The Seattle Arts Scene with our Kenan Directing Fellow

IMG_2336In the midst of the casting hustle, we had two new plays workshopped and read here at ACT: Chasing the Tale by Paul Stetler, and The Boys of Vedem by Emil Sher. I ended up helping with both projects. I jumped in as a production assistant on Chasing the Tale, and then the following week was asked to perform in Vedem. Both were a great chance to see John Langs working in the room with actors on a new play. Due to timing, I never had the chance to see John directing at UNCSA. Doing these two small projects with him, on both sides of the table, gave me a chance to be a fly on the wall and witness John at work. I had a great time seeing these new pieces being shaped and reworked by some wonderful Seattle artists, and I’m excited to see how both pieces continue to grow on their way to being fully staged productions.

In other Seattle news, I had the chance to be in attendance when the King County Council voted to approve Access for All for public vote this August. For anyone who might be unfamiliar with the arts funding measure, this is a quote taken from Access for All’s website-  “In August, voters will be asked to increase cultural access funding by raising the county sales tax 0.1 percent… If approved in August, we will increase funding for regional and community arts, science, and heritage institutions by about $70 million, which will be spent on programs like in-school education and free and reduced ticket programs for low-income and middle-class families. ”

From my limited six weeks here in Seattle, I have witnessed only the tip of the iceberg in regard to the twelve years that have gone into developing and pushing this arts funding measure through. In my third week in Seattle I attended the public testimony in support of Access for All at the County Council Budget Committee meeting, so I’ve become rather invested in the life of this inclusion effort. Luckily, the public vote will take place while I’m still in the course of this fellowship, so I’ll be able to follow the story to its conclusion (and possibly new beginning.) Regardless of how things pan out, the fact that Seattle and King County have a measure like Access for All in consideration is further evidence of why the Seattle area is listed tenth among the top twenty large vibrant arts communities across the nation, in this survey done by the National Council for Arts Research- (it’s a read that I recommend, so I’ve included the link)

I have also begun making ties with the stunt artist community here in the Northwest. I was graciously invited to attend an event called “Fire Church,” which amounts to fire stunt practice and a barbeque in the back yard of a local stunt coordinator. I have had practice being set ablaze back in NC with my mentor Dale Girard, so I was able to lend a hand with safety on these practice burns. The rare sunny Seattle Sunday (Really, Alex? Alliteration?) was really fun, and good time to talk shop and get to know a group of artists that I don’t regularly work with at ACT.

Alex & Aris prep abounds. We are making some wonderful relationships with brilliant academic minds to help us dive into the historical world of Alexander the Great. And rehearsals for The Legend of Georgia McBride begin next week! So, check back in next time for in-depth dramaturgy and dancing in high heels, and hopefully a few more Fool for Love announcements. Until then…. stay dry and hope for warmer weather?


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