Puny Humans

Written by Bret Fetzer & Keiko Green
Directed by Gavin Reub

April 22 – May 14, Thursdays – Saturdays at 7:30PM
PWYC Preview: Thursday, April 21
PWYC Industry Night: Monday, May 2

The Queen City Comicon throbs and bustles with fans in cosplay, celebrities on the rise (or on the way down), disgruntled vendors hoping to make a buck, and desperate staff members trying to hold the whole damn thing together. A young fangirl finds out she’s pregnant, an actor promoting his new movie tries unconventional means to get laid, and Sailor Moon and Darth Vader fall in love. Passion, comedy, and geekdom collide as thirteen characters’ lives intertwine over the course of one epic day.

“…approximately eight intersecting narratives involving 13 characters unfolds. They’re all pretty compelling. It’s sort of like a stage version of Robert Altman’s Nashville but for nerds and not as weird. The narratives involve a range of issues, revealing the human drama humming beneath the alien sheen of commercial comic-cons… Te Yelland was a stand-out. She plays an often quiet, contemplative aspiring writer named Hazel, who’s not into all the hubbub of the comic-con. She’s the one deciding whether or not she wants to have a baby. It’s challenging to play a captivating introverted character—the impulse to over-brood often wins out — but Yelland’s subtle gestures and easy humor drew me in.” – The Stranger

“Fetzer and Green have created several memorable characters and plots and have done a fantastic job of weaving them all together in a story. Puny Humans contains clever dialogue, spoken by fully formed fascinating characters in intricately connected stories. It’s topical. It’s timely. It’s full of wit and wisdom. It’s a huge delight for genre fans but it’s accessible to non-fans as well. It’s a strong piece of theater writing.” – Seattle Gay Scene

GUS — David Rollison
BRADLEY — Ben McFadden
KEITH — Nic Morden
EMMA — Rachel Guyer-Mafune
JOAN — Kelly Johnson
LAUREN — Grace Carmack
ALICE — Heather Persinger
NATASHA — Patty Bonnell
SAM — Zenaida Smith
HAZEL — Te Yelland
PAULETTE — Lauryn Hochberg
GORDON — Cole Hornaday
JACOB — Kevin Bordi

Poster art by the incredible Peter Hon, local Seattle illustrator

Blood Countess

Written by Kelleen Conway Blanchard
Directed by Bret Fetzer

Oct 24-Nov 22
Thurs-Sat at 8pm | Mon, Nov 10 industry night
All Thurs PWYC
$20 general/$18 advance tickets
$12 senior, military, TPS / $5 student

The life of Countess Elizabeth Bathory- the historical noblewoman accused of bathing in young girl’s blood so she could live forever young becomes a supernatural tale both creepy and creepily funny in the hands of the playwright of “Kittens in a Cage” & “The Underneath”.

Kelleen Conway Blanchard lends her unique voice to the story of Elizabeth Bathory, the Hungarian Countess fabled to be one of the inspirations behind vampire lore. Bathory is rumored to have killed anywhere from 60 to 600 young woman and bathed in their blood to preserve her youth.

This fictional account follows the countess from her happy marriage to the fierce warrior Ferenc to her conviction and death bricked up within the walls of her castle. Along the way it explores her possible motivations for the sadistic murders of which she stands accused.

Landing solidly on the dark side of dark comedy, Blood Countess still employs plenty of Kelleen Conway Blanchard’s trademark humor and linguistic gymnastics. This historical horror story is filled with dead birds, headless soldiers, eel pies, and pailfulls of blood.

Blood Countess is directed by Bret Fetzer, and features original songs by Rick Miller, reuniting the team behind Gregory-nominated hit Kittens in a Cage.

Terri Weagant makes her Annex debut as Elizabeth. Weagant has appeared on stages big and small from Seattle Shakespeare Company and Book-It Repertory Theatre, to Theater Shmeater and upstart crow collective. Supporting Weagant is a group of wonderful local talent including Gregory-nominated Mary Murfin Bayley, Blanchard veterans James Weidman and Erin Stewart, and retuning Annex actors Ashlen Hodge, Martyn G Krouse and Sarah Winsor.

“Blanchard has written a gothic comedy that resists the temptation of camp. Instead, she lands startling punches with vivid and unexpected language… The two leads make grimly charming predators, bored by and superior to everything except morts, both petit and grand. Weidman brings a refreshingly abstracted, understated moodiness to a role that some actors would take as an excuse to chew up the scenery, while Weagant gives a positively sociopathic performance, fully unable to understand—and, in the end, not really caring—why other people don’t find chopping off people’s hands and branding the servant girls with hot coins diverting.” – The Stranger

“It would be easy to make the argument that Kelleen Conway Blanchard’s new play, ‘Blood Countess’ is a natural selection for October, with its Halloween balance of the horrific and the bizarre, its combination of cartoonish terror and god-awful blood lust. Blanchard, however, never lets a first impression become the content of her plays. As in ‘Kittens in a Cage’ and ‘The Underneath’ the initial triteness of commonplace tropes provide an easily accessible gateway to well-developed and compelling characters dealing with the absurdity of their situations with genuine emotion and real internal conflict. There are plenty of laughs throughout ‘Blood Countess’ but we never lose sight of the fact that these uncommon people are dealing with exactly the same challenges that we deal with daily, and that caring about their struggles is at least as rewarding as the pure entertainment of the evening…This is real drama. And it works.” – Seattle Actor

“…a gleefully fractured history tale that’s part wickedly black comedy, part demented love story and part scathing prod at the sexual and religious climate of the era… …with a sly performance as the bloodlust-consumed countess […] Weagant keeps the boiling passion simmering beneath the surface…” – Seattle Times

“Blood Countess is a lot of fun. As the countess, Terri Weagant’s unconventional looks and excellent expressive range are riveting… two other characters in her entourage are far more freaky: a deranged, id-like provocateur named Fitzco, played with nearly boundless perversity by Erin Stewart; and a priest, played with chilling, sexualized placidity (and heavy eye makeup) by Martyn G. Krouse. Bathory’s violence-loving libertine husband Ferenc (James Weidman) is another unctuous delight. In Bathory’s grim castle (a simple, black-walled, portrait-adorned set by Susannah Anderson), victims progress from birds to a parade of neighborhood girls (all winningly portrayed by Sarah Winsor)… canny performances and a wacky, Wikipedia-confirmed bite of Hungarian history make the Bathory vein a worthwhile draught.” – Seattle Weekly

“The mayhem is directed by Bret Fetzer as he uses Annex’s usual minimal technical accessories to exceed their low monetary value and provide great stagecraft at the same time. With Ian Johnston’s support for set design, Gwyn Skone providing inventive creepy lighting, super costuming and wigging from Samantha Armitage (probably on a miniscule budget), and sound by Kyle Thompson, the overall effect is a very sophisticated production… The play could be seen as a ‘Halloween’ event at this time of year, but that downplays its execution, cast and the beautiful poetry of the script. Blanchard seems to love creepy, but also demonstrates that she loves language more. Go get your fright on and also experience a multi-layered biography.” – Miryam Gordon

Terri Weagant Elizabeth Bathory
Ashlen Hodge Dorkus
Mary Murfin Bayley Mother
James Weidman Ferenc & The Inspector
Martyn G. Krouse The Priest
Sarah Winsor The Victims
Erin Stewart Fitzco
Playwright Kelleen Conway Blanchard
Director Bret Fetzer
Original Songs Rick Miller
Stage Manager Cynthia Kelly
Light Designer Gwyn Skone
Set Designers Bret Fetzer & Ian Johnston
Scenic Painter Susannah Anderson
Prop Designer Katie McKellar
Sound Designer Kyle Thompson
Costume Designer Samantha Armitage
Fight Choreographer Paul Ray
Costume Assistants Fantasia Oslund & Carmen Olmedo
Assistant Director Catherine Blake Smith
Production Manager Kaeline Kine
Technical Director Ian Johnston

Story and Song

Story & Lyrics by Bret Fetzer
Music Composed by Sari Breznau & Eric Padget

Tue-Wed 8pm | Feb 4-26
$10 gen | $5 stu

Sly American fairy tales about alligators and debutantes, told with sprightly vigor and combined with gorgeous choral singing. A storytelling experience like no other.

“As a storyteller, Bret Fetzer is a five star performer and writer. Following in the tradition of the great Southern storytellers, his writing is imaginative, funny and engaging; the performance, in which Mr. Fetzer assumes all the voices and characters himself, is beyond superlatives.” – Drama In The Hood

Performed by
Sari Breznau
Bret Fetzer
Christine Longe
Eric Padget
Jillian Vashro

appearing on Feb 18-19
Mike Gilson
Valerie Moseley
Davey Patnode

Production Manager – Catherine Blake Smith
Stage Manager – Cynthia Kelly
Costume Consultant – Samantha Armitage
Lighting Consultant – Alex King

The Underneath

Written by Kelleen Conway Blanchard
Directed by Pamala Mijatov

Thurs-Sat at 8pm | Oct. 18 – Nov. 16
Preview Thurs, Oct. 17 | Industry Night Mon, Nov. 4
$20 general, $12 TPS/Seniors/Military, $5 Students.
All Thursdays Pay-What-You-Can.

Something monstrous is bubbling up at the new waterpark. Something icky is making Tina, misunderstood girl genius, uneasy—her little sister Winnie has a piece of tentacle in a jar that hisses, her mom Denise is taking too many pills, and the local Sheriff can’t bake enough crumb cakes to make himself feel better about the body parts washing up on the shore. And just what does the fry cook at Salty’s Sea Palace have in his pants? Welcome to the world of The Underneath, the latest play from the writer of Kittens in a Cage and Hearts Are Monsters. Featuring Daniel Christensen, Meaghan Halverson, Tracy Leigh, John McKenna, Pilar O’Connell, Mandy Price, and James Weidman.

“A show about the evil ocean … begins with humping and gore, which is a good precursor to the rest… Playwright Kelleen Conway Blanchard is drawn to pulp material, injecting it with funny grotesquery and ear-catching details… These moments, where actors have the freedom to just let loose with strings of Blanchard’s perfectly deranged rambling, make the show worth checking out.” —The Stranger

“Through the ingenuity of set designers Bret Fetzer and Susannah Anderson, there’s also clever and almost instantaneous transformation of the small stage into five separate sets… Meaghan Mary Halverson provides a really good portrayal of youth and innocence as sweet Winnie, the nice little girl who is abducted by the slithering monsters. Pilar O’Connell, as her brilliant but emotionally wounded and therefore nasty sister, is equally powerful. She’s cruel, angry and rebellious, yet you can’t help rooting for her. The dread, menace and humor underpinning ‘The Underneath’ work really well.” – Seattle Times

Songs Violet Séverine Blanchard
Stage Manager Kaeline Kine
Production Manager Katie McKellar
Set Designers Bret Fetzer & Susannah Anderson
Lighting Designer Gwyn Skone
Sound Designer Kyle Thompson
Costume Designer Meaghan Darling
Prop Designer Emily Sershon
Make-up Designer Jana Hutchison

Second Date

Co-produced by Rain City Projects
January 29 – February 13
Tuesdays & Wednesdays, 8pm
$10 general / $5 student, TPS, senior, military

Two people meet. Two people connect. Ordinarily, this might be a night out on the town, perhaps going bowling—but if those two people are a playwright and a director, it’s a very different game. These directors and playwrights have never worked together before, but we’re going to see what their chemistry will create. Co-produced by Rain City Projects, each night of SECOND DATE will feature these three one-act plays, which are being created as you read this:

written by Rachel Atkins
directed by Tyrone Brown
Featuring: Caitlin Gilman, Laurel Ryan, Qadriyyah Shabazz, Sarah Winsor, and Amber Wolfe

written by Tracy Vicory-Rosenquest
directed by Katherine Karaus
Featuring: Asa Bass, Laurence Hughes, Jana Hutchison and Joan Jankowski

written by Jaime Cruz
directed by L. Nicol Cabe
Featuring: Andy Buffelen, Justine Freese, and Keiko Green

Bret Fetzer Producer
Catherine Blake Smith Production Manager
Michelle Berweiler Stage Manager
Danny Fisher-Bruns Lighting Designer
Samantha Armitage Costume Designer