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2016–17 Season Announcement

Submitted by Katrina M Ernst on June 21, 2016 - 8:55am

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Contact:  Katrina Ernst, 206-685-0600; 

Tradition Meets Innovation in University of Washington School of Drama’s 2016–2017 Season

Local and National Artists Converge at UW Drama to Provide Contemporary Takes on Worlds from the Past

SEATTLE, WA— The University of Washington School of Drama, under the leadership of Executive Director Todd London, is proud to announce its 2016–2017 Season. As with their 75th anniversary season, the School of Drama will continue to build artistic partnerships with both local and national artists in an effort to provide more diverse learning opportunities for their students and create a laboratory environment within the School. Guest artists involved this season include: Ali el-Gassier, Marya Sea Kaminski, Jane Jones, Ellen McLaughlin, Qui Nguyen, Ken Rus Schmoll, Daniel Talbott, and Anne Washburn.

The season will feature six fully realized productions and four UW Drama Laboratory Projects, many of which share a common theme. “As we were assembling the season, we began to see a pattern emerge,” notes Todd London. “Many of these plays represent the work of modern artists digging into past worlds and classic works, and reinterpreting them through a contemporary lens. Our students’ educational lives are all about examining the past while simultaneously finding ways to innovate and envision new worlds; these projects offer inspiring examples of contemporary writers and directors doing just that.”

The season features plays from Suzan-Lori Parks, Ellen McLaughlin, Jordan Harrison, Sarah Ruhl, Qui Nguyen, José Rivera, Anne Washburn, Maria Irene Fornes, Tina Howe, and more.   

Single tickets go on sale in September 2016 and range from $8 – 25 with discounts for students, seniors, UWAA, and UW employees. Tickets will be available online or over the phone through the ArtsUW Ticket Office, 206-543-4880 / The ArtsUW Ticket Office is located at 1313 NE 41st Street, open Monday – Friday, 11 am – 6 pm.


Iphigenia and Other Daughters
Adapted by Ellen McLaughlin
From the plays Iphigenia in Aulis and Iphigenia in Tauris by Euripides and from the play Electra by Sophocles
Directed by Marya Sea Kaminski
Venue: Glenn Hughes Penthouse Theatre
Previews October 18 & 20 at 7:30pm
October 21 – 30, 2016                                    Wednesday – Saturday at 7:30pm; Sunday at 2pm

This three-play cycle is a modern retelling of the fall of the House of Atreus. It follows the children of Clytemnestra and Agamemnon as they become both players in the family tragedy and victims of it. The cycle of blood and vengeance seems inescapable until the final reunion of a lost sister and brother brings the bloody family saga to its mystical and unlikely end.

Fucking A
Written by Suzan-Lori Parks
Directed by Malika Oyetimein
Venue: Meany Studio Theatre
Previews November 29 & December 1 at 7:30pm
December 2 – 11, 2016                                  Wednesday – Saturday at 7:30pm; Sunday at 2pm

Suzan-Lori Parks’s haunting adaptation of The Scarlet Letter turns Nathaniel Hawthorne’s tale of an exiled adulteress into the tragic story of Hester Smith—branded A for Abortionist—plying her trade in hopes of buying her son’s freedom from prison. Employing Parks’s singular mingling of theatrical language, music, and dance, Fucking A is a scream of rage at the plight of those on the margins of society.

Maple and Vine
Written by Jordan Harrison
Directed by Sean Ryan
Venue: Jones Playhouse
Previews January 17 & 19 at 7:30pm
January 20 – 29, 2017                                    Wednesday – Saturday at 7:30pm; Sunday at 2pm

Katha and Ryu have become allergic to their 21st-century lives. After they meet a charismatic man from a community of 1950s re-enactors, they forsake cell phones and sushi for cigarettes and Tupperware parties. In this compulsively authentic world, Katha and Ryu are surprised by what their new neighbors—and they themselves—are willing to sacrifice for happiness. 

As You Like It
Written by William Shakespeare
Directed by Jeffrey Fracé
Venue: Penthouse Theatre
Previews February 7 & 9 at 7:30pm
February 10 – 19, 2017                                  Wednesday – Saturday at 7:30pm; Sunday at 2pm

Shakespeare’s glorious comedy of love and change is reimagined for 1950s America. With her father the Duke banished and in exile, Rosalind and her cousin Celia leave their lives in the court behind them and journey into the Forest of Arden. There, released from convention, Rosalind experiences the liberating rush of transformation. Disguising herself as a boy, she embraces a different way of living and falls spectacularly in love.

Adapted by Sarah Ruhl
From the novel by Virginia Woolf
Directed by L. Zane Jones
Venue: Penthouse Theatre
Previews April 25 & 27 at 7:30pm
April 28 – May 7, 2017                      Wednesday – Saturday at 7:30pm; Sunday at 2pm

In her stage adaptation of Virginia Woolf's gender-bending, period-hopping novel, award-winning playwright Sarah Ruhl preserves Woolf's vital ideas and lyrical tone, bringing to the stage the life of an Elizabethan nobleman who's magically transformed into an immortal woman.

Written by José Rivera
Directed by Jane Jones
Venue: Jones Playhouse
Previews May 23 & 25 at 7:30pm
May 26 – June 4, 2017                              Wednesday – Saturday at 7:30pm; Sunday at 2pm

Sueño is Obie Award-winning playwright José Rivera's translation and adaptation of Calderón de la Barca's classic Life Is a Dream. Set in 1635, this metaphysical drama—renowned as one of the jewels of the Spanish Golden Age— follows the life of Segismundo, heir to the Spanish throne, imprisoned at birth after astrologers predict his kingship would ruin the country. Raised in isolation, his only companions are the nobleman Clotaldo—and God, though Calderón isn't sure if God himself isn't "the greatest dream of all."  


The Inexplicable Redemption of Agent G
Written by Qui Nguyen
Directed by Ali el-Gasseir
Venue: Penthouse Theatre
Preview December 6 at 7:30pm
December 7 – 11, 2016                      Wednesday – Saturday at 7:30pm; Sunday at 2pm

When playwright Qui Nguyen refuses to finish his "Gook Story Trilogy," his main character kidnaps him and forces him to pen the story he's been avoiding for 10 years to finish in this hysterical metatheatrical ride filled with racist puppets, ninjas, and one very angry David Henry Hwang! Agent G will run simultaneously with the third part of the trilogy, Nguyen’s acclaimed Vietgone, at Seattle Rep.

The Octavia
Written by Anne Washburn
Directed by Ken Rus Schmoll
Venue: TBD
Reading: TBD

An epic, and decidedly contemporary, re-telling of the fall of ancient Rome, by the author of Mr. Burns, featuring Octavia, Nero, and Seneca. This eight-week workshop will culminate in a day-long public reading.

An Evening of One Acts by Maria Irene Fornes & Tina Howe
Venue: Jones Playhouse
Preview April 11 at 7:30pm
April 12 – 16, 2017                            Wednesday – Saturday at 7:30pm; Sunday at 2pm

First-year School of Drama MFA Directing candidates take on the short plays of the leaders of the Off-Broadway playwriting boom.

Cino Nights

Directed by Daniel Talbott
Venues: TBD
Performances: TBD

Off-Off Broadway experimental playwriting was born in small “downtown” NYC spaces like La MaMa, Judson Church, and the inimitable Caffé Cino. In partnership with Rising Phoenix Rep, our students will stage a play a week in found U-District spaces. Stay tuned.


The 2016-2017 Season will also feature the third production of the University of Washington’s Musical Theater Program.


Presented by UW College of Arts & Sciences in partnership w/ School of Drama, School of Music, and Dance Program
Music & Lyrics by Stephen Schwartz
Book by Roger O. Hirson
Directed by Wilson Mendieta
Venue: Jones Playhouse
Previews March 8 & 9 at 7:30pm
March 10 – 19, 2017                          Wednesday – Saturday at 7:30pm; Sunday at 2pm

A prince learns the true meaning of glory, love, and war in this iconic musical allegory with an infectiously unforgettable score from the four-time Grammy-winner, three-time Oscar-winner, and musical theatre giant Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Godspell, Children Of Eden).


The UW School of Drama develops innovative and courageous artists and scholars poised to be the creative leaders of tomorrow.

For 75 years it has served as one of this country's leading training institutions for theatre artists and scholars. The School of Drama offers MFA degrees in acting, design, and directing, a four-year undergraduate liberal arts education in Drama, and a PhD in theatre history and criticism. Faculty and alumni have founded theatres such as ACT—A Contemporary Theatre, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, The Empty Space Theatre, Jet City Improv, and more recently, the Washington Ensemble Theatre, Azeotrope, and The Horse in Motion.

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