STG’s DANCE This Celebrates 21 Years

The week after commemorating our nation’s independence, Seattle Theatre Group celebrates a bit more universally.

This Friday, STG’s DANCE This program will come to Moore Theatre for one remarkable night of performance. Now in its 21st year, DANCE This includes works from national and local dancers, highlighting styles from around the globe, with the purpose of connecting diverse communities and sharing backgrounds, all through the art of dance.

This year will include performances by:

  • Bahia In Motion (Dances from Brazil)
  • Cornish Dance Theater (Modern)
  • Massive Monkees (Breaking Crew)
  • Northside Step Team (Step)
  • Northwest Tap Connection (Afro-Modern/Tap)
  • Pacific Ballroom Dance (Foxtrot/Cha Cha)
  • Prashanthi Chitre Institute of Performing Arts (Indian Classical, Folk and Contemporary)
  • United Pacific Islander Impact (Samoan Dance and Music)
  • A Finale Choreographed by Kirsten Barron Kinney

In addition to the DANCE This performance on July 12, the program provides young dancers the opportunity to work with professional educators through two different dance camps during the summer: DANCE This Intensive in Seattle and DANCE This Camp @ Centrum. These programs focus on cross cultural and contemporary dance.

Aaron Alexandar, Chicago cast member from the hit musical Hamilton was a participant of DANCE This in the past and has shared its value, “Having been involved with DANCE This since 2003, I can say the program has helped shape the artist I am today. It has made my choreography and directing skills more well-rounded and eclectic. DANCE This offers kids a glimpse into the world of the performing arts and inspires them to continue to learn and perform.”

The 21st Annual DANCE This performance is Friday, July 12 at 7:30 p.m. at Moore Theatre. Tickets can be purchased online.

TheatreWorks’ New Works Festival Gives Us a Taste of What’s Next in American Theatre

This August, where do you see yourself? The possibilities are endless. With warm weather and long days, the outdoors are a constant temptation calling you away from the office (literal or otherwise). Even if outdoor activities aren’t your predilection, there are summer blockbuster movies, arts and culture festivals, and family vacations (or obligations, depending on your view).

But if you’re a theatre enthusiast your answer will probably be a little different; that’s because August is also the time for TheatreWorks’ New Works Festival. Now in its 18th year, the Festival has become an “artistic highlight of the summer.” For two weeks (August 9–18) the Lucie Stern Theatre in Palo Alto will host “script-in-hand” readings of five new musicals and plays, a panel with the artists, and a keynote address.

The five pieces chosen for the Festival are in the early stages of development and the readings offer audiences the chance to go behind-the-scenes, to see how a play or musical is workshopped. Shows that have had their first appearance at the Festival have gone on to great success on Broadway and off, such as Tony Award-winning Memphis and Obie Award-winning Describe the Night. And many, including Jane Austen’s Emma and The Four Immigrants, have become TheatreWorks hits. This season, TheatreWorks will stage the Northern California premiere of They Promised Her the Moon which debuted at last year’s Festival.

This year, the New Works Festival offers audiences two musicals and three plays to enjoy, discuss and make predictions about. Here’s a summary of what will be showcased:


The authors of Broadway’s Tuck Everlasting spin a romantic musical drama across the vast prairies of 19th century Nebraska.

Iron John

Weaving past and present, this poignant new musical explores a haunting legacy of racism buried but not forgotten.

Nan, and the Lower Body (The Pap Smear Play)

In this frank and feminist play, good-humored Dr. Pap has great mysteries to unravel and a bright assistant with dark secrets to hide.

The Imperialists

With a Noises Off flair, this door-slamming romp sets old-school against new-wave in a hilarious quest for royalty and relevance.


In this funny, warm-hearted, and wonderfully human play about lovers, fathers, daughters and the fragile bonds between them, two actors play very different generations in the same family.

The 2019 New Works Festival runs from August 9–18 at Lucie Stern Theatre. Tickets are available online.

They Promised Her the Moon will play March 4–29 at Lucie Stern Theatre. Tickets are available online.

Seattle Opera Welcomes a Neighbor to Their New Civic Home

KING FM 98.1 is getting a new home at the Opera Center, Seattle Opera’s civic home at Seattle Center, which had its grand opening in December 2018. In early 2020 KING FM will move into 4,000 square feet of space on the Opera Center’s second floor. This large area was deliberately left empty when Seattle Opera moved into the building—Seattle Opera General Director Aidan Lang stated that the Opera was looking to rent to an organization with a comparable vision and mission.

In addition to sharing those values, the arrangement will be financially positive for both organizations—Seattle Opera is able to put the rental income towards operational costs of its new civic home and KING FM will benefit from an exceptional new space that they wouldn’t have been able to develop themselves. These reciprocal advantages are something that is to be celebrated, when many arts organizations are struggling financially.

Seattle Opera and KING FM are looking forward to continuing to work together. KING FM CEO Brenda Barnes said in the press release, “We have worked closely with Seattle Opera for years, and look forward to finding more opportunities to collaborate once we are only a floor apart. We are thrilled to be moving into this beautiful space, and to be in such close proximity to one of our most important partners.”

Seattle Opera and KING FM have a history of collaboration with Saturday evening opera recordings hosted by Seattle Opera staff, as well as live broadcasts of Seattle Opera performances at McCaw Hall throughout the season. They are looking forward to supplementing these with live broadcasts from the rehearsal studios on Friday evenings.

With two organizations that not only value classical music and performance—but have also had immense success in creating diversity within their audiences—Seattle can look forward to a great partnership. As Lang said, “Seattle Opera and KING FM believe that stronger collaboration is critical to the success and sustainability of the major arts institutions in Seattle. With this agreement, we are creating a more viable future for performance, music, and civic engagement in this community.” 

Dates for the hosted recordings of Seattle Opera’s upcoming performances can be found on their website.

Come-along for a Sing-along with Hershey Felder

Hershey Felder has a flair for performance—audiences all over the nation love to watch as he portrays composers from history and performs their music live on stage. On April 3 he debuted his newest musical creation at TheatreWorks, Hershey Felder: A Paris Love Story. This newest installment of Felder’s “Great Composer Series” explores the life and music of Claude Debussy.

However, the world premiere of a Hershey Felder original isn’t the only excitement brewing in Silicon Valley’s theatre community. Recognizing that audiences have been vying to participate with Felder ever since his first performance, TheatreWorks will host “Hershey Felder’s Great American Songbook Sing-Along.”

This event will take audience members through 100 years of beloved American music. Felder will lead audiences through favorites such as Sondheim, Rodgers and Hammerstein, the Gershwins, Bernstein, Berlin and many more.

“Hershey Felder’s Great American Songbook Sing-Along” takes place one night only, on April 22 at 7:30pm. Tickets are $50–100.

Note that the sing-along is a separate performance from Hershey Felder: A Paris Love Story, which runs now through May 5.

A Gripping Musical Exploration of Matthew Shepard Comes to Stanford Live

This weekend, Stanford Live will host the Grammy-winning Conspirare choral group as they perform Considering Matthew Shepard. Composed by Craig Hella Johnson, the artistic director of Conspirare, Considering Matthew Shepard is a singular and poignant musical contemplation of an atrocious and senseless crime.

Twenty years ago Matthew Shepard, a gay student at the University of Wyoming, was kidnapped, beaten and left to die alone in a field—he was eventually found and transported to a hospital, but died days later from his injuries. Receiving widespread media attention, the crime stoked conversation in our country about state and federal hate crime legislation and LGBT rights. The “Matthew Shepard Act” was passed into legislation by President Barack Obama in 2009.

Through this three-part oratorio, Johnson has woven together music, poetry, passages from Matthew Shepard’s journal, as well as other writings from his parents and media. Johnson creates a channel to not only remember and tribute Matthew Shepard, but to come together and share our humanity.

“Matt Shepard and his story have led me on an inspiring, challenging and deeply meaningful journey that I continue to this day. In composing Considering Matthew Shepard I wanted to create, within a musical framework, a space for reflection, consideration and unity around his life and legacy.”

Craig Hella Johnson, composer

Join Stanford Live and experience “by far the most intricate, beautiful and unyielding artistic response to this notorious anti-gay hate crime” (Jason Marsden, executive director of the Matthew Shepard Foundation).

Considering Matthew Shepard will take place Saturday, April 13 at 7:30pm in the Bing Concert Hall at Stanford University. Tickets are $32–60 for non-students.