Monday, December 14, 2009

SCT Review Crew takes on "Peter Pan"

Another excellent review of "Peter Pan," this one from Meg D. and family of the SCT Review Crew.

The Holidays are upon us and what better a gift than a night at The Seattle Children's Theatre! This classic story is brought to life with an amazing and talented cast.

Linda Hartzell celebrates her 25th year as Artistic Director of Seattle Children's Theatre. She is truly the best gift ever to the Seattle Children's Theatre and her direction of this show is one of her best yet!

Newcomer Eric Ankrim is wonderful as Peter Pan. His energy is contagious and he carries the show like a pro. David Pichette as Captain Hook is deliciously evil and very funny. I think the adults had an even better time as Hook quotes Shakespeare and demands his gang to play various tunes of music for him. The Pirates were my favorite characters. Auston James as Smee is perfect, funny and always fun to see on stage. The gang of pirates don't let the audience down a moment with their songs and fight scenes.

David Pichette as Capt. Hook with his gang of pirates (clockwise from left) Auston James, Hugh Hastings,
Maggie Stenson, Dane Stokinger, Peter Crook and Geoffrey Alm. Photo by Chris Bennion.

My two boys though LOVED Nana played by Jadd Davis and the Crocodile played by Eric Brotherson. The animal costumes designed by Scott R. Gray make these two fine actors able to crawl, slither and climb easily about the stage.

The set is breathtaking and cheers go to Carey Wong for all the details done in the hildren's nursery. Music Direction by Mark Rabe is wonderful and you can even catch two of the pirates as back-up drummers in the Ugg-a-Wugg song.

The age recommendation for this show is 6+/Grades 1+.. We had little ones all around us and I was a bit concerned at the start, but the wonderful Cry/Family Room is available in case a quick exit is needed!

Get your tickets now and treat your family to a one of a kind live theatre experience!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Activity: Have You Another Voice?

Photo by Chris Bennion.

In Peter Pan, Peter likes to fool Captain Hook by disguising his voice. This activity from our Drama School's curriculum invites participants to explore using different voices, starting with a vocal warm-up.

Have you another voice?

Have players sit in a circle. Discuss ways that they could change their voice so that no one would know it was them. Some examples include using an accent, or speaking with a deep, high, or raspy voice.

As a group, practice saying the line from Peter Pan, “Have you another voice?” using different voices.

Once players are comfortable with using their voices in a variety of ways, choose one player to be Captain Hook. Captain Hook will close his or her eyes.

Choose one student to be Peter Pan and disguise his voice saying the sentence: “Have you another voice?"

All players should put on their most innocent looking faces – like it could have been any of them.

Have all players say to Captain Hook: “Open your eyes!” Captain Hook uses his power of observation and power of listening to determine who said the line “Have you another voice?” Captain Hook has three tries to figure out who played Peter Pan.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

"Twilight" Fans - Win tickets to "Peter Pan"!

Every once in a while, a production company will contact us about using SCT posters in a movie or television show. Fans of Grey's Anatomy may have noticed that SCT posters are all over the walls of Seattle Grace, for example.

It so happens that we got one such call last spring from the production company working on the new movie in the Twilight saga, New Moon, and SCT is actually represented in the film. There is a poster on the wall in Bella's room, visible several times, from a Seattle Children's Theatre production.

If you see the poster or think you know what it is, mail the name of the play to by 5pm Monday, November 23rd, and you'll be entered into a drawing for two ticket's to SCT's musical Peter Pan!

One entry per email address. Winner will be selected randomly from among all correct entries.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

SCT's Staff Contest: Mash-Up the Croc!

A few months back, while in a mild fever delirium, SCT Head of Crafts Scott R. Gray had a great idea - what if we took some pictures of the incredible Crocodile costume he was working on for Peter Pan, and mashed-up the Croc's head with different photos, like some kind of contest. He emailed off the idea and slipped back into semi-coma.

Then, a donor gave us a couple of airline vouchers that had to be used by the end of the year, and Scott's contest idea floated up and reared its Croccy head. And, so SCT staff and artists were given one week to mash-up one of two pics of Croc with the image of their choice.

The winner was selected through a rigorous evaluation process by our judges, the kids from C.A.S.T (or Creative Arts for Young Thespians). And the winner is...

Submitted by Individual Giving Manager Brooke O'Neal (who, it happens, doesn't fly and is terrified of flying, but who promised, if she won, to fly).

The rest of the very fine contest entries:

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Every Mouse is different! or, What Mom said.

This counts as the inside scoop, because the only way anyone in the audience would ever know this to be the case is if they watched this show over and over and very closely.

You see, every time we perform If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, it's a little different.

Take a look at the scene below, in which MJ Sieber, playing Boy, is imitating his mother right after she's done her nails. It's one of the funnier moments of the play, and it is never the same twice, because MJ has been given the green light to ad lib the line.

Photo by Chris Bennion.

So, every day, when we get the show reports, there's a little box that says "What Mom said today..."

Some of our favorites so far:

Wha, Wha, Wha…(Charlie brown’steacher)

I can’t go outside until my nails are dry because I might get bugs on them.

I’m making smoothies for everyone.

Don’t forget to eat your brussel sprouts.

Did I ever tell you about my four episode arc on Falcon Crest?

It’s french toast day. Everyone want french toast?

Now be quiet. It’s time for me to watch my stories.

I wrote your name in all your underwear in case you lose it.

But, this has got to be our top, top favorite:

Did anyone see Antiques Road Show last night?? I’ve got a neti pot…

Come and see the show, and then stop back here tell us what Mom said!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

SCT Review Crew: If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

If You Give A Mouse A Cookie
by SCT Review Crew members Meg D. (mom), Seth D. (age 10), and Dale D. (age 8)

Seattle Children's Theatre has done it again with the amazing adaptation by Jody Davidson of the beloved story If You Give A Mouse A Cookie! My two sons and I have never laughed so hard and were talking about it for hours afterwards.

Take two amazingly gifted performers; MJ Sieber as the boy, who's animated narration of the story and comedic timing are perfect. MJ is so believable as the boy you forget that he is an adult and you truly believe the predicament he is in. And Don Darryl Rivera, as the mouse, who by far is the funniest, set-climbing, mess-making mouse ever to grace the stage. My younger son loves his work, and thought this was by far his best role yet at SCT.

MJ Sieber and Don Darryl Rivera. Photo by Chris Bennion.

Director Rita Giomi staged this non-stop adventure, with classic bits of comedy and great moments where you laughed so hard you didn't think it could be any funnier. But it does, and by the end of the show you have lived the story that I know many parents have read to their kids at least a hundred times.

Take a great set designed by Jennifer Zeyl that is larger than life and filled with all sorts of fun objects for the mouse to get tangled up in. The larger than life bag of chips, cotton balls, cookies and hose from the kitchen sink are fantastic additions. Sound Cues provided by Chris R. Walker added just the perfect touch to certain scenes in the play. My older son loved the 'yodeling' sound bit when the mouse takes upon himself to climb up the refrigerator to hang his picture. Heidi Ganser's fun costumes fit the characters to a T.

This play is just what my family needed to see. A chance to escape our busy lives and to spend an evening laughing and enjoying the audience members experience around us. I hope that every parent, teacher or Seattle Children's Theatre Patron will go see this little show that is as delicious as a cookie and glass of milk will ever be!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Bring us your bored, your squirmy, your young masses yearning to be engaged...

From this weekend's Rant & Rave in the Seattle Times:

Rant - For the mother who brought her three children under the ages of 7 to "Wicked." As two mothers who sat in front of you who rarely get out to enjoy a show, we, and especially your children, were tortured by your selfishness. The kids kicked the backs of our chairs; the youngest, only 3 or 4, complained during the whole show; and the other children kept asking, "Where's Dorothy?" "Where are the little people?" and "When is this going to end?" To all parents: Some shows are NOT meant for children, and if you take them anyway, please choose a matinee. Better yet, take them to the Children's Theatre.

We couldn't agree more - bring them to us, and we'll keep not only your children, but also you, entertained and engaged.

And should your child (or possible you) get too fussy, we have a quiet room in the back of each theatre with a great view of the stage and sound piped in.

Really, what could be more perfect?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

SCT Review Crew: Mysterious Gifts

Another great review of "Mysterious Gifts: Theatre of Iran", this time from the newest members of the SCT Review Crew, Anita S. and Akaash S.

The show begins with the entrance of the Director, Performer- the audience does not realize yet that they are in for an unique experience. He starts off quite casually into numerous song and dance from all regions of Iran. One can tell that the audience is captivated by the short “mini-dances” which are performed. But wait, the entire tone of the performance shifts in one fell swoop.

Photo by Chris Bennion

He is now in a dark room of some sort and appears to be tortured by something or someone- and hence begins a wonderful display of physicality and puppetry. Is this a battle with one self? Is this a bad dream? Is this a philosophical struggle between good and evil? What is the meaning of this particular “story”? This is the wonder of what we, the audience, are experiencing: a story being told by movement, expression, and pure physical presence. Not to mention the mysterious music in the background. The point being; not one word has been spoken.

Photo by Chris Bennion

After intermission, the stage comes alive in a potter’s environment. Or is it the laboratory of a mad scientist? This story is simply mesmerizing, mysterious, spiritual and curious. One is left wanting more- no wait, it cannot be over…

If you'd like to become part of the SCT Review Crew and share your reviews of SCT productions, contact Marketing & PR Manager Jim Jewell at

Monday, October 5, 2009

Guest Reviewer: Mysterious Gifts: Theatre of Iran

From time to time, we invite members of our community to see a show and tell us, and you, what they think. Our first guest reviewer is Sarah Pedro, who was sent to us by a local Artistic Director. Sarah saw a performance this weekend, and here is what she had to say.

Finding words to describe the marvel of Mysterious Gifts seems impossible and obsolete in the same way Yaser Khaseb has proven the same of describing the true beauty of life and the connections between all humanity. Khaseb strips away the identities of language that separate us from each other, and brings our similarities into full, undeniable view. Using movement, color, music and expression, Yaser and his cast portray the constant toil and philosophical questions every human battles with, regardless of culture or beliefs.

Hamid Etemedi Todeshki and Yaser Khaseb. Photo by Chris Bennion.

Painting a timeline of the human mind's spiritual struggle, we are first born a compacted being, that must use its entire mind, spirit, and energy to simply survive, and learn to be. The task to unfold, to stand, to walk, to see, soon transform to the quest to understand, to create, to transcend. The character in the battle with the self transcends the barriers between the physical and philosophical, and transforms them into one. We see our mental and spiritual conflicts physically manifest on stage through body language and movement, and this embodies the philosophical struggle better than words ever have. The constant battle between fear and failure, and determination and success that every human experiences over and over again in the wonderment of how and why to live.

Yaser Khaseb in "Mysterious Gift." Photo by Chris Bennion.

Immediately after the stage went black, I had an overwhelming need to see it all over again. I had never before felt so understood, and understanding at the same time.

The most amazing part of this understanding was that I did not know this person, I did not grow up as he had, and I did not even speak his language, yet we understood each other. It is truly an experience that has changed me for the better, and forever.

Wow - thank you, Sarah. If you are interested in sharing your thoughts about SCT productions, you can join the SCT Review Crew. Just drop a line to Marketing & PR Manager Jim Jewell for more information.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Oh, the titles we have heard

Every year, the Ticket Office shares some of their favorite mangled season titles they hear from patrons.

Some are pretty natural, especially given our location. So, The Brementown Musicians becomes quite naturally The Bremerton Musicians (which actually might make an interesting regional piece).

In the Northern Lands: Nordic Myths slides easily to Northern Lights and Getting Near to Baby produces Getting Ready for Baby (a stage in life most our patrons are familiar with).

But, by far the best yet have been for If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. They include:
Mouse as a Cookie
The Moose... something
The Mouse and the Cookie
Mouse Cookie

And our hands-down, overall, all-time favorite: If You Take a Party Cat to School

Priceless, folks - keep 'em coming!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Take a tour of SCT!

A few days ago, a (potential) new patron called our Ticket Office to inquire about tickets. She then asked if she could schedule a tour to see the theatre before her show to make sure we weren’t “some flea-bag outfit.”

Photo by Sternstein Photography.

I’m sure she meant no harm, and it gave the Ticket Office staff a good laugh. Because, in fact, we are very lucky to work in this beautiful building.

And, as it happens, the answer to her question about tours was – yes! We do in fact offer guided tours of the building, taking guests through our two theatres, technical pavilion and administrative offices. We accept groups anywhere from a single person to 40 at a time.

Tours have to be worked around our production schedule. After all, we don’t want folks walking through our dressing room area while actors are doing quick changes. But, other than that, we’re flexible and will do what we can to fit accommodate you.

We have one scheduled tour you can join as well. On Saturday October 17th, as part of Theatre Puget Sound’s Live Theatre Week Family Day, we’ll be offering one huge guided tour. We’ll be meeting in the SCT lobby starting at noon, and the tour will go from 12:15 to 1:00. We’ll be able to see the set for If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, and maybe even some set construction for Peter Pan, in addition to the usual tour stops.

If you’d like to RSVP for the Family Day tour, or to schedule a tour for your group, contact SCT Marketing & PR Manager Jim Jewell.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

"Peter Pan" Set Model by Carey Wong

One of the many privileges of life at SCT is having the opportunity to work with artists like scenic designer Carey Wong. Not only is he an incredibly talented designer, but he's also a genuinely kind human being.

Carey designed the sets for SCT's upcoming production of Peter Pan, and once again they are both beautiful and functionally elegant.

Additional reading: International Examiner profile of Carey when he was designing The Neverending Story at SCT.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Maddow's passionate plea for arts education

From SCT's Literary Manager, by way of a colleague from the Kennedy Center, by way of the Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, some really great quotes from AirAmerica and MSNBC's Rachel Maddow on arts and education:

Sometimes we choose to serve our country in uniform, in war, Sometimes in elected office. And those are the ways of serving our country that I think we are trained to easily call heroic. It's also a service to your country, I think, to teach poetry in the prisons, to be an incredibly dedicated student of dance, to fight for funding music and arts education in the schools.

A country without an expectation of minimal artistic literacy, without a basic structure by which the artists among us can be awakened and given the choice of following their talents and a way to get to be great at what they do, is a country that is not actually as a great as it could be. And a country without the capacity to nurture artistic greatness is not being a great country. It is a service to our country, and sometimes it is heroic service to our country, to fight for the United States of America to have the capacity to nurture artistic greatness.

Not just in wartime but especially in wartime, and not just in hard economic times but especially in hard economic times, the arts get dismissed as 'sissy.' Dance gets dismissed as craft, creativity gets dismissed as inessential, to the detriment of our country. And so when we fight for dance, when we buy art that's made by living American artists, when we say that even when you cut education to the bone, you do not cut arts and music education, because arts and music education IS bone, it is structural, it is essential; you are, in [Jacob's Pillow founder] Ted Shawn's words, you are preserving the way of life that we are supposedly fighting for and it's worth being proud of.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Last Chance!

Join us for a fantastic conclusion to SCT's Summer Season 2009! This weekend we have our final Summer Season production, featuring students performing in Once On This Island, Jr. and Romeo and Juliet.

Good luck to all of our hard working cast!

Productions will take place Charlotte Martin Theatre @ 7pm, August 6-8.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Teentix Review of RENT: School Edition

The reviews for SCT Drama School's production of RENT: School Edition keep rolling in!

Check out the TeenTix's review here!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Review of RENT: School Edition

This weekend, SCT's Drama School presented the musical "RENT: School Edition", and they rocked the house. Maybe you saw them last week on KING 5 Morning News or Evening Magazine, or maybe you even made it in to see the show, but for the rest of you, SCT Teen Reviewer Kathryn L. tells you what you missed:

It was a hot summer day, and I was dying in the heat. We had just come back from a trip in the South were it was just about as hot, they only difference there was air conditioning. We had been eating out and going to movies just for the privilege of spending maybe an hour to two hours in a blessed building that had air con. Then, my mom shows me the email; I get to review RENT: School Edition at Seattle Childrens Theatre. More air conditioning! I was estatic.

However, when I got there, and saw quite a few people from my school's drama program had come to watch, it became clear to me that this wasn’t just an air conditioning paradise, this was an air conditioning paradise with entertainment! And despite the young age of the actors, the play definitely had a professional feel.

About the acting, Zane Cimino made a very effective drag queen who probably was the favorite character of the audience considering how loud they clapped each time Angel came on. Jon Llarenas? His solo at the memorial most definitely brought tears to the audience’s eyes. Matt Lang did a good job at being the voice from the outside in as well as Mark, and Camden Morris as Roger along with Kelsey Schergen as Mimi made a very sweet picture and a lot of extra dynamic. Maddie Polyak (Joanne) and Natalee Merrill-Boyet (Maureen) did a good job at playing a falling-apart couple who still are trying to make it work (on one part at least). Then, Frazier Willman did an amazing portrayal of a man outcast from his friends because he became uppity. As for the rest of the cast, they were just as suburb and amazing as the eight lead roles, especially the Season of Love soloists - great job. I loved the Christmas Bells Are Ringing song, and the answering machine bits.

All in all, exquisite acting and phenomenal singing made The Seattle Children’s Theatre version of the Broadway Musical turned movie, RENT all the more enjoyable.

Friday, July 31, 2009

RENT: School Edition showing tonight!

Everyone around here is getting excited for a SCT Summer Season student production of RENT: School Edition showing this weekend here at the Charlotte Martin Theatre. And we're not the only ones looking forward to the show--we've had some great film segments on King 5 morning news and Evening Magazine, which we'll post online as soon as we can.

To all of our outstanding cast--good luck!

RENT: School Edition is playing Friday-Sunday @ 7, plus a matinee at 2pm on Saturday--be there! It's going to be a great show.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Arts Education

Today Michelle Obama put in a good word about the importance of arts for America’s youth. Her words?

"An educational foundation is only part of the equation," the first lady said. "In order for creativity to flourish and imagination to take hold, we also need to expose our children to the arts from a very young age." (San Francisco Chronicle - check out the full article here!)

She thinks that a good education goes hand-in-hand with a solid exposure to things like dramatic arts, which nurture creativity and imagination. Then again, there are those who criticize our educational system for focusing too much on the arts already, observing the recent accomplishments of countries like China or India, where engineering and hard sciences hold greater value. What do you think?

Friday, July 10, 2009

Spotlight from the Woodinville Weekly!

We just received our first bit of media attention for Summer Season today!

Deborah Stone, of the Woodinville Weekly, wrote a great article about three of the students performing in our upcoming productions.

She interviewed Lindsey Foster from our Midsummer Night’s Macbeth cast, Sophia Konat from Once on this Island, Jr., and Shelby Windom, who will soon begin rehearsing for Romeo and Juliet. We’re happy to see members of our student casts being recognized for all their hard work!

Check it out her article here!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Here's Kiki!

Here's another look at one of SCT's outstanding Summer Season education interns! Here's what Kiki Abba has to say:

1. What led to your decision to intern with SCT?
This is probably the best program in the country for someone that wants to be a Teaching Artist, so the decision was easy!

2. Where are you from, and what did you study before coming here?
I’m from Dubuque Iowa, and I went to the University of Iowa and double majored in Theatre Arts and Communication Studies.

3. Why is theatre important to you personally?
Theatre is a great lens for viewing the world. It’s all about storytelling and there is something so human and universal about it. Once you get “the magic,” you’re hooked for life.

4. What do you feel you bring to SCT’s Summer Season program?
I think I bring a bit of “after college” experience and a lot of facial expressions.

5. What’s your most memorable experience so far as an intern here?
I did a solo mime skit today about eating ice cream. It was EPIC. The ice cream fell in the grass and I ate it anyway. There was a lot of picking grass out of my mouth. Yum.

6. What do you feel are the biggest challenges confronting you as an intern?
The biggest challenge is not getting completely jealous that I’m not in RENT: School Edition. No day but today.

7. What part of this internship are you looking forward to the most?
I’m excited to be working on Alice in Wonderland and learning how to tape a set and track props. It’ll be fun to be on the other side of the tech table.

8. What is your specific job as an intern this summer – specifically,
what shows or age groups will you be working with the closest?
I’ll be doing Alice, a lot of Acting classes with high schoolers and a few toddler Creative Drama classes. I like to mix it up and keep ‘em guessing.

9. What do you feel is the most valuable thing you’ve learned so far as an intern here?
That a surprising number of people have a peanut allergy and I’m afraid to ever eat a Reeses again. I don’t want to kill someone.

10. What are your plans for the future?
I’m going to be the Audience Development Associate at Seattle Rep and I hope to continue working wit6h SCT in any way I can!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

A few minutes with... Sylvia B.

As the 2008-09 Mainstage Season was winding down, we had the good fortune to get a surprise intern in Stage Management. Sylvia B. was a student at The Bush School and was selected to do a senior project and she chose us!

But, we should just let her tell you in her own words.

Thanks, Sylvia, for all the hard work - we all feel incredibly lucky to have had you around for the short time we did. Good luck in all your future endeavors.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Behind the scenes at one of our Drama School classes

I recently got the chance to sit in on one of our Drama School’s acting classes in Charlotte Martin Theatre. The first thing I noticed was how the kids seemed really engaged and excited to be there—in no small part due to the larger-than-life teaching of Keni, one of SCT’s Teaching Artists.

They started off with a few drama games. The exercises were really dynamic and fast-paced—I tried one out, and I was struck by the great energy level and focus which the students brought to the stage.

Eventually, the students began working on some simple scenes. After dividing into pairs, they were given an open-ended statement and a response—everything else was left up to them. Since the meaning and implications of the sentences were communicated through body language and context, there were some surprisingly different interpretations of the same phrase.

I tried my hand at this as well—I definitely did better than I did in the drama games, but I think my partner and I accidentally started a trend when we resolved practically every scene we acted out by having one of us storm off the stage. I guess I’ll leave dramatic interpretation up to the pros!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Meet Julie!

We wanted to give you a glimpse of what goes on here at SCT, so you could get to know some of the work that happens here behind the scenes. The interns who help make the Summer Season's student productions possible are a vital part of our community, so we'll be posting some of their responses to a questionnaire we handed out, in the hopes that you can get to know them a little better.

Here's a little spotlight on
Julie Baldwin, one of the outstanding education interns here at SCT!

1. What led to your decision to intern with SCT?
I had visited the Seattle area in January and their support
of the arts really impressed me. As a theatre for youth major,
I of course started to look into the SCT and discovered how
holistic their program seemed to be and how much I agreed
with their mission statement. When I returned to Iowa and
started looking for internship opportunities, SCT was on
the top of my list. I seemed to keep running into it
--mentioned in books on my report about the Federal Theatre
Project, raved about by my professors...I liked that the
internship would allow me to shadow so many different
professionals instead of just teaching like mad for three
months like most children's theatre internships. And after
interviewing with Ellie and Karen, I knew that it would be
a wonderful fit for me.

2. Where are you from, and what did you study before coming here?
I am from Cedar Falls, Iowa and I currently am finishing
my studies in Theatre for Youth and Spanish.

3. Why is theatre important to you personally?
I see theatre as not only a great tool for social change
and vehicle for social commentary, but one of the most
intimate was to connect human beings to one another.
It forces people to become physically and emotionally
close in a very short amount of time. I believe that
maintaining this connection may be the only thing that
keeps us from becoming sucked into the techno-era that
distances us from geniune human interaction.

4. What do you feel you bring to SCT’s Summer Season program?
I bring my passion and intensity to serve the community
through theatre. I believe that sometimes all that
children need is encouragement and a chance to prove
themselves. Through the summer season, they get the
chance to do so and I'll be on the side lines cheering
them on as hard as I can.

5. What’s your most memorable experience so far as an intern here?
Movement with Eric Johnson is pretty memorable for me--
his style of teaching and encouragement is so different
from anything I have seen and I believe it will really
influence my teaching style in the future.

6. What do you feel are the biggest challenges confronting you as an intern?
My goal for the summer: to work on observing and
understanding and child's behavior--what lies beneath
the words or actions they employ or what they are
saying nonverbally. Also, to try to assess the stage
of each child so that I can interact with each of them
as they need.

7. What part of this internship are you looking forward to the most?
Working with such a variety of age groups and observing the differences.

8. What is your specific job as an intern this summer – specifically,
what shows or age groups will you be working with the closest?
I am doing a lot of work with 4th through 6th graders,
both through Wayside Stories and acting and musical theatre
classes. I will be working also with 3-7 year olds through
Splash and story drama and have a few weeks of 7th-12th graders.

9. What do you feel is the most valuable thing you’ve learned so far as an intern here?
The power of influence in 7th-9th graders. In other words,
how one person's behavior can drastically influence the
behavior of others in the class.

10. What are your plans for the future?
To teach, to act, to have a hand in making theatre happen.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Getting into Character

One of our Drama School Classes decided to dress up and take it to the streets--
Zombie style! After a thorough costumes & makeup session, the students went outside
to show off the fruits of their efforts.

Some of the kids took to following unsuspecting pedestrians, walking behind them
and begging for water and band-aids.

Some of them really took their newfound roles to heart! One even played dead for
a solid 15 minutes in the middle of the sidewalk, getting more than a few odd glances.

It was great to see so many kids getting into their character and learning what it's like
to fully engage in a dramatic role!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Meet the Interns!

We wanted to give you a glimpse of what goes on here at SCT, so you could get to know some of the work that happens here behind the scenes. The interns who help make the Summer Season's student productions possible are a vital part of our community, so we'll be posting some of their responses to a questionnaire we handed out, in the hopes that you can get to know them a little better.

Here's a little spotlight on
Julia Welch, one of the outstanding education interns here at SCT!

1. What led to your decision to intern with SCT?
My interest in theatre is very wide, ranging from acting to producing, directing
to designing, and from teching to teaching. SCT has an amazing internship program
that allows me to explore many areas of theatre in an environment that combines
them with my interest in education. The program was recommended to me by
previous summer interns as well as several membersof my college faculty. These recommendations, along with my personal interests, lead me towards SCT.

2. Where are you from, and what did you study before coming here?
I grew up in California (just south of San Francisco) and upon
entering college moved north to Tacoma, Washington where I attended the
University of Puget Sound. I dabbled in several disciplines including
chemistry and english before majoring in theatre arts. A liberal arts
college, the University of Puget Sound encourages students to develop
into well rounded individuals and my education was just that, within
the context of both my overall experience at the university and my chosen
major. I was required to participate in all areas of theatre and found
my passion to be in technical theatre, stage combat, and improvisational

3. Why is theatre important to you personally?
I think that theatre is a unique medium as it requires the audience to engage
in a different way from many other art forms. The audience is an active
participant in the performance and the immediacy of the actions on stage and
the reactions off stage create some real magic. Theatre speaks to me in a way
that nothing else does and I find it unbelievably vibrant, persuasive, engaging,
academic, and passionate. Making theatre and sharing in that creation is a
powerful experience and one that I think everyone should take part in.

4. What do you feel you bring to SCT’s Summer Season program?
This summer I have been assigned to work on Romeo and Juliet as part of
SCT’s Summer Season. At the very least I will bring my enthusiasm and energy
to the rehearsal hall and hopefully a bit of knowledge and experience too. I
have a deep love for Shakespeare and hope the actors will enjoy working with
that beautiful language. Also, I am thrilled to be working on a show that
involves stage combat (as I am an actor/combatant recognized by the
Society of American Fight Directors) and I hope to share those skills in a safe
environment. Finally, I feel that I bring an organized mind to the project.

5. What’s your most memorable experience so far as an intern here?
This is a two part answer for me. Let me begin my saying that before arriving
at SCT I knew nothing about creative drama. It wasn’t even a term I had heard
before. On the first day of intern training two of the drama school staff led
the new interns through a creative drama class and I was amazed. I was
captivated by the story and the exercises and activities. The next week I got
to watch my first creative drama class and once more I was amazed by the kids
in the class and how much they cared about and became invested in the story.
It was unforgettable.

6. What do you feel are the biggest challenges confronting you as an intern?
Since it’s still early in the summer, my biggest challenge is simply my lack of
experience. This is the first week I am working with the kids and while it’s
thrilling, there are also a lot of unknowns. There are plenty of questions that
I am learning the answers to as I go. I expect that each week will get a little
easier and I will get a little more confident.

7. What part of this internship are you looking forward to the most?
While I love all the classes I am working on and am really enjoying the company
of the education staff and other interns, I am most excited to work on a stage
combat class later in this semester. Watching a student go from being scared
to pick up a sword to performing choreographed fights is incredible. I love to
watch their self confidence grow along with their skills. To me, stage combat
is more challenging than a lot of other theatrical disciplines since it requires
such high stakes for the characters involved and that asks a lot of the actors.
Success in stage combat is empowering. It is inspiring to see students take
risks and push themselves in a safe and controlled environment.

8. What is your specific job as an intern this summer – specifically,
what shows or age groups will you be working with the closest?
I am working on the Summer Season production of Romeo and Juliet which is from
grades 7 to 12. Other than that, my time is pretty well split up between the
different age groups. I seem to be assisting on all kinds of different classes
as well as doing some administrative work. It is a very balanced schedule that
allows me to do a little bit of everything.

9. What do you feel is the most valuable thing you’ve learned so far as an intern here?
I am sure that I will learn a ton more over the course of the summer, but in these
last couple weeks I feel that the most valuable thing I’ve learned is to just try.
Even if you are nervous or uncomfortable or even scared, there is so much to be
accomplished by putting yourself out there and trying. One of the great things
about SCT is that there are many other intern and staff members who are your
support system. Just try and even if you fail there will be people to help you.

10. What are your plans for the future?
It’s hard to say at the moment what I’ll be doing at the end of this summer.
I hope to continue working in theatre in some capacity, whether that means
I’ll get a job somewhere or another internship or even volunteering. Eventually
I’d love to go to graduate school for scenic design, but that’s still a couple
years off at least. Other goals I have are to work as an improv teaching artist
and to become a certified teacher through the Society of American Fight Directors.
For now I will enjoy every minute of this internship and hope that any future
experience is even half as great as this one is turning out to be.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Goodbye, Natasha!

Today we say goodbye to our school-year Education intern, Natasha Ransom. We've enjoyed her relentlessly positive energy and are sad to see her go.

Yesterday, she brought in this picture to share.

This is, of course, the patio outside SCT, and the cute little girl on the left is Natasha. The photo was taken in 1994, and that is what makes the picture so special. Natasha's relationship with SCT is going on 15 years. And while that is in fact special, it is by no means unique.

We hear stories like this all the time. Don Darryl Rivera, who played the lead in I Was a Rat!, shared a story recently about his first memory of an SCT play from the 1993-94 season, which featured actors with whom he now shares the stage.

People develop long-lasting relationships with this theatre, whether they be audience or artists, volunteers or staff. And we couldn't be more proud of that fact.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Chatting with the "RENT" cast

Last night, our Summer Season cast of RENT: School Edition had the opportunity to see the professional tour of RENT, including Broadway originals Anthony Rapp and Adam Pascal, at the Paramount Theatre. After the performance, the professional cast met with our students for a chat-back.

It was an amazing experience. The professional cast treated our students with an incredible amount of respect, seriously considering their questions and speaking to them as fellow artists.

And our students were beside themselves. Not only did they get a chance to talk with artists pursuing the careers to which they aspire, but they were also able to pick the brains of people currently living in the roles the students will soon undertake.

Many thanks to the cast, Broadway Across America, and the Paramount Theatre for making this special evening happen.

And, thanks to Evening Magazine, who filmed the meeting. We'll update this post as soon as we know when the segment will air.