Marya Sea Kaminskis portrait for her 2010 Stranger Genius Award profile.
  • KYLE JOHNSON
  • The portrait for Marya Sea Kaminski's 2010 Genius Awards profile.

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File this under good news and good choices:

Seattle Repertory Theatre announced today the appointment of Marya Sea Kaminski as Associate Artistic Director, effective Sept. 16, 2014. Kaminski, who most recently taught acting at Cornish College of the Arts, has appeared as an actor and solo performer throughout Seattle and beyond, including roles at the Rep in My Name is Rachel Corrie (2007) and Clybourne Park (2012).

“Marya’s keen artistic voice, deep ties to the Seattle theatre community, and track record of generously advocating for other artists make her a perfect hire for this position,” stated Acting Artistic Director Braden Abraham. “I have frequently collaborated with her as an actor, a playwright and a producer, and I could not imagine a better person to join me and the artistic staff at the Rep.”

Keen voice, deep ties, and generosity—Kaminski won a Stranger Genius Award back in 2010 for many of the same reasons. Her personal artistry (as an actor and as a writer) seems to draw from an intimidatingly deep inner well that is sometimes harrowing but always rewarding to encounter. (She's played many towering roles in many difficult plays from Hedda Gabler to Crave, but I don't think I'll ever forget her performance in Electra.) But she also cofounded Washington Ensemble Theatre, which grew into a powerhouse of new work from Seattle and beyond.

In those early days, WET became the accidental midwife for a whole new generation of young, scrappy, and dreamy Seattle theater artists. As co-artistic director of WET, Kaminski proved that she could dive deeply into her own work and, instead of becoming self-obsessed and solipsistic, also help organize and lead an organization that would allow others the opportunity to do the same. (While at WET, she also directed great productions of Adam Rapp's Finer Noble Gasses and Jordan Harrison's Museum Play and was the literary manager during development of new works by Stephanie Timm and Paul Mullin.)

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The Rep, now led by interim artistic director Braden Abraham—who was the longtime associate artistic director but took the helm after the sudden passing of artistic director Jerry Manning—has made a very promising choice for its future and the future of Seattle theater.

Congratulations to everyone.