Seattle Opera and Tasveer Announce a New Partnership

Tasveer, a nonprofit organization dedicated to South Asian film and arts, has recently made a significant move by relocating its administrative team to the Opera Center. This strategic decision allows Tasveer to forge a collaborative partnership with the staff of the Seattle Opera, facilitating the sharing of state-of-the-art facilities and event spaces.

Not only will Tasveer gain access to a workspace, storage capacity, and valuable technical support, but it will also have the privilege of hosting its annual film festival in the renowned Tagney Jones Hall. This grand theater, boasting a seating capacity of 200, represents a splendid venue for Tasveer to captivate audiences with the mesmerizing world of South Asian cinema. The convergence of these two esteemed institutions signifies a remarkable development in the realm of artistic collaboration and promises an exceptional future for both organizations.

A grant called Building for Equity, provided through 4Culture/King County, created the opportunity for the partnership. The grant supports building projects for arts and cultural organizations and drives for equitable resource allocation.   

“We are looking forward to having our next festival in Tagney Jones Hall,” said Operations Manager Khenrab Palden. “Being at Seattle Center is the opportunity to showcase our programs to a much wider audience. This relationship with Seattle Opera gives us a chance to share our heritage and art with the larger Seattle community.”

Tasveer has committed to an initial three-year endeavor. This significant step not only offers Tasveer an invaluable opportunity to establish a comprehensive plan for constructing its own dedicated space but also serves as a catalyst for their upcoming capital campaign. Rita Meher, Tasveer’s Co-Founder and Executive Director, expressed enthusiasm for this pivotal moment, stating, “We are launching our own capital campaign. Being here gives us time to build our fundraising capacity. I’m not sure that we can acquire our own building in three years, but being here lets us get started. Programs like this one are a form of activism, leading to the creation of equitable systems that assist under-resourced organizations.”

Such visionary programs hold the power to enact positive change, acting as a form of activism by nurturing the growth of equitable systems that support under-resourced organizations. Tasveer’s residency at the Opera Center embodies this spirit of transformation, heralding a future brimming with possibilities and a steadfast commitment to fostering a more inclusive artistic landscape.

San Francisco Ballet Launches Creation House: Pioneering a New Era of Artistic Innovation and Talent Development

San Francisco Ballet (SF Ballet) has unveiled an ambitious and multifaceted initiative known as Creation House, aimed at providing a wide range of career-enhancing opportunities for SF Ballet company members, SF Ballet School students, and guest artists. This initiative places a strong emphasis on choreography and the development of new works, offering a diverse portfolio of options to participants.

Creation House encompasses four distinct strands of creative exploration and mentorship, namely Choreographic Residencies, the Choreographic Exchange and Physical Play workshops, ChoreoLabs, and the SF Ballet School Choreographic Program. Through these avenues, dancers will have the necessary space and time to delve into their creativity, push boundaries, and receive guidance within the company’s supportive environment. This initiative builds upon SF Ballet’s longstanding commitment to fostering innovation, nurturing emerging choreographic talent, and fostering collaboration within San Francisco’s artistic communities and beyond.

The brainchild of Artistic Director Tamara Rojo and Associate Artistic Director Kerry Nicholls, the Creation House program will be part of a broader range of professional development initiatives aimed at comprehensively supporting the careers of dancers within both the school and the company. These initiatives will include a two-year leadership training program, providing dancers with valuable skills beyond their mainstage roles, as well as opportunities to engage in wellness sessions conducted by external health and wellbeing practitioners. SF Ballet’s professional development programs, including the newly introduced Creation House, actively seek collaborative partnerships from the Bay Area and beyond, reflecting the company’s global vision.

“Through the launch of Creation House, SF Ballet will provide both company members and the renowned international choreographers who visit us the opportunities and resources they need to create bold new work with confidence,” said Rojo. “In my first year as Artistic Director, a core priority has been to expand the resources we offer to our dancers. Taking part in new work development and having access to the choreographic process is invaluable experience for dance artists, and by offering this opportunity to our company members, we will also help SF Ballet identify and invest in the innovative new voices that will further our art form.”

With the launch of Creation House, SF Ballet reaffirms its commitment to nurturing talent, encouraging innovation, and providing dancers with a holistic support system. By offering a plethora of career-enhancing opportunities and promoting collaboration with artists from diverse backgrounds, SF Ballet aims to create an environment conducive to artistic growth and excellence.

Billy Crudup to Reprise His Role in “Harry Clarke” at Berkeley Rep

Emmy and Tony Award-winner Billy Crudup will return in his award-winning role in David Cale’s Harry Clarke at Berkeley Repertory Theatre this Fall.

Crudup previously held the role in the world premiere of Harry Clarke at Off-Broadway’s Vineyard Theatre. For his performance in the one-man show, Crudup won an Outer Critics Circle Award, Off-Broadway Alliance Award, Lucille Lortel Award, Drama Desk Award and Obie Award, and was nominated for a Drama League Award.

“In addition to his justifiably lauded performances in film and television, in projects from Almost Famous to Spotlight to The Morning Show, Billy Crudup is one of the greatest stage actors of his generation,” said Berkeley Rep’s Artistic Director Johanna Pfaelzer. “I have been lucky enough to watch his work over the last 30 years, and he just gets better and better. His performance as Harry Clarke is definitive, filled with charm and wit and skill. What Billy, Leigh, and David have made together is a true theatrical delight, and I can’t wait to welcome them back to Berkeley Rep.”

A wickedly funny thriller, Harry Clarke is penned by Obie Award-winner David Cale and will be directed by Obie Award-winner Leigh Silverman. The play follows the exploits of Philip, an awkward Midwestern man leading an outrageous double life as the cocky Londoner Harry Clarke. He moves to New York City and, posing as the seductive Harry, charms his way into a wealthy family. Soon his impetuous and dangerous behavior threatens to unravel more than his persona. Crudup plays 19 different characters throughout the show.

“I’m so happy to return to Berkeley Rep with Harry Clarke,” said Crudup. “I absolutely loved working on No Man’s Land in 2013, and I’m so grateful to Johanna Pfaelzer, Leigh Silverman, and David Cale for dreaming up this night of theatre. I hope the audiences will enjoy our evening of film noir theatre!”

Subscriptions to Berkeley Rep’s 2023/24 season are now on sale. Single tickets for Harry Clarke will be available in September.

Check Out the Trailer for “Out of Character” at Berkeley Rep

Berkeley Repertory Theatre presents Ari’el Stachel’s Out of Character playing now through July 30.

Written and performed by Tony Award-winner Ari’el Stachel, Out of Character is a story of identity and self-discovery. Developed in Berkeley Rep’s center for new work, The Ground Floor, Out of Character is directed by Tony Taccone. The world premiere is performed at Peet’s Theatre now through July 30. Tickets are available now.

Ari’el Stachel grew up in Berkeley, an Israeli American of Yemeni Jewish descent. Then came 9/11. Desperate to avoid taunts and threats at school, Ari hides his Middle Eastern background – setting off a years-long journey of trying on different identities, code switching, and navigating debilitating anxiety. Now a successful stage and screen actor, Ari comes home to Berkeley and joins with former artistic director Tony Taccone to tell his story in his new solo show. Out of Character explores the intersections of race, mental health, and survival in a way that’s raw, authentic, and entertaining.

“Emotionally raw…the honesty delivered here is refreshing. Out of Character may be Ari’el Stachel’s personal struggle, but one we can all relate.” 

Broadway World

TheatreWorks Names Giovanna Sardelli as New Interim Artistic Director

Giovanna Sardelli will fill the position of interim artistic director at TheatreWorks Silicon Valley after Tim Bond steps down this month.

Artistic Director Tim Bond came to TheatreWorks in March 2020 during a time of great upheaval due to the COVID pandemic. During this time TheatreWorks produced virtual shows while in-person gathering wasn’t possible. And when theatre was brought back to the mainstage, he oversaw the production of awe-inspiring shows including his unforgettable staging of August Wilson’s Gem of the Ocean. Bond has taken the position of artistic director at Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

Giovanna Sardelli has served TheatreWorks for over 15 years as artistic associate and director of New Works in addition to directing mainstage performances. Sardelli’s profound artistic vision and unwavering dedication to highlighting a diversity of voices have mesmerized viewers with remarkable projects such as the New Works Festival, now in its 20th year. Her vast expertise, coupled with intimate partnerships with renowned playwrights and extraordinary directorial accomplishments, has rightfully positioned her as a dominant presence within the industry.

Sardelli will director the west-coast premiere of Mrs. Christie this October and Bond will return to direct his acclaimed production of August Wilson’s How I Learned What I Learned in January 2024.

Cal Shakes Hosts Good Medicine: A Night of Live Native Stand-Up

Jackie Keliiaa’s Good Medicine will take the stage at Bruns Amphitheater on July 8 and will feature top Native American stand-up comedians.

Good Medicine: A Night of Live Native Stand-Up is making its triumphant return to the Bruns Memorial Amphitheater for the third consecutive year. Prepare to be entertained by the crème de la crème of North America’s Native comedy circuit as they grace the stage for an evening filled with uproarious laughter under the enchanting starlit sky.

The event, curated by the founder of Good Medicine and acclaimed Native comedian Jackie Keliiaa, promises a stellar lineup of top-tier stand-up performers hailing from various corners of the United States and Canada. Among the comedic talents showcased at Good Medicine at Cal Shakes are Jana Schmieding, Brian Bahe, Larry Omaha, and Dakota Ray Hebert. Get ready to embark on a side-splitting journey as these comedic powerhouses deliver an unforgettable night of mirth and entertainment.

Vote for Your Favorite San Francisco Opera Emerging Star

Voting opens July 11 and runs through August 4 for the favorite breakout star of San Francisco Opera.

The Emerging Stars competition recognizes one young talent from San Francisco Opera’s 2022/23 season. The winner wins a cash prize, provided by Jan and Maria Manetti Shrem, through the Emerging Stars Fund.

The contenders for the Emerging Star are Aigul Akhmetshina (Olga, Eugene Onegin); Amina Edris (Cleopatra, Antony and Cleopatra); Ben Bliss (Chevalier de la Force, Dialogues of the Carmelites); David Butt Philip (The Emperior, Die Frau ohne Schatten); Deanna Breiwick (Sister Constance, Dialogues of the Carmelites); Evan Leroy Johnson (Lensky, Eugene Onegin); Gordan Bintner (Eugene Onegin, Eugene Onegin); Jake Ingbar (Leonardo, El último sueño de Frida y Diego); Jakub Orlinski (Orpheus, Orpheus and Eurydice); Jonathan Tetelman (Alfredo Germont, La Traviata); Meigui Zhang (Eurydice, Orpheus and Eurydice); Michelle Bradley (Mme. Lidoine, Dialogues of the Carmelites); Taylor Raven (Fatima, Omar’s Mother, Omar); and Yaritza Véliz (Catrina, El último sueño de Frida y Diego).

Check out each of the competitors’ profiles and learn more about the contest on San Francisco Opera’s website.

Book-It Rep Will Close Its Doors After 33 Years in Seattle

Book-It Repertory Theatre is closing the curtain after 33 years of producing literature-based theatre. Book-It’s last production, Solaris, will continue to run through July 9.

Book-It Rep previously announced their 2023/24 season, including four productions: Frankenstein, Fellow Passengers, Crumbs/Migas, and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. This upcoming season is now cancelled. Refunds will be made to those who purchased a 2023/24 season subscription or flex pass, or patrons can turn their purchase into a donation. To refund a purchase, email Book-It at or call 206.216.0833.

Difficulty recovering from the pandemic and “a business model that doesn’t work in today’s environment” are the reasons given by Book-It for shuttering its doors. Book-It employs 18 permanent staff and over 260 cast members, designers, artisans, directors, writers, technicians, and dramaturgs.

“This is an incredibly difficult decision to make. We know the reverberations this will have on the theatre industry in this town, on actors, stage managers, stage technicians and crews, writers, directors. We need mid-sized theatres such as Book-It for the entire eco-system to flourish,” said Christine Stepherson, Book-It Board President. “We have a dream team of artisans and staff at Book-It who believe in our mission and have gone above and beyond, we have a small but dedicated board, but we don’t currently have a model that works.”

Tickets are available for Solaris playing now through July 9 at Center Theatre.

Teatro ZinZanni Announces Residency at Lotte Hotel Seattle

The celebrated cirque troupe will take residency at the Lotte Hotel in downtown Seattle in late 2023.

The theatrical cirque experience is celebrating its 25th anniversary, promising an opulent and extravagant run of performances. The cirque troupe will present its show in the Lotte Hotel’s largest performance space, the Grand Ballroom in The Sanctuary. The Teatro ZinZanni dinner and show experience will open this Fall and run into 2024. Single tickets will go on sale this summer. Groups of 12 or more may reserve seats and ticket benefits now

“What a way to celebrate 25 years in Seattle!” said Norm Langill, Teatro ZinZanni Founder. “We are going uptown for a glorious party, and we are delighted to be part of the renewed energy and activity in downtown Seattle in the process. The Sanctuary is a hidden gem in Seattle, and with perfect seating, wonderful food, and great performers from the ZinZanni family, it’s going to be a mid-winter dream all the way around!”

Experience a new world of collaboration at Lotte Hotel’s focal point, The Sanctuary. This remarkable event space will be beautifully transformed into a signature Teatro ZinZanni experience. One of downtown Seattle’s oldest churches, The Sanctuary has undergone an impressive $40M renovation, turning it into an unparalleled venue for grand events. With its timeless Beaux Arts-style architecture, this historic landmark, over a century old, proudly holds a place on the National Register of Historic Places. Within the grandeur and elegance of The Sanctuary’s Grand Ballroom, guests are treated to the mesmerizing performances and interactive moments that have captivated audiences for a remarkable 25 years at Teatro ZinZanni. As an added delight, the hotel’s Executive Chef will curate a special menu served during each show, enhancing the overall experience for guests.

Tickets and special hotel packages for the Teatro ZinZanni’s residency at Lotte Hotel Seattle, taking place in The Sanctuary will be available for purchase this summer.

General Director of Seattle Opera to Leave at End of 2023/24 Season

Christina Scheppelmann, general director of Seattle Opera, will complete her five-year contract at the end of the 2023/24 season and will move onto a new position as general director of La Monnaie/De Munt in Brussels, Belgium.

“Leading Seattle Opera is a tremendous opportunity,” said Scheppelmann, who came to Seattle from the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona. “The company boasts an incredible staff, orchestra, chorus, and crew, as well as a wonderful, supportive audience, all of whom I will miss greatly. I love this city and the opera community in this region, which has welcomed me wholeheartedly. I could not pass up the opportunity to lead one of the great European opera companies while also being closer to my family. But for now, there is much work to do and more opera to come in the year ahead, and I look forward to sharing what we have in store.”

Scheppelmann is the fourth general director of Seattle Opera. Under her leadership the company produced a world premiere, launched cornerstone programs, expanded its community partnerships, and brought over 100 new artists to Seattle for company debuts, with nearly 50 coming from abroad.

Under Scheppelmann’s leadership, Seattle Opera solidified its position as one of the most important opera companies in the United States. Despite the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic shortly after her arrival, Seattle Opera thrived. It was among the few opera houses in the country that successfully staged its entire 2020/21 season during the pandemic-induced shutdown. This was accomplished by creating innovative film adaptations of the originally planned productions. Throughout this challenging period, Seattle Opera released four complete opera films, engaged over twenty artists for online recitals, and expanded its educational initiatives with online classes, libretto-writing workshops, youth programs, and the Path with Art Veteran’s Choir. Moreover, Seattle Opera collaborated with Bloodworks Northwest to organize community blood drives at the Opera Center, demonstrating its commitment to the community even in the midst of the pandemic.

“Seattle Opera has been fortunate to collaborate with a general director of Christina’s caliber, and thanks to her leadership, the company is well positioned to build on its successes,” said Board President Lesley Chapin Wyckoff. “That Christina has accepted an offer to head one of Europe’s most important opera companies is a testament to her abilities and her excellent work in Seattle, which has ensured a bright, promising future for Seattle Opera. We could not be more proud of what she has accomplished here and we wish her the best in this exciting new opportunity.”