BAT’s 34th season is over. Auditions for the 35 season are just a few weeks away. What a long strange season 34 was.
During the season BAT relearned the lessen, “The show must go on!” Without all of the fantastic BAT-fans and volunteers the season would have been a train wreck. Instead it was a great success. Thanks to each and everyone of you.
The season opened with a smashing production of “Young Frankenstein the Musical.” BAT was the first non-professional theater to get the rights to that show. It was more fun than could be imagined. BAT fans were doing the Transilvania Shuffle as they left the house.
For the techies, this was the first time BAT used a flash pot on stage. “Fire bad!” Ah the foreshadowing…..
Next up at BAT was “Coney Island Christmas.” BAT was the second theater in the country to produce this touching Holiday comedy. This was a high tech show, with countless slides and marvelous cast. The first two weeks of “Coney Island Christmas” was great as seen the show photos.
Then a date that will live in BAT history: Tuesday, December 10, 2013. Early in the morning the BAT phones went crazy! FIRE!
BAT’s theater space was ablaze. Thanks to the fine firefighters the damage was limited, but still destructive. The cause was arson. That day, BAT’s scramble to save its production was underway.
Solely because of BAT’s volunteers, designers, directors and crew, together with the kindness of the Highline Historical Society, who opened their pop-up museum space to BAT, and Dukes Bay Production, who lent BAT equipment, the show was saved. By Friday, December 13, 2013, “Coney Island Christmas” reopened in a new space. That’s right, the entire show, less some equipment and set pieces, moved into a new space, was reblocked and was “ready” to open in less than 4 days! That was insane. But not one person hesitated. The only two question BAT got were, “How do we make this happen?” and “How can we help?”
No one who saw the “new” “Coney Island Christmas” was disappointed.
Suddenly, BAT was homeless. BAT’s wonderful donors stepped up and helped pay for a temporary space.
BAT’s February show was “Noises Off.” A show with a two story set, and 7 doors that slammed. The set had been designed for BAT’s space. Very few spaces in Burien could accommodate that tall of a set, but BAT found an empty Staples store. The set just fit.
The cast, designers and crew did not flinch as BAT got its occupancy permit from the City of Burien literally just hours before the show opened. What a great show it was!
Right about then the question was, would BAT’s landlord the City of Burien rebuild BAT’s space? It was up to the City to rebuild or not. There was some pushback because of the extent of the damage. But BAT fans rose to the occasion. In just a couple of weeks the Burien City Council received an even 100 emails asking the City to rebuild BAT’s space. BAT was again in awe of its fans.
Along the way BAT added late-night performances from the improv group Turbo Turkey and beat poetry/rap by Poets With A Purpose. BAT doesn’t believe the streets of Burien should roll up by 10 pm.
No one was certain BAT’s space would be done in time for the May opening of “End Days.” It was down to the wire. BAT got the keys to its space late Friday afternoon, and “End Days” opened 7 days later. Tech rehearsals went on while boxes were unpacked and lights and cables were rehung.
A wild season, and not a performance missed. Many a time, BAT was amazed by is fans and volunteers. People do not get better than that group.
At the end of June BAT’s fiscal year, and the 34th season, closed. Auditions for “Out of Sterno” the opening show of BAT’s 35 season are all but upon us. 4Culture has given BAT a grant to make some improvements to its space, which BAT also hopes to get done before “Out of Sterno” opens.
Season tickets go on sale in days. Donations coming in now will be credited to the 35th season, so you’ll be in the program for the entire season! Donate a little seed money, if you can, and you’ll help BAT get the first show up!
Two things became very clear from BAT’s 34th season: Never have a fire in your theater mid-season, and there are no better people in the world than BAT-fans.