Is She Dead Yet?

(a white comedy)
Written and directed by Brandon J. Simmons
July 31 – August 22, Thurs-Sat at 8 pm
PWYC Preview: July 30
PWYC Industry Night: August 10
Opening Night: July 31
Free Lecture Series Aug 6, 14, 20

What happens to white privilege when there are no more black people?

Annex Theatre invites you to the town of Mini-Salt-Lake-in-the-North-Woods, where the local cloud factory has produced “quality clouds for over half a century.” This is a world in which the whites are immortal, where Death itself is running for high political office, and where there is always an abundance of pink cake.

“Is She Dead Yet?” updates Euripides’ tragicomedy “Alcestis”—about a young wife who sacrifices herself to save her husband from death—into an absurd exploration of American whiteness. In this adaptation, the young wife turns out to be the last black person on earth, and her sacrifice will render the planet entirely white.

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Written and directed by Brandon J. Simmons, with music by Christen Audio Group, choreography by Noah Duffy and featuring the talents of Page Clark, Hannah Victoria Franklin, Soren Gillaspy, Yesenia Iglesias, Alex Matthews, Dani Suder, Shane Regan, Carol Thompson, Tom Wisely and John Wray.

Don’t miss this topical, hysterical, “white comedy”!

“…a vitally important drama for all of us at this very distressing time in American race relations…It is about the human condition, about justice and equality, about racial arrogance and insensitivity, about love and how it defines everything that matters in our individual lives…it’s the best locally written play that I’ve seen this year. Don’t let it get past you.” – Seattle Actor

Yesenia Iglesias Aretha
Alex Matthews Adam Brad
Hannah Victoria Franklin Auntie/Klea
Carol Thompson Janice/Handmaid
John Wray Old Adam
Dani Suder Reporter/Doctor
Soren Gillaspy Chorus
Paige Clark Chorus
Tom Wiseley Chorus
Shane Regan Chorus
Stage Manager Maureen Webb
Lighting Designer Ryan Dunn
Set Designer Keny Dutton
Original Music and Sound Design Christen Audio Group
Props Designers Keny Dutton and Adam Zopfi-Hulse
Costume Designer Adam Zopfi-Hulse
Choreographer Noah Duffy
Dance Captain Yesenia Iglesias
Technical Director Ian Johnston
Production Managers Katie McKellar and Noelle Wilcox

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.


Job Search – written by Dayana “Dayo” Anderson, directed by Courtney Meaker
Roaring Girls – written by Seayoung Yim, directed by Amy Escobar
Mythologizing me like I do you – written by Catherine Blake Smith, directed by L. Nicol Cabe


The Strongest Flavor – written by L. Nicol Cabe, directed by Catherine Blake Smith
After It Ends – written by Courtney Meaker, directed by Dayana “Dayo” Anderson
Scary Mary and the Nightmares Nine – written by Amy Escobar, directed by Seayoung Yim

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

Scotto Moore Howie Lovecraft
Erin Ison Sonia Greene
Andy Buffelen Gus
Tim Moore Narrator
Set/Props Zane Exactly
Lighting Designer Gwyn Skone
Costume Designer Michael Notestine
Sound Designer Kyle Thompson
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

Sascha Streckel Ashleigh
Elizabeth Grant Tiffany
Rachel Brow Robin
Anastasia Higham Margaret
Kasey Harrison Brandi
Pilar O’Connell Camille
Erin Bednarz Trish
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

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