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University Of Washington School Of Drama Announces 2019 - 2020 Season

University Of Washington School Of Drama Announces 2019 - 2020 Season

The University of Washington School of Drama, led by Interim Executive Director Lynn M. Thomas and Associate Director Geoff Korf, is pleased to announce its 2019 - 2020 season.

"We think of our stages as laboratories where students practice what they are learning in our classrooms. It is essential for their artistic growth to have a nurturing environment where they can experiment, risk, explore, and test themselves and their impact on audiences. We are fortunate to have audiences that wonderfully support our students in this endeavor. We aim to have a diverse range of styles, time periods, theatrical genres, and characters in our season because it gives our students a vast breadth of experiences while they are here.

But also, our season must be relevant, both to our audiences and to our students. If it's not relevant, we are failing to teach our most important lesson, which is that theatre can and should be in conversation with the world around it-that theatre can change the world."

Our season centerpiece is an all-school production of Cabaret, directed by faculty member Tim Bond (pictured, left) and running for three weeks in the Floyd and Delores Jones Playhouse. Here at UW, Bond most recently directed our production of Lynn Nottage's By the Way, Meet Vera Stark, and local audiences are currently experiencing his work in ACT Theatre's production of Antoinette Nwandu's Pass Over. Bond is eager to apply his vision to this full-scale production of a musical story that is startlingly timely. "This show has such strong echoes with the present," says Bond. "We find ourselves once again in a moment where the culture is waking up to realize that fascism and repression can happen right under our noses. I'm excited to have the chance to share this story with our students and with our audiences."

Guest director Scott Kaiser (pictured, right) who in 27 seasons at Oregon Shakespeare Festival worked on over 100 productions as voice and text director, co-director, adapter, assistant director, and actor, will open the season with a production of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. Kaiser joined the School of Drama this year as a guest faculty member, teaching Shakespeare's wordcraft to actors in the Professional Actor Training Program (MFA, Acting), a program of which he is an alumnus. "As someone who graduated from the PATP with an MFA in acting in 1985," says Kaiser, "I'm tremendously grateful to be returning to the UW as a director-34 years later."

Faculty member Valerie Curtis-Newton (pictured, left), whose Fefu and Her Friends was a highlight of the 2018-2019 season, will direct The Best of Everything, adapted in 2012 by Julie Kramer from the 1958 novel by Rona Jaffe. Curtis-Newton most recently directed Seattle Rep's hit production of Christina Ham's Nina Simone: Four Women. The Best of Everything is a frank study of young women navigating the choppy waters of a New York City paperback publishing house. "Here's a play that allows us to laugh at the social mores of a different time, while also considering the ways that things actually haven't changed that much for women in the workplace. Also, there will be some fantastic clothes," says Curtis-Newton.

Our second-year MFA directors will each direct contemporary plays on the mainstage next year, with Kristie Post Wallace taking on Deborah Brevoort's The Women of Lockerbie and Andrew Coopman tackling Sarah Ruhl's Dead Man's Cellphone.

Faculty member Jeffrey Fracé (pictured, right) will take on Anton Chekhov's Three Sisters with a cast of undergraduates. "Chekhov was a doctor," Fracé says, "and he was very very interested in human beings-how they work and what's inside them. The space where surgeries happen is called a theatre. So, let's imagine Chekhov as a doctor, and his script as his instruments, and here we are in the theatre where he will open us up."

Finally, we will launch a new series, CabLabs, in the Cabaret Theatre in our home in Hutchinson Hall. These smaller, more experimental works will allow audiences a window into our classwork and a chance to engage more deeply with our student artists.

For the 2019 - 2020 season, opening nights will happen on Thursdays, and we will add a third matinee performance the second Saturday of each run (in addition to our existing Sunday matinees). All mainstage shows will run for two weeks, with the exception of Cabaret, which will run for three weeks.



A Midsummer Night's Dream
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Scott Kaiser
October 31 - November 10, 2019
Previews October 26 & 29
Pay-What-You-Can Wednesday November 6
Floyd and Delores Jones Playhouse

"Lovers and madmen have such seething brains
Such shaping fantasies, that apprehend
More than cool reason ever comprehends."

Lysander loves Hermia. Hermia loves Lysander. Demetrius loves Hermia. Helena loves Demetrius. No one loves Helena (poor Helena). This byzantine love quadrangle turns even more ludicrous when, lost in the woods on a midsummer's eve, the love-struck quartet finds themselves at the mercy of a band of mischievous fairies armed with a potent love potion. Shakespeare put some of his most dazzling dramatic poetry at the service of this teasing, glittering, hilarious, and amazingly inventive play, whose sneaky seriousness steals away beneath its dreamlike surface. PATP alumnus Scott Kaiser, a 27-year veteran of Oregon Shakespeare Festival, directs a cast of graduate and undergraduate actors.

Three Sisters
By Anton Chekhov
Directed by Jeffrey Fracé
November 21 - December 8, 2019
Previews November November 16 & 19
No performances November 25 - December 3, due to Thanksgiving holiday
Pay-What-You-Can Wednesday December 4
Glenn Hughes Penthouse Theatre

"I often think, what if one were to begin life over again, knowing what one is about! If one life, which has been already lived, were only a rough sketch so to speak, and the second were the fair copy! Then, I fancy, every one of us would feel compelled not to repeat himself, at the very least to rearrange his manner of life."

In a room in a house in a provincial town, three sisters, Olga, Masha, and Irina, wait for their lives to begin. This is the deceptively simple premise of Chekhov's tragicomic masterpiece, Three Sisters. UW Drama faculty member Jeffrey Fracé, an expert in devised performance who spent 10 years as an Associate Artist of Anne Bogart's Siti Company, brings us this spare reimagining of this third of Chekhov's "three great plays" (the others being The Cherry Orchard and Uncle Vanya). Chekhov's wife, the great actress Olga's Knipper, called Three Sisters "a play for all time." Heeding Knipper's words, Fracé will attempt to clear out all of our assumptions about what is "Chekhovian," and, working a company of undergraduate actors and graduate designers, allow into the theatre only, in his words, "what demands to be there."


The Best of Everything
Adapted by Julie Kramer from the book by Rona Jaffe
Directed by Valerie Curtis-Newton
February 6 - 16, 2020
Previews February 1 & 4
Pay-What-You-Can Wednesday February 12
Floyd and Delores Jones Playhouse

"I suggest you decide which kind of girl you want to be. Otherwise, someone else will make that decision for you."

A sensational career, thrilling adventures, and a husband and children (eventually)-that's what the women in the Fabian Publishing typing pool want: nothing less than the best of everything. UW Drama faculty member Valerie Curtis-Newton directs a cast of graduate actors in Julie Kramer's adaptation of Rona Jaffe's, funny, candid, clear-eyed look at the lives of working women in 1950s New York, through the gaze of the women themselves. The New York Times review of the 2012 production says, "The whole show is refreshingly free of the 'aren't-we-clever' self-consciousness that often accompanies such excursions into pop-culture past...There is a welcome humility at work here, which in turn creates a feeling of unvarnished transparency."

The Women of Lockerbie
By Deborah Brevoort
Directed by Kristie Post Wallace
March 5 - 14, 2020
Previews February 29 & March 3
Pay-What-You-Can Wednesday March 11
Glenn Hughes Penthouse Theatre

With a body
she would have a coffin,
or an urn,
or a gravesite.
A place to put her grief.
But your wife has no such place.
All she has is the sky
where he vanished.
The sky was not meant
to be a burial ground.
It's too big and when
you store your grief there
it runs wild.

In 1988, Pan Am flight 103 was bombed mid-flight, and the fiery pieces rained down on the peaceful town of Lockerbie, Scotland. Two-hundred-and-seventy people lost their lives that day: 243 passengers, 16 crew members, and 11 people on the ground. The Women of Lockerbie tells the story of a group of women fighting U.S. government bureaucracy to accomplish a stunningly simple, humane goal: washing and returning the clothes of the crash victims to their families. Playwright Deborah Brevoort uses the structure of Greek tragedy to tell this story of grieving and healing, powerlessness and control, joy and darkness. Second-year MFA director Kristie Post Wallace directs.


Cabaret (1998 version)
Book by Joe Masteroff, based on the play by John Van Druten and stories by Christopher Isherwood, music by John Kander, lyrics by Fred Ebb, co-directed and choreographed by Rob Marshall, directed by Sam Mendes
Directed by Tim Bond
April 30 - May 17, 2020
Previews April 25 & 28
Pay-What-You-Can Wednesday May 6
Floyd and Delores Jones Playhouse

"What good's permitting some prophet of doom
To wipe every smile away
Life is a cabaret, old chum
So come to the cabaret!"

In a Berlin nightclub, as the 1920s draw to a close, a garish Master of Ceremonies assures the audience that they will forget all their troubles at the cabaret. But the emcee's bawdy songs and the decadent allure of the Kit Kat Club can't ease the creeping darkness of a country slowly yielding to the emerging Third Reich. Winner of the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical, Cabaret gave us some of the most memorable songs in theatre history, including "Cabaret," "Willkommen," and "Maybe This Time." It also gives us a stark warning for our time: that apathy, indifference, denial, and self-interest create fertile ground for evil to grow. Faculty member Tim Bond directs this first all-school production since 2015's The Cradle Will Rock.

Dead Man's Cellphone
By Sarah Ruhl
Directed by Andrew Coopman
May 14 - 24, 2020
Previews May 9 & 12
Pay-What-You-Can Wednesday May 20
Glenn Hughes Penthouse Theatre

"Thank God there are still people who build churches for the rest of us so that when someone dies or gets married we have a place to-. I could not put all of this- (she thinks the word grief) - in a low-ceilinged room-no-it requires height.

Jean's cell phone rings.

Could someone please turn their f-ing cell phone off."

An incessantly ringing cell phone in a quiet café, a stranger at the next table who has had enough, and a dead man with a lot of loose ends. So begins Dead Man's Cell Phone, a brilliant comedy by MacArthur "Genius" Grant recipient and Pulitzer Prize finalist Sarah Ruhl. It follows Jean, an unexceptional woman who embarks on an odyssey into the lives of others when she inherits- confiscates, really-the phone of a (dead) stranger. This is a play about how we memorialize the dead, and how that remembering changes us. It is the story of a woman forced to confront her own assumptions about morality, redemption, and the need to connect in a technologically obsessed world. Second-year MFA director Andrew Coopman directs.


Subscription packages and single tickets will go on sale September 12, 2019. All subscriptions and single ticket sales are handled through the ArtsUW ticket office. Patrons who would like to be notified when subscriptions and single tickets go on sale can sign up at


Floyd and Delores Jones Playhouse
Showing: A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Best of Everything, Cabaret
4045 University Way NE
Seattle, WA 98105

Glenn Hughes Penthouse Theatre
Showing: Three Sisters, The Women of Lockerbie, Dead Man's Cellphone
Northeast UW-Seattle campus, adjacent to N4 parking lot

Cabaret Theatre
Showing: CabLab series
Located inside of Hutchinson Hall, UW-Seattle campus


The Jones Playhouse and Hughes Penthouse Theatre are both wheelchair accessible. The Cabaret Theatre is accessible via a stair lift, and ushers are available to help transport wheelchairs and other assistive devices up the stairs.

Assistive listening devices are available in the Jones Playhouse.

The Jones Playhouse has two gendered, multi-stall bathrooms. The Hughes Penthouse has two gendered bathrooms with multiple stalls, as well as a single-stall all-gender bathroom. Hutchinson Hall (where the Cabaret Theatre is located) has two single-stall, all-gender bathrooms that are up two flights of stairs, two gendered, multi-stall bathrooms which are down one flight of stairs, and two single-stall bathrooms which can be accessed via stair lift for patrons who cannot traverse stairs. In all cases, patrons are welcome to use the bathroom that best suits their identity and needs. This policy is posted at restroom entrances.

For general accessibility accommodation requests, contact the University of Washington Disability Services Office at 206-543-6450 (voice), 206-543-6452 (TTY), 206-685-7264 (fax), or For interpreting, captioning, and TTYs, contact the Coordinator of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services at 206-543-1415 (voice), 206-543-6452 (TTY), or, preferably at least 10 days in advance of the event.

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