Christina Vega and Jonah Barrett

The Return of the Celebratory Center Salon

“I’ve been doing salons for about 20 years through the Northwest Playwrights Alliance,” playwright Bryan Willis explains. “I really love the format.” Happily for Willis, executive director Jill Barnes was eager to host a salon in The Washington Center’s black box theater, a utilitarian space adjacent to its main auditorium. It returns this May after a three-year hiatus.

Excellent Gift Ideas for Olympia Book Lovers

Consider the gift of a fictitious Olympia or Thurston County: a story set in our home, a gift that supports a local author. What’s great about such a gift is showing out-of-state friends and family a part of our home as only a writer can capture it.

Thurston County Community Arts Organization Acquires Land to Build New Theater

By Jonah Barrett Following the closure of Yelm’s Triad Theater in 2019, Thurston County’s community theaters were relegated to only Olympia. That will change soon with the opening of a new community theater just 30 minutes south of Washington’s capital. Tenino Young at Heart Theatre (TYT), the town’s oldest theater company, has recently acquired a …

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Reptiles, Fairies and Gremlins, Oh My! Local Author Releases PNW Horror Collection

By Molly Gilmore Jonah Barrett wouldn’t be insulted if anyone said their first book was monstrous. That’s because Barrett’s short-story collection “Moss Covered Claws,” dropping March 18, is all about monsters. Barrett of Olympia, a filmmaker, fantasy writer and OLY ARTS contributor, is launching the book with an online reading and talk at 7 p.m. …

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Olympia Downtown Alliance Cancels Annual Music in the Park Series

By Jonah Barrett The 41st season of Olympia’s Music in the Park series has been cancelled this year due to public health concerns concerning COVID-19. The series has been an Olympia tradition, occurring at both Sylvester Park and the Port of Olympia every year through July and August. With the deluge of postponed or cancelled …

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Tammie Brown Is Ready to Razzle Dazzle ’Em

By Jonah Barrett “On December fifth, you’re going to be razzle dazzled,” exclaimed activist and drag performer Tammie Brown. It’s true: Brown and a number of drag performers will grace the Octapas Café stage. Soon making her Olympia debut, Brown gained prominent notoriety in 2009 when she appeared on the first season of RuPaul’s Drag …

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At Olympia Family Theater, No One’s Too Small to Make a Difference

By JONAH BARRETT “Picking the new season is one of the hardest parts of my job,” said Jen Ryle of Olympia Family Theater (OFT), “and I really agonize over it. I want it to fit the time and place we are.” OFT’s 2019-2020 mainstage season has been announced. Ryle mentioned there were a handful of …

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Submissions Open for 36th-Annual Olympia Film Festival

By JONAH BARRETT The Olympia Film Society is now accepting submissions for its 36th-annual Olympia Film Festival. Filmmakers are welcomed to submit their films online until the deadline of December 23, 2019. Named one of the “Top 25 Coolest Film Festivals in the World” by MovieMaker Magazine in 2018, the Olympia Film Society has hosted the …

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The Beetle Box Project

By Jonah Barrett When one hears about electronic music, pianos don’t necessarily come to mind. This August, one-man musical project Beetle Box will perform in Olympia for two consecutive days. He’s brought his piano. Beetle Box is the brainchild of John Pennington of Little Rock, Arkansas. A series of piano lessons having ick-started his love …

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Let There Be Fireworks

By JONAH BARRETT Driving to a dark park to spend 30 minutes watching Fourth of July fireworks from the dewy grass is so 2018. Also, there are bugs — gross. Why not turn the outing into an entire festival? For 19 years, the Tumwater Downtown Association has put on the Artesian Festival at Tumwater Valley …

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