Seattle Rep Announces Musical Version of AS YOU LIKE IT
Seattle Rep's inaugural Public Works Seattle production ofThe Odyssey in September 2017 invited over 100 community members to be part of a professional theatrical production for the first time. It was reported to be "an experience I will treasure in my theatrical heart for years to come" by Jay Irwin of BroadwayWorld.com and "an open-hearted, energetic, and wonderfully lo-fi show" by Gemma Wilson of City Arts Magazine. It is with great excitement now that the Rep announces its next Public Works Seattle production - coming in September 2019, Seattle Rep will be producing a musical adaptation of Shakespeare's As You Like It, continuing its mission to create theatre of, by, and for the people.
Seattle Rep's Public Works Seattle program has continuously engaged in its partnerships with community-based organizations like The Boys & Girls Clubs of King County, Path With Art, Ballard NW Senior Center and more since its inception in 2016. Through the program, the Rep has hosted workshops, classes, and field trips all aimed at providing participants with the tools to join in creating ambitious works of participatory theatre. Over 150 workshops and a number of field trips to the theatre took place in preparation for the production of The Odyssey. During the rehearsal process, over 100 community and professional participants worked together at the Rep to put on a show that saw over 3,500 patrons attend, half of whom were experiencing theatre at the Rep for the first time.
"Public Works Seattle has not only opened our doors to new artists and new audiences, it has opened up a new possibility for the kind of work we can create at Seattle Rep - work that recognizes and amplifies the creative power in each one of us and centers the people of our city on our stages," Marya Sea Kaminski, Seattle Rep Associate Artistic Director and Public Works Seattle Director commented. "Our production of The Odyssey welcomed over 100 friends, neighbors, and performers into a collaboration that was equal parts rigor and joy. The values we shared and the discoveries we made during the process are still resonating through our building and in our community, and are propelling us forward."
The next cycle of Public Works Seattle is already under way with weekly classes at many of the partner organizations and a new series of one-day, special-interest workshops added as a response to the feedback received from the first cycle. In the spirit of providing new opportunities for participants to share their theatre skills with friends and family, spring programming with the partners will culminate in a potluck and showcase at the Erickson Theatre at Seattle Central College, a new partnership starting this year.
"We are thrilled to continue our deeply collaborative community endeavor with ongoing programs with our partners over the next year," Braden Abraham, Seattle Rep Artistic Director commented. "The culminating production of the funny and tender-hearted play As You Like It will again feature professional artists collaborating with our incredible community ensemble, and this time our cast will wield Shakespeare's robust, heightened language woven with some truly joyous and catchy melodies to tell a story about finding love and belonging even in a world of misunderstanding and oppression."
To learn more about Public Works Seattle, please visit seattlerep.org.
Seattle Rep was founded in 1963 and is currently led by Artistic Director Braden Abraham and Managing Director Jeffrey Herrmann. One of America's premier not-for-profit resident theatres, Seattle Repertory Theatre has achieved international renown for its consistently high production and artistic standards, and was awarded the 1990 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre. With an emphasis on entertaining plays of true dramatic and literary worth, Seattle Rep produces a season of plays along with educational programs, new play workshops, and special presentations.
Major support for Seattle Rep's 2017/18 season of Public Works Seattle programming is generously provided by the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods, Theatre Communications Group, the Knossos Foundation, the Nesholm Family Foundation, Nordstrom, Microsoft, and AT&T. Additional program support is made possible by the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, the Robert Chinn Foundation, Macy's, the Washington State Arts Commission, and The Morgan Fund at Seattle Foundation, and by generous contributions from individual donors.
Public Works Seattle uses the methodology of the Public Works program of The Public Theater in NYC, conceived by Lear deBessonet under the leadership of Artistic Director Oskar Eustis and Executive Director Patrick Willingham.