Art and Performance Fall 2023

Our Fall Art + Performance 2023 Magazine Is Out Now!

Seattle's Most Comprehensive Guide to the Fall Arts Season Is Online and on the Streets

EverOut's Guide to Fall 2023 Arts Events in Seattle

Concerts, Exhibits, Performances, and More Events to Put on Your Calendar

Cat Puppets and Existential Dread

Five More Movies to See at This Year’s Local Sightings Film Festival

Your Instagram Feed Sucks

Follow These Five Local Photographers and Make It Better

The Sounds of Seattle on Death Cab for Cutie's Transatlanticism

You Can Hear the City on the Album from the First Note

Person of Interest: Charlie Dunmire

Owner of Deep Sea Sugar and Salt

A Shit Fountain

Seattle Author Kristi Coulter Recounts 12 Years of Tiptoeing over Amazon’s Male Fragility

Shelf Life

New Local Releases to Read This Fall

Twinkle in the Cosmos

Nia-Amina Minor and David Rue’s To Gather Charts a Constellation of Collaborative Dance and Art

Person of Interest: Kataka Corn

Performer, Singer, and Music Teacher

How to Make Cinerama's Famous Chocolate Popcorn

As Told to The Stranger by a Former Theater Employee

Roq Star

Kirsten Anderson’s Art Gallery Has Survived Collapsing Buildings, a Pandemic, and Even a Brief Exit from the Art World—How?

Changes Are Afoot with Freakout

But It’ll Still Be Seattle’s Wildest Fall Music Festival

Fantasy A's Incoherent City

Is a Film About a Rapper Looking for a Mattress Absurd? Yes. But So Is Living in Seattle.

Shots Fired

Solas Is the Photo-Focused Art Gallery Seattle Has Been Missing

Midnight Madness

The New Late-Night Variety Show That’s Keeping Seattle Weird

Person of Interest: Jenn Champion

Musician and Professional Sad Person

I cried the first time I saw Kataka Corn perform. They were starring in the 5th Avenue Theatre’s 2022 production of The Wiz and days ago I had just moved back home to the Pacific Northwest after being away for almost a decade. During the show’s final song “Home,” Corn’s voice was as powerful as Aretha or Diana or Whitney when they sang, “A world full of love / Like yours, like mine / Like hoooooome.” I fucking lost it.

I blamed my emotional purge on the timing, but in the summer I saw Corn again in ArtsWest’s production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch. They played Yitzhak alongside Nicholas Japaul Bernard’s Hedwig, and the two were explosive. When Corn sang the finale, “Midnight Radio,” it happened again! Tears! And I wasn’t the only one. The audience was full of people wiping their eyes.

See Corn yourself when they perform in Seattle Shakespeare Company’s production of The Merry Wives of Windsor in October. It’s a comedy, but bring tissues just in case.

Your voice is mesmerizing. How long have you been singing?

Thank you! I started singing when I was around 12 and began with community children’s choir and training in opera. So just over a decade now, which doesn’t seem very long now that I think about it.

I watched The Wiz a lot growing up, but had never seen it on stage until last year. Everyone was crying while you sang “Home.” Did you have any connection with the film or the play prior to starring in it?

I was pretty familiar with the tunes but hadn’t actually watched the film or seen the musical until a few years ago. Then, of course, I fell in love with it, having resonated with Dorothy’s struggles. When I tell you doing that show, in that role, with that cast, at the 5th Avenue Theatre was a dream come true... I mean, I will never get an opportunity to experience anything like that again. I’m so grateful for the support I received during the show and from then on.

Speaking of the 5th Avenue Theatre, in the opening monologue of Hedwig, Nicholas Japaul Bernard took a cute little swipe at them by joking about how y’all couldn’t perform Hedwig there because they already had their annual all-Black cast show. Was that joke written before you were cast? Was that improv?

Oh my goodness, okay, so the director, Eddie DeHais, took a good look at the script and realized the author’s note gave permission to make all the changes necessary to make sense with our setting (2023, WEST Seattle, post quarantine, all-Black cast, etc.), just “make it funny” while we do it. So Eddie took this newfound freedom and ran with it! That being said, the script is quite short without the devised material and improvisation; Nicholas Japaul Bernard, being the hilarious and creative genius that he is, curated the material/ improvisation. To answer your question, that was a written joke, not improv, only to poke fun at the fact that The Wiz was the very first all-Black cast on the 5th Avenue stage in 2022, and it was during the process in which most of the new material was discovered, being very aware, honest, and celebratory that we were an all-Black cast of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, which is hardly ever seen.

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I read that the upcoming production of The Merry Wives of Windsor will be a queer adaptation of the play. Can you tell me more about that?

Y’all are in for an absolute TREAT! Eddie DeHais is back with the immaculate storytelling, creativity, magic, and tricks. Everywhere I go, the music follows. Surprise surprise... and I’ll be music directing! No spoilers!

What’s your go-to karaoke song?

Honestly, I despise doing karaoke, but I love to watch! More power to the folks who do it. However, I love singing anything Whitney Houston, and from the musical theatre canon, Les Misérables and Beauty and the Beast.

See Kataka Corn in Seattle Shakespeare Company’s presentation of The Merry Wives of Windsor at Center Theatre October 25-November 12.