A new video created by ArtsFund shares the impact of the arts in times of upheaval and challenges in order to inspire all.
ArtsFund—a local nonprofit that supports the arts through leadership, advocacy, and grant making—is furthering its mission of building a healthy, equitable and creative Washington by producing Reunite With the Arts. This video shares the stories of Washington’s arts and cultural community members throughout the difficulties of the past two years.
“Over the past two years, our communities have been disconnected,” said Michael Greer, ArtsFund President and CEO. “And as we begin to reconnect with our friends and family, we’re using arts and culture in order to do that. Arts and culture are incredibly excited to play that role within our communities.”
The video chronicles the trials, obstacles, and accomplishments that the arts sector has experienced during the pandemic, painting an inspiring picture of how individuals have come together in their time of most need. During the pandemic the arts and cultural sectors have been hit extremely hard, impacting everyone from artists to arts administrators, from the highest level of leadership to the ushers.
Now that we are beginning to see a glimpse of light at the end of this dark tunnel, with the community defying all obstacles and bouncing back, ArtsFund provides this video as a rallying call for all to get involved and participate in new ways. It reminds us of the power and possibility that the arts provide us while we look towards the future.
Romeo y Juliet is a world premiere bilingual adaptation that imagines these star-crossed lovers as two daughters from feuding families before the backdrop of Alta California, as California was known during Spanish Colonial and Mexican rule.
“Romeo and Juliet has been adapted countless times, in countless ways for hundreds of years,” shared the playwright, Karen Zacarías. “It is exciting to present this bilingual adaptation of Shakespeare’s rich, colorful language that gives audiences a different way to hear and feel it.”
Romeo y Juliet will play at Bruns Amphitheater May 25 through June 19. Single tickets will go on sale later in the spring.
“As we forge ahead into a more aware and inclusive world, it was of the utmost importance to me for everyone to see a piece of themselves on this stage,” said Director Jimmy Shields. “Not just physically, but emotionally and yes, even mentally. What better production to take on this task than You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown? At first glance, we often recognize Charlie Brown and the gang as simply the iconic Peanuts comic strip and shorts we know and love. In a deeper look, we realized that these kids are parts of all of us, on the cusp of discovering how the world works and how we find and navigate our happiness through it. I hope this production allows you to reconnect with that childlike optimism and steadfastness that was there before your happiness was influenced by the outside world.”
Taproot Theatre Company has announced they will be bringing three shows to their stage for the 2022 season. The season will feature the comedy The Nerd, Agatha Christie’s Black Coffee, and a new cabaret by the Russell family.
Three’s already a crowd in Willum’s house, but it’s as tight as a game of sardines when Rick unexpectedly arrives. He’s as interesting as quality control at a chalk factory, until his antics jeopardize Willum’s career. Sure, Rick once saved Willum’s life, but now he’s ruining it! Pass the deviled eggs, this party’s about to become a saucer-smashing good time!
The formula for a secret weapon has been stolen, and that isn’t the only mystery in the Amory house! When Sir Claude discovers the theft, he locks his family in the library. Moments later there’s a dead body, a room full of suspects, and a Belgian sleuth at the door. Witness the famous Hercule Poirot untangle a jumble of deceptions to discover whodunit.
An evening of laughter, love, and unrelenting joy! Seattle’s own Sarah, Be, and Faith Bennett Russell carry on their family’s legacy as storytellers, while celebrating their individual journeys as Black female artists. From their roots in Jamaica to their home in Seattle, this cabaret is filled with songs both new and old. Bring your tissues and party-poppers and prepare to leave with a song in your heart.
San Francisco Ballet announced today that principal dancer Sara Van Patten will be leaving the San Francisco company at the end of the 2022 season, after 20 years with the renowned company. Van Patten will give her last performance with SF Ballet in a special event celebrating her tenure on April 16 at the War Memorial Opera House.
Van Patten joined the San Francisco Ballet as a soloist in 2002 and was promoted to a principal dancer in 2007. During her incredible 20-year tenure she has entertained audiences with stirring performances in Helgi Tomasson’s Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, Romeo & Juliet, Don Quixote, and Nutcracker. Her career highlights include principal roles in John Cranko’s Onegin, Wheeldon’s Cinderella, and John Neumeier’s The LittleMermaid.
“Sarah is an immensely talented artist who has brought to this Company a diverse range of abilities, both in her dancing and in her dramatic interpretations of some of the great roles of classical ballet,” said Tomasson. “She has been integral to the creation of some of my own ballets, as well as ballets by numerous other choreographers who have worked in our studios throughout the past two decades. It has been a pleasure to work with her and we will miss her dearly.”
Van Patten, beyond dancing with the San Francisco Ballet, is a choreographer, producer, and director. As founder and artistic director of Tahoe Dance Camp she gave a place for artists to safely create and work during the COVID-19 pandemic. The nonprofit has been a haven for dancers, choreographers, and other artists, giving them a space to work, create, collaborate, and perform before returning to their studios.
“It has been an incredible 20 years dancing for San Francisco Ballet,” said Van Patten. “I feel so fortunate to have been given the opportunity from Helgi when I was 17 to join the company as a soloist. I never could have imagined then what has ended up being such an amazing journey. Thank you to so many people behind the scenes and in the audience who have supported and helped me along over these years. I will forever cherish this chapter in my life and I look forward to what is next!”
Broadway at The Paramount has announced their upcoming 2022-23 season. The exciting season will include eight musicals, including a few that haven’t been to Seattle before. The season will include the eight-time 2019 Tony Award®-winner Hadestown as well as Moulin Rouge! The Musical, a 10-time Tony Award®-winning stage adaptation of the Baz Luhrmann’s hit film.
“We are honored to be presenting some of the most engaging Broadway touring theatre available in our country,” said Executive Director of Seattle Theatre Group Josh LaBelle. “This series aligns well with STG’s vision as The People’s Theatre—a place where all are welcomed and represented. We are most appreciative to our patrons, artists, and our talented staff who continue to come together and keep the arts vital in this community.”
Subscription renewals go on sale February 8 and new subscriptions will be available on April 8. Patrons can sign up for new subscription waitlist. Individual tickets will go on sale at a later date. Check out the full season below now.
Welcome to Hadestown, where a song can change your fate. Winner of eight 2019 Tony Awards® including Best Musical and the 2020 Grammy® Award for Best Musical Theater Album, this acclaimed new show from celebrated singer-songwriter Anaïs Mitchell and innovative director Rachel Chavkin (Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812) is a love story for today…and always. Intertwining two mythic tales—that of young dreamers Orpheus and Eurydice, and that of King Hades and his wife Persephone—Hadestown is a haunting and hopeful theatrical experience that grabs you and never lets go.
The history-making new play by Academy Award winner Aaron Sorkin, directed by Bartlett Sher and based on Harper Lee’s classic novel will star Emmy Award-Winning icon Richard Thomas. To Kill a Mockingbird holds the record as the highest-grossing American play in Broadway history. Set in Alabama in 1934, Harper Lee’s enduring story of racial injustice and childhood innocence centers on one of the most venerated characters in American literature, small-town lawyer Atticus Finch.
Joy, love, heartache, strength, wisdom, catharsis, LIFE—everything we’ve been waiting to see in a Broadway show—is here in the exhilarating, fearless new musical based on Alanis Morissette’s world-changing music. With a Tony-winning book by Diablo Cody (Juno) and Grammy-winning score, this electrifying production about a perfectly imperfect American family “vaults the audience to its collective feet” (The Guardian).
More than 35 million people around the world have experienced the smash hit phenomenon that is Blue Man Group and now it’s your turn! Blue Man Group returns to Seattle for a limited engagement on their new North American tour. It’s everything you know and love about Blue Man Group—signature drumming, colorful moments of creativity and quirky comedy—the men are still blue but the rest is all new! Featuring pulsing, original music, custom-made instruments, surprise audience interaction and hilarious absurdity, join the Blue Men in a joyful experience that unites audiences of all ages.
Enter a world of splendor and romance, of eye-popping excess, of glitz, grandeur, and glory! A world where Bohemians and aristocrats rub elbows and revel in electrifying enchantment. Welcome to Moulin Rouge! The Musical. Baz Luhrmann’s revolutionary film comes to life onstage, remixed in a new musical mash-up extravaganza. Directed by Tony Award® winner Alex Timbers, Moulin Rouge! The Musical is a theatrical celebration of Truth, Beauty, Freedom, and— above all—Love. With a book by Tony Award® winner John Logan; music supervision, orchestrations, and arrangements by Tony Award® winner Justin Levine; and choreography by Tony Award® winner Sonya Tayeh, Moulin Rouge! The Musical is more than a musical—it is a state of mind.
Ain’t Too Proud—The Life and Times of the Temptations
Ain’t Too Proud—The Life and Times of the Temptations is the electrifying new smash-hit Broadway musical that follows The Temptations’ extraordinary journey from the streets of Detroit to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Nominated for 12 Tony® Awards and the winner of the 2019 Tony Award for Best Choreography, it’s a thrilling story of brotherhood, family, loyalty, and betrayal during a decade of civil unrest in America. Set to the beat of the group’s treasured hits, including “My Girl,” “Just My Imagination,” “Get Ready,” and “Papa Was a Rolling Stone,” Ain’t Too Proud tells the unforgettable story of the legendary quintet that Billboard Magazine named the greatest R&B group of all time.
A letter that was never meant to be seen, a lie that was never meant to be told, a life he never dreamed he could have. Evan Hansen is about to get the one thing he’s always wanted: a chance to finally fit in. Dear Evan Hansen is the deeply personal and profoundly contemporary musical about life and the way we live it.
Dear Evan Hansen has struck a remarkable chord with audiences and critics everywhere, including The Washington Post who says Dear Evan Hansen is “theatrical magic. One of the most remarkable shows in musical theatre history.” The New York Times calls it “a breathtaking knockout of a musical.” And NBC Nightly News declares the musical “an anthem resonating on Broadway and beyond.”
You Can’t Stop the Beat! Hairspray, Broadway’s Tony Award®-winning musical comedy phenomenon is back on tour! Join 16-year-old Tracy Turnblad in 1960’s Baltimore as she sets out to dance her way onto TV’s most popular show. Can a girl with big dreams (and even bigger hair) change the world? Featuring the beloved score of hit songs including “Welcome to the 60’s,” “Good Morning Baltimore” and “You Can’t Stop the Beat,” Hairspray is “fresh, winning, and deliriously tuneful!” (The New York Times).
This all-new touring production reunites Broadway’s award-winning creative team led by Director Jack O’Brien and Choreographer Jerry Mitchell to bring Hairspray to a new generation of theater audiences.
Book-It Repertory Theatre changed their performances of Beowulf, which were scheduled to move forward in person, to streaming only. This announcement comes closely followed by their introduction of Lindsay Merino, a COVID safety manager.
Book-It continues to be one of the more precautious performance arts organizations in Seattle. While many theatres and organizations announced in late summer or early fall that they would begin in-person performances for the 2021-22 season (albeit with many safety measures) Book-It took a different approach. The small theatre, which performs, under regular circumstances, at the Center Theatre in Seattle Center, announced they would produce two audio dramas in the fall and move onto in-person performances in January with Beowulf.
Of course, things took a turn for the worse, with COVID variants causing plans to change. So now Beowulf, which was to run January 21–February 6, will no longer be presented in person. However, rather than canceled, the show will be postponed until this summer, and in the meantime, the live performance will be available to stream. As the show was postponed late into rehearsals, Book-It didn’t waste an opportunity to share this classic tale with audiences hungry for theatre (in whatever format it comes in). The streaming of Beowulf will be hosted on Vimeo from February 10–27. Tickets are $15 and are available now.
Postponing what was supposed to be their first live performance in almost two years is not the only safety measure Book-It is taking. They have also recently announced the hiring of a COVID safety manager, Lindsay Merino. Merino will manage the COVID safety protocols for the productions of Beowulf and Mrs. Caliban which runs March 23–April 17.
San Francisco Opera is looking back at 100 extraordinary years of passionate and powerful opera 2022 and 2023. During their centennial season, San Francisco Opera will celebrate this amazing milestone with special events, new programs, and, of course, by staging beautiful operas.
The upcoming season will begin with a new opera based on Shakespeare’s historical masterpiece Antony and Cleopatra and will conclude with another world premiere, El último sueño de Frida y Diego, which follows Diego Rivera, Frieda Kahlo’s husband, as he tries to say goodbye after her passing. See the full centennial season below. Tickets are available now for season subscribers.
Antony and Cleopatra
San Francisco Opera’s 100th Season begins with John Adams’ thrilling new opera, commissioned for the company’s centennial and conducted by Music Director Eun Sun Kim.
Libretto by John Adams from Shakespeare with supplementary passages from Plutarch, Virgil and and other classical texts. Libretto consultation by Elkhanah Pulitzer and Lucia Scheckner.
She loved him at first sight. But Onegin, an aristocrat obsessed with appearances, could never be happy with a country girl like Tatyana. Or so he thought.
Emotions run high in Tchaikovsky’s drama Eugene Onegin, based on Alexander Pushkin’s deeply human story. Gorgeous sweeping melodies melt the heart, making this one of opera’s most romantic masterpieces—from Tatyana’s ardent letter scene to the intense final duet as Tatyana and Onegin fight for their emotional lives.
Outside, scaffolds rise in city squares as priests, nobles, and political prisoners face the merciless blade of the guillotine. The aristocrat Blance de la Force had hoped the convent would serve as a sanctuary. But now, death is at the sisters’ doorstep. And one by one, their faith will be tested.
Francis Poulenc’s profound drama returns to San Francisco in honor of the company’s U.S. premiere of the work in 1957. Olivier Py’s award-winning staging pairs striking tableaus with Poulenc’s haunting, poetic score conducted by Music Director Eun Sun Kim.
Fame. Power. Fortune. Violetta Valéry has it all as Paris’ most admired courtesan. But never. All that changes when a naive young man enters her Paris salon and offers her a romance full of tenderness and compassion. But can their love ever be free from the social stigmas of her past?
Music Director Eun Sun Kim leads the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and chorus in Shawna Lucey’s sumptuous new vision of Verdi’s masterpiece—the first new production of La Traviata built by San Francisco Opera’s own craftspeople since 1987.
What death has stolen, the musician Orpheus is determined to bring back. With Love as his guide, Orpheus journeys into the underworld to save his wife, Eurydice. But there is one condition: he must not look back at her until they return to the mortal world.
Orpheus and Eurydice returns in a fully staged production for only the second time in the Company’s history. In this new production, director Matthew Ozawa joins award-winning choreographer Rena Butler to take us on a heartfelt journey into the stages of grief.
Each night, the young Cio-Cio-San looks out over the port of Nagasaki, eagerly waiting the return of her husband, U.S. Naval officer Lieutenant B.F. Pinkerton. Alongside her is their young son, Trouble, who has never met his father. But disappointment is about to sail across the horizon when Pinkerton arrives with his recently wedded American wife.
Music Director Eun Sun Kim conducts a new staging of Puccini’s heartbreaking drama from director Amon Miyamoto, who reimagines this classic through the eyes of Trouble.
Half-spirit and half-mortal, the Empress lives in fear of a curse: If she doesn’t acquire a human shadow in three days’ time, the spirit world will reclaim her—and turn her husband to stone.
Strauss’ rarely performed masterpiece returns for the first time in over 30 years in a vibrant production designed by acclaimed artist David Hockney. Former San Francisco Opera Music Director Sir Donald Runnicles conducts.
Cal Shakes has announced they will produce two world premiere plays adapted from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and King Lear. The 48th season will begin with Romeo y Juliet running May 25–June 19, 2022 and conclude with Lear running September 7–October 2, 2022.
The bilingual adaptation of Shakespeare’s most beloved play of star-crossed lovers, Romeo y Juliet, is written by Karen Zacarías and will be directed by KJ Sanchez, the director behind the hit Quixote Nuevo that had its world premiere at Cal Shakes in 2018. Romeo y Juliet reimagines the doomed lovers as two daughters of opposing sides set in California during the Spanish Colonial and Mexican rule. Most of the original cast members will return after Romeo y Juliet was cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I have been longing to work with Cal Shakes again, longing to make art again, longing to be back on that beautiful stage,” said director KJ Sanchez. “I’ve been a huge fan of Karen Zacarías for years and years. The fact that we get to play with a bilingual R Y J makes this production even more dear to my heart. For me, this is the play. This production, this collaborator and this theatre is a dream come true. And it keeps me hanging on each and every day, knowing what we will bring to Bay Area audiences in the spring.”
In the fall, Lear, a modernized version of Shakespeare’s King Lear, will premiere at the Bruns Amphitheater. The adaptation is written by Marcus Gardley, known for black odyssey, a critically-acclaimed production that was on Cal Shakes’ stage two season in a row—2017 and 2018. Lear will be co-directed by Cal Shakes’ Artistic Director Eric Ting and Aurora Theater Company’s Associate Artistic Director, Dawn Monique Williams.
Cal Shakes describes the production: “Set in San Francisco’s Fillmore District from the eminent domain crisis through to the subsequent displacement of the 1960s, and infused with a jazz score, Gardley’s deeply personal Lear reckons with uncomfortable legacies, with the consequences of our actions, and with the vulnerability and ultimate resilience of the human heart to find its way back again.”
In addition to these two productions, Cal Shakes will continue to share the Bruns Amphitheater with other performing arts organizations as part of the Shared Light Initiative that was launched in 2021. Through the fall and summer of 2022, Cal Shakes will open its stage to a variety of dance performances, special events, and concerts.
“A year without theater challenged us to ask hard questions about our role as a cultural touchstone of our community. And the success of our Season of Shared Light has inspired us to continue a practice of opening our remarkable space to thrilling artists and arts organizations from across the Bay,” said Artistic Director Eric Ting. “Anchored by two vital re-imaginings of iconic classics with beloved Cal Shakes artists familiar and new, next summer is sure to be a dynamic return to live performance under the stars.”
Tickets for Cal Shakes’ 2022 season will go on sale in the spring. Cast, creative teams, and Shared Light partners will be announced at a later date. Dates are subject to change based on COVID-19 protocols and restrictions.
Seattle Shakespeare Company will return to their indoor stage at Center Theatre with a shortened season that will show Shakespeare: Drum and Colours, February 15–March 13, 2022, and Much Ado About Nothing, April 26–May 22, 2022.
The season will begin in February 2022 with Shakespeare: Drum and Colours. An adaptation of Hamlet and As You Like It, this production will alternate performances and features an all-POC Shakespeare repertory company that includes nine actors, two directors, and an all-POC design team. “Both of these programs were really the brainchild of Lamar Legend, our Diversity Programming Coordinator,” said Artistic Director George Mount. “When he approached me with the idea of a rotating repertory of two plays with an all-POC company, my heart took a leap.”
The season will continue with As You Like It which was originally scheduled to be staged in 2020 when the theatre closed due to COVID 19. The classic Shakespeare comedy will be directed by Allison Narver, who staged the company’s 2017 production of The Government Inspector.
In addition to requiring masks to be worn while in the theatre and vaccinations for all patrons, staff, volunteers and employees, Seattle Shakespeare Company has been busy preparing for guests to safely return. “We’ve been evaluating HVAC systems, lobby traffic patterns, and safety procedures to make sure that patrons will both feel safe and be safe while attending our shows at The Center Theatre,” said Managing Director John Bradshaw. Seattle Shakespeare will not be offering season ticket packages—tickets will be sold individually for each of the two performances. Tickets for Shakespeare: Drum and Colours will go on sale on January 4.