After two unprecedented pandemic years, most theater organizations in the South Sound decided to schedule full seasons of live entertainment in late 2022 and early 2023. The state of Washington no longer requires proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test to enter theater spaces, but masks are still required for most patrons. With that in mind and figurative fingers crossed, OLY ARTS is pleased to announce upcoming offerings from Tacoma Little Theatre and Tacoma Musical Playhouse.
This spring, Olympia’s Harlequin Productions is doing something that’s never been done in this area. It’s producing Sovereignty, a historical drama about Native Americans, written and directed by Native Americans, performed by an ensemble of Native and non-Native actors, with direction, set, costume and lighting design by Native artists brought to Olympia from all over the United States.
“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.
Valerie Veils, the self-billed “Heroine of the Hoochi Coo,” has dazzled audiences up and down the Pacific Coast. Now she’s extended her talents to produce the first-ever Pacific Northwest Burlesque Festival, a two-day, ecdysiastic extravaganza that’ll twirl its tassels at the Capitol Theater the first full weekend in May.
With COVID cases on the decline, it’s time for something new. That’s where Christen Greene saw an opportunity. She’s the programmer of a new summer music festival in Olympia, the South Sound Block Party on Port Plaza this August.
Fully Vaxxed at Olympia Family Theater is one of the funniest, most distinctive and important theatrical events out there. It’s a campaign that will continue and move to other towns after its run at OFT. It’s a plea and a lesson on the importance of vaccinations in the time of COVID-19. It’s a performance of three bilingual, one-act plays running two weekends at OFT, then touring the state.
A Chorus Line, interrupted for two years but now revived at TLT, is truly one singular sensation.
Strap in for Murder for Two at Harlequin Productions, 90 minutes of mayhem and laughter — not to mention singing and a lot of amazing hijinks on the piano. Two actors, Jon Lutyens and Katherine Strohmaier, play more than 13 characters in a tour-de-force escapade for both.
Artist Becky Knold has released a series of paintings that, intentionally or not, were inspired by or reacted to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
It can sometimes be hard to tell the difference between bad acting and good actors playing the part of bad actors — or between a bad script and a play about a badly written show. Audiences at Olympia Little Theatre’s farcical The Bold, the Young, and the Murdered, written by Don Zolidis and directed by Katelyn May, are left to decide for themselves.