Washington Ensemble Theatre Announces Initial Casting For EVERYTHING YOU TOUCH

Washington Ensemble Theatre Announces Initial Casting For EVERYTHING YOU TOUCH

Washington Ensemble Theatre has announced that Kiki Abba (No More Sad Things, Forward Flux), Kevin Kelly (The Nether, WET; The Merchant of Venice, Seattle Shakespeare Company), and Cheyenne Barton (The Wolves, ACT) will lead the cast of Everything You Touch, the brash dark comedy by Sheila Callaghan that kicks off the company's 15th Anniversary Season this fall. Everything You Touch explores society's obsession with body image and fashion, and is about Jess, a grieving woman who learns to love herself by unearthing the truth behind her mother's abusive behavior and ultimately finding a way to forgive her. With Abba as Jess, Kelly as Victor, and Barton as Esme, WET's Literary Manager and Resident Dramaturg Maggie Rogers will direct the Northwest premiere of this stunningly eclectic play with choreography from dance artist Kaitlin McCarthy. Additional casting will be announced at a later date.

Everything You Touch plays September 21 - October 8, 2018 at 12th Avenue Arts (1620 12th Avenue in Capitol Hill). Single tickets go on sale Monday, August 13 and season subscriptions are still available online at www.washingtonensemble.org.

"When you grow up fat or unconventionally pretty by media standards, hating yourself becomes second nature," said WET's Literary Manager and Resident Dramaturg Maggie Rogers, who is a body-positive fat activist. "You are conditioned to apologize for the space you take up, convince yourself that you are undeserving of love, and that your sexuality is non-existent. Even in 2018, size and beauty prejudice is widely accepted and encouraged. When I read Everything You Touch, it was the first time I saw myself onstage. Jess, our bad bitch main character, is an honest and up-front powerhouse of unconventional femininity. Her story resonates with me so deeply because she is a second generation self-hater on her mother's side, who comes from a culture where women were told by the women in their family before them that to be a woman, you must be thin and desirable."

Everything You Touch explores society's obsession with body image and fashion, and jumps between the opulent and vapid 1970s and present day. When Jess, a lost and uncertain young woman, hears that her mother, who she has not seen in 10 years, is on her deathbed, she embarks on a cross country journey fueled by self-loathing. Accompanied by Victor, a mercurial fashion designer turned travel companion who may or may not be real, Jess discovers who she is, what she's made of, and how to wear it well. Everything You Touch was produced Off-Broadway in 2015 at the Cherry Lane Theatre and was called a "bold dissection of beauty, self-worth, and human connection" by TheatreMania.

About 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, Kevin Kelly, and Erin Bednarz.

Special thanks to Everything You Touch production sponsor John C. Robinson. Additional thanks to 2018-19 season sponsors 4Culture and Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, and media sponsor The Stranger.

Photo Credit Kendall Lauren

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