Season 2018

Season Show

A Bright Room Called Day

written by Tony Kushner
Directed by Lindsay Teter

March 29 – April 14, 2019
Fridays and Saturdays: 7:30 p.m., Sunday matinees: 2:00 p.m.

This age wanted heroes. It got us instead…”

In the face of an erupting volcano, do we struggle? Do we acquiesce? Do we hold fast to our community or let it slip away? Our human spirit can force us to greatness or it can lead us to darkness where we question our basic humanity.

A Bright Room Called Day, by Tony Kushner, epitomizes the struggle against inaction, apathy, and fragmentation. Weimar Germany was a slow explosion. No one could have fathomed that a democracy founded on the hope of German unity would end in totalitarian despotism, and few could have predicted the slaughter that would follow. In this dangerous world we all have a choice. We all have a voice. Kushner’s characters, bohemian artists and dreamers, fight for their better world and see it slip away. They encourage us to ask ourselves how we confront insidious hate, glut for power, and how we can weather the changes in the political climate with hope, solidarity and community. 

Historical Perspective

 

          A Bright Room Called Day is a chilling dramatization of fragmentation, a slow explosion. Set in a democracy facing fatal peril, the stories of our characters ask what happens to hope, solidarity and community in the wake of an overwhelming and evil political tide. Of the democracies that met their fractious end in the 20th century, the death of the Weimar Republic is debatably the most infamous, preluding a second world war that would take as many as 85 million human lives. This nascent democracy, beleaguered by economic instability, internal factionalism, and an inherently flawed constitution, began with the hope of German unity and dissolved beneath autocracy and despotism.

 

Before the Great Depression of 1929, Weimar Germany enjoyed a period of relative social stability, cultural burgeoning, and economic growth from 1923-1929, known as the “Goldene Zwanziger” or “Golden Twenties.” This Golden Era, marked by notable advancements in labor rights, low unemployment, and cultural advancement (including one of the earliest attempts to legalize homosexuality), welcomed Americanization through jazz, fashion, and film, and saw a stabilization of the hyperinflation that had plagued the Nation. Unfortunately, there were strong countercultures that challenged the democratic order and soon came a conflagration that would stymie many of these efforts for the next 40 years. Post war Germany’s link to American finance through the “Dawes Plan”, an attempt to finance reparations from WWI, had sewn the German economy to the health of the New York Stock Exchange, and when the banks melted in the crash of ‘29, Germany was one of the worst victims.

 

Unemployment and economic volatility rose sharply, raising the tide of Nationalism with it. Fanning the tumult, conditions in The Treaty of Versailles forced Germany to recognize sole responsibility for WWI. Popularly seen as overbearingly punitive, this “War Guilt Clause,” exacerbated a growing sense among conservative German’s and radical leftists alike, that they had been betrayed by their leadership in this acquiescence to the Allies, encouraging distrust of government. As some longed for a savior or patriarch, others cried for a people’s Revolution and Solidarity. Ultimately, political parties on the Left, including the Communist “KPD” and the majority Social Democratic Party of Germany, or the “SPD,” failed in the ensuing instability to unite against a popular conservative movement that would later destroy any semblance of the Republic. The Nazi’s, by pouncing on the Left’s disorganization, extorting their leader’s conservative hubris, and exacerbating the swelling tide of German Nationalism with racism and fear, deftly assumed the mantle of power and quickly exsanguinated any ideologies that threatened their dominance. Following Hitler’s chancellorship, his government asphyxiated any resistance with the patriarchal arm of its paramilitary S. A. police, alluding to the slaughter that was to come in the holocaust. Democracy is messy; factions are frustrating and slow. Perhaps we don’t realize the freedoms we risk to lose when we court the Devil, until his hand has left our pocket. The hour is late. Welcome to Germany.

                             

Playwright Festival

LeftOvers

April 27, 2019

24-hour Playwrighting, Rehearsing and Performance.  One Day Only!

Playwright Festival

Kids Korner

May 9-12, 2019

First-graders write the plays, college students direct and perform them!

Season Show

Bare

Book and Lyrics by Jon Hartmere
Book and Music by Damon Intrabartolo
Directed by Troy Nickerson

May 24 – June 16, 2019

A pulsating, electric contemporary rock opera, bare follows a group of students at a Catholic boarding school as they grapple with issues of sexuality, identity, and the future. As the group attempts to put up a production of Romeo and Juliet, tension flares, self-doubt simmers, and God’s path seems more difficult to find than ever.   With heart-pounding lyrics and a cast of bright young characters, bare is a provocative, fresh, and utterly honest look at the dangers of baring your soul, and the consequences of continuing to hide.

(Bare replaces the previously scheduled Threepenny Opera, which will now be seen in the 2019 season.)

Season Show  (Closed)

1984

By George Orwell
Adapted for the stage by Michael Gene Sullivan

Directed by Chris Wooley

September 7-23, 2018

Based on the iconic novel by George Orwell, 1984 brings us the story of Winston Smith, a cog in the giant machine state of Oceania. Physically and mentally under the omnipresent eye of Big Brother, Winston has been caught struggling for scraps of love and freedom in a world awash with distrust and violence. With the brutal “help” of four Party Members, Winston is forced to confess his Thoughtcrimes before an unseen inquisitor, and the audience — which acts as a silent witness to his torture. A ferocious and provocative adaptation of one of the most prescient works of literature of the last century.

Suitable for mature audiences only!

Spokesman-Review September 7, 2018

Inlander September 6, 2018

Orwell Society  October 21, 2018

Fundraiser  (Closed)

CLOSING IT UP

October 11-21, 2018

Written by Stage Left resident playwright Molly Allen
Directed by Heather McHenry-Kroetch

A World Premiere by Stage Left’s Playwright in Residence, Molly Allen.
Discover the delights of family dynamics in this humorous evening of entertainment.

Playwright Festival (Closed)

PLAYWRIGHT’S PLAYGROUND

October 26-28, 2018

Original 10-minute plays from playwrights around the world.

Season Show (Closed)

DAISY

Written by Sean Devine
Directed by Chris Hansen
November 16 – December 2, 2018
It’s the fall of 1964. Bloody turmoil over civil rights is spilling onto the streets. A fearful ideology is growing from the conservative right. The threat of nuclear war is palpable. And a little skirmish in the far-off nation of Vietnam just won’t go away. With a presidential election looming, a group of “ad-men” working for Lyndon Johnson unleash the most devastating political commercial ever conceived, the “Daisy ad.” Based on true events, DAISY explores the moment in television history that launched the age of negative advertising, and forever changed how we elect our leaders. War was the objective. Peace was the bait. Everyone got duped.
“[DAISY] is a story that, through history’s irritating tendency to repeat itself…resonates so deeply with our current moment that it should be required viewing for all registered voters.” —Seattle Weekly. “…engaging and powerful…[A] fascinating piece of historical theatre…” —BroadwayWorld.com. “Devine’s writing is sharp and clever, and Daisy is clear, concise and even-handed.” —City Arts (Seattle, WA).

Fundraiser  (Closed)

The Long Christmas Ride Home

Written by Paula Vogel
Directed by Susan Hardie

December 13-23, 2018

This hauntingly beautiful play follows a family of five through their emotional Christmas day and more. Their story is told with the help of Japanese style Bunraku puppet theatre performances and corresponding live music, giving the play a magical quality. This journey explores cultures, religions, genders, values, life and death as the family travels to church and grandparent’s home for the holiday.

…“one of the most absorbing evenings of theatre to come along in some time.” – Variety

>>Inlander December 13, 2018

>>Spokesman-Review December 13, 2018

Season Show  (Closed)

The Controversy of Valladolid

by Jean-Claude Carrière, English version by Richard Nelson
Directed by Maynard Villers

January 11-27, 2019
Imagine a time when the Catholic Church had the right to determine whether or not you were human. In a sixteenth-century Spanish monastery, the fate of millions of American natives from an ocean away hangs precariously in the balance. THE CONTROVERSY OF VALLADOLID, an exciting new masterwork by French playwright and screenwriter Jean-Claude Carrière, brings to light the shocking real-life debates whose outcomes are still felt today.
“Jean-Claude Carrière’s fierce attack on [the Catholic Church] for its policies on human slavery makes for a refreshing change. Although based on a Spanish papal tribunal of 1550, Carrière’s stern historical drama hits a resounding contempo note with its revelations of how the church agonized over its ultimate conclusion that indigenous American natives were children of God after all—after invading their land, destroying their culture, plundering their natural resources and subjecting thousands of people to servitude, torture and death.” —Variety.
 

Season Show  (Closed)

Hecuba

written by Marina Carr
Directed by Rebecca McNeill

February 22 – March 10, 2019

Troy has fallen. It’s the end of war and the beginning of something else. Something worse. As the cries die down after the final battle, there are reckonings to be made. Humiliated by her defeat and imprisoned by the charismatic victor Agamemnon, the great queen Hecuba must wash the blood of her buried sons from her hands and lead her daughters forward into a world they no longer recognize. Agamemnon has slaughtered his own daughter to win this war. But now another sacrifice is demanded…In a world where human instinct has been ravaged by violence, is everything as it seems in the hearts of the winners and those they have defeated?

Spokesman-Review February 25, 2019

Spokesman-Review February 21, 2019

Playwright Festival  (Closed)