Whidbey Repertory Festival Kicks Off This Month

The festival will run March 7-17.

By: Mar. 04, 2024
Whidbey Repertory Festival Kicks Off This Month
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Now in its second year, the Whidbey Repertory Festival (WRF) will once again be coming to Langley for a two-weekend festival run. A collaboration between Island Shakespeare Festival (ISF) and Whidbey Island Center for the Arts (WICA), the festival events will occur March 7-17. The programming features five new theatre shows that will explore the human experience through artistic expression and foster important conversations around humanitarian concerns and the vital role that the arts play in the understanding of our shared humanity.

Opening night will feature a special conversation with the Executive Artistic Directors with WICA and ISF—Deana Duncan and Olena Hodges.

“This is our second Whidbey Repertory Festival, born in 2023 as a way for both WICA and ISF to not only share expenses and income but to learn more about each other’s missions and philosophies as we both serve this rural community,” says Duncan. “Our ‘theme’ if we have one is to showcase SOLO performances, this was the original idea from 2023 and we’ve held on to it. There is something starkly powerful about one voice cutting through to tell us a story.”

“This is a unique opportunity for audiences to experience stories they may not otherwise have any awareness of,” adds Hodges. “Solo performance can be hard to program into a ‘regular’ season, but is such a vibrant and expressive form of storytelling. I'm really excited that it's become the key feature of the WRF.”

The festival is an opportunity for what Hodges calls “artistic risk-taking”—an opportunity to “test out some potentially edgier pieces and offer our audiences something new.”

This year’s line-up explores everything from “battles of midlife, and finding what’s next” to exploring “racial inequality that is often overlooked.”

Festival Schedule

Jennifer Rawlings: After the War, Comes the Dishes

  • Thursday, March 7th | 7:30 PM
  • Friday, March 8th | 7:30 PM
  • Saturday, March 9th | 2:00 PM
  • Sunday, March 10th | 4:00 PM

Ghosts of Segregation

  • Saturday, March 9th | 7:30 PM

Gender Play, Or What You Will

  • Thursday, March 14th, 7:30 PM
  • Friday, March 15th, 7:30 PM
  • Saturday, March 16th, 7:30 PM
  • Sunday, March 17th, 7:30 PM

National Theatre Live Screening of Fleabag 

  • Friday, March 16th | 2:00 PM

The Miss American Dream Show

  • Saturday, March 16th | 6:00 PM
  • Sunday, March 17th | 6:00 PM

“I think audiences can expect to stretch,” says Hodges of the festival’s offerings. “Each of these events will inspire conversation and I hope audiences come away with their minds and hearts open to the experiences of folks who are different from them. I hope this festival is an empathy incubator.”

“Whidbey Island Center for the Arts came out of COVID a different organization. We wanted to be more deeply involved in the community and be a better partner for as many organizations and nonprofits as we could be,” says Duncan. “ISF and WICA had talked for years about collaboration but it took a pandemic and some changes to strongly held beliefs to get us both to the table with open minds and hearts. Olena spotlights empathy and I fight for authentic heartfelt stories…together that is a powerful mission for our little festival. Together we can keep momentum for this partnership; given the space, time, and money to dream."

Tickets for all shows are now available online and through the Box Office, with WICA Star and Standard pricing and a $20 option (through Box Office only). In keeping with ISF's mission of accessibility, pay-what-you-will tickets are available at the door. Full festival passes are also available. To purchase tickets and passes, please visit www.wicaonline.org/wrf




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