Brian Yorkey: No Foreigner to the Village Theatre

Noel Pederson

From the Great White Way in New York City to Front Street in Issaquah, Brian Yorkey returns to Village Theatre to direct The Foreigner

Yorkey, who was raised in Issaquah, started his affiliation with Village Theatre as a KidStage student. Years later he would become associate artistic director, a post he held for six years. He wrote five musicals during his tenure at Village Theatre including Funny Pages, Making Tracks, The Wedding Banquet, Play It By Heart and A Perfect Fall

Then he wrote Next to Normal and his life became anything but. Inspired by electroconvulsive therapy, Next to Normal is a rock musical that grapples with mental illness in a suburban family. It won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2010. It also won the 2009 Tony Award for Best Original Score. He’s been busy on Broadway ever since. His new musical If/Then, written with his Next to Normal collaborator Tom Kitt, opens on Broadway in March. The Lost Ship, with a score by rock legend Sting, will have an out-of-town tryout in Chicago this June before a planned Broadway opening in the fall of 2014.

As his career has skyrocketed, Yorkey has always returned to the theatre he called home. He’s directed twelve shows and counting at Village Theatre; most recently, he helmed the company’s 2011 production of Jesus Christ Superstar. The Foreigner will be his thirteenth directorial effort. The show, a comedic farce, opened to rave reviews in New York City in 1984 and has been revived countless times across the country (including at the Village Theatre in 1992). The show is about a shy man who goes to a fishing lodge in Georgia looking for peace and quiet. To avoid conversation, he masquerades as a foreigner who can’t speak English. He soon discovers how much strangers share when they think no one can understand them. 

The Foreigner will run in Issaquah from Jan. 23 to March 2 and in Everett from March 7-20.