by artists Shaun Keylock (Portland, subversive, queer); Michael Swaine (Futurefarmers, catalyzing moments of “not knowing,” egg beaters); Lyra Butler-Denman (Portland, body memory, grieving); Fairygawdzad/Aaron Carr (Detroit, emotional release, Black queer bodies). Tickets ($10) and info here; series info here.



If this week’s openings are a good indicator, it’s officially the season of “seasonal” plays. Opening this week are the Can Can’s relatively short (two-week) run of This Is Halloween, held up the street at the Triple Door. The “dark fantasy musical adaptation of The Nightmare Before Christmas” includes local favorites Jasmine Jean Sim and Nik Hagen (both nominated in this year’s Gregory Awards, presented later this month). It opens on Friday and runs up to its culminating shows on, yes, Halloween. Also in the Halloween genre, Steven Dietz’s adaptation of Dracula begins previews this week (and opens next week) at ACT Theatre, where Beware the Terror of Gaylor Manor also continues its run.

It seems awfully early for this — like when Target puts out the Christmas decorations next to the Halloween costumes — but this week Seattle Public Theatre opens The Thanksgiving Play by Larissa FastHorse. (Ensuring we’ll all be disoriented, it also closes 12 days before the holiday.) The play’s premise sounds like a winner, though: a satire where good intentions and absurd assumptions collide, as a “troupe of terminally ‘woke’ teaching artists” tries to create a pageant that celebrates both Native American Heritage Month and Thanksgiving (with its colonists and genocide-rich history).

This week, Theatre22 kicks off an ambitious duo of shows: The Revolutionists by Lauren Gunderson, and White by James Ijames, which will alternate in repertory through November 9. The Revolutionists is an irreverent comedy about “four badass women who lose their heads (literally)” in the French Revolution; directed by Julie Beckman, this production brings together a solid cast (Angela DiMarco, Shanna Allman, Gregory Award nominee Anjelica McMillan, and Anastasi Higham). In White, a White artist hires a Black actress to pass his work off as “new perspectives.”  Directed by Corey McDaniel and Tayo Talabi, the production brings together another great cast, featuring Shermona Mitchell, Tyler Rogers, Christian Quinto, and Jennifer Ewing.

Also opening this week are The Great Moment at Seattle Repertory Theatre, and The Tempest at Seattle Shakespeare Company.


Last Call

Lots of closings to report this weekend. Closing Saturday is Sagittarius Ponderosa, an ambitious production by the upstart Albatross Theatre Company. It delivers strong on MJ Kaufman’s story of a trans man finding himself under the Ponderosa pines of rural Eastern Oregon, among a family that’s going through a separate period of loss and rebirth. Kaufman’s is one demonstration of the nuanced, layered work that can come out when trans people get to write their own stories, rather than the trauma porn and sensationalist views that other, non-trans writers tend toward; and the Albatross production of it is a lovely one.

And speaking of lovely work from upstart companies, Kimberly Akimbo from As If Theatre Company also closes this weekend. Read NWT’s review here.

Also closing this weekend are Native Gardens at Burien Actors Theatre; the short-play festival Overcoming at 18th & Union; Sunset Baby at ArtsWest; and Assassins at SecondStory Rep in Redmond. And sort-of-closing is The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at Village Theatre, which finishes its run in Issaquah and opens at Village’s Everett theatre next week.


Wednesday Roundup is a weekly (ish) feature, with NWT’s picks for the upcoming week and recaps around town.  

Want to plan your show schedule further out? See what’s happening on NWT’s Calendar page, which aims to list just about every theatre show in town. And for news on all the openings each month see Miryam Gordon’s openings coverage (October’s can be found here).