Whether or not you’re playing NWTheatre Bingo (and we hope you will!), find all sorts of show listings below — great for feeling like a winner while filling in those squares or simply expanding your theatre and performance horizons.
The game goes through 8/31, but the below suggestions look only into the next two weeks. More suggestions will be rolled out throughout the summer.
To get the full bingo card, click here.
Ticketing links for most shows can be found on the Performance Calendar page here.
Category #1: New-to-You Company & Venue
This one will vary entirely by how many places you’ve been, because it’s designed to take you somewhere new. If you need a robust list of options, view the Summer Shows list for help.
As for me, this year was the first I’d been to Red Curtain Foundation for the Arts in Marysville (see reviews of past shows here and here); and Valley Center Stage in North Bend (see reviews here and here). Remarkably, it was also the first time I’d been to Tacoma Little Theatre, which dates back to 1918, and has a good looking show on now (Kirsten Greenidge’s The Luck of the Irish).
Still on my list are Edmonds Driftwood Theatre, which opens its annual shorts festival later in June; and Key City Public Theatre in Port Townsend, whose teen initiative will put on a favorite, She Kills Monsters (reviewed at Red Curtain above), at the end of the month and into July.
If you tend to go to the same handful of places regularly, this is a good time to branch out — catch any intriguing show at a place you’ve never been. (The company and the show venue both need to be new to you to count for this square.) If you’re already pretty adventurous around Seattle, you might need to go a bit more out of town to get this square.
Some possibilities include the ones mentioned above (any of which I’d recommend); Harlequin Productions in Olympia (which I’ve reviewed several times, and their full run of Hedwig and the Angry Inch later this month features opening acts from several local bands); or, later in the summer, As If Theatre Company in Kenmore (also covered here a few times, returning with its annual locally based shorts fest) and Centerstage Theatre Company in Federal Way (with Bekah Brunstetter’s The Oregon Trail).
Category #2: Took a Ferry to Get There
This category requires you to go enjoy a mini-cruise on our area’s most scenic form of public transportation. For our friends on Vashon, Kitsap, Bainbridge, or anywhere up the Olympic Peninsula, you’re probably used to hopping a boat to see just about anything in Seattle. For us on the Seattle side, this category will probably mean a trip out to the places mentioned above. Some good options in June are: Beauty and the Beast (Kitsap Forest Theatre, Bremerton) (through 6/19); High School Musical (Kitsap High School, Bremerton) (through 6/26); The Cemetery Club (Bremerton Community Theatre) (through 6/26); and She Kills Monsters (Key City Public Theatre – Teen Initiative, Port Townsend) (6/30-7/10).
Category #3: ASL Interpreted or Sensory Friendly
There aren’t many performances designated sensory friendly this month, but there’s a robust selection of ASL-interpreted shows: Bruce at Seattle Rep (6/18 matinee), The Prom at The 5th Avenue Theatre (6/19 matinee), Luck of the Irish at Tacoma Little Theatre (6/19 matinee), and Mamma Mia! at Village Theatre in Issaquah (6/25 matinee); and in comedy, catch the ASL-interpreted Black Trans Comedy Showcase from the Lavender Rights Project at Northwest Film Forum (6/22). Find more ASL-interpreted shows as they’re announced, under NWT’s calendar category here.
Update 6/17: Seattle Rep now lists the 6/18 performance of ‘Bruce’ only as audio described and not as ASL interpreted.
Category #4: Playwright You Haven’t Heard Of
This category is totally individualized. The point is to see a show by a playwright you’ve not only never seen work from before, but who you’ve never even heard of. Here, it pays to be a rookie; the better-versed in theatre you are, the more challenging this one will be!
Category #5: Set in a Place You’d Like to Go
This could be anywhere, including domestic destinations, that is compelling for you personally. Two show possibilities for settings abroad are Village Theatre’s Mamma Mia! (through 7/10 at Issaquah), and the Can Can Culinary Cabaret’s Lola (through 8/28).
Category #6: Dance By a Choreographer You Haven’t Seen Before
There aren’t too many dance shows going on in this half of the month — unsurprising, since about a million of them happened earlier in the month. But there are still a couple of good places to fill this category. The closing weekend of Seattle International Dance Festival features numerous choreographers and companies from near and far (through 6/19); and the Fragmented Flow Festival at On the Boards features four Pacific Northwest-based artists: Degenerate Art Ensemble, Gender Tender, Vanessa Goodman, and Allie Hankins (6/16-26).
Category #7: Held Outdoors in a Place You’ve Been Before
This category is designed to let you see a familiar outdoor space in a whole new way, as a greenspace turns into a stage. As the summer gets underway, all sorts of shows will take to the parks and other outdoor settings. (See a big list of local outdoor theatre all season here.)
In June, outdoor shows are much fewer than those further into the summer, but include Beauty and the Beast at Kitsap Forest Theatre (through 6/19), and a devised work by the Shattered Glass Project — TBD (To Be Devised): A Celebration — at the Dr. Blanche Lavizzo Park in the Central District (6/24-25).
Category #8: Musical That Premiered in Seattle
This one is broader than the title would technically allow. First, initial work through developmental productions will count, rather than a show’s formal “premiere”; and second, it can be in the area rather than Seattle proper.
For June, that means the world premiere of the Seattle-developed And So That Happened … — from locally-based writers and composers through The 5th Avenue Theatre (performing at ACT Theatre through 6/19) clearly counts. But so does The 5th’s Rising Star Project: 2022 Mixtape (at three locations, 6/17-24); and Lizzie: The Rock Musical from Just Us Girls & Co. — developed at Village Theatre under the name Lizzie Borden — performing at The Give Inn (6/24-7/2). And if musicals aren’t your thing, a locally-brewed opera (like Lowbrow Opera Collective’s #adulting2: here we go again, at 18th & Union through 6/25) counts, too. (After all, it’s just a different type of music, right?)
Category #9: Writer, Director, and Most of the Cast Are of a Different Race Than Yours
The point of this square is not only to encourage representation of races who are underrepresented on stage, but to do so in stories they also tell and interpret (i.e., write and direct). Around Seattle, it continues to be fairly easy to find theatre written, directed, and acted predominantly by White artists, and much less so for other races to see themselves reflected that widely. This square flips the narrative, in which White people will have more limited choices and people of different races will have much broader choice. But June has some great picks across the board.
June options for shows written, directed, and predominantly performed by Black artists include The Luck of the Irish at Tacoma Little Theatre (through 6/19); Riverwood at Seattle Public Theater in a co-production with Langston (through 6/26) (see NWT’s review here); and The Negro Passion Play from Brownbox Theatre (6/17-6/18). June options for shows written, directed, and predominantly performed by Asian artists include Tacoma Arts Live’s Kim’s Convenience @ Theater on the Square (through 6/19) (see NWT’s review of a prior version with the same artists involved here); and The Bonesetter’s Daughter from Book-It Repertory Theatre (through 7/3).
Category #10: Based on a Book
This one is slightly more difficult than expected but, as with the others, some flexibility is allowed. This month, options include a couple of shows based on old stories (Beauty and the Beast at Kitsap Forest Theatre, through 6/19; and Magpie Artist Collective’s The Myth Cycle: Achilles & Patroclus, online on 6/20); one sort of based on a movie but more directly based on The Jaws Log, a book about the making of the movie (Bruce, at Seattle Rep through 6/26); and one based on a comic strip (those were compiled into books, right?), You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown (through 6/19 at Village Theatre in Everett; see NWT’s review here).
Category #11: Reminds You of Childhood
This one is mighty subjective, as everyone’s childhood associations will be as different as their childhoods were. Whether it’s a location, a character, a story, or a general sense of nostalgia, feel free to use whatever fits for you on this square.
Based on child-oriented tales alone, two possibilities for June are Kitsap Forest Theatre’s Beauty and the Beast (through 6/19) and You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown at Village Theatre in Everett (also through 6/19) (see NWT’s review here).
Category #12: Locally Based Playwright
The Seattle area has a ton of talented playwrights, and thankfully a robust cohort of theatres producing them, too. Among the options for this category this month: Riverwood at Seattle Public Theater in a co-production with Langston (through 6/26) (see NWT’s review here); a few shows in Strawberry Jam: The Directors Festival (through 7/9); and The Shattered Glass Project’s TBD (To Be Devised): A Celebration (6/24-25).
Update 6/24: The Shattered Glass Project has postponed its ‘TBD’ shows to a future date … TBD.
Category #13: (Free Space) Your Favorite Show All Summer
You probably don’t know yet. I don’t know yet. Better skip this one for now.
Category #14: Comedy
There are loads of possibilities for this one, including the farce The Nerd at Taproot Theatre (through 6/18) and the mildly racy Skin Flick at The Phoenix Theatre in Edmonds (through 6/26).
But this is also a category where you’re free to roam outside of more traditional theatre if you’d like. Some suggestions, among many possibilities: the Lavender Rights Project holds the Black Trans Comedy Showcase on 6/22 at Northwest Film Forum; the Clock-Out Lounge hosts the ongoing Joketellers Union every other Wednesday; and Belltown venues The Rendezvous and the Crocodile’s Here After routinely have local and traveling comedy acts on stage. Improv comedy (such as from Jet City Improv or Unexpected Productions) also works for this square.
Category #15: Has Great Music & Lots of It
Options for this category could be endless, and they’re also totally subjective. The bottom line is: what music did you really enjoy in a show? Some strong possibilities for June include Renton Civic Theatre’s Hair (through 6/25); Rise Up: The Music of Hamilton and Broadway with Tacoma Arts Live (6/18); and the ABBA-filled Mamma Mia! (through 7/10 in Issaquah, followed by an Everett run).
Category #16: New-to-You Work by Writer or Choreographer You’ve Seen
The point of this category is to deepen your exposure to an artist you’re already familiar with, by seeing one of their works you haven’t seen before. That could be a play (playwright), musical (composer and/or librettist), or dance performance (choreographer). It’s also supposed to be a fun detective one, because it makes you reflect on what you’ve already seen and connect the dots to what’s on soon.
For dance performances, look at Category #6 for ideas. Any choreographer from SIDF or the Fragmented Flow Festival whose work you’ve seen before, but not the work they’re putting up this time, counts for this category.
For plays and musicals, the options are expansive. But here are some possibilities, based on some things that have performed in Seattle recently:
Drowning (Strawberry Theatre Workshop – Strawberry Jam festival) (6/16-18) — for those who saw Fefu and Her Friends at the UW in 2018, or Mud from eSe Teatro in 2017 or at New City Theater in 2015 or previously (it premiered there in the early ’90s), or any other works in María Irene Fornés’s expansive catalog.
The Nerd (Taproot Theatre) (through 6/18) — for those who have seen The Foreigner or any other work by playwright Larry Shue.
The Luck of the Irish (Tacoma Little Theatre) (through 6/19) — for those who saw Milk Like Sugar at ArtsWest in 2017 or Baltimore at Cornish College in 2017 (both of which Malika Oyetimein directed), or any other works by playwright Kirsten Greenidge.
The Tempest (Valley Center Stage) (through 6/19) — for those who have seen other Shakespeare works but haven’t seen The Tempest before. See NWT’s review here.
Ragtime (Lakewood Playhouse) (through 6/26) — for those who saw Mothers and Sons at ArtsWest in 2017, or any other works in Terrance McNally’s expansive catalog of plays and musicals.
Riverwood (Seattle Public Theater & Langston) (through 6/26) — for those who saw the musical Journey West! at Theatre Off Jackson in 2018, or other works by Seattle-based playwright Andrew Lee Creech.
Gaslighting (Strawberry Theatre Workshop – Strawberry Jam festival) (6/23-7/2) — for those who saw The Neverborn at Annex Theatre in 2019, iterations of Animal Saints and Animal Sinners at 18th & Union, Kittens in a Cage at Annex Theatre in 2012 or 2019, or any other works in Seattle-based playwright Kelleen Conway Blanchard’s robust catalog.
She Kills Monsters (Key City Public Theatre – Teen Initiative) (6/30-7/10) — for those who saw Vietgone at Seattle Rep in 2016 or any other works by playwright Qui Nguyen.
Category #17: Adults Play Kids or Kids Play Grownups
If you see youth theatre performances with grown-up characters, you’ll probably have little trouble filling this square. But if you’d rather flip it around and see grown-ups tackling the roles of young characters, you’ll have to look a bit harder.
June has at least two great options for this square: the last few performances of You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown at Village Theatre in Everett (through 6/19) (see NWT’s review here); or miku, and the gods, a co-production with Pork Filled Productions opening this weekend at ArtsWest (6/16-7/3).
Category #18: Show You Wish You’d Had 10 Years Ago
Think about yourself 10 years ago. Wherever you were in life, what’s a show you wish had been part of your life but wasn’t (regardless of whether the show actually existed at that time)? This could be a theme you wanted to see represented or a question discussed, a mood you needed, or a genre or artist you wish you were exposed to much earlier. As you can imagine, this category is a fully subjective one. Have fun with it!
Category #19: Non-Human Main Characters
This one probably means animal characters or fantastical ones (inanimate objects, aliens, robots). In June, some options are Down the Rabbit Hole, Cafe Nordo’s Alice in Wonderland-themed cabaret feast led by the White Rabbit (through 8/13), and Beauty and the Beast at the Kitsap Forest Theatre (through 6/19).
Category #20: Shakespeare
There’s not too much for this square until Shakespeare takes over the parks next month. But one strong option is Valley Center Stage’s The Tempest, which runs through this weekend (6/19). It’s a solid version even for those of us not wild about Shakespeare. See NWT’s review here.
Update 6/19: Unexpected Shakespeare improv comedy at Unexpected Productions (6/24-25) is another approach to take for this category.
Category #21: Outdoor Show in a Place You Haven’t Been
This one is designed to take you to a new outdoor space. See show options under Category #7 for a couple of June ideas for this square; or see the robust listing of outdoor shows here for ideas later in the summer.
Category #22: Has a Main Character You’d Like to Hang Out With
This one is as subjective as Category #18. If you’re watching a show and find a decidedly intriguing character — maybe a trustworthy soul you’d like to have in your life, an interesting figure you’d like to have a beer with, or a historical person you have some questions for — this is the square for you.
Category #23: At Least 2 Works in a Shorts Fest
This category welcomes you into the fun world of short play festivals. And while most of them don’t come up until later in the summer, Edmonds Driftwood Theatre gets things off to a good start with their 11th Annual Festival of Shorts at the end of June (6/24-7/3).
Category #24: At Least 2 Works in Another Fest
This category has you going to a festival that’s not whatever one you used on Category #23. Other than that, it’s pretty much up to you.
Many festivals get underway later in the summer, but two good options for June are the Fragmented Flow Festival at On the Boards (6/16-26), and Strawberry Jam: The Directors Festival from Strawberry Theatre Workshop (through 7/9). And while some of the slates in Strawberry Jam would technically count as two on one ticket (with a play and a short), the spirit of this one is you go back another time, for two slates at the same festival. And while concerts don’t count for most of the squares, any one in Strawberry Jam’s concert series will also count for a show on this one.
Update 6/17: Youth Works Festival at Seattle Rep (6/25-26) is another great option for this category.
Category #25: A Show That Sounded Like One You Wouldn’t Like
Ever gone along to a show with an eye-rolling synopsis, a genre you usually hate, or a playwright whose work you generally don’t connect with? This square is meant for those — whether you ended up liking the show or not.
For your sake, we hope it’s one that dashed your expectations. But if it performed as expected, at least you get this square for your efforts!
Chase D. Anderson is Editor & Producer of NWTheatre.org.