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Washington Ensemble Theatre Celebrates 18th Season With SYSTEM FAILURE

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The season marks The Ensemble's 18th year as a producing theatre company in Seattle.

Washington Ensemble Theatre Celebrates 18th Season With SYSTEM FAILURE

Washington Ensemble Theatre has announced a four-event lineup for its 2022 Spring Season, which includes their fan-favorite new work showcase, a rebellious and hell-raising fundraiser, a rolicking surrealist comedy presented in-person at 12th Avenue Arts, and a weekend of locally grown world premiere dance pieces. The season, which marks The Ensemble's 18th year as a producing theatre company in Seattle, is themed "System Failure," and will summon the audience's inner insurgent to spark rebellion and inspire change.

"Over the past two years, the systems that hold our society together revealed just how fragile and, frankly, chaotic they are," said Erin Bednarz (she/her), Producing Director. "The government, health care, capitalism, personal safety, education, etc. have all been turned upside down and we're left trying to make sense of the broken pieces left behind. 'Why were these systems built this way?' 'What role do artists play in joining the reckoning and starting to rebuild?' Our Ensemble is investigating all of these surfacing questions and the role that making art can play at this moment in time." Maggie L. Rogers (she/her), Artistic Director, continued "We have learned that after living through such aggressive structural failure, it's not about returning to 'normal.' Turns out, 'normal' was the problem. While so many systems have failed us, fortunately the human spirit has not. If we can believe in each other and the possibility of change, we can start to pick up the pieces and make something new. We have sought out artists to eloquently speak to this and we hope Seattle is excited to join us."

The Ensemble will open its season with its popular Six Pack Series in January-a literary event that invites Seattle-based writers, poets, playwrights, and performers to showcase work based on a curated theme. This will be WET's first in-person event since March of 2020.

Back in action after last year's killer virtual gala, WET will hold their 2022 System Failure Gala in two parts. The in-person event will be hosted by Rogers and Bednarz on Feb 19th at Block 41 in Seattle's Belltown neighborhood, and feature cross-disciplinary, interactive art-performances by Seattle artists. On February 24th, Rogers and Bednarz will appear virtually for WET patrons and fans who prefer to attend digitally.

From April 15 - May 7, 2022, The Ensemble will fully produce the West Coast premiere of Trish Harnetiaux's full length play Tin Cat Shoes. In what the New York Post calls "a delight in three acts," a troop of shoe store employees blessed with the "Can-Do" American spirit embark on a journey of personal expansion. But when "work is your life" and systems break down, all that remains is you, a casino, and the truth. Told with blisteringly quick humor and a lot of heart, this play explores the capitalist society we inhabit and how to find enlightenment within it. Maggie L. Rogers, Artistic Director, will direct. She previously directed The Doll Pit and Everything You Touch. Tin Cat Shoes will also feature Ensemble members Kiki Abba (she/her), Rachel Guyer-Mafune (she/her) on stage, and Ryan Dunn (he/him) designing lights.

Closing out the season, WET will present reSET the weekend of May 13-14. In what SeattleDances calls, "a place for Seattle dancers to play, adventure, and perform," this popular interdisciplinary program provides opportunities for dancers and choreographers to make and perform pieces inspired by the elaborate theatrical sets of WET's mainstage productions. Curated by Mark Haim, Babette Pendleton, and Alice Gosti, this year's reSET will occur on the set of The Ensemble's mainstage production of Tin Cat Shoes.

For more information about The Ensemble, please visit www.washingtonensemble.org.


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