Recommended by Rich Smith
It's your 34th annual NW New Works Festival, Seattle! This year, 16 contemporary performing arts companies from around the region (Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia) will freakify the stages of On the Boards over the course of two weekends. I guarantee at least two of these ~20-minute pieces will grow into full-length shows that will take this town (and maybe the world) by storm in the coming years. Don't believe me—ask zoe | juniper, Sarah Rudinoff, and Tim Smith-Stewart/Jeffrey Azevedo, all of whom developed impressive pieces of work on OtB's summer stage. Lots to love at this iteration, but I'd recommend Vanessa Goodman, PETE (Portland Experimental Theatre Ensemble), Petra Zanki: Pleasant Place, Earth and Ceremony's I Want to Hear the Sea, and Waxie Moon. RICH SMITH
The first weekend's productions (still playing Monday, June 12) included Vanessa Goodman's solo multimedia dance performance Floating Upstream (an "exploration of having one’s head in the clouds where everything is simultaneously possible and impossible"), Waxie Moon delivering what Stranger editor Christopher Frizzelle called a "pornographic shadow play," and an unsettling, loop-scored piece called Eight Abigails, inspired by the lust-ridden teenage witch-accuser in The Crucible.
Linda Austin Dance: a world, a world — (Un)Made Chapter 3 (Dance | Portland)
Sandbags, headphones, a moveable stair unit, and five dancers in a performative interrogation of the borders of the self; the push-pull between autonomy and “groupness”.
Ella Mahler: Really, it’s this. (Dance | Seattle)
Two dancers sort through any and all strategies in their search for “this” – that ever changing, perhaps never arriving solution or answer.
Julie Hammond: Môj Gidget (Theater | Vancouver, BC)
A California-born Jew travels to a landlocked country to learn to surf. Pop music, dentistry, and a family story that can’t be told.
Mother Tongue: < sic > (Performance | Seattle)
Moving through strange worlds an alien and a believer seek refuge, an artifact, and understanding.
June 17-18 at 8 pm
EARTH AND CEREMONY: I Want to Hear the Sea (Music/Theater | Seattle)
An opera about a fallen angel seeking an escape from immortality and finding meaning in the infinite absurdity of life.
Syniva Whitney/Gender Tender: The Renovation (Performance | Seattle)
Architectural drag. House flipping dance. A shapeshifting crew transforms the space. Queering the past and future of OtB and the developing landscape of Seattle.
Petra Zanki: Pleasant Place (Dance/Theater | Seattle)
Three dancers recollect objects of the remaining world, in an aftermath of an apocalyptic event. A blanket, a wind-up toy, a climbing harness, a sweater from 1978, a jar of peppermints, how do they relate?
Wade Madsen: PEOPLE (Dance | Seattle)
What is beautiful in a look, a stance, a gesture? Fellini said it best, “There is no end. There is no beginning. There is only the infinite passion of life.”