Art galleries, bars, restaurants, shops, performance spaces — more than 80 downtown venues will be aswarm with excitement as artists young and old, amateur and professional, bring downtown Olympia to vibrant life for two evenings in early October. It’s been happening twice a year since 1990, when the first-annual spring and fall Arts Walks kicked off. In addition to visual art, there will be street performances, a busking zone and food trucks.
by Alec Clayton The latest artexhibition at Browsers Bookshop is DIALOGIC: Works on Paper by Evan Horback and Cecily Schmidt. Accordintg to the Oxford English Dictionary, “dialogic” means “relating to or in the form of dialogue.” That discribes this show in many ways. There are dialogues between the two artists and between […]
The rock musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch, with text by John Cameron Mitchell and music and lyrics by Stephen Trask, started as a performance in drag clubs and became an international phenomenon. It’s now playing at the State Theater of Olympia’s Harlequin Productions, starring Adam Rennie as Hedwig and Mandy Rose Nichøls as Hedwig’s husband and assistant, Yitzhak.
Falling, now playing at Olympia Little Theatre (OLT), is 70 minutes of edge-of-your-seat intensity, a roller coaster of love, fear and laughter with no intermission. If there were an intermission, the audience’s total immersion into the Martin family would be weakened; if it were any longer than 70 minutes, the actors would be physically exhausted and the audience emotionally so. As it is, the time flies by at warp speed and the audience is left depleted, yet thoroughly satisfied.
In many ways the Martins, the quintet of characters who populate Deanna Jent’s hour-long, 2011 play Falling, resemble a typical American family. Mother Tami, in some ways a stand-in for Jent herself, is overwhelmed and fond of red wine. Teenage son Josh demands a day off from school. There’s one all-important factor missing from that synopsis, however: Josh is a person with autism, given to veering from giddy hilarity to violent frenzy with little provocation or warning.
It’s surprising and delightful when an amateur company chooses an entire slate of obscure material. Such is the case with Olympia Little Theatre (OLT), which will offer a roster of seven shows entirely new to most audience members. Feeling adventurous?
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.