Food for thought and giving

BAT is holding a food drive for a local food bank all during “Bob’s Holiday Office Party.”  If you bring non-perishable food with you, you can get $2 off you ticket price, if you buy your ticket at the door.  But what to bring?  HERE is a list to help you choose.

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Amazon Smiles at BAT

BAT is part of Amazon Smile. What that means is that if you shop on Amazon, you can help create better live theater when you shop. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

There are a few things you have to do to give to BAT: 1) go to http://smile.amazon.com/ (you may want to book mark this page so you can use it whenever you shop on Amazon); 2) On your first visit to AmazonSmile (smile.amazon.com), you will be asked to select a searchcharitable organization to receive donations from eligible purchases; 3) select Burien Actors Theatre from the list of charities (search for Burien Actors Theatre), then every eligible purchase you make at smile.amazon.com will result in a donation to BAT equal to 0.5% of every purchase you make. This does not cost you anything.

When you sign up on Amazon Smile and select BAT you’ll get an email like this:

Thanks for visiting smile.amazon.com! Per your request, we have successfully changed the AmazonSmile charity you are supporting to Burien Actors Theatre.

Remember, if you want Amazon to donate to Burien Actors Theatre, you need to start each shopping session at the URL http://smile.amazon.com, and we will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible purchases.

AmazonSmile: You shop. Amazon gives.
smile.amazon.com

If you can’t find what you need locally, sign up to give to BAT, and shop on Amazon Smile.

If Holiday shopping is getting to you, or not, don’t miss “Bob’s Holiday Office Party” (TICKETS) and enjoy the Season.

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Dry tech

This morning was dry tech for “Bob’s Holiday Office Party.” Then wet tech. So what is the difference?

Dry tech is where the designers and the stage manager go through all of the cues, and they agree where each cue will start and end during the show. Sometimes it is choosing the right word IMG_20141122_173126993-2for the cue to start. Other times, it is agreeing on what motion will happen to trigger the cue. This is also when all the issues about missed or added cues are worked out.

Hopefully, by now, the sound cues and light cues are all written, and ready to go. Sound levels are typically set between dry and wet tech. Other times levels are set during cue-to-cue, also called wet tech.

Up until dry tech, the designers have been working pretty much on their own. This is the first time everything comes together.

There are no actors at dry tech. The actors arrive in time for wet tech. Actors hate wet tech. Lots of time standing around while details and levels are worked out. Plus the actors do not get to run the whole show. They just run the parts where there are cues. Sometimes over and over until the cue is right.

The actors have had weeks to get their parts down. The tech crew has just a week to learn their part.  Tech went well.

Don’t miss this Bob’s Holiday Office Party (TICKETS). It opens the day after Thanksgiving.

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If props could talk

On the set of “Bob’s Holiday Office Party” (TICKETS), there is a classic Macintosh SE / FD IMG_0219HD. What a great piece of nostalgia.

There is a bit of a sordid tale of how BAT got this gem. At BAT we are always on the lookout for items that might make good props. This is especially true of items that speak to an age. For example, BAT has an old washing machine with hand rollers, and BAT collects cell phones and dial phones. (BAT would love a candlestick phone, as a Holiday gift.)

One day, while at an electronic recycling event I saw in the dumpster an Apple Macintosh SE. As I eyed the Macintosh an official gently told me to step away from the dumpster. There were too many people around to put up a fuss.

A few hours later I returned. No official looking people around. Although I could no longer see the Macintosh, I did the only thing a theater person in search a prop would do, I dove into the dumpster. I dug a bit, and found the charmed Macintosh.

As I was digging around a person came by to drop off a computer for recycling. He asked, “You know you are supposed to drop stuff off here, not take it, right?” Without hesitating I said, “Look at the great prop!” That comment was greeted with a puzzled expression and a shake of the head.

I climbed out of the dumpster and took the Macintosh to storage until the statute of limitations passed.

Come take a break during the Holidays while you watch “Bob’s Holiday Office Party,” and see BAT’s Macintosh’s stage debut. Check it out before the show starts, because once the guest begin to arrive to the party you will be laughing so hard it will be hard to see.

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It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Oh, I know it’s not even Thanksgiving yet, but “Bob’s Holiday Office Party” opens the day IMG_0223after Thanksgiving (TICKETS), so BAT is getting ready for tech early. Enjoy Bob’s tree and happy pre-Holiday cheer.

Don’t forget to join BAT for the free opening night party after the opening performance of “Bob’s Office Holiday Party.”  It’s a great way to kick off the Season.

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I didn’t like your show.

BAT has been producing better live theater for 35 years. This season’s Holiday comedy, “Bob’s Holiday Office Party,” opens November 28, the day after Thanksgiving. TICKETS

I have not been at BAT for 35 years, but for a number of years I have been at the BAT email address info@burienactorstheatre.org, fielding questions and comments.

About 8 years ago, when BAT started its current revival and joined at least the 20th question-mark-red22century by building a website, the emails started to come. (Check out show photos from prior seasons.) Back then, BAT was just returning to its roots by producing shows that were outside the traditional suburban fare. (Suburban fringe theater, if you will.) BAT loves to produce the fantastical.

One of the early shows in this renaissance was “Dracula” by Steven Dietz. During the run, BAT got emails saying BAT was devil worshiping. Of course, the email authors had not been to the show. Oddly enough, “Goat-man,” a clear satanic reference in “Reefer Madness” got no comments.

BAT’s “Lysistrata,” a story about the women of Athens and Sparta withholding sex to end a war, got emails, not because of its anti-war message, but because it talked about sex. Really, a story about withholding sex to end war mentioned sex? BAT set “Lysistrata” in the 1950s just for fun.

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Where are the arts?

BAT attended a Soundside Alliance meeting. The Alliance mission is:

The Soundside Alliance partners work together to promote economic development dollar-signthrough programs dedicated to increasing job opportunities and income for Southwest King County residents and stimulating quality business investment and real estate development in the Southwest King County area. The Soundside presents a collective approach to improving the area’s economy. By collaborating on economic development goals, this cooperative approach to economic development could serve as a model transferable to other policy areas.

It was interesting on many levels. There were movers and shakers of the South End, now the Soundside there. Many many suits. The conversations were about economic growth and economic development for five cities, Burien, SeaTac, Des Moines, Normandy Park, and Tukwila The meeting started at 7:30 am. For theater folk, that is the middle of the night.

What was most interesting was that BAT was the only arts organization with a representative present. Why was that?

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Bob’s Party props

Designing properties (props) is great fun. (It can also be a frustrating search for the key item, or attempts and fails leading to the perfectly built prop.) Sometimes props is as simple as pulling what you need from BAT’s stock or finding what you need at a store/thrift shop. Other times, it is as complex as designing items from scratch, like Cyndi and her team did for the all female “Jesus Christ Superstar.”

One of the prop questions in “Bob’s Holiday Office Party” is to get cans of beer to be only partially full, yet open with that great pffft.

BAT’s skilled team of props masters, with Cyndi in the lead, appears to have conquered IMG_0191-1that problem. The cans are carefully drained to the right level. Then the pin holes are sealed with hot glue. Just before the performance, they are gently shaken to release a little more CO2. If all works like it has in pre-production, when the can is opened – pffft. Way cool.

Opening the cans live is much more satisfying than trying to use a sound effect. No speaker would be in the right place all of time. Timing would be a nightly challenge, and if speakers are not put in the right place(s) backstage, the sound would come from the “wrong” place. The can opening sound coming out of BAT’s main speakers would just not be right.

When you come to see “Bob’s Holiday Office Party” – TICKETS – listen for the beer can openings. (If you can hear them over the audience laughter.) Let BAT know what you think.

A very special hat tip to Anheuser Busch who has made “test cans” available at a very reasonable rate.

Here are a few more of the props in the works for Bob’s party. Cyndi and her team are geniuses.

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That special Holiday chocolate cake

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You may just have to come to Bob’s Party to appreciate this one

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Cocktail wieners?

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What would the Holidays be without and angel?

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Seattle Playwrights Studio wants you!

Seattle Playwrights Studio is looking for playwrights to join our group. We meet on the first and third Mondays of each month, 7 to 9 pm. at Burien Actors Theatre (BAT), 14501 4th Avenue S.W. in Burien. DIRECTIONS  (Only a 20 minute drive from downtown topsyevahptSeattle!)

What we offer: We’re a mutually-supportive group, providing, space, encouragement, and feedback for readings of your written work. Our goal is to help each other to develop strong, entertaining, and producible plays. We also provide networking opportunities, facilitating interaction with other playwrights, directors, and actors.

Expectations for members: We believe it is important to participate in as many meetings as you can and take an active role in the process of play development. We seek members, who are not only willing to show their own work, but also enjoy giving constructive feedback to their fellow playwrights. We encourage active and supportive group participation that fosters your ability to provide and receive critical feedback at a level that is more constructive than “I like it,” or, “I don’t like it.” This dynamic allows you to draw on the experience and valuable insights of fellow-playwrights to help you in the transition of your words from paper to stage.

Interested? Potential members (and their guests) are encouraged to come and visit for a couple of meetings to see if our group is a good fit for you. You can simply show up and let us know you are checking us out.

If you have any questions, or would like to be put on our mailing list to receive a schedule, contact Suzanne at suzibailie@gmail.com.

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BAT-free wifi

BAT is a wifi hot spot, we offer free wifi. We have for sometime. This weekend though BAT did a little upgrading.

BAT’s wifi was great in the office and in concessions, but touch-and-go in the theater. This made it tough when the audience wanted to tweet how great the performance was. (BAT is also looking at a wifi camera, to broadcast the show into concessions, if that isn’t above our pay grade.)IMG_0195

This weekend BAT put a strange little box in the theater (see photo, you can just make it out), and, low and behold, better wifi. Really, the box is a wifi booster. After a day of operation and a little tweaking, it looks like it’s a success.

Come see “Bob’s Holiday Office Party” (TICKETS) and between the laughs, login and tell your friends not to miss Bob’s party. More wifi means more fun!

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