Posts tagged Gwyn Skone

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

CAST
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
CREW
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

Chaos Theory, a play seeking order

Written by Courtney Meaker
Directed by Pamala Mijatov

April 18-May 17
Thurs-Sat at 8pm | All Thurs PWYC
Industry Night Mon April 28
$20 general/$18 advance tickets
$12 senior, military, TPS / $5 student
Running time: 2 hours, including intermission

When her lover disappears, Frannie and her friends seek solace in a book about chaos theory, leading them to build a machine that might take them into other dimensions—but instead they fall into different stories and just might bring about the end of the world.

Chaos Theory deals with contemporary issues (sex, identity, loss, crazy exes, mind games, doppelgangers) through the lens of absurdist science (and some actual science!).

Press photos

“Though the play has a blatant speculative science-fiction slant to it, it is surprisingly and refreshingly character-driven. The play grapples with ideas of perception of reality, time relativity, gender binaries, friendship dynamics, and heart-wrenching moral dilemmas… The cast was small, well-selected, and strong. Thanks to Meaker’s smart writing and the excellent cast, the play had me wishing I could be friends with Frannie, Seth, and Bach, and be a part of their quick back-and-forth verbal banter.” – Drama In The Hood

CAST
Keiko Green Frannie
Evelyn Dehais Bach
Drew Highlands Seth
Jana Hutchison Mack, others
CREW
Playwright Courtney Meaker
Director Pamala Mijatov
Stage Manager Kaeline Kine
Lighting Designer Gwyn Skone
Scenic Designer Robin Macartney
Sound Designer Kyle Thompson
Prop Designers Robin Macartney & Emily Sershon
Costume Designer Amy Escobar
Technical Directors Ian Johnston & Emily Sershon
Graphic Design Ash Williamson
French translation Evelyn Dehais

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

CREW
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

Precious Little

Written by Madeleine George
Directed by Katherine Karaus

Thu-Sat at 8 pm, Aug 2-31 (Thu PWYC)
$20 general / $12 TPS, senior, military / $5 student
PWYC Industry Night: Monday, Aug 12

This incisively poetic play follows Brodie, a 42-year-old linguistics professor who chooses to become a single parent. When genetic testing reveals a possible problem with her pregnancy, unexpected emotions complicate both her research of a dying language and her romantic relationship with Dre, a grad student with a mind of her own. Amid the noise, Brodie forms an unexpected connection with a “talking” gorilla at the local zoo. Precious Little features three actresses who navigate dozens of relationships in this beautiful exploration of the limits of language.

[Precious Little] intelligently poses some engaging philosophical questions… Director Katherine Karaus addresses these concerns in a spare staging that moves swiftly, cleanly from brief encounter to encounter. Pearce bites with relish into every little role she’s given, and is especially effective (and amusing) as Rhiannon, the eager young counselor who is clearly out of her depth. Murfin Bailey also makes deft work of her several personae. She’s remarkably restrained, and uncannily convincing, playing a zoo gorilla whose thought patterns are enviably basic… Smart and frank… it sure conjures a primal image (reminiscent of O’Neill’s “The Hairy Ape”) that sticks with you. — The Seattle Times

“Quick timing and skillful acting make it an absorbing production…. Papineau delivers a skillful performance, navigating her character arc with believability…. Precious Little is anything by precious. It is funny and sad and tough. But most of all it makes us think. In a world where we are inundated with language, words, and talk, what does it mean to communicate, and how can we find the most effective way? That may be an unanswerable question, but at least Precious Little is brave enough to ask.” — City Arts Online

“The three women on stage are likable and watchable and keep the evening enjoyable. …[Taryn] Pearce shows amazing vocal range as she morphs over and over into completely different small characters.” — Seattle Gay News

“The three actors played nine parts and brought a strong presence…making every scene as thought-provoking as the one before.” — Drama In The Hood

PRESS PHOTOS

CAST
Sarah Papineau Brodie
Taryn Pearce Zoogoers/Rihannon/Evelyn/Dre/Gloria
Mary Murfin Bayley Ape/Dorothy/Cleva
CREW
Playwright Madeleine George
Director Katherine Karaus
Stage Manager Xandii Barber
Production Manager Katie McKellar
Light Designer Gwyn Skone
Set Designer Catherine Cornell
Sound Designer Lindsey Morck
Prop Designer Erin O’Malley
Costume Designer Savannah Baltazar
Dramaturg Lesley Carmichael