Bill and Peggy Hunt Playwrights Festival 2015

Four new works in four weeks! The Bill and Peggy Hunt Playwrights Festival is your chance to see fantastic new works! I look inside theater in the making. Plus talk to the authors and directors after every show.

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Bat = happiness

BAT was at the Lan Su Chinese Garden in Portland, Oregon. We were happy to see bats as FullSizeRender-9 part of the decor. Here is what the guidebook had to say:

Look at the bat shaped drip tiles along the roofline. Each tile is adorned with five bats, representing the five blessings – long life, fortune, health, love of virtue and a painless passing. The Chinese language, rich in homonyms, abounds with double meanings. The sound “fu,” for the character “bat” is identical to that of the character for “happiness.”

cropped-Bat-logo-final-color.pngBAT’s logo is based on a Chinese bat. (Thanks to Stevie VanBronkhorst for the logo.)

Like the Chinese characters for bat and happiness, with the help of patrons, donors and volunteers, BAT is living proof that BAT is identical to character for happiness.FullSizeRender-8

BAT wishes ever BAT-fan long life, fortune, health, love of virtue and a painless passing.

See you at the Bill and Peggy Hunt Playwright Festival running from May 1 through May 24!

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Thinking and thanks

BAT has been AFK (away from keyboard) for a short while. With the end of the wondrous dollar-signrun of “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change,” that might be expected. But really, it is because BAT has been busy. Many irons in the fire, as they say. It is too early to talk about to much, we would not want to jinx anything, but I can say BAT is on the move.

Today, BAT took a moment to gather itself. We updated the donor list, both on our books and on the website. Every time BAT looks at its donor list, we are amazed. So many people making better live theater happen.

I know that giving makes us feel better. Giving makes us part of the show. Giving makes us more. Still, BAT cannot thank each and every donor enough. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

To be honest, BAT is behind in its fundraising goal for this season. There is just one more “show” left, the four new works that make up the Bill and Peggy Hunt Playwrights Festival. (One of the only competitions where new full length works are produced in the State.) And it looks like BAT’s 2015-16 season will open with a musical. The royalties for that show are expensive. Musicals are expensive. Even with that, BAT cannot say enough good things about its amazing donors!!!

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Happy Pi(e) Day

Image a pie's circumference here

Who cares what the circumference is? It’s pie! Image credit: Cujo359

Saturday, March 14, is Pi Day, the day we celebrate the world’s most famous irrational number. As the site we found this artwork says:

[I]t’s Pi Day, the day when we celebrate one of the most fundamental constants of mathematics, π (pi). Pi is, of course the constant used to calculate the circumference of a circle from its radius. When you’re making a wheel or a gear, that’s a good thing to know, if you don’t want to waste a lot of time and materials.

Since we don’t do much gear cutting at BAT, what we care about is that we’re serving pie before and during Saturday’s performance of I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change. So there’s one more reason to see the show on March 14, besides the music and the acting.

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AUDITIONS for the Bill and Peggy Hunt Playwrights Festival

Actors of all ethnicities and ages sought for Playwrights Festival at Burien Actors Theatre

Burien Actors Theatre is seeking actors of all races and a wide range of ages for BAT’s 2015 Bill & Peggy Hunt Playwrights Festival. The festival features four brand-new plays by Washington State playwrights that have never been produced elsewhere. Each play will be part of a double-bill, and each play will have six performances.

Some roles call specifically for actors of a certain race while many of the other roles will be cast color blind. Actors do not need to be the ages listed, but must be able to convincingly play them. Details on shows and characters are listed below.

Performances are at Burien Actors Theatre in Burien from May 1 through May 24, 2015. “The Study Group” and “The Skilled Use of Blunt Objects” will run May 1 through May 10. “Dr. Kritzinger’s 12 O’Clock” and “Four Gone Conclusions: Some Brief Field Trips into the Absurd” will run May 15-24. Rehearsals begin in late March for some shows and in April for others. Performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m.

$100 stipend provided.

Auditions are at Burien Actors Theatre on Saturday, March 14 from noon to 3 p.m. and Monday, March 16 from 7 to 10 p.m. Callbacks are Wednesday, March 18 from 7 to 10 p.m. Burien Actors Theatre is located at 14501 Fourth Ave. S.W. in Burien.  DIRECTIONS.

To audition, please prepare two contrasting short contemporary monologues (serious/comedy) totaling 3 minutes maximum. Bring resume and headshot. Callbacks will consist of cold readings from the scripts.

Please make audition appointment: audition@burienactorstheatre.org, 206-242-5180. Continue reading

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Theater books

How can you enjoy the theater if you don’t read your scripts?

Okay, you can enjoy theater if you don’t read any scripts, but BAT is making it easier to read scripts and to enjoy theater.

Burien is a theater town, and BAT is part of the Puget Sound theater landscape, so it only makes sense that BAT would be part of making theater more accessible and interesting.

Today, BAT had a very productive meeting with the owner of Bumbershoot Books in BumbershootStoreFrontBurien. Very soon, BAT will be opening what we tentatively are calling BALL (Burien Actors Lending Library) at Bumbershoot Books.

BAT’s BALL will be located in the back of Bumbershoot Books. As seen in the photo, below, the shelves are empty and waiting for books.

A kind donor has stepped up to help BAT buy scripts and books about theater to populate the empty shelves. BAT will soon begin the process of filling these shelves with theater books that you can check out, at no cost, or read on site.

BALLShelvesEmptyBAT loves to work with local merchants and this is one more example of that. Bumbershoot Books, located at 639 SW 152nd Street in Burien (206-241-2665), sells used and antiquarian books. A venerable store with a fireplace for those rainy days, and comfortable seating all of the time. Bumbershoot Books is a great place for anyone who likes to read. Very soon, it will also house scripts and books on theater that you can read on site or check out.

Among other books, BAT will be placing copies of scripts of upcoming BAT shows at BALL so you can read them before or after seeing BAT’s production. (Some scripts BAT gets are in manuscript form from the author’s agent, and some scripts, mostly musicals, cannot be shared, but beyond those, BAT will fill the shelves at Bumbershoot Books.)

So, what would you like to see at BAT’s BALL? What titles you would like to read, what books on theater interest you? Post them in the comment section and BAT will see what it can do to make them available.

Talking theater, don’t miss “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” at BAT through March 22. TICKETS.

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Can small theaters take chances?

BAT is currently producing the musical comedy “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change.” I Love you-web artIt is great show with a great cast, crew and designers. It is drawing well deserved crowds, it has gotten good reviews and and hopefully it will continue to draw well. (ILYYPNC runs Friday and Saturday at 8 and Sunday at 2, through March 22. TICKETS.)

ILYYPNC touches cords in anyone who has been in, or is currently in, a relationship. A wonderful play, but not one that is produced all that often around Puget Sound.

To produce ILYYPNC is a bit of a risk, just because you do not see everyone doing it. But is not a new work, it was first produced in 1996.  Next up at BAT, in May, is the Bill and Peggy Hunt Playwrights Festival. BAT will be producing four never previously produced scripts over four weeks. A full-length and one-act for two weekends and then a different full-length and one-act for the next two weekends. Talk about taking a risk. Will people come see these shows?

If history is a predictor, even with BAT cutting its ticket prices, the crowds will be smaller for the playwrights festival than for just about any older moderately well known play. What’s a progressive theater to do? Continue reading

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A door

Sometimes it is the little things.  BAT has a storage space off site.  BAT pays rent on the space.  One more of the costs of live theater.

In November of 2013, BAT’s storage space was vandalized.  Luckily none of BAT’s props or building supplies were taken.  But the thieves took the door handle.  It was brass and worth money as salvage.  This weekend when going to BAT’s storage to lend some props to another theater, BAT found a new door handle.  This means BAT no longer has to walk BATDooraround the building and come in through the back.  A nice surprise.

Thank you, BAT’s landlord.

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Picking a season

BAT is narrowing the field for its 2015-16 season. It looks to be very exciting and well sample-workingscript001worth your support, still this time of year brings out fear in those who select the plays to be produced.

You might think by the time BAT is picking its 36th season, there would be a nice easy plug-in formula and off we go. That is not the case.

Lets look at how the sausage is made. This post addresses the concerns of small houses, and may not apply to bigger or well endowed theaters. With a steady income comes the ability to take greater risks, as one bad play or season will not kill the theater.

For BAT, we start with our mission statement:

Burien Actors Theatre is committed to being a leader in entertainment by producing intriguing professional-quality shows with the highest artistic integrity that excites, engages and involves both the local and expanding artistic communities in the Puget Sound Region.

Okay. So what does that mean for play selection? It doesn’t give much clear guidance, but it is a starting place. Continue reading

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What’s the story with this chair?

What is this chair? IMG_0272

This is one of BAT’s new gifts. I know it is a chair, but can you tell me more? It is a most interesting thing indeed. Anyone know anything about this style of chair? There is story waiting to be told with this one. Please share what you know about it.

When you come see “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change,” you can sit in this marvel.  IMG_0270IMG_0271

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