Thursday, May 20, 2010

From the Artistic Director

Our 2009-2010 season is coming to a close. Tonight is the preview performance for Mat Smart's The 13th of Paris, and tomorrow night is Opening Night!

Candace Vance and Frank Lawler in The 13th of Paris - Photo by Paul Bestock

This beautiful and funny story of love and life was directed by our own Artistic Director Shana Bestock. She will be a regular contributor to Backstage at SPT, and here is her first offering, with thoughts on the show that closes out our season:

After a season of psychological complexity and tension, we deserve to celebrate Spring! You, our wonderful Seattle Public audience, journeyed with us this season to the dark recesses of the soul. Now we get dessert – a fresh new play that takes timeless themes and spins an original story filled with humor, beauty, and joy.

This play is about the unlikely ways we find love. When I think of love in Paris, I think of Casablanca, of splendor and sweep and passion. But the 13th arrondissement is a modest neighborhood of immigrant working classes, more functional than fabulous. Is this the place to set a romance?

The 13th of Paris is a playful, visceral, quirky perspective on timeless big questions. The play is about how love can be as simple and beautiful as an inside joke.

Love is possible anywhere. You don’t need Paris. Find your own words, put pen to paper. Love takes guts, and luck, but mostly just practice. Whether you are in love with a person, a place, a community - perhaps the joy of this play will inspire you to write a love letter. I hope so.

Trick Danneker and Emily Chisholm in The 13th of Paris - Photo by Paul Bestock

Friday, May 14, 2010

Write a love letter to Seattle Public Theater!

Love, says Jacques in The 13th of Paris, only needs one thing every day to grow stronger. One new, romantic, delicate, small, big, noisy, quiet, strange thing. What was that thing for you today?

In the spirit of the show, we are inviting you to write love letters to Seattle Public Theater.

For example...
Dear Seattle Public Theater,
Somehow my love for you has grown deeper since I walked from my car to the lake. Your doors open the door to my heart. Please forgive me for missing a show last season; I was distracted and foolishly thought there were more important things in the world than entering into the magic of the Bathhouse and your warm embrace. Yours, a subscriber

But if you want to write a letter to someone or something else - your significant other, your pet, Green Lake - we want those too! The important thing is to put pen to paper, find a moment of stillness in your busy day, and listen to your heart. Remember Jacques' words: "The only eloquence in this letter is because of the love I feel for you".

With your permission, we'll share as many of your letters as we can on our lobby bulletin board and here on our blog. And at the end of the run, our staff will pick a winner, and the author will win a romantic pairing of wine and chocolate! Share your love of SPT and live the spirit of The 13th of Paris!

Details: Love letters, romantic, silly, or otherwise, but definitely please keep them PG-rated. Letters received by Sunday, June 13th, 2010 (the closing performance of the show and our season) will be eligible to win. Although you can request anonymity, please include your full name and contact information to be eligible for our prize package. To protect your privacy, this information will not be made public. Post a comment here on this blog post , e-mail to:, mail to: Seattle Public Theater Attn: Love Letters, 7312 West Green Lake Dr. N, Seattle, WA 98103 -- or write one at our love letter table in the Bathhouse lobby during the run of the show!

We look forward to reading and sharing your love letters!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Play-A-Part 2010 - A Night in Paris!

Last Sunday we held our annual Play-A-Part fundraising auction at downtown Seattle's FareStart Restaurant. It was a great success, raising almost $30,000 to support our mainstage and educational programs! Thank you to everyone who attended - your generosity is vital to our organization. Thanks to you, we are gearing up for our 10th summer youth program, featuring no less than 6 fully youth-produced shows, and this fall, our 10th season at the Bathhouse on Green Lake!

Check out these photos from our wonderful event:

Our rock star volunteers at the registration table

SPT supporters check out the silent auction

The bidding wars begin

Auctioneer extraordinaire David Silverman

More than 100 people came out to wine, dine and support Seattle Public Theater!

More photos can be found on our Facebook page!

All photos by Kyna Shilling

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

From the Managing Director

A note (the first of many!) from Managing Director Keith Dahlgren:

The 13th of Paris is the last show of our 2009-2010 season and it’s been a great year. The 13th of Paris will round it out with a bang, or perhaps a kiss.

We here at Seattle Public Theater are rightfully proud of this Seattle premiere production for many reasons. It’s a charming, funny, satisfying piece of theater. Most of the actors you may have seen on this stage before, some are new to us, and all are top notch. And of course, we get to present it to you, our discerning audience.

I just want to thank you for your support as theatergoers. There is so much theater in the Puget Sound area, from small wild fringe venues to the big regional houses to the national touring shows…and you have chosen to attend our little neighborhood theater. And in this economy we know how hard it is to make the choice to attend live theater. Thank you. We continue to exist and make art and community because you keep showing up for us.

Live performance is the only art form that must create its venue, its marketing, and its audience, before it can really create its art. We do it backwards. We have to sell it first, and then create and present it, and then it is gone. Without an audience at that very moment of performance, we affect no one, and we have no art. We rely on our patrons to assist us with the up-front costs. If you help us with our cause, you help assure more risk-taking, provocative, thoughtful theater in the future.

So, help us out by buying a subscription to our excellent 2010-2011 season. Buy another for a friend and bring them along for an evening of inspiration and ideas. Consider a donation to Seattle Public Theater. Ask your company to match it. Send our website address ( to someone you know.
Most of all, keep attending. Thanks.