2019-20 Season: Agents of Change
A Message from Mat and Laura
As you know, we have been unable to produce in our beloved space at the corner of California and Alaska for the past few months. We had hoped to be able to welcome you back to our theater in July, but this original timeline is no longer feasible within the restrictions of the COVID-19 phase in. We, along with our colleagues in theaters across the country, continue to look forward to the day we can gather again safely. While we wait, we at ArtsWest are taking this opportunity to explore ways of using digital media to provide content. Although nothing can compare to the joy and community we feel when we gather together in our physical space, we believe that continuing to find ways to tell stories and make art in this time is vital.
To that end, we’re thrilled to announce paths forward for SAINT JOAN and ALEX & ALIX. With SAINT JOAN, we will be filming a socially distant version of the beautiful production our artists have created for you, which we will provide access to online via a password protected link. With ALEX & ALIX, Playwright Sara Porkalob and Director Jéhan Òsanyìn are hard at work re-envisioning their BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) Queer love story and investigating how to use it to respond to our current moment in the most powerful and immediate way. We look forward to letting you know what exact form it will take and when it will be available for you to access.
Thank you all for the kind emails, phone calls, donations and other well-wishes you have sent our way in this time. Theater is our home and our community and the silver lining in all this is that we realize that now more powerfully than we ever have before.
Wishing you all the best,
Laura and Mat – Managing and Artistic Directors
By George Bernard Shaw
Nobel Prize-winning playwright
Tracing the life of Joan of Arc from the siege of Orleans, through her trial and recantation, and culminating with the tragedy that transformed into a legend, Saint Joan is an electrifying portrait of one of history’s most revered and revolutionary lightning rods. Fiery and timeless, Shaw’s masterpiece shines a fierce light on the limits of an individual in a society dominated by political and religious forces. Presented in a new, stripped-back staging directed by Mathew Wright, prepare to see Joan’s incendiary life shine brighter than ever.
“Shaw’s play is about not heavenly triumph but human hypocrisy — how we crush the dreamer under our heel and then memorialize her […] a point still sharp as Joan’s sword and vivid as the fire that consumed her.” – Vulture
“in this 1923 play, written three years after Joan received sainthood, Shaw never goes for the didactic slam-dunk, even when the angels are on his side. Instead he revels in the complexity…a dialectic that’s weighty even as it crackles with wit.” – Variety
Alex & Alix
By Sara Porkalob
2017 City Arts Future List playwright
2018 Seattle Magazine’s Most Influential People
Multiple Gregory Award-winning artist
From artist & activist Sara Porkalob (Dragon Lady, Dragon Cycle) comes a new play about endings, beginnings, and the unseen forces that shape the way we remember love. A moving meditation on memory, trauma and healing from one of Seattle’s—and now, one of the nation’s—most celebrated theatre makers, Alex & Alix is about two women, one name, and a love story that gets rewritten every day.
“After experiencing her astonishing “Dragon Lady’’ and the world premiere of “Dragon Mama,’’ it’s not clear to me what, if anything, this incandescent artist cannot do.” – Boston Globe
“[S]he’s an uncompromising intersectional feminist, dedicated to equity and social justice… Porkalob is eager to make change, constantly interrogating her actions and motivations.” – City Arts
Miss You Like Hell
Sadly, we will not be able to produce our previously announced MISS YOU LIKE HELL, though we will look for an opportunity to bring this incredible piece of theater to you in a future season. This is an unprecedented time in our world for all of us and we have had to make the best choices available to us, to keep us strong. We would ask if you are able, to consider donating to us the value of your tickets that you have purchased for this production. Your donation allows us to not be faced with refunds and cash flow out at a time of need. We would so appreciate that gift. We do understand that that may not be possible for all and refunds can be made.
All performances – Thursdays – Saturdays at 7:30PM, Sundays at 3PM
A message from Mathew Wright, ArtsWest Artistic Director
rev·o·lu·tion | \ ˌre-və-ˈlü-shən \
(1) : a progressive motion of a body around an axis so that any line of the body parallel to the axis returns to its initial position while remaining parallel to the axis in transit and usually at a constant distance from it
(2) : a sudden, radical, or complete change
a : a fundamental change in political organization
b : a fundamental change in the way of thinking about or visualizing something : a change of paradigm
Welcome to “Agents of Change,” a season of theater about revolutions and the people who participate in them – in big and small ways, in public and private spheres. We might have called this season “Revolutions” – or we might have used a phrase or metaphor from a famous poet’s work. Instead, in this all too important year, we’ve chosen to dig into our own mission statement for inspiration. Our mission guides us toward using live theater as a powerful agent of change – so this is the year we unpack that idea onstage. In the past few years, we’ve seen massive change in our community, in our city, in our country, and not all of it for the better. Of course, change is nothing new – some say it’s the only thing constant. And at the end of the day, it seems not only constant, but integral.
On every level of our lives, together and independently, growth is always necessary – and without change their can be no growth. We must each be constantly renewing ourselves. This company must always be renewing itself. Our politics must always be renewing itself. Our understanding of each other must always be renewing itself. We hope you’ll join us for a season of theater that probes, interrogates, and celebrates change, growth, renewal – and revolution.