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Book-It Returns In-Person With BEOWULF

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Beowulf marks the first in-person directing project at Book-It for new Artistic Director Gus Menary.

Book-It Returns In-Person With BEOWULF

After over 20 months, and a season and a half of audio dramas, Book-It Repertory Theatre (Book-It) will return to in-person, live performance on the Center Theatre stage.

Adapted by renowned thespian Julian Glover (he/him; The Empire Strikes Back, Game of Thrones) and starring local favorite Brandon J. Simmons (he/him; The Canterville Ghost, The Picture of Dorian Gray), Beowulf marks the first in-person directing project at Book-It for new Artistic Director Gus Menary (he/him; The Mandala of Sherlock Holmes). Running January 21 to February 6, 2022, audiences are welcomed back to gather and share the joy of community with one of Seattle's most enduring and lauded arts institutions.

Born from the desire to mount a one-person show, Julian Glover lit upon the memory of a story his mother told him when he was a child: Beowulf. "I had only to read the first few lines to realize that this was The One," Glover reminisces. After finding translations that suited his particular needs, he was ready to begin the process of transforming an epic poem into a night of modern theatre. "My task, as I saw it, was to tell the story of the definitive hero," he remarks, "to convey the excitement and joy of it through my own enthusiasm to people of all ages brought up in a climate of sophisticated theatre, film and television..."

Sharing this excitement and joy, back together in a theatre, speaks to the heart of Book-It's mission to bring great literature to life as great theatre. Menary explains, "Once a tale told around the fire by traveling storytellers, Beowulf still hums with an energy undiminished over the thousand years of history since it was first put to paper. This historical through-line is a poignant reminder of where we, as humans, those who gather in community, come from. What better way to warm the hallowed halls of the Center Theater, once again, than with a great story, well told. Thar be Monsters. Here be Theatre. And we are excited to welcome our audiences back to it!"

Our story begins with the hero, Beowulf, travelling to King Hrothgar's land to defeat a monster and save a kingdom, for that is what great heroes do. But Grendel, the creature condemned by God, is grim and vengeful, strong and horrible. Beowulf and a few brave enough to join him, embark on the quest to vanquish the foul fiend. Courage, cunning, and might may win the day and the laurels of battle, but once an adventurer, always an adventurer. Beowulf's life continues anon with heroic and mighty deeds until a Dragon is awoken and the elder statesman must face a final test of his bravery, alone.

The creative team includes Scenic Designer Catherine Cornell (she/her), Lighting Designer Dani Norberg (she/her), Costume Designer Taya Pyne (she/they/he), Sound Designer Kyle Thompson (he/him), Props Designer Robin Macartney (she/her), Stage Manager Michelle Chesley (she/her) and Assistant Stage Manager Rosemary Lisa Jones (she/her).

The 2021-22 season line-up includes Zen and the Art of an Android Beatdown, by Tochi Onyebuchi, an audio journey to the heart of identity and connection that will have you on the edge of your seat; The Three Musketeers, an audio adaptation of Alexandre Dumas' classic swashbuckling, buddy adventure filled with intrigue and romance; Beowulf, this one-person adaptation by renowned thespian Julian Glover (Game of Thrones, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade), is a mythic tale that reminds us of the importance of a good story well told; Mrs. Caliban, a delicious combination of social satire and fantasy from author Rachel Ingalls and The Bonesetter's Daughter, by celebrated author Amy Tan, offers a bittersweet and deeply moving chronicle of war and revenge, through which we are reminded that forgiveness is always closer than it seems.

As part of our 32nd season, presenting both audio plays in 2021 and a return to in-person productions starting January 2022, Book-It Repertory Theatre joins with other area performance groups in requiring masking and proof of vaccinations or negative COVID-19 testing to ensure a safe and successful return of the Seattle-area arts. For entry to any and all performances at The Center Theatre at Seattle Center, patrons, artists, and staff will need to wear a mask and provide proof of vaccination (in a clear and legible format) or negative COVID-19 test (PCR within 48 hours or antigen within 24 hours. Please, do not attend your scheduled performance if anyone living in your household, or to whom you have regular exposure, is awaiting a Covid test within your 48- or 24-hour test period.) There will be no separate sections for vaccinated/unvaccinated patrons. Policies will evolve over time in response to the pandemic.

Subscriptions for the 2021-22 season are available online, by phone and by mail-in order form. Subscription packages range from $82-$185. Single tickets to the audio dramas are priced at $20 (Zen) and $25 (Musketeers). Single tickets to the in-person productions are on sale now. Prices range from $26-$50. Students of all ages receive $20 tickets and must show a valid student ID. Groups of eight or more tickets are eligible for a 10% discount. Pay What You Can performances will also be available; check the website for more information. Purchase tickets at book-it.org or by calling the box office at 206.216.0833. The box office is open Tuesday - Friday, noon to 5pm.


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