If you could remount one production from the Group Theatre, what would it be?


Rex Carleton, TPS technical director and Seattle Theatre Wikipedia himself answers monthly questions in this new feature of our Newsletter. Program Assistant Keiko Green sits down with the man himself to ask him one of your many questions.

2. If you could remount one production from the Group Theatre, which one would it be?

(For those of you not in the know, the Group Theatre is a legend in Seattle, a truly diverse group during a time when that was not the norm, producing excellent work and starting the careers of many. Rex acted as the technical director there.)

REX: You know, it’s an easy answer.

Not that it’s an easy answer. There were so many shows that were important, that were impactful, that mattered — you know, in terms of the whole socio-economic fabric of the country and the world. And there was so much that we did that was not only cutting-edge and kind of off-the-edge in a lot of ways, but you know, in a way that really mattered. 

It would be easy to pick one of the musicals because we were good at hitting it with the musicals.

In a way, it would be easy to pick one of the visceral, hard-hitting, gut-wrenching pieces like Tracers. Which was — well, I guess it’s kind of dated now — just like the Vietnam War is dated. But it was a piece that was ensemble-created by a bunch of veterans, headed up by a guy named John Difusco. It was the story of a platoon in Vietnam, and what happened. Which… of course, it didn’t end up good.


A really powerful piece of theatre. And the treatment that we gave it was extraordinary. And the temptation to do something like that, that would bring back that kind of, like I said, visceral Group experience…

But the show that I would most like to remount — it’s funny because it’s a show that we remounted twice. I think in a lot of ways, it’s the Group at it’s very best — doing what at the time only we could or would do. And that was Sizwe Bansi Is Dead by Athol Fugard. We were the first company in in the Northwest at least, if not on the West Coast to produce Fugard. We did a number of his pieces. But Sizwe Bansi is an extraordinary, simple, little vignette piece of theatre about apartheid and the human-side of that. And the search for dignity. And survival.
It was a powerful piece of theatre that I think deserves to be produced once a year in this city and in every city.
So if I had to pick one, that would be it.

E-mail Keiko at with the subject heading “ASK REX” to have your question featured in an upcoming newsletter!

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Staff Spotlight: Libby Barnard

  1. What do you do at TPS?
    I’m one of the Program Assistants, and my main focus is our Rentals and Booking Contracts, including tending to the physical studio and theatre spaces. If you’re rented one of our studios, you’ve been in contact with me. Hi!
  2. Where are you from? How did you end up here?
    I was born in Glendale, California but I spend most of my childhood in Reno, Nevada . . . The Biggest Little City in the World! I went to undergrad at Southern Oregon University in Ashland, OR where, after graduating, I was part of the acting company at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival for two seasons. On my off days, I’d make the trip up to Seattle to audition, and everything just felt right here. And BAM, here I am! 
  3. When did you first join TPS and why?
    I joined TPS the year before I moved up to Seattle so I could attend the Unified General Auditions and make connections before committing to the move. 
  4.  We just announced the dates for the 2018 Unified General Auditions (UGAs). Do you have any UGA stories?
    My very first general audition is the most memorable: I didn’t live in Seattle yet, so I didn’t know anyone or really where I was going, so I left extra time for myself to get everything settled. Well, it must have been the one time in the history of Seattle when there wasn’t any traffic so I arrived SUPER early . . . and I progressively got more and more nervous for the impending audition. I chose the “loud” warm-up room to be around other nutty people. Eventually it was my turn, and I stepped out on stage and immediately felt more at ease. This was why I made the trip to audition, and I was here to have fun and introduce myself to Seattle. I don’t remember most of the whirlwind, but I do remember not being able to finish my second piece because the auditors were laughing so hard at it . . . it was a comedic monologue, in case anyone was worried. 
  5. What’s something most people don’t know about you?
    I’m actually a really shy person, but hide it pretty well. When I was a kid, I was the classic fire-cracker, ginger wild child, but somewhere in college I became the introvert I am today. I love being alone, but I also love people . . . it just takes me a little longer to warm up and then to decompress.
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Member Benefits: What Do You Have to Offer?

Are you a masseuse? A stylist? Do you take headshots? Sell jewelry?
Perhaps you’d like to offer your service or product at a discount to our membership? Let us know! We’d love to expand our member benefits, as well as connect you to our membership. Fill out the form below to let us know what you have to offer!

Member Benefit Offer Form
Can you provide a service/product to our membership at a discounted rate? Let us know the details!
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Rex Carleton, TPS technical director and Seattle Theatre Wikipedia himself answers monthly questions in this new feature of our Newsletter. Program Assistant Keiko Green sits down with the man himself to ask him one of your many questions.

1. What’s the most inventive way that people have incorporated the Center Theatre columns into their set design, that you can recall?

REX: Those friggin’ columns. (laughter) In a way, I’m kind of a purist. I prefer people to just let them be. I think a lot of the times, designers get all tied up trying to make them part of the scenic element. And often times, it draws more attention to them than was the intent.  So to me, the most effective use of them is to just let them be and let them be part of the blank picture, the slate.

But there have been… there was one show — I’m struggling to remember what it was, but there was one show where they turned one of them into this massive, gnarly tree. I think it was a Shakespeare show, it was a comedy, if it was.

KEIKO: Was it recently?

REX: No, this was maybe 10 years ago now. I’m trying to remember it, but was really spectacular. It made a great giant trunk of a tree.

KEIKO: Sound Theatre/Pratidhwani did Indian Ink, and they did the same thing.

REX: They did too. And it isn’t the first time and won’t be the last time a tree comes to mind — frequently, when you’re looking at those things.

Shakespeare also did a show way way back when, where they actually made a third column. To which I thought, “Wow, two isn’t enough?” And they put it upstage center (laughter) — and I guess that worked, sort of. Anything to justify the presence of the two… which I think is part of the problem.

You just take them for what they are. And frequently, of course, people build stuff around them which is a reasonable approach, but as far as an imaginative use of the columns, the trees come to mind.

There was a show we (The Group Theatre) did, where we painted them like a screaming crimson red. And we did a really elaborate Chinese dragon motif on both of them. That was for A Language of Their Own.

And if nothing else, they were impressive when you demand that much attention to them. But again, I think I kind of like it when you’re not forced to look at them.

KEIKO: Those friggin’ columns.

REX: Those friggin’ columns.

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Staff Spotlight: Keiko Green

  1. Where are you originally from?
    Marietta, Georgia. It’s a suburb of Atlanta. I never had an accent, but I do say “y’all” and call people little pet names like “darlin'” and “sugar” sometimes.
  2. What do you do at TPS?
    My job is officially “Program Assistant,” but I mostly work in Communications here — which means I’m the one attempting to write funny Facebook posts and trying to make sure our membership communications are as fun as possible. I hope everyone else agrees… 
  3. What’s your favorite part of your job/TPS?
    I love our office! We have some design/remodeling dreams that we keep shooting out (hello, beanbag loft!), but overall — everyone is really friendly, and we get along really well. The radio is always playing, and we love having artists pop in during rehearsal breaks. Also Ariel keeps our snack bin full, so OBVIOUSLY that’s a plus.
  4.  What was your favorite moment from the the Gregory Awards this year?
    The ceremony was especially incredible to me this year because I got to take home the Outstanding New Play Award for my play Nadeshiko! As a part of Bring Down the House, it was also exciting to stand on that big stage with all those incredible women again and see all the beautiful faces in the audience. Our community cleans up real good.
  5. What’s something most people don’t know about you?
    I can’t whistle. I have double-jointed thumbs. I’m afraid of the dark.
  6. The holidays are coming up — What do you most look forward to?
    I LOVE THE HOLIDAYS. This year I’m performing in A Christmas Carol over at ACT, so mostly I’m excited about that. My family has a tradition of eating cheese fondue on Christmas Eve, but since I’ll be performing, my parents are planning on coming to see the show that night. I’m excited for that performance.
  7. What’s one piece of advice you’d give to a theatre artist new to the area?
    See everything. Get to know all the artists in the area. Learn who’s working and what they offer to the community. Then figure out what you offer that is unique to the area. Present that. Work. 
  8. Are you working on any fun projects you’d like to share?
    As a playwright, I’m working on two separate scripts that I’m REALLY excited about. One will be presented at NCTC’s Pipeline Series at Solo Bar on Mon 11/20. It’s about Two half-Japanese sisters who reinvent themselves after a car accident, called Ballad of the White Tiger
    The other play is a bit of a docu-play about the organizers and events of the Womxn’s March. That play is currently titled White Noise. I have big plans for both projects 😉


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Membership Benefits: How Can We Serve You Better?

As we head into 2018, we at TPS are re-assessing our Member Benefits in an effort to serve you as best we can. What benefits would you like to see? How can we do better?

Membership Benefits: How Can We Serve You Better?

Membership Benefits: How Can We Serve You Better?

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HOORAY 4 CHAIRS: Volunteers Needed!

We’re getting ready for the Great TPS 2017 Chair Update, and we need your help!

We’re needing 1-6 volunteers depending on the day, to move chairs from the studios to storage, storage to a truck, etc. Help us out, and we can give your work a shout-out on Facebook or a future Member Newsletter. For questions, e-mail!

Chair Swap Volunteers
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Recipients of the 9th Annual Gregory Awards

Here is a complete

The following is a full list of nominees and recipients for the 2017 Gregory Awards. The Recipient will be denoted with an asterix (*) and bold lettering.

ACT Theatre
Seattle Repertory Theatre
Seattle Shakespeare Company
*Sound Theatre Company

*DREAMGIRLS Village Theatre
MURDER FOR TWO 5th Avenue Theatre/ACT Theatre

*BRING DOWN THE HOUSE Seattle Shakespeare Company/upstart crow collective
HOODOO LOVE Sound Theatre Company/The Hansberry Project
LYDIA Strawberry Theatre Workshop
WELCOME TO BRAGGSVILLE Book-It Repertory Theatre

VALERIE CURTIS-NEWTON Wedding Band: A Love/Hate Story in Black and White (Intiman Theatre)
SHEILA DANIELS Lydia (Strawberry Theatre Workshop)
*ROSA JOSHI Bring Down The House (Seattle Shakespeare Company/upstart crow collective)
AMEENAH KAPLAN The Royale (ACT Theatre)
KELLY KITCHENS Medea (Seattle Shakespeare Company)

KRAMPUS CHRISTMAS Kelleen Conway Blanchard (Seattle Immersive Theatre)
THE LOST GIRLS Courtney Meaker (Annex Theatre)
*NADESHIKO Keiko Green (Sound Theatre Company)
YANKEE PICKNEY Jéhan Òsanyìn (Theater Schmeater)

TIM GOURAN Every Five Minutes (Washington Ensemble Theatre)
JUSTIN HUERTAS Welcome to Braggsville (Book-It Repertory Theatre)
*TIMOTHY MCCUEN PIGGEE The Legend of Georgia McBride (ACT Theatre)
ANDREW PRYOR-RAMÍREZ Lydia (Strawberry Theatre Workshop)
G. VALMONT THOMAS The Royale (ACT Theatre)

CHRIS DISTEFANO Murder For Two (5th Avenue/ACT Theatre)
*RICHARD GRAY Murder For Two (5th Avenue Theatre/ACT Theatre)
MATTHEW KACERGIS Disney’s The Little Mermaid (5th Avenue Theatre)
SAXTON JAY WALKER Peter and the Starcatcher (ArtsWest)

ANGELA DIMARCO The Pride (Theatre22)
*MARI NELSON Bring Down The House (Seattle Shakespeare Company/upstart crow collective)
SOFÍA RAQUEL SÁNCHEZ Lydia (Strawberry Theatre Workshop)
ALEXANDRA TAVARES Medea (Seattle Shakespeare Company)
DEDRA D. WOODS Wedding Band: A Love/Hate Story in Black and White (Intiman Theatre)

ANGELA BIRCHETT Dreamgirls (Village Theatre)
*DIANA HUEY Disney’s The Little Mermaid (5th Avenue Theatre)
CORINNA LAPID MUNTER Sweeney Todd (ArtsWest)
BILLIE WILDRICK The Pajama Game (5th Avenue Theatre)

MIKE DOOLY On Clover Road (Seattle Public Theater)
DOUG FAHL The Pride (Theatre22)
MIC MONTGOMERY Hooded or Being Black For Dummies (Theatre Battery)
RICHARD NGUYEN SLONIKER Dry Powder (Seattle Repertory Theatre)
*ADAM STANDLEY Tribes (ACT Theatre)

NATHAN BROCKETT Peter and the Starcatcher (ArtsWest)
JIMMIE HERROD Sweeney Todd (ArtsWest)
*DON DARRYL RIVERA Man of La Mancha (5th Avenue Theatre)
NATHANIEL TENENBAUM Dreamgirls (Village Theatre)

EVA ABRAM Hoodoo Love (Sound Theatre Company)
SYDNEY ANDREWS The Cherry Orchard (The Seagull Project)
LINDSAY W. EVANS Tribes (ACT Theatre)
TRACY MICHELLE HUGHES Wedding Band: A Love/Hate Story in Black and White (Intiman Theatre)
*NIKE IMORU Bring Down The House (Seattle Shakespeare Company/upstart crow collective)

JORDAN KAI BURNETT Romy & Michele’s High School Reunion (5th Avenue Theatre)
SOPHIA FRANZELLA A Proper Place (Village Theatre)
*ALEXANDRIA HENDERSON Dreamgirls (Village Theatre)
SHAUNYCE OMAR The Pajama Game (5th Avenue Theatre)

BARBECUE Intiman Theatre
*BRING DOWN THE HOUSE Seattle Shakespeare Company/upstart crow collective
LYDIA Strawberry Theatre Workshop

ALICE GOSTI/PETER DYLAN O’CONNOR – BRING DOWN THE HOUSE Seattle Shakespeare Company/upstart crow collective

ROBERT J. AGUILAR Dry Powder (Seattle Repertory Theatre) KENT CUBBAGE Medea (Seattle Shakespeare Company)
RICK PAULSEN Murder For Two (5th Avenue Theatre/ACT Theatre) TOM STURGE Dreamgirls (Village Theatre)
*JESSICA TRUNDY Bright Half Life (New Century Theatre Company)

BRANDON ESTRELLA & PAUL THOMAS Krampus Christmas (Seattle Immersive)
CHRISTOPHER MUMAW On Clover Road (Seattle Public Theater)
*MARGARET TOOMEY Hoodoo Love (Sound Theatre Company/The Hansberry Project)
JENNIFER ZEYL Wedding Band: A Love/Hate Story in Black and White (Intiman Theatre)

*MOUMITA BHATTACHARYA Chitrangada – The Warrior Princess (Pratidhwani)
CATHERINE HUNT Dangerous Liaisons (ACT Theatre)
KAREN ANN LEDGER Dreamgirls (Village Theatre)
MARK MITCHELL Wedding Band: A Love/Hate Story in Black and White (Intiman Theatre)
PETE RUSH The Legend of Georgia McBride (ACT Theatre)

WILLIAM SATAKE BLAUVELT & ROBERTSON WITMER Bring Down The House (Seattle Shakespeare Company)
KEVIN HEARD The Legend of Georgia McBride (ACT Theatre)
EVAN MOSHER Bright Half Life (New Century Theatre Company)
MATT STARRITT Wedding Band: A Love/Hate Story in Black and White (Intiman Theatre)


THE CHERRY ORCHARD – The Seagull Project

HMS PINAFORE – Seattle Gilbert & Sullivan

SQUATCH! THE MUSICAL – Katherine Jett (Centerstage Theatre)

MALIKA OYETIMEIN – Hoodoo Love (Sound Theatre Company)

SQUATCH! THE MUSICAL – Centerstage Theatre

BRANDON RYAN – Downstairs (Theatre22)

MAHRIA ZOOK – Grounded (Seattle Public Theater)

JEFF CHURCH – HMS Pinafore (Seattle Gilbert & Sullivan)

BIANCA RASO – HMS Pinafore (Seattle Gilbert & Sullivan)

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2017 People’s Choice Award Recipients

9th Annual Gregory Awards

The People’s Choice Award Recipients have been announced!
Congratulations to:

The 14/48 Projects

“The Cherry Orchard” (The Seagull Project)

“HMS Pinafore” (Seattle Gilbert & Sullivan Society)

“Squatch! The Musical” (Centerstage Theatre)
Book and Lyrics by Katherine Jett
Music by and Music Directed by Adam Quillian

“Hoodoo Love” (Sound Theatre Company)
Directed by Malika Oyetimein

“Squatch! The Musical” (Centerstage Theatre)

Brandon Ryan in “Downstairs” (Theatre22)

Mahria Zook in “Grounded” (Seattle Public Theater)

Bianca Raso in “HMS Pinafore” (Seattle Gilbert & Sullivan Society)

Jeff Church in “HMS Pinafore” (Seattle Gilbert & Sullivan Society)


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Staff Spotlight: Shane Regan

Meet the Man that Makes It Happen Behind-the-Scenes!

  1. Where are you from?
    Federal Way, WA
  2. How long have you been working at TPS?
    Since 2009 
  3. What do you do at TPS?
    I manage the major programs at TPS (Gregory Awards, Unified General Auditions, Bumbershoot) I also do all things computer (website, training, technology, IT, etc.)  I’ve also previously worked in facility and member management.
  4. What is your favorite part of the Gregory Awards/What are you looking forward to?
    I always look forward to the day of the ceremony.  More than an awards ceremony, it’s a night to appreciate the hard work of every local theater artist.  Plus we clean up real well.
  5. What is your favorite Gregory Awards moment?
    So many to choose from.  From Charles Leggett’s accepting the very first award in the 2009 ceremony, to Timothy McCuen Piggee’s powerful address for the 2015 Sustained Achievement Award, there’s been no shortage of inspiring acceptance speeches.  We also have had some great opening numbers, including original songs and a Hamilton parody.  No pressure, Sara and Justin!
  6. What will you be wearing to the ceremony?
    What will I be wearing?  Instead of figuring that out I’m procrastinating by filling out a survey.  Ummm… a suit?  Hopefully??
  7. Any advice to the nominees?
    We hope the awards graciously recognize your artistic work and achievements and that you pass that feeling on to other artists.  Everyone deserves to be recognized and appreciated, so pay it forward!  Also, write down what you want to say on stage because if your name is called you’ll forget everything. 

  8. Anything else you want to say to the membership?
    TPS is always happy to chat about what we can do to better serve you.  Drop by our office, send an email, invite us to your mansion or castle.. we want to hear from you!  We’re excited for the future
    of TPS and the local theater community. 
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