UNRIVALED Comes to the Seattle Public Theater in May

Performances run May 10 to June 2.

By: Apr. 02, 2024
UNRIVALED Comes to the Seattle Public Theater in May
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Combining 11th Century Japanese intrigue with 21st Century sass, SIS Productions and Seattle Public Theater will team up to present the Pacific Northwest premiere of Unrivaled, a tale of two best frenemies, written by Rosie Narasaki, directed by Mimi Katano, playing May 10 to June 2 at the Seattle Public Theater (7312 West Green Lake Drive North, where there’s plenty of free parking!).

     Unrivaled is a fun "Mean Girls" take on two of the most exalted writers of all time as they juggle friendship, career, love and political intrigue – you know, all in a day’s work for two iconic females from 11th Century Japan! Feisty and fresh, this reimagining of the rivalry between Murasaki Shikibu (The Tale of Genji) and Sei Shonagon (The Pillow Book) explores what it means to be female in a man's world. Why is it that some things haven't changed, even after a thousand years?!

Kathy Hsieh, Co-Executive Producer of SIS Productions shares, “Unrivaled is Rosie Narasaki’s first production in Seattle and continues SIS’ track record of premiering new work that centers the Asian American female voice while creating opportunities for local Asian American talent. SIS has always been a trailblazer for introducing some of the country’s best Asian American writers to Seattle audiences before they became famous, from Lauren Yee (Cambodian Rock Band) to Michael Golamco (Grimm) to Dipika Guha (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel) as well as giving local playwrights who have gone on to national recognition a place to test out their first plays through the SIS Writers Group (Kimber Lee, Seayoung Yim, Maggie Lee).”

"I am personally thrilled to be partnering with SIS Productions,” says Seattle Public’s Artistic Director Amy Poisson. “This company has been inspiring women for more than 2 decades. We all stand on the shoulders of the women who came before us. Kathy Hsieh and Mimi Katano have been working tirelessly in our community to create spaces for others to thrive including women, children and artists of Asian descent. I am honored for this partnership and can't wait to share this story with our audiences."

“I am very excited for people who know of Murasaki Shikibu and Sei Shonagon to see this modern, comedic take on them,” says director Mimi Katano. “At the same time, I hope people who also don’t know anything about them will come see it which hopefully will lead them to read some of the work by these iconic women from Japan.”

     Heading up the cast of Unrivaled are Pearl Lam (Murasaki Shikibu), Adele Lim (Empress Teishi), Alanah Pascual (Sei Shonagon), Mike Wu (Michinaga/Random Man), Angel Gao (understudy) and Kevin Masayuki Tanner (understudy).

     Staff for Unrivaled includes Christie Zhao (assistant director and co-production manager), Grecia Leal Pardo (co-production manager), Marilyn Gonzalez (stage manager), Junfu (Albert) Chen (lighting designer), Josh Valdez (sound designer), Jacquelyn Edwards (costume designer), Robin Macartney (scenic & props designer), AC Petersen (choreographer) and Celeste Mari Williams (dramaturg). Production team includes Kathy Hsieh (producer), Roger Tang (producer) and Patrick Kang (production assistant).

     Unrivaled opens on Friday, May 10, and plays Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm, and has Sunday matinees at 2 pm. Closing is Sunday, June 2. Tickets start at $10 and are available online at https://www.seattlepublictheater.org/current-production For more info, email sisproductionsseawa@gmail.com

     As part of Seattle Public Theater’s Education Program, SHOW NIGHT for Unrivaled will be May 17. Aimed at high school students curious about theatre, SHOW NIGHT starts with a complimentary dinner at Zeek’s Pizza on Greenlake at 6:00 PM, followed by the show at 7:30 for $5.00. 

     Rosie Narasaki (Playwright) (she/her) is a second-generation actor and playwright (her father, Ken Narasaki, acted with Seattle’s old Northwest Asian American Theatre). Unrivaled had its world premiere production with Playwright's Arena and the Boston Court Pasadena, and won the 2022 LA New Play Project Award. Her play When Yuri Met Malcolm toured local schools with East West Players, and she is also currently working on a commission for Center Theatre Group’s Library Play Readings series.

     SIS Productions is a production company that strives to create, develop and produce quality works that involve Asian American women, their themes, and Asian American issues. SIS Productions encourages opportunities and support for Asian American women to be involved in all aspects of the production of artistic endeavors. 

     For over three decades, actors, directors, and audiences passionate about exceptional theater have found a home at Seattle Public Theater. On the shores of Green Lake in the historic Bathhouse Theater, Seattle Public Theater is one of Seattle’s leading mid-sized professional theater companies. Established as a 501(c)(3), Seattle Public Theater strives to create an inclusive community that actively engages with ideas and people.




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