Bingo! – Show Suggestions for Fall’s Card

Whether or not you’re playing NWTheatre Bingo (and we hope you will!), find all sorts of show ideas by category below — great for feeling like a winner while filling in those squares or simply expanding your theatre and performance horizons.

The game starts today (though shows you’ve seen on or after 8/25 are acceptable) and goes through 10/31.

The below list includes category descriptions, along with specific show ideas for many categories. These lists are meant to be robust and helpful, but are not exhaustive. Also keep in mind that show schedules are subject to change (and expand) throughout the season.

 

To view the full bingo card, click here.

To view a list of shows on this Fall, click here

Ticketing links for most shows can be found on the Performance Calendar page here 

 

Category #1: Locally Based Playwright  

From full-length plays to shorts festivals, full productions to readings and workshops, our region’s stages are home to great locally-sourced works. Here are some to look out for this season:

Drama Dock: Winghaven Park @ Vashon High School Theatre (on now, thru 9/3) — A new musical from Vashon-raised and based writer Lisa Peretti

ArtsWest: Here There Be Dragons (streaming) (on now, thru 9/14) — Through song and word, an autobiographical telling of Felicia Loud’s Seattle upbringing

Portable Performance Festival @ 18th & Union (9/8-24) — Two dozen shows! Most are by local artists 

Velocity Dance Center: Boys! Boys! Boys! @ 12th Avenue Arts (9/15-25) — Full-length dance work by Drama Tops on queer bodies and commodification

Taproot Theatre: A Night With the Russells – The Legacy of Us (9/21-10/22) — Songs and stories by Faith Bennett Russell, Be Russell, and Sarah Russell

Macha Theatre Works: La Tofana’s Poison Emporium @ West of Lenin (10/14-29) — The latest from playwright and best-selling author Joy McCulloch

Mirror Stage: Expand Upon – Income Inequality and the Wage Gap (online) (October, date TBD) — Two new plays, by Nelle Tankus and Mary Fields, around a common theme

 

 

Category #2: Reminds You of School     

Themes, people, or places — this one is open to interpretation. Anything that reminds you of being in school (for better or worse), at any level.

 

 

Category #3: Mystery, Crime, Spooky, or Halloween-Themed     

Whether you love spooky storytelling and thrillers or subscribe more to Charlie Brown’s pursuit of the Great Pumpkin as your Halloween story of choice, this category embraces seasonal options for all tastes.

Can Can Culinary Cabaret: The Hitchcock Hotel (9/1-11/27)

Red Curtain Foundation for the Arts: The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940 (9/9-25)

Village Theatre: Little Shop of Horrors (9/14-10/23, Issaquah; 10/28-11/20, Everett)

Edmonds Driftwood Players: The Mousetrap (9/16-10/2)

Cafe Nordo: Spirit Parlour (9/23-11/20)

Centerstage Theatre: The Ghost Train (10/7-30)

The Phoenix Theatre: Clue (10/7-30)

Macha Theatre Works: La Tofana’s Poison Emporium (10/14-29)

Can Can Culinary Cabaret: This Is Halloween @ The Triple Door (10/14-31)

Noveltease Theatre: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – A Literary Burlesque @ Sankofa Theatre (10/20-22)

Red Curtain Foundation for the Arts: The Rocky Horror Show (10/21-11/6)

Seattle Shakespeare Company: Macbeth @ Center House Theatre (10/25-11/20)

Valley Center Stage: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (staged reading) @ Sallal Grange (10/29)

 

 

Category #4: Has Great Music and Lots of It     

An original musical, jukebox musical, play with music, music-filled dance, or musical storytelling — whatever show featuring notes that carry you away will work well for this category.

 

Category #5: See Activities — coming soon 

 

 

Category #6: Fantasy, Sci-Fi, or Magic     

Many of the Halloween-themed stories for Category #4 will also work for this category, but here are some ideas.

Village Theatre: Little Shop of Horrors (9/14-10/23, Issaquah; 10/28-11/20, Everett)

Cafe Nordo: Down the Rabbit Hole (reopening 9/16)

Sound Theatre Company & Earthseed: Cloud Tectonics (9/22-10/15)

Red Curtain Foundation for the Arts: The Rocky Horror Show (10/21-11/6)

Seattle Shakespeare Company: Macbeth @ Center House Theatre (10/25-11/20)

SecondStory Repertory Theatre: Starmites Pro (10/28-11/13)

 

 

Category #7: A Premiere or Development Production     

You’ll be among the first “in the know” when you catch performances for this category, which can include the first big unveiling (premiere production), or a first or mid-stage workshop of something still in the works. (If an early look, it’s preferred that the showing is open to a wide audience, not a closed run-through limited to the artists and a few guests.)

There are plenty this season that will fit here, but here are a few possibilities:

Parley: Cowboys with Questions @ 12th Avenue Arts (on now, thru 9/3) (premiere, workshop production)

Drama Dock: Winghaven Park @ Vashon High School Theatre (on now, thru 9/3) (premiere production)

ArtsWest: Here There Be Dragons (streaming now, thru 9/14) (premiere production)

18th & Union: Portable Performance Festival (9/8-24) (show-dependent; most are new works)

The 5th Avenue Theatre: The Griswolds’ Broadway Vacation (9/10-10/1) (premiere production)

Velocity Dance Center, Made in Seattle: Drama Tops – Boys, Boys, Boys! @ 12th Avenue Arts (9/15-25) (new dance work)

Monologues of n Women @ Theatre 4, Seattle Center House (9/16-25) (premiere, devised work)

Taproot Theatre: A Night With the Russells – The Legacy of Us (9/21-10/22) (premiere production)

Cafe Nordo: Spirit Parlour (9/23-11/20) (premiere production)

Macha Theatre Works: La Tofana’s Poison Emporium (10/14-29) (premiere production)

Mirror Stage: Expand Upon – Income Inequality and the Wage Gap (October, dates TBD) (online) (two new works)

 

Category #8: See Activities — coming soon

 

 

Category #9: Set or Significant Backstory Outside the U.S.     

This one encourages looking beyond our country’s borders, either with a show not set in the U.S. at all, or with a show told mostly through the lens of a different place and culture (and not simply one that includes characters born or raised elsewhere).

Some options include:

Pratidhwani: Saiyan Bhaye Kotwal @ Bellevue Youth Theatre Ampitheater (9/8-11) (India; presented in Hindi)

Seattle Rep: Where We Belong (9/8-10/9) (England)

Theatre22: Nonsense and Beauty (9/9-10/2) (England)

Monologues of n Women @ Theatre 4, Seattle Center House (9/16-25) (China)

Edmonds Driftwood Players: The Mousetrap (9/16-10/2) (England)

Book-It Rep: In the Time of Butterflies @ Center House Theatre (9/21-10/16) (Dominican Republic)

SecondStory Rep: The Half Life of Marie Curie (9/23-10/9) (England, France)

Seattle Shakespeare Company: Macbeth (10/25-11/20) (Scotland)

Robyn Orlin @ Meany Center – Studio Theatre (9/30-10/1) (South Africa)

Macha Theatre Works: La Tofana’s Poison Emporium (10/14-29) (Italy)

Noveltease Theatre: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – A Literary Burlesque @ Sankofa Theatre (10/20-22) (England)

 

 

Category #10: Examines an American Problem or Question     

This can be as broad or as specific as you’d like, whether delving into bits of American history, examining pressing topics such as gun violence in schools, or looking at general, salient problems like racism, sexism, colonialism, or homophobia in America. Below are some options for shows in this category:

Harlequin Productions: This Flat Earth (on now, thru 9/17)

ACT Theatre & The 5th Avenue Theatre: Choir Boy (9/10-10/23)

Velocity Dance Center, Made in Seattle: Drama Tops – Boys, Boys, Boys! @ 12th Avenue Arts (9/15-25)

ArtsWest: Swimming While Drowning (9/29-10/23)

Seattle Rep: What the Constitution Means to Me (9/30-10/23)

As If Theatre Company: The Foreigner (10/3-23)

To Kill a Mockingbird @ The Paramount (10/11-16)

Mirror Stage: Expand Upon – Income Inequality and the Wage Gap (October, dates TBD) (online)

 

Category #11: See Activities — coming soon

 

 

Category #12: A Show (or Playwright) You’ve Seen Before     

The point of this one is to return to a show you’ve seen before, and perhaps get a different take on it. However, some of us have seen less theatre than others, or have a shorter history with it, and perhaps all of the shows up this season will be new ones for some. In that case, get as close as you can — for example, a different work by a playwright or choreographer you’ve seen before or, barring that, a show closely related to another work (e.g., movie, book) you’ve seen or read.

In short, stay as close as you can to the spirit of “same but different,” but know that the category is flexible enough for everyone to partake. Also, try not to use the same or very similar production — a return trip to the same title by the same company (e.g., years-spanning seasonal performances like This Is Halloween, or long-running hits like Down the Rabbit Hole) — although return trips to those fun productions work well for some other squares.

 

 

Category #13: (Free Space) Your Favorite Show (Sept.-Oct.)      

You probably don’t know yet. I don’t know yet. Better skip this one for now.

 

 

Category #14: Read a Script or Went to a Script Reading     

Here’s one you can do at home (or anywhere else). Your choice: you can read any script you want (preferably a published, full-length one you’ve been meaning to read for a while) without going to a show; or, if you’d prefer, you can go to a play reading (preferably one with little or no staging).

 

 

Category #15: 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.

Options for shows written, directed, and predominantly performed by Black artists include:

ArtsWest: Here There Be Dragons (streaming now, thru 9/14)

ACT Theatre & The 5th Avenue Theatre: Choir Boy (9/10-10/23)

Taproot Theatre: A Night With the Russells – The Legacy of Us (9/21-10/22)

 

Options for shows written, directed, and predominantly performed by East Asian & South Asian artists include:

Pratidhwani: Saiyan Bhaye Kotwal @ Bellevue Youth Theatre Ampitheater (presented in Hindi) (9/8-11)

Monologues of n Women (info) @ Theatre 4, Seattle Center House (9/16-25)

 

Options for shows written, directed, and predominantly performed by Latin American artists include:

Book-It Rep: In the Time of Butterflies @ Center House Theatre (9/21-10/16)

 

 

Category #16: Based on a Book, History, or Mythology     

This one is pretty self-explanatory, but it may be based closely on source material, inspired loosely by mythological figures, or somewhere in between. Here are a few options:

Parley: Cowboys with Questions @ 12th Avenue Arts (on now, thru 9/3) (ancient Greek tragedy, Euripides’ The Bacchae)

Hamilton @ The Paramount (on now, thru 9/11) (Hamilton biography by Ron Chernow)

Theatre22: Nonsense and Beauty (9/9-10/2) (British novelist E.M. Forster)

Cafe Nordo: Down the Rabbit Hole (reopening 9/16) (Lewis Carroll’s Alice books)

Book-It Repertory Theatre: In the Time of Butterflies @ Center House Theatre (9/21-10/16) (Julia Alvarez’s book of the same name)

Sound Theatre Company & Earthseed: Cloud Tectonics (9/22-10/15) (José Rivera’s book of the same name)

SecondStory Rep: The Half Life of Marie Curie (9/23-10/9) (French physicist Marie Curie)

To Kill a Mockingbird @ The Paramount (10/11-16) (Harper Lee’s book of the same name)

Tacoma Arts Live: The Last Days of Judas Iscariot (10/13-23) (biblical story)

Macha Theatre Works: La Tofana’s Poison Emporium @ West of Lenin (10/14-29) (Giulia Tofana, professional poisoner)

Noveltease Theatre: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – A Literary Burlesque @ Sankofa Theatre (10/20-22) (Arthur Conan Doyle’s book of the same name)

 

 

Category #17: Comedy    

There are loads of possibilities for this one, including classic comedic plays. But this is also a category where you’re free to roam outside of more traditional theatre if you’d like — like with a comedy showcase at the Clock-Out Lounge, Rendezvous, or Here-After, or an improv show at Jet City, Unexpected, or Seattle ComedySportz. For comedy shows (outside of comedic plays), free to use the new Comedy filter on the Performance Calendar for some ideas.

 

 

Category #18: Solo Show or Touring Show     

Although they sometimes overlap, these types of shows are often extreme opposites: intimate storytelling or experimental performance to a small house, or a big roving production that picks up and moves on to an identical show at the next stop. Which do you prefer? The choice is yours.

Performances at Seattle Theatre Group, Tacoma Arts Live, and UW’s Meany Center tend to be big touring shows, while many of the shows in this month’s Portable Performance Festival at 18th & Union will be solo shows.

 

Category #19: See Activities — coming soon

 

 

Category #20: 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 end up liking the show or not.

For your sake, we hope it’s one that dashes your expectations. But if it performs as expected, at least you get this square for your efforts!

 

 

Category #21: Dance     

Any type of theatrical or choreographed dance show works for this square, and this season has tons of variety — from spooky and Halloween-themed to burlesque storytelling to big-stage ballet to brand-new works. Feel free to use the Dance filter on the Performance Calendar for some ideas.

 

Category #22: See Activities — coming soon

 

 

Category #23: Set in New England, New York, or New Jersey    

Looking through the show listings for this season, it’s striking how many are set in Maine or other parts of the Northeast outside of the big cities. So if you’re from New England or the Tri-State area and missing the fall colors, you’ve got your own category this round.

If possible, pick a show that’s set outside of New York City in order to get the flavor of this category. But we’re including city-set ones for a bigger variety in case you need them. Below are some options for each.

Not set in NYC:

HEART Repertory Theatre: Almost, Maine (on now, thru 9/11) (Maine)

Harlequin Productions: This Flat Earth (on now, thru 9/17) (unnamed New England coastal town)

Red Curtain Foundation for the Arts: The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940 (9/9-25) (Chappaqua, NY)

Valley Center Stage: On Golden Pond (10/7-23) (Maine)

Centerstage Theatre: The Ghost Train (10/7-30) (Maine)

Valley Center Stage: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (staged reading) (10/29) (Tarrytown, NY)

 

Set in NYC (mostly Manhattan):

Bremerton Community Theatre: Sylvia (9/2-25)

The 5th: The Griswolds’ Broadway Vacation (9/10-10/1)

Village Theatre: Little Shop of Horrors (9/14-10/23, Issaquah; 10/28-11/20, Everett)

Woodinville Rep: Ghost-Writer @ Sammamish Grange Hall (10/14-11/6)

Bremerton Community Theatre: The Odd Couple (10/28-11/20)

 

 

Category #24: Title Has an Outdoor/Landscape Feature in It     

Along with Northeast-set shows, there’s a noticeable prevalence of shows this season with words like “trail” and “park” in the title. A few are listed below; or, if none of these work for you, you can choose a show with a type of animal (e.g., mockingbird, butterflies) in the title instead.

Drama Dock: Winghaven Park @ Vashon High School Theatre (on now, thru 9/3)

Centerstage Theatre: The Oregon Trail (thru 9/11)

Harlequin Productions: This Flat Earth (thru 9/17)

Sound Theatre Company & Earthseed: Cloud Tectonics (9/22-10/15)

Valley Center Stage: On Golden Pond (10/7-23)

Valley Center Stage: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (staged reading) (10/29)

 

 

Category #25: Title Has Someone’s Name (First or Last) in It      

Lastly, there’s a big variety of shows with someone’s name (first or last) appearing in the title. No special feats here — you can pick whichever you’d like for this category.

Hamilton @ The Paramount (on now, thru 9/11)

Can Can: The Hitchcock Hotel (9/1-11/27)

Bremerton Community Theatre: Sylvia (9/2-25)

The 5th: The Griswolds’ Broadway Vacation (9/10-10/1)

Taproot Theatre: A Night With the Russells – The Legacy of Us (9/21-10/22)

SecondStory Rep: The Half Life of Marie Curie (9/23-10/9)

Tacoma Arts Live: The Last Days of Judas Iscariot (10/13-23)

Macha Theatre Works: La Tofana’s Poison Emporium (10/14-29)

Seattle Opera: Tristan & Isolde (10/15-29)

Noveltease Theatre: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – A Literary Burlesque @ Sankofa Theatre (10/20-22)

Red Curtain: The Rocky Horror Show (10/21-11/6)

Seattle Shakespeare Company: Macbeth (10/25-11/20)

 

See more about NWTheatre Bingo here.

 


Chase D. Anderson is Editor & Producer of NWTheatre.org.