Debbie Barho Sampson and Ryan Holmberg in TAO's An Improbable Peck of Plays

A Helping Hand to Theater Artists Olympia

As OLY ARTS reported in August, Theater Artists Olympia (TAO) is in dire need of monetary donations to help launch its 2016-2017 season and maintain the scrappy troupe’s home, the Midnight Sun Performance Space. TAO has created a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds toward a desired nest egg of $30,000.

The group has also announced the remainder of its anticipated season. “It is a big, ambitious wish list,” acknowledges Pug Bujeaud, TAO’s artistic director. “(It’s) the best season we could put together about love and sex.” Bujeaud chose this material based on her belief that Olympia might welcome a “season of sex” after a long, trying election year. That material will commence after Words, Words, Words: Science Fiction at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 9 and 10 and An Improbable Peck of Plays 5 at 8 p.m. on Oct. 14, 15, 20-22; 2:30 p.m. on Oct. 16; and 10 p.m. on Oct. 22.

Then, the plays chosen for this season are:

The Physician in Spite of Himself, Molière’s farce about a fraudulent doctor
(8 p.m., Dec. 2, 3, 8-11, 15-17; 2:30 p.m. Dec. 4);

Dangerous Liaisons, Christopher Hampton’s erotic drama about a battle of wills in pre-Revolution France;

Cloud 9, Caryl Churchill’s 1979 dramedy addressing colonial and sexual oppression;

Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune, Terence McNally’s real-time, post-coital seduction scene;

In the Next Room (or The Vibrator Play), Sarah Ruhl’s examination of “hysteria” and marital roles in Victorian society;

Trust, Paul Weitz’s dark comedy about a dot-com millionaire’s twisty visit to a dominatrix;

Danny and the Deep Blue Sea, John Patrick Shanley’s pas de deux that opens on a Bronx bar.

On the GoFundMe page, TAO board member Christopher Rocco writes, “I’m going to be blunt with the facts. We have a small house, seating 36-40 patrons depending on the show, and we keep our ticket prices low because we believe that theater is something that should be accessible to all, not just the wealthy. This combined with the rising rates of royalties and overhead means we are starting to lose sustainability very quickly. We need help.”

By announcing their complete fall-to-summer season in advance, a rarity for the troupe, TAO hopes to excite and motivate theater patrons to give generously. It’s their version of other companies’ patronage system. “There are so few companies in this town to begin with,” Rocco writes, “and none that do what we do. I will admit we aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but to those who are kin with our little circle of monsters it is a whole world, a whole universe of worlds to potentially be lost.”

An additional fundraiser is planned for this Saturday. Heather and Michael Christopher will host an outdoor movie night and barbecue at their home. Details for that event are listed below. Theater Artists Olympia is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization, so any donations made to TAO are fully tax-deductible.

What: TAO fundraiser

Where: Highgarden Cottage,
3401 26th Ave. NE, Olympia

When: 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 3

How much: $25

Learn more: 360-359-3149 | Facebook




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