Theater is busting out all over in January, even though it is the middle of winter. There are over 17 new productions opening in January alone, along with a locally-written festival! (http://radialtheater.org/performance-schedule) To whet your appetite, here are three of the larger theater offerings and three of the smaller variety – and one children’s play:
Seattle Shakespeare Company opens Measure for Measure, January 6 – February 1, 2015. MFM is one of Shakespeare’s darker plays. Some of the plot is a bit old fashioned (a man is sentenced to death for impregnating his girlfriend before marriage), but there are a lot of plot points that still resonate strongly today. The judge is enamored of the nun, sister of the man, who comes to plead for mercy, and offers her a terrible choice – as people in power might do. Director Desdemona Chiang may highlight this play in some unexpected ways. http://www.seattleshakespeare.org/shows/measure-for-measure-2/
Seattle Repertory Theatre opens August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson, January 16 – February 8, 2015 (in association with Syracuse Stage and directed by Timothy Bond). “Berniece Charles is planning to bestow her family’s antique piano to her daughter, but her brother Boy Willie has other ideas. He wants to sell the heirloom for cash to buy the land their family once worked as slaves.” This production includes three actors who appeared in the acclaimed production at Seattle Rep of Wilson’s Fences in 2010. The Rep has a long history of Wilson productions and put a lot of effort into making his work sing. http://www.seattlerep.org/Plays/1415/PL/Synopsis.
The people who gave us The Seagull Project return with more Chekhov. The Three Sisters plays at ACT Theatre’s Central Heating Lab from January 20 – February 8, 2015. Three sisters Prozorov (and a brother) move back to Moscow having grown tired of rural life. Marriage and children do change circumstances, but affairs and other intrigues interfere with happiness. http://acttheatre.org/Tickets/OnStage/TheThreeSisters#About.
The very first production at the new 12th Avenue Arts building will be Washington Ensemble Theatre’s play, Sprawl, a world premiere by Josh Conkel. It runs from January 16 – February 2, 2015 and is about a book club meeting that gets interrupted. The earth cracks open and bugs pour out signifying… The End Of The World! WET produced Conkel’s Milk, Milk, Lemonade in 2011 about a little gay boy’s relationship with a talking chicken. http://washingtonensemble.org/tickets/.
ArtsWest brings veteran Susan Corzatte back to the stage in 4000 Miles as a 91 year old grandmother dealing with her 21 year old grandson. The very recent Amy Herzog award-winner will play from January 22 – February 15, 2015. http://www.artswest.org/.
Seattle Public Theater presents Humble Boy from January 29 – February 15, 2015 from another woman playwright, Charlotte Jones. The subject of this offbeat comedy is a socially awkward scientist who links the cosmology of bees to black holes, but can’t fathom the mysteries of love and family. http://www.seattlepublictheater.org/2014/10/21/humbleboy/.
Also, we are graced with a world-class playwright, Cheryl West, who calls our fair city home. Her world premiere play, Mwindo, is at Seattle Children’s Theatre from January 22 – February 15, 2015 and is a Central African tale about a boy whose father, the chief, is threatened by him and hates him. Mwindo battles to overcome his obstacles and find his spirit. This is a highly anticipated production.