Fall Shows From Theater Artists Olympia

by Christian Carvajal for OLY ARTS

Theater Artists Olympia (TAO) has announced its fall 2016 stage offerings exclusively to OLY ARTS.

As it has for the past four years, the end of summer will bring An Improbable Peck of Plays to the Midnight Sun Performance Space, TAO’s home since April 2014. This evening of short, often seriocomic, plays is written, directed and performed by South Sound talents. The uniting theme for this fifth installment is, appropriately enough, “five.” At time of writing, plays are being chosen by volunteer directors from a stack of submissions, many of which come to the troupe via Northwest Playwrights Alliance. Auditions for An Improbable Peck of Plays 5 will be held Aug. 28 and 29 at 6:30 p.m. in the Midnight Sun. Performers of all ages and types are encouraged to attend this cold-reading-style audition. Actors are not required to memorize an audition piece.

UPDATED Aug. 23: The directors for IPoP 5 will be Erin Chanfrau, Hannah Ecklund, Andrea Gordon and Gabriel McClelland. The pieces selected for production by these directors will be announced shortly.

Meanwhile, TAO’s recurring tribute to literature, Words, Words, Words, will devote programs to contemporary horror (Aug. 19 and 20) and science fiction (Sept. 9 and 10). All four performances will be at 7:30 p.m. in the Midnight Sun. Full disclosure: The sci-fi program is being curated by this OLY ARTS writer. The horror program was assembled by Christopher Rocco. An early-October program will look at Edgar Lee Masters’ Spoon River Anthology.

TAO’s next full-scale theatrical offering is Molière’s The Physician in Spite of Himself. This version is adapted and directed by Pug Bujeaud, TAO’s artistic director, from a translation by Phillip Wickstrom. It stars such popular TAO regulars as Mark Alford, Alayna Chamberland, Heather Christopher, Robert McConkey and Vanessa Postil. Wickstrom was drama professor at Centralia College from 1962 to 1991. Bujeaud is setting her production of this bawdy farce in New Orleans in 1880. It marks a turning point in what Bujeaud characterizes as TAO’s “season of sex.” “With the world the way it is right now,” she explained in a recent Facebook post, “I have no real stomach to be delving into meanness or violence”–two subject matters TAO has addressed vividly in other shows. TAO’s The Physician in Spite of Himself opens Dec. 2.

Bujeaud revealed TAO is currently attempting to work its way through a late-summer financial crisis, as both theater bookings and donations have been few in recent months. Public support is therefore more welcome than ever. To donate money or services to Olympia’s avant-garde company and its historic venue, the Midnight Sun, please visit OlyTheater.com. Even small donations will be greatly appreciated as TAO launches what promises to be a racy but memorable season.

What: Theater Artists Olympia

Where: The Midnight Sun Performance Space,
113 Columbia St. NE, Olympia

Words, Words, Words: 7:30 p.m., Aug. 19 and 20, Sept. 9 and 10, Oct. 7 and 8
An Improbable Peck of Plays 5: 8 p.m., Oct. 14, 15, 20-22; 2:30 p.m., Oct. 16; 10 p.m., Oct. 22
The Physician in Spite of Himself: 8 p.m., Dec. 2, 3, 8-11, 15-17; 2:30 p.m. Dec. 4

How much: $10-$15

More information: 360-292-5179 | OlyTheater.com

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