Interview with Deers Playwright: Marcus Gorman

This week we had a brew and a sit down with Marcus Gorman to find out about our Fall Off-night, “Deers.”

You’re the creator of the enDEERing nostalgic romp “Deers”. What is the play about?
MG: Deers is four episodes of a live sitcom about an animal bar in the Cascades, starting with the show’s “pilot episode” from 1982 and concluding in 1993 with a very special series finale. Over those 11 years/seasons, these animals trade barbs, fall in love, and do their damnedest to keep their favorite drinking hole from going under. It’s funny, it’s wild, it’s got a lot of heart, and it’s more than a little weird.

Who are you? Have you worked with Annex before?
MG: I’m a writer and performer originally from the Bay Area, and I currently work at the Seattle International Film Festival as a film programmer and publications associate editor. I’m a company member at Annex and this is my fifth show here; I wrote Natural (2015) and performed in Gone Wild! (2014), Mad Scientist Cabaret (2015), and ACME (2017). Next year I’m collaborating with Jake Farley and L. Nicol Cabe on my sixth show here, a science fiction adventure called Peggy: The Plumber Who Saved the Galaxy. Away from my Annex family, I was the head writer for The Fantastic Misadventures of Twisty Shakes (2016), done in collaboration with The Libertinis and the performing ensemble, and I have a couple of published novels under my belt.

Which artist(s)–theatrical/visual/a uditory & alive/dead–has/have been the biggest influence on your process?
MG: I owe a great deal to the sitcom greats, including Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, Norman Lear, and James L. Brooks. Brooks in particular is this play’s biggest influence; he co-created The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Rhoda, and my favorite sitcom, Taxi. The team he helped put together for Taxi went on to create Cheers. And, of course, Brooks is responsible for The Simpsons and The Critic. These shows are not only lose-your-breath funny and scripted tighter than a drum; each of them has a big, beating heart at their center and a strong sense of humanity. I like my laughs to dig deeper than a punchline.

What is your biggest challenge as a playwright?
I have a tendency to overwrite, so balancing 12 very distinct characters while keeping myself to a 22-minutes-per-episode runtime was designed to break me out of my habits.

Also, that I had to limit myself to only four episodes. I would happily write a full 22-episode season about these characters.

What has been the most rewarding?
MG: The performing ensemble for Deers nailed it within the first few minutes of our first read-through. With this group and the steady, supportive directorial hands of Tootsie Spangles and Quiqui Dominguez, they’ve gone above and beyond anything on the page ten times over. I also love how they’ve really sunk into these characters who had no predetermined genders, which was very important to me.

Thanks Marcus for your insights to this wild show! To learn more about Marcus’ work, visit his website: To learn more about Deers, click here.

Written by Marcus Gorman
Directed by Tootsie Spangles and Quiqui Dominguez
Oct 24 – Nov 8, 2017
#AnnexDEERS #bearorbeer #livesitcom

Announcing Annex’s 31st Season!

Annex Theatre announces its 31st Season in 2018. Join us as we unveil cultures, environments, and galaxies with a roster of amazing new and familiar artists. Scroll down to learn more and then grab a ticket to the Season Announcement Party on September 9!

 Graphic Design by Corinne Magin


written by Wesley K. Andrews, directed by Catherine Blake Smith
dramaturgy by L. Nicol Cabe
Winter Mainstage: February 9—March 3 Thur-Sat at 7:30 pm

The buddy system required by Row Yr Boat LLC means more than just friendship—to fight terrorists, Rose must get married. Row Yr Boat (Achievement Unlocked) is a dark, surrealist romantic comedy about drones, video games, unreality and magic, set against the backdrop of the War on Terror. Rose T. O’Brien, an eccentric late-20s gamer with massive confidence issues and a deep competitive streak, goes looking for employment in the virtual reality sector at a major industry conference in Vegas. There, Rose is recruited as a sensor for Row Yr Boat LLC, a company with an unprecedented condition for employment: Rose must be married within the year or lose everything. The condition isn’t unreasonable; it’s for her mental health.


written by Kyleigh Archer, directed by Kyleigh Archer & Jen Moon
Winter Off-Night: February 13—February 28 Tues-Wed at 7:30 pm

Due to budget cuts in medicaid, a group therapy is ending prematurely, but these girls have some unfinished business with each other. To celebrate their two years together they host a no-holds-bar ‘Safe Space’ slumber party and it quickly becomes evident the therapy is ending at pivotal moments in each of these girls’ lives. Even for one night they cannot stop the outside forces that shape who they are: opioids, eating disorders, slut shaming, and an inadequate foster system.These girls try to work together to shoulder the burden of living in a world where suddenly, there are no “safe spaces”.


a new musical by Scotto Moore
Spring Mainstage: April 27—May 19 Thur-Sat at 7:30 pm

Silhouette is a science-fiction musical sung by ten voices, exploring the collision of magic and technology on a faraway world. An astronaut crash-lands on a seemingly backwards planet, only to realize the natives are capable of practicing strange forms of magic. But as the astronaut is nursed back to health by the natives, rescuers from her star fleet arrive and threaten to decimate society on this world. Can the astronaut bridge the gap between the hard science & technology of her own people, and the inexplicable magic wielded on the planet? When the astronaut is forcibly taken back to her people, the magic that follows her onto her ship brings chaos and havoc to her tightly controlled home.


written by Sameer Arshad directed by Shahbaz Khan
Spring Off-Night: May 1—May 16 Tues-Wed at 7:30 pm

Islamic supernatural folklore meets American millennial realities in a thought-provoking comedy about dating while Muslim. A sensitive American-Muslim man from a conservative family starts a romance with an inspiring atheist Asian-American woman who was adopted by liberal white parents. The two of them navigate their cultural differences with good cheer and their relationship grows lovingly, peppered with comedic moments of awkwardness. But the invasive supernatural world just cannot handle all this fluffy saccharine goodness. Agendas play out against each other as djinn and angel alike struggle to accept the ever-changing narrative of human sexuality and morality, with everything coming together in a crashing realization that even the Heavens are not immune to the power of the human condition.


written by Holly Arsenault, directed by Erin Kraft
Summer Mainstage: July 27—August 18 Thur-Sat at 7:30 pm

A true story you’ve never heard about the catastrophic cruelty of deportation and the supernatural awesomeness of love. In 1755, a pregnant young woman and her family evade deportation by hiding in the deep woods of a remote island, where they survive for nine years. 250 years later, a pair of lovers, separated by war, attempts to reunite against the backdrop of a second deportation. Part historical drama, part futuristic dystopiana, and part romantic comedy, The Great Inconvenience is a mostly-imagined-but-partly-true love story about enemies and secrets and power and faith and survival.


written by Natalie J. Copeland, directed by Emily Harvey
music by Aaron Joshua Shay

Summer Off-Night: July 31—August 15 Tues-Wed at 7:30 pm

Welcome to Camp Dusty Tread, the friendliest place on Mars! You’re a Mars rover, and you’ve just landed on the red planet! Settle in for a cold night at Camp Dusty Tread, where you’ll learn what it takes to live and work on Mars from your head counselors, Spirit and Opportunity. These interplanetary geologists will warm you with tall tales, camp songs, and cautionary tips for the novice Mars explorer. Rovers and landers of all ages and scientific payloads are welcome to this interactive orientation!


written by Madison Jade Jones, directed by Brandon J. Simmons
Fall Mainstage: October 26—November 17 Thur-Sat at 7:30 pm

Anansi and the Halfling is a mystical journey of discovered identity, ancient truth, and incredible fun told through the lens of a young black woman desperate to find herself.  African storytelling has many forms. Ancient wisdoms were passed down through song, dance and (often comical) metaphorical re-tellings. Anansi and the Halfling strives to bring those storytelling mediums to light in a modern way through the experiences of a young, black millennial. As the story snakes through a college classroom, a mystical story realm, and the home of the gods themselves, puppetry, drumming, and movement are as crucial to the storytelling as the words themselves are. Our heroine strives to learn that in order to know where you’re going, you have to know where you came from. . . even when the past is painful.


written by Marcus Gorman and Jacob Farley, directed by L. Nicol Cabe
Fall Off-Night: October 30—November 14 Tues-Wed at 7:30 pm

A science-fiction comedy adventure about a plumber, an AWOL pilot, and a galaxy in crisis. The year is 3732. Peggy—a Plumbing Specialist First Class at the prestigious Universe University—unexpectedly finds herself trapped in a galactic conflict between worlds. As she and an AWOL female military pilot named Rogen bounce across the far reaches and strange planets of the galaxy looking to stay alive, they become key in the means to achieve peace and save the day.



April 28 through May 20, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 7:30pm.
Preview on Thursday, April 27, and Industry night on Monday, May 8 at 7:30pm.
$20 general/$12 TPS, senior, military/$5 students. All Thursdays Pay-What-You-Can

Chaos reigns in this ensemble satire about the trappings of technology, brand-allegiance, and science-gone-amok! Jules (Nabilah Ahmed, Waning), an MIT dropout with a chip on her shoulder, has just arrived for her first day of a lucrative internship at ACME: world-famous manufacturer of all things necessary. With every new face she meets, Jules falls deeper into the machinations of ACME and its peculiar past. Undeterred, Jules charges headfirst into the weird unknown. The question is: will she survive long enough to see day two?

Written by Andrew Shanks – 2017 Winner, Ghost Light Theatricals Battle of the Bards – ACME is a takedown of corporate innovation at its worst and weirdest. Shanks stretches theatrical limits just as the researchers inside the company’s walls stretch the boundaries of reality.

Directed by Mary Hubert, who led the ensemble that devised Girl for Annex, ACME is at once a broad spectacle and a dark mystery, touring unexpected locales as Jules quests for answers and dodges dangerous upgrades.

“Andrew has constructed a brilliant, sharply witty satire of corporate life that is more timely than ever with the changes that have been wrought upon Seattle in recent years. Plus, the amount of theatre magic, science, laugh-out-loud moments, and impossible circumstances make this one hell of a fun play to helm! I feel so incredibly lucky to work with such a dynamite ensemble and production team on ACME. This show presents a host of unique challenges – changing locations more than 10 times and characters that transcend the plane of realism entirely – and this team has risen to the challenge admirably.” – Mary Hubert, Director

  • Nabilah Ahmed as Jules
  • Aimee Filippi as Penny/iOS
  • Marcus Gorman as Coyote/Goss/Marvin
  • Madison Jade Jones as Remy
  • Jordi Montes as Jackie
  • Mandy Nichols as Lexi
  • Gianni Truzzi as Dee
  • Lyam White as Avery
  • Emma Wilkinson as Brenda/Dot/Bird
  • Nathan Wornian as Tech-Bro
  • Playwright – Andrew Shanks
  • Director – Mary Hubert
  • Scenic Designer – Jenna Ryan
  • Costume Designer – Kelly Caffey
  • Asst. Costume Designer – Sarah Hubert
  • Lighting Designer – Elizabeth Steele
  • Sound Designer – Erin Bednarz
  • Props Designer – Sophie Schwartz
  • Asst. Props Designer – Nick Kruger
  • Projections Designer – Darrin Schultz
  • Dramaturg – Erin Bednarz
  • Stage Manager – Jessi Marlow

Mad Scientist Cabaret

Created & directed by Evelyn DeHais
Friday 10/30 @11pm (Opening Night)
Saturday 10/31 @11pm (Halloween)
Saturday 11/7 @11pm
Monday 11/9 @7:30pm (Industry Night #1 – PWYC)
Tuesday 11/10 @7:30pm (Industry Night #2 – PWYC)
Friday 11/13 @11pm (Closing Night)

Seven nightmarish creatures created by a wayward scientist embark on a madcap adventure into the weird and wonderful world of Mad Science! Bound by their own bizarreness, they toil through titillating torments, physical feats, and extended experiments on each other as they seek to discover the truth to their own monstrosity… and humanity.

Through a special blend of comic mayhem and visual spectacle they take the audience on a jam-packed journey into insanity that walks the line of horror and humor. Clowning, dance, puppetry, and more come together in this playfully audacious piece.

“[D]irector DeHais and the cast have created a fully formed piece of theater that’s as thoughtful as it is funny. Initially, it seems like aggressive mischief is all these characters have to offer, but some segments smuggle in an unexpected dose of poignancy, like Alyza Delpan-Monley’s longing ballet routine, accompanied by transparent heart, lungs and arms puppets — just some of the meticulously designed props from Exactly…. The show approaches the anarchic comic genius of Monty Python.” – Seattle Times

Created by the Ensemble:
Kirsten Deane
Alyza Delpan-Monley
Zane Exactly
Marcus Gorman
Jackie Miedema
Jordan Moeller
Jessica Stepka


Written by Marcus Gorman
Directed by Jen Moon

Feb 3 – Feb 18
Tues & Wed at 8pm
$10 gen | $5 stu

Bookstore clerks, bloggers, baristas, bartenders, and businessmen.
Six Seattleites unravel messy, urban lives of retail hell, online erotica, and crises of sexual identity in this black comedy set in a world of grays.

Jaryl Draper
Dustyn Moir
Pilar O’Connell
Allie Pratt
Shane Regan
Sam Turner

“It’s often very funny. At times, the dialogue is so sharp it feels like what might happen if David Mamet concerned himself with such trivialities…. As Chloe, Pilar O’Connell has most of the best lines, and the comedic timing to get some of the best laughs of the play…. Shane Regan, who plays Arthur (or Art, but not Artie), also deserves praise for his performance. Like O’Connell, I enjoyed his comedic timing, but I also thought he did a great job playing a character that has to be a different person for his boyfriend, his girlfriend, and his coworker…. I think Marcus Gorman nicely captured a time when every personal dilemma feels like melodrama to its participants…. there are some great moments with some great performances and some great laughs to be found in here.” – The Journal of Preciptation