Theater Gone Are the Days of 27 Plays
posted by October 7 at 13:28 PMon
ACT and Theater Schmeater have announced their new seasons. Schmeater’s looks more exciting overall (including a new play by Tim Crouch, who just performed has haunting England at the Henry Art Gallery a few weeks ago) but ACT is staging Rock ‘n’ Roll, Tom Stoppard’s epic about Prague Spring, a Marxist professor in England, Syd Barrett, the Plastic People of the Universe, Vaclav Havel, the Rolling Stones, and 1968 in general. That sounds exciting. Kurt Beattie will direct.
Also up: something to be announced, the break/s (a sort of dance/hiphop/video solo show by Marc Bamuthi Joseph), Das Barbecü (a Wagner parody ACT trots out whenever Seattle Opera performs the Ring cycle), Runt of the Litter (the season’s second solo show—I can haz budget crunch?—this one by Houston Oiler Bo Eason), and an adaptation of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
At Schmeater: Act a Lady (by native playwright Jordan Harrison, whose Museum Play at WET was a dreamy, Sarah Ruhl-esque success), When the Messenger Is Hot (based on short stories by Elizabeth Crane), An Oak Tree (by the aforementioned Tim Crouch, Maria/Stuart (a Suburban Gothic), The Creation of the World an Other Business (Arthur Miller’s satire of the Book of Genesis), and At Home at the Zoo (Albee’s first play, Zoo Story, and the new prequel).
Hey theaters: Recall that 20 years ago, in 1988, Annex Theater produced 27 plays, 16 of them world premieres—and hang your heads in shame. This season, Annex will produce 10 plays, four of them world premieres, which is still pretty good. Washington Ensemble Theatre will only produce three plays, one of them a world premiere. (A kinda, sorta world premiere: It’s a re-imagining of Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus.)
What else happened in 1988? Nirvana started recording Bleach—and played a concert at Annex Theater. By the next year, Nirvana was on their first world tour.
The lesson: Produce enough new plays and Kurt Cobain will come back from the grave and play your house.