Casting Announced For B At WET, Guillermo Calderón's Stunning Surrealist Political Thriller

Casting Announced For B At WET, Guillermo Calderón's Stunning Surrealist Political Thriller

Washington Ensemble Theatre has announced the cast of the North American Premiere of B, the sharp and surrealist political thriller by Chilean playwright Guillermo Calderón, which is now in rehearsals. B, which is the second of three mainstage productions in WET's 15th Anniversary Season, features an ensemble cast of four incredible Seattle actors: WET member Sophie Franco (Intiman Theatre, Seattle Shakespeare Company) as Alejandra, Craig Peterson (Seattle Shakespeare Company, Pony World) as Jose Miguel, Klarissa Marie Robles (Seattle Repertory Theatre, eSe Teatro) as Marcela, and Gregory Award winner Shermona Mitchell (Sound Theatre Company, ACT) as Carmen. Jay O'Leary, who is known for her work as a director at ArtsWest (Skeleton Crew) and Annex Theatre, makes her WET debut to direct.

"WET has selected a play that hits so close to home because we are currently living through the questions Guillermo Calderón asks," said director Jay O'Leary. "I am particularly looking forward to the discussions we'll have during rehearsal and how our fantastic cast will unravel this dense story. In a place of great civil unrest where those in power seek to constrict our bodies and purge our voices, inaction will only kill us faster-but as humans, how far are we really willing to go?"

B plays January 11 - 28, 2019 at 12th Avenue Arts (1620 12th Avenue in Capitol Hill). Single tickets are on sale now and season subscriptions are still available online at www.washingtonensemble.org.

Anarchists Alejandra and Marcela are searching for a way to voice their political beliefs and prove their dedication to the cause. When they meet disillusioned bomb maker Jose, he agrees to teach them all he knows. With their motives and devotion for non-violent anti-capitalist anarchy put to the test, Alejandra and Marcela must decide how far the are willing to go and what they are willing to give up to speak their minds. Guillermo Calderón's tightly-wound surrealist play hashes out the complicated and irrational nature of violence, terrorism, and activism.

About the Cast

Sophie Franco makes her WET stage debut as Alejandra. Franco is a Latinx actor/director/playwright working in the Seattle area and a member of Washington Ensemble Theatre. Recent credits include Tania in Native Gardens (Intiman Theatre), Viola in a bilingual production of Twelfth Night (Seattle Shakespeare Company), and Elena in Las Mariposas y Los Muertos (Forward Flux Productions). In April 2019, Mirror Stage Theater will produce a staged reading of Franco's latest play, The Seas of Forgotten Encounters, as a part of their Expand Upon: Immigration series.

Craig Peterson makes his WET debut as Jose Miguel. Some favorite Seattle credits include Snow Falling on Cedars (BPA), King Lear (Seattle Shakespeare Company), and American Archipelago (Pony World). Some favorite NYC credits include Take Me Out (St. Luke's Theatre), Pilo Family Circus (59E59), and King Arthur(National Tour).

Klarissa Marie Robles makes her WET debut as Marcela. Recent Seattle credits include El Niño de Cabeza (Book-It Repertory Theatre Arts & Education Tour), Alma (Theatre Battery), Macbeth (Seattle Repertory Theatre), and Imaginary Opus (eSe Teatro). Daughter of an immigrant with tochtli spirit, she seeks to enrich and challenge audiences through one Latinx story at a time.

Shermona Mitchell makes her WET debut as Carmen. Mitchell is a local actor, director and teaching artist. Originally from Kentucky, she moved to Seattle to attend Cornish College of the Arts where she earned her BFA in Theater. She has been seen locally working with Sound Theatre Company, ACT Theatre, Book-It Repertory Theatre, Live Girls! Theatre, Seattle Children's Theatre, Pony World Theatre, Anything Is Possible Theatre, Seattle Musical Theatre, 14/48: The World's Quickest Theater Festival, The Collision Project, Copious Love, Seattle Public Theatre, STAGEright, and Azeotrope. Shermona is the 2016 Gregory Award recipient for Best Supporting Actress.

About the Director

Jay O'Leary is an Afro-Latina director, actor, teaching artist, choreographer, and winner of Best Actress in the Rochester Fringe Fest 2014 for her portrayal of Monica in W.A.C. Iraq. In addition to starring in a one woman show, Women on Fire, other notable roles include, Talisha in Milk Like Sugar (ArtsWest), the Devil in ...Wonderland, Carly in Reasons to be Pretty, and Zlata in Necessary Targets. O'Leary is a Seattle transplant from New York. Seattle directing credits include: Anansi & the Halfling (Annex Theater) Skeleton Crew (ArtsWest), Welcome to Arroyo's (Theater Schmeater), Heathers the Musical (ArtsWest), and An Unorthodox Rhapsody (Seattle Theaterwala). O'Leary is honored to be an August Wilson Teaching Artist for Seattle Repertory Theatre and an acting teacher for Seattle Public Theatre. She holds her B.A. in Theatre from SUNY Brockport and studied film in Thailand at Mahidol University. Up Next: Breathing.

About the Playwright

Guillermo Calderón (Santiago, Chile, 1971) is a screenwriter, playwright and theater director based the USA. His plays include Neva, Diciembre, Clase, Villa, Speech, Quake, Escuela, Kiss, Mateluna and Goldrausch. Calderón's productions have toured extensively through South America, North America, and Europe. He has been commissioned to write and direct by the Düsseldorfer Schauspielhaus, Theater Basel, HAU Hebbel am Ufer, the Royal Court Theater, Center Theater Group, and The Public Theater in New York City, where he also directed Neva. His co-written screenplay Violeta Went to Heaven won the World Cinema Jury Prize for Drama at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. He co-wrote The Club, directed by Pablo Larrain, winner of the Silver Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival 2015, and nominated for the Golden Globes in the Foreign Language category. The script won the Silver plaque at the Chicago International Film Festival. He wrote the script for Neruda, directed by Pablo Larraín, presented at the Quinzaine des Réalisateurs (The Director's Forthnight) during Cannes Film Festival 2016.

About the Creative Team
B features scenic design by Lex Marcos, lighting design by Tristan Roberson*, costume design by Ricky German, sound design by Erin Bednarz* and Maggie Rogers*, properties design by Robin Macartney, with stage management by Madison Silva.

*Member of Washington Ensemble Theatre

Through collaborative artistic leadership, Washington Ensemble Theatre fearlessly creates audacious stories for adventurous Seattle audiences. A resident company at 12th Avenue Arts in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood, WET is committed to maintaining an environment wherein its members, as well as artists from the community, are challenged to grow through its work as an ensemble. For more information about Washington Ensemble Theatre, please visit www.washingtonensemble.org.

The 2018/19 Ensemble is Samie Spring Detzer, Jeffrey Azevedo, Maria Manness, Rachel Liuzzi, Bobbin Ramsey, Tristan Roberson, Joceline Wynn, Jenn Oaster, Ryan Dunn, Erika Bailey, Maggie Rogers, Sophie Franco, Rachel Guyer-Mafune, and Erin Bednarz.

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