Posts tagged Ian Johnston

The Zig Zag Festival

Curated by Catherine Blake Smith
August 4 – August 19, Tues-Wed at 8 pm
Opening Night: August 4

Six playwrights–all female, all young, all local–collaborate on an evening of short works. Each is playwright of one play, director for another, and an outside eye for a third. The ensemble cast performs in all six plays about a range of topics such as ghosts of ex-lovers, comedic nightmares, and an absurdly honest job interview.

Playwright-Directors
Catherine Blake Smith (curator)
Dayana “Dayo” Anderson
L. Nicol Cabe
Amy Escobar
Courtney Meaker
Seayoung Yim

Ensemble:
Kiki Abba
Devon Allen
Isabela de Campos
Rachel Delmar
Katie Driscoll
Nathaniel Leeson
Jordi Montes
Tatiana Pavela
Cody Smith
Sydney Tucker

Production Team:
Production Manager – Kaeline Kine
Technical Director – Ian Johnston

H.P. Lovecraft: Stand-Up Comedian!

Written by Scotto Moore
Directed by K. Brian Neel

April 28 – May 13
Tues-Wed at 8 pm
$10 gen | $5 stu

Instead of expressing his terrifying vision of malevolent, eldritch gods via horror stories in the early twentieth century, H.P. (“Howie” to his friends) Lovecraft expresses his terrifying vision in the present day via stand-up comedy. But an ancient evil stirs beneath the sea— can Howie pull off one last sold-out gig before the human race is destroyed?

Instead of expressing his terrifying vision of malevolent, eldritch gods via horror stories in the early twentieth century, H.P. (“Howie” to his friends) Lovecraft expresses his terrifying vision in the present day via stand-up comedy. But an ancient evil stirs beneath the sea— can Howie pull off one last sold-out gig before the human race is destroyed?

Press Photo: Andy Buffelen, Scotto Moore, Erin Ison; photo by Ian Johnston

CAST
Scotto Moore Howie Lovecraft
Erin Ison Sonia Greene
Andy Buffelen Gus
Tim Moore Narrator
DESIGN TEAM
Set/Props Zane Exactly
Lighting Designer Gwyn Skone
Costume Designer Michael Notestine
Sound Designer Kyle Thompson
PRODUCTION TEAM
Stage Manager Katie McKellar
Poster Designer Peter Hon
Photographer Ian Johnston
Technical Director Emily Sershon
Production Manager Katie McKellar

Horse Girls

Written by Jenny Rachel Weiner
Directed by Norah Elges

Tue-Wed 8pm | Oct 28-Nov 19
$10 gen | $5 stu

The twelve year old president of the Lady Jean Ladies Horseback Riding Club will sacrifice anything or maybe everything to keep the club together. But her bubblegum-pink world cracks as the lives of the ladies beloved equines are threatened forcing them to question their loyalty to each other.

“This short, bitter, and bloody gallows comedy takes place in the pink and frilly bedroom of an imperious 12 year-old named Ashley who runs a club for ‘horse girls’—classmates who gather at Ashley’s home to ride her horses, conduct obsessively ritualistic meetings about those horses, and engage in the frighteningly hierarchical social rituals of pre-teen Americans… Playwright Jenny Rachel Weiner has a sharp ear for viciousness—when one character says she’s had a stressful day, the others swarm around to check her arms for slash marks—and Horse Girls could be the promising start to a gleefully devastating body of work.” – The Stranger

“Take ‘Mean Girls,’ add a pinch of ‘National Velvet,’ a dash of ‘Carrie.’ Stir briskly and you get Jenny Rachel Weiner’s ‘Horse Girls.’ A satire of pubescent female equestrians at their most insufferable, the raucous black comedy is like an extended ‘Saturday Night Live’ skit (featuring Gilda Radner or Amy Poehler) — with a macabre twist. Weiner… handily, hilariously nails a kind of peer and class pressure, and obsessive pony love, in this unbridled spoof… The youthful audience at a recent show howled throughout at the sharp mockery and teen nightmares… Weiner is a young humorist to keep an eye on.” – Seattle Times

“Directed by Norah Elges with the complete seriousness this snarky material deserves… A fantastic pink horsey bedroom set by Jenna Carino and costumes by Devon Allen, lights by Ryan Dunn and sound by Shane Regan combine to support the fun. If you have an evening free, try to see this. It’s a hoot.” – Miryam Gordon

“One of the delights of Annex Theater is their ‘off night’ productions, taking place on Tuesday and Wednesday nights; the current Off Nighter, Horse Girls by Jenny Rachel Weiner, is no exception…The director, Norah Elges assembled a strong cast…Horse Girls was only one hour…there is a snide song and dance number about an almost famous First Lady equestrian (not Jackie) which is not to be missed….you can grab a bite to eat in an un-crowded restaurant, have a good laugh during the middle of the week, to help you get through the week.” – Drama In The Hood

CAST
Sascha Streckel Ashleigh
Elizabeth Grant Tiffany
Rachel Brow Robin
Anastasia Higham Margaret
Kasey Harrison Brandi
Pilar O’Connell Camille
Erin Bednarz Trish
CREW
Playwright Jenny Rachel Weiner
Director Norah Elges
Assistant Director Maddie Downes
Stage Manager Andrew Murray
Set Designer Jenna Carino
Sound Designer Shane Regan
Costume Designer Devon Allen
Lighting Designer Ryan Dunn
Set Dressing/Props Brandon Estrella
Special Effects Designer Kenna M. Kettrick
Production Manager Catherine Blake Smith
Technical Director Ian Johnston

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

Balconies

Written & Directed
by Scotto Moore

August 1-30
Thurs-Sat at 8pm | Mon, Aug 11 industry night
All Thurs PWYC
$20 general/$18 advance tickets
$12 senior, military, TPS / $5 student

The creators of the hit mobile game “Sparkle Dungeon 5: Assassins Of Glitter” are celebrating their latest success with a wild costume party for artists, agitators and hackers. But in the condo next door, a Senate campaign fundraiser is coming to town, attracting politicos, CEOs and media celebrities. As the two events spill out onto neighboring balconies, can an unlikely romance succeed in the midst of steadily increasing mayhem? A screwball comedy from the playwright of “Duel of the Linguist Mages” and “A Mouse Who Knows Me.”

“The setup indicates a Noël Coward–style farce for the 21st century, and that’s what we get as a parade of oddballs from either side of the cultural divide fight, flirt, and baffle each other… ‘Balconies’ has an enthusiastic, I’ve-got-a-barn-let’s-put-on-a-show kind of feel, with the pleasure of watching a band whose members aren’t exactly masters of their instruments but are consistently entertaining. Special mentions go to Jason Sharp for his unctuously graceful performance as Lonso, and Mike Gilson for his marvelous deadpan as the senator’s head of security, Brick.” – The Stranger

“You should go. It’s complicated–and hugely entertaining, dealing with competing parties, cults, video game devs, revenge, and more… ‘Balconies’ gets under the skin of Seattle and pokes all the raw nerves. Required viewing for all start-ups, all indie devs. Required viewing for cult members. Big laughs, big payoffs… Go see it.” – Wonder and Risk

“Moore has a gift for setting up a great joke, then riffing on it; and by its conclusion, the farce finally delivers on its promise. At its best moments, Moore’s work reminds you of Joss Whedon’s ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ or ‘The Avengers’: He juggles an array of characters while still driving the plot forward and giving everyone a moment to shine. Having strong actors in key roles certainly helps. Katherine Karaus is warm and winning as Annalise, the condo owner whose mother’s political ambitions may be her undoing.” – Seattle Weekly

“If gaming is your thing and you can’t wait for Comicon, you’ll find much to like in this hip new play… Just as ‘Book of Mormon’ does a number on the Mormon Church, this play makes fun of the Scientologists… it also has something to say about politicos and the unseemly collaborations they sometimes make all in the effort to be reelected… It’s a funny play studded with clever lines…” – Arts Stage-Seattle Rage

“”This is smart and funny theater and a great choice for summer fun. The description of Sparkle Dungeon makes me long for someone to really create the game…” – Miryam Gordon

PRESS PHOTOS

CAST
Andy Buffelen Whisper
Evelyn DeHais Sophie
Zane Exactly Morning Bell/Tad
Mike Gilson Brick/Mayor
Arika Gloud Monica/Jordon
Laura Hanson Violet
Drew Highlands Cameron
Justin Ison Gridstation
Katherine Karaus Annalise
Tadd Morgan Cody
Pilar O’Connell Gabby/Emily
Jason Sharp Lonso
Jessica Stepka Cordelia/Cynthia
Raymond Williams DJ Luscious/Chief
CREW
Playwright/Director Scotto Moore
Stage Manager Maureen Webb
Light Designer Carolina Johnson
Set & Prop Designer Robin Macartney
Sound Designer Kyle Thompson
Costume Designer Cami Funk
Graphic Designer Evelyn DeHais
Featured Music Fog People (Rachel Jackson &
Michael Hayes)
Production Manager Katie McKellar
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

Star Crossed, and other tales from a devious universe

Written by Scotto Moore
Directed by Ian Johnston, Katherine Karaus, Jen Moon, Catherine Blake Smith, and Scotto Moore

April 30 – May 22
Tuesdays & Wednesdays, 8pm
$10 general / $5 student, TPS, senior, military

Star Crossed, and other tales from a devious universe is an evening of tasty, bite-sized science fiction and fantasy from the playwright of Duel of the Linguist Mages and A Mouse Who Knows Me. The plays include:

STAR CROSSED
Directed by Scotto Moore
Featuring: LaChrista Borgers, Daniel Christensen, Melissa Fenwick, Erin Ison, Mark Rud, Gina Marie Russell, Stephen R. Scheide, Jake Ynzunza
A collection of four interlocking short plays about an immortal astronaut crossing time and space to reunite with the woman she loves.

SENDING A MESSAGE
Directed by Catherine Blake Smith
Featuring: Daniel Christensen, Sascha Streckel
A man builds a time machine to go back in time and murder Judy Garland before she can sing “Over The Rainbow.”

LEAVING THE NEST
Directed by Jen Moon
Featuring: Katie Driscoll, Gina Marie Russell, Stephen R. Scheide, Jake Ynzunza
When teenage demon Lilith falls in love with an angel, her parents Satan and Ashtaroth are faced with a parenting challenge.

THAT DOESN’T SOUND RIGHT AT ALL
Directed by Ian Johnston
Featuring: Daniel Christensen, Gina Marie Russell, Sascha Streckel
Elvis wins 15 minutes back on Earth in a poker game in Hell, and spends his limited time trying to connect with the love of his life.

COMING TO A CONCLUSION
Directed by Katherine Karaus
Featuring: Katie Driscoll, Melissa Fenwick, Mark Rud, Stephen R. Scheide, Jake Ynzunza
A group of neighbors is caught off guard when one of them orders a machine off the internet that produces instant and continuous orgasms.

PRODUCTION TEAM
Katie McKellar Production Manager
Andy Buffelen Stage Manager
Jordan Sell Lighting Designer
Kyle Thompson Sound Designer
Rachel Hunter-Merrill Assistant Stage Manager

Team Of Heroes: No More Heroes

Written by Alexander Harris
Directed by Jaime Roberts

Thu-Sat at 8 pm, April 26-May 25 (Thu PWYC)
$20 general / $12 TPS, senior, military / $5 student
PWYC Preview Dress Rehearsal: Thursday, April 25
PWYC Industry Night: Monday, May 13

Contains strong language.

Following the collapse of the world’s most famous professional superhero team, the remaining Heroes come together to uncover the mysterious forces behind their former employers. Team of Heroes: No More Heroes is the final installment in Annex Theatre’s satirical trilogy exploring the dark underbelly of Doing Good. It features superhero spectacle created through lean theatrics, lurid desires, out-of-control egos…and skintight spandex.

The same creative team that brought you Annex Theatre’s surprise hit Alecto: Issue #1 and its hit sequel Team Of Heroes: Behind Closed Doors returns with the conclusion to the saga.

“Big, stupid fun done smartly and with tremendous intimacy… Anyone who loves theatre should see this show. Anyone who makes theatre should go learn something from it.” –The Sunbreak of Team Of Heroes: Behind Closed Doors

CAST
Libby Barnard Alecto
Nik Doner Shockwave
Curtis Eastwood Piggy Pig
Sam Hagen H8/The Accountant
Rachel Jackson Chaos Theory
Alyssa Keene Melody Knox
Tracy Leigh Madame Mayhem
Jason Sharp The Cap’n
CREW
Playwright Alexander Harris
Director Jaime Roberts
Production Manager Kristina Volkman
Assistant Director/Fly Master Mike Gilson
Stage Manager Lisa Stahler
Composer/Sound Designer Michael Hayes
Set Designer/Special Effects Emily Sershon
Lighting Designer Tess Malone
Costume Designer Candace Frank
Graphic Designer/Geek Consultant Cole Hornaday
Assistant Stage Manager Jessamyn Bateman-Lino
Videographer Ben Laurance
Special Effects/Photography/TD Ian Johnston
Projection Artist Dominick DiGregorio
Lead Seamstress Meaghan Darling
Assistant Props Designer Jodi Sauerbier
Fight Choreographer Ryan Higgins
Movement Consultant Kerry Christianson

Audrey & Nelson

Book & lyrics by Bret Fetzer
Music by Peter Richards
Directed by Bret Fetzer

Fri-Sat at 11 pm, Oct 26-Nov 16
$10 general / $5 student, TPS, senior, military
PWYC Industry Night: Monday, Nov 12 @ 8pm
No show on Fri, Nov 2

Audrey & Nelson

Audrey & Nelson starts with two hapless twentysomethings waking up in bed together with only the vaguest memories of how they got there. But Audrey and Nelson decide to explore the possibilities! What follows is a rueful comic musical about sex, traffic lights, bad language, singing penises, and broken hearts. All characters, including their talking genitalia, are portrayed by puppets. Book and lyrics by Bret Fetzer (writer of Planet Janet, Passport, and Blind Spot [co-written with Juliet Waller Pruzan]), music by Peter Richards (of the local band Dude York). Directed by Bret Fetzer.

CAST
Sann Hall Audrey
Ben Laurance Nelson
Rachel Jackson Taylor/Ensemble
Mike Gilson Phillip/Ensemble
Blair Feehan, Catherine Blake Smith, Ian Johnston The Band
CREW
Book & lyrics Bret Fetzer
Music Peter Richards
Director Bret Fetzer
Stage Manager Michelle Berweiler
Scenic & Props Designer Emily Sershon
Puppet Design Rachel Jackson & Sann Hall

El Ultimo Coconut

Written & performed by Gerald Alejandro Ford

Tue-Wed at 8 pm, July 31st-August 22nd
$10 General | $5 Student/Senior/TPS

Socially awkward Mexican American teenager Coco has no trouble talking to his blog follower “Minions”. Talking to his mother is a bit more difficult, especially as she makes him sit in his special chair.

El Ultimo Coconut is a coming of age tale about a young man navigating many different worlds. The massive multiplayer role playing game World of Warcraft, the Arizona/Mexico border, and the family dinner table all provide canvas for his incredible journey as he carves out a sense of identity and tries to get into MIT.

In this solo show, Gerald Alejandro Ford takes on the both family politics and cyber-nerdom with humor and humanity. Ford embodies all the characters, from the polar opposite twin brothers at the story’s core, to vigilante border patrols, Mexican strippers and the boy’s protective emotional mama.

“Ford shines in his own work. He nails a broad spectrum of comedy, leaping in and out of multiple characters in seconds, managing to make them all sympathetic but skewering all of them for their weaknesses—including the occasionally frightened and self-entitled coconut. El Ultimo Coconut feels a little rough-hewn in spots (it is an extension of a student project, after all) but is consistently entertaining and even shows glimmers of brilliance.” –The Stranger

“Ford’s work is well written and was executed with bold energy. Three seconds in and I wanted to hug him. SO ADORKABLE! …. If you ever tried to go against the grain of your heritage because the deep longing in your heart wouldn’t settle for anything else – you will relate. If you ever renounced your family, your past, your skin, your roots to save your own ass (or face) – you will relate to this show. Good art is like that… and ‘Coco’ is beautiful like that.” –Theater & Its Trouble

“[Ford's] fish-out-of-water antics and double-takes provide many of the laughs, which burble forth throughout, but the howls of laughter come from his mom’s demand, when she has something weighty to say, that Coco sit in his chair. Without going into it, the chair has a way of symbolizing the way moms the world over fight the future in which their children have grown…. The strength of the show lies in how packed it is with candid observations of daily life for a Mexican-American family living in Arizona, and the multitude of borders jammed into a single living room.” –The Sunbreak

Gerald Alejandro Ford Writer and Performer
Catherine Blake Smith Stage Manager and Sound Design
Ian Johnston Set and Light Design
Lonnie Tristan Renteria Video