Read The Letters

Half of BAT’s 2015-16 season comes from the big script houses: The Addams Family and In the Next Room, the Vibrator Play. Nothing wrong with that, but at least once a season bat-logo-banner-trans-940x198-300x63BAT likes to include a show it gets directly from the writer’s agent. This season BAT has two such shows: A Christmas Twist and The Letters. These two shows are not shows you have likely seen before. They are both Puget Sound premiers.

Both A Christmas Twist and The Letters are great scripts and will make great shows.

When selecting scripts for the season BAT likes to have a few people read them before BAT decides that a show will be part of the season. Recently, one of BAT’s Trustees, read The Letters. Like everyone who has read the script so far, the Trustee was amazed by this two person show. It’s almost a shame you’ll have to wait until April to see it on stage.

The Letters is a wonderful game of cat and mouse, with twists that you cannot predict.

But wait, you don’t have to wait to read this wonderful script. BAT just got permission from the author to put a copy of The Letters in BALL (Burien Acts Lending Library). BALL is BAT’s lending library located at Bumbershoot Books in Burien. It will be in the library by the end of the month. If you want to see just how good this show is, check out the script for The Letters at BALL.

Often authors with whom BAT deals with to get scripts before the script is picked up by a big publishing company will not let the scripts to be placed in a library. Luckily for you that is not the case here. A very special hat tip to the author John W. Lowell.

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Seattle Playwrights Studio Showcase is history

The Seattle Playwrights Studio Showcase is history. By all measures it was a success. SPS Bat-Marketing logo final-colorhas been part of BAT for just over a year now. They joined BAT after a working with another theater for a few years.

SPS is a mutually-supportive group, providing space, encouragement and feedback for readings of local playwrights’ written work. SPS’s goal is to help its members develop strong entertaining and producible plays. SPS also provides networking opportunities, facilitating interaction with other playwrights, directors and actors.

To become part of SPS contact Scott Bastian at .

Next up at BAT is a celebration of the life of Michael Tangedahl. Micheal was part of BAT’s actor family. The celebration of life is on August 22, 2015, starting at 1 pm.

Then on October 2, 2015, BAT’s main stage season kicks off with the musical comedy The Addams Family. TICKETS.

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October is on the way

Look what I saw! The first signs of Halloween. Yes, it is still July, but this is the first sign in Burien FullSizeRender-19that October is on the horizon. Why does BAT care about October? October means the opening of The Addams Family, at BAT!!! (The Addams Family runs every Friday, Saturday and Sunday in October. TICKETS)

BAT likes this store. Every year BAT buys either a fog machine or “fog juice” at the post Halloween sale. (Plus with a name like BAT, who wouldn’t like Halloween?)

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BAT gets a new April/May show

If you were lucky enough to get an early copy of BAT’s flyer for its 36th season (2015-16), bat-logo-banner-trans-940x198-300x63hold on to it. It is sure to become a collectors’ item.

After BAT announced its season, BAT was told it could not do the April/May show as planned. That play is being turned into a television series. So, no rights for BAT.

Lucky, BAT had a great show in line, just waiting for a spot. BAT’s April/May show will be “The Letters” by John W. Lowell.

“The Letters” is a wonderful show. The letters of the famous composer are missing. A colleague has been arrested. Suspicions are being directed to Anna. What follows is an intense verbal and psychological cat-and-mouse game between the two. With twists.

I did not get a chance to read “The letters” until BAT’s season was set. The script was so amazingly good that BAT was trying to find a place to work the show into the 2015-16 season, even though the season was set. “The Letters” was simply too good to wait until 2016-17. The fates must have been paying attention, and things fell into place for “The Letters.” That is a really good thing for you.

If you can’t wait to get your tickets, or if you just like to plan way ahead, you can get your TICKETS HERE.

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BAT gets air (again)

2015-07-18 12.10.00BAT has air conditioning! Well, BAT has always had air condition in its theater space. It is nice on these hot spring and summer days. But now BAT has air conditioning in concessions. Before BAT had to open the doors once the weather started to cool to keep concessions cool. This was tough during those hot summer rehearsals that take place in the concessions room.

Thanks to a very kind donor, BAT now has a portable air conditioner in concessions. (I should say BAT loves each and every one of its donors. Whether they can give a dollar or many many dollars, you would not be able to see better live theater without them!!!)

2015-07-18 12.09.41To be totally frank, the little guy cannot overcome a day in the 90s. Its cooler, but not cool. But against the high 70s and low-to-mid 80s the air conditioner makes a really big difference.

As BAT begins rehearsals for the musical comedy “The Addams Family,” BAT’s actors will be very happy for the portable air conditioner. (You can get your TICKETS for “The Addams Family” HERE.)

BAT is located in a retired school building with cinderblock walls and single pane windows. When the outside walls heat up, it is a big job to lower the temperature inside. Even with a big job to do, BAT’s new air conditioner is taking on the challenge.

When you come and see BAT’s very own Seattle Playwrights Studio’s Showcase on July 24, 25, and 26, (TICKETS) you’ll enjoy BAT’s new air conditioner too.

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For the art

BAT had another movie, well a web series, shoot at BAT’s space. BAT is doing what it can to put Burien on the film map. (At the request of the series, I can’t show very many photos of the shoot, certainly none that gives away any of the shoot.)

What a film shoot means to BAT is that I had to be at the theater by 7 am. That may not FullSizeRender-18sound like much, but when you do very much live theater, it is easier to be up past 3 am than it is to be up and moving by 7 am.

Every time BAT has a film shoot at its space I am taken by the differences between live theater and film. In this shoot in particular, there were over 150 extras. Theater does not typically use extras. An extra is someone who shows up to be in the crowd. No lines, but a face in the crowd.

Plus with film there is always craft services. That is, food and drink for everyone. This time, close to $1,100 was spent at local stores to feed the masses. Theater does not typically feed the cast every time we meet.

FullSizeRender-19Unlike live theater, in film there is very little rehearsal before the shoot. This is, no doubt, because in film you can stop and re-shoot a scene, which happens quite often. Not so with live theater. Once the curtain goes up. The play goes on. No stops. No do-overs.

Theater rehearses for weeks, not hours.

For at least the last 3 film shoots at BAT, there has been very little in the way of sets. BAT was chosen as the “location.” So there was little need to change anything. For film the locations change and not the sets. For theater, the sets change, but the space (the physical location) does not. Theater takes the audience places without leaving the theater. So, for live theater, there is almost always a set.

Here at BAT, it is a strange feeling to have our seats full of extras rather than patrons. FullSizeRender-20Theater lives on the energy the audience gives, while film generates its energy from some other place.

All in all, BAT is very happy to once again help put Burien on the film map. But we wish the start time was more reasonable for those of us who do live theater.

(I am sure these photos don’t give anything away.)



Updated to increase the amount spent for craft services to include the cost of lunch for 150, ordered from a local pizza parlor.

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New seats, phase 1

Thanks to the Maydenbauer Center and 4Culture, BAT is getting “new” seats. By that we 2015-07-13 10.49.41 mean that BAT is getting the old seats from the Maydenbauer Center.

This process started when the Maydenbauer decided to remodel. While we don’t know for sure, but it appears that 4Culture is providing at least some of the funding for the remodel. We believe that because early on 4Culture contacted BAT to let us know some seats were going to come available.

BAT and the Maydenbauer then began talking. BAT went up to look at the seats, and yes they are in much better condition than BAT’s current seats. Then there was measuring and deciding if it was worth the effort to replace BAT’s seats. BAT was going to get the seats for “free”, but not the labor to dismantle, move or install the seats. The cost of all that would have to come from BAT. Just getting the seats from the Maydenbauer and into storage was over a 12 hour day.

2015-07-13 10.49.51We talked to Albie Clamenti, BAT’s resident set designer, and decided that if BAT took the seats it should also re-carpet and re-deck the seating risers. If we were going to do that much work, we should also repaint the risers. After making those decisions the seat project began.

Next, BAT’s staff (Maggie and I) met with BAT’s Board of Trustees and explained the projected costs and the time it would take to upgrade the seating. The Trustees gave the go ahead. The the project was on.

On Monday, July 13, 2015, the seats had been removed 2015-07-13 10.49.56from the Maydenbauer floor and were on their stage. Together with folks from TPS (another theater getting seats) BAT went about dismantling the seats. A big shout out to John Flynn who joined Maggie and Eric for the Maydenbauer part of project. John worked about 8 hours with us. John can be seen in some of the photos. LINK TO PHOTOS. Also helping for awhile was Scott Gifford. Near the end of that part of the project Stevie VanBronkhorst came to help. Stevie also helped with offload. Scott and Stevie can also be seen in the photos.

Once dismantled, BAT loaded the seats, backs and stanchion into a rented truck. Then down to storage. BAT does not have room in the theater for the seats as the rehearsal room will soon be 2015-07-13 13.15.19used for “The Addams Family” rehearsals and the theater who shares BAT’s space is using the theater space for rehearsals so BAT must rent a storage space until the seats can be installed.

At the offload, BAT was joined by Steve Feldman and Deb Brandt. They are also in the photos.

All the parts are now waiting in storage for phase 2. Soon, BAT will be stripping the old seats and carpet. Then repairing the risers, new paint, carpet and new seats. Hopefully all completed before “The Addams Family” in October. TICKETS

How can you help? Even though the seats were “free” there is hardware, wood, paint and many other things to buy. Plus there are hours and hours of work in front of BAT to make your sitting even better. Your tax deductible donation will help create not only better live theater, but better sitting too. If you can, PLEASE DONATE – CLICK HERE.

Phase 1 is complete. Now onto phase 2!

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Amazon Smile makes BAT smile

BAT is part of Amazon Smile. (Check HERE for answers to the most asked questions about Amazon Smile.) Today, Amazon Smile made a deposit to BAT’s checking account. So, how does that work?

If you shop on Amazon, whether you are a Prime member or not, you can join Amazon Smile. To join go to Once there, follow the instructions, choose a charity (Burien Actors Theatre) and shop. Every time you purchase a qualifying item through the Amazon Smile site BAT receives 0.5% of the purchase price. There is no additional charge to you, and lot and lots of items qualify.

If you shop on Amazon, there is only one tiny drawback that I can see. The donation to BAT comes from The AmazonSmile Foundation and not from you directly. Therefore, you do not get a tax deduction for the donation to BAT. But since there is no added cost to you to make the purchase that you would have made anyway, all is good.

BAT is a 501(c)(3), that is, a non-profit recognized by the IRS. If you would like to make a tax deductible donation to BAT in any amount, or a donation every week, month, quarter or annually, please use THIS SECURE DONATION PAGE. You will be emailed a receipt, and that donation is tax deductible to the full extent of the law.

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BAT’s 2015-16 Season

BAT does it again! Here is our FANTASTICAL 36th Season (2015-16)

Laugh ‘til it hurts, cry ‘til you smile, think, dream…
…Theater that amazes! Great prices! Free parking!



A MUSICAL COMEDY with story by Martin Brickman and Rick Elice and music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa

October 2-November 1, 2015

The wonderfully macabre Addams family is put to the test when Wednesday, the ultimate princess of darkness, grows up and falls for a “normal” young man from a respectable family. If that weren’t enough, she tells her father, Gomez, a secret he must hide from his adored wife, Morticia. When the boyfriend and his parents come to dinner, they plunge the Addams family into a night that is sure to change the family forever. TICKETS



A COMEDY written by Doug Armstrong, Keith Cooper and Maureen Morley

November 27-December 20, 2015

An irreverent mash-up of the beloved Charles Dickens’ tales A Christmas Carol and Oliver Twist—with an absurd cast of characters including Little Orphan Annie. The result is a humorous parody of Christmas stories about the poor versus the rich that still manages to spread the spirit of the season.


IN THE NEXT ROOM or the vibrator play

A COMEDY written by Sarah Ruhl

February 12-March 6, 2016

A touching and hilarious story about a young doctor and his wife in the Victorian age. Dr. Givings is obsessed with the marvels of technology and what they can do for his patients. He isn’t sure exactly how the vibrators help the women he treats–but they keep coming back. The only woman who isn’t helped is his own wife, who longs to connect with him – but not electrically.


“The Letters” by John W. Lowell

Written by John W. Lowell

April 8-May 1, 2016

The letters of a famous composer are missing. A colleague has been arrested.  Suspicions are being directed to Anna. What follows in an intense verbal and psychological cat and mouse game between the two. With twists.


Updated: 7/15/15 to change the April/May show.

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Microsoft and BAT

Microsoft is a BAT supporter through its matching grants. If you are a Microsoft employee and donate to BAT (and don’t you think you should?), Microsoft will match your dollar-signkindness. A win-win!

Also, if you are a Microsoft employee and you volunteer at BAT (and don’t you think you should?), Microsoft will “pay” BAT for your time. Another win-win!

It used to be that Microsoft required a minimum donation to trigger its match. That is no longer true! Every dollar will be matched! Give BAT a dollar, report it to you employer and BAT gets a dollar! Wow, give a little help a lot. Give through the Benevity system today!

You can also give on a very flexible basis, through a payroll deduction or recurring credit/debit card donation through Microsoft’s Benevity system. (BAT offers those non-Microsoft donors a similar flexible donation plan too. DONATE on BAT’s secure donor page.)

If you are a Microsoft employee and volunteer at BAT your time will be matched at $25.00 per hour through the Tech Talent for Good volunteer program. William Shakespeare himself knows that BAT can use more volunteers including those with tech skills!

Let Microsoft help you make better live theater possible. You’ll both be happy you did.

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