20 Principles for APL Design (2017)

 

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Visual design is a critical factor in the composition of every Akropolis Performance Lab piece. We are very deliberate in the selection of each element brought in to enhance both the work of the actors and the experience of the spectators, with particular attention not only to cohesion within the production itself, but consistency to the aesthetic principles we’ve developed over nearly 20 years and which form a foundational, minimalist through-line for our entire body of work.

The Glas Nocturne at CATAC Balch Street Theatre Akron OH (Photo: Annie Paladino, 2015)

For the last 10 years or so – in addition to directing – I have acted as scenographer for our productions, in collaboration with our Artistic Associates; determining the scenic, lighting, and costume designs. This throws off some people, who question why no designers are credited, and who wonder if that means we just pull these things together with less emphasis than we place on the acting and dramaturgy. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth. Every detail of an APL production is a carefully considered aspect of the dramaturgy, approached with equal importance.

This year, we are bringing in designers once again for 730 Steps, prompting me to put into writing those guiding aesthetic principles, so they can be shared and understood by our new partners. And while they are specifically geared toward design in this form, these are the same fundamental principles which guide all aspects of our creative work.

Ecce Faustus at Westminster Presbyterian Church, Ballard WA (Photo: Mark Zufelt 2016)

20 Principles for APL Design

  1. Use as little as possible, but of the best quality possible
    •  based on money, availability, & time
  2. The space is always what it is. The design happens within and in relationship to the-space-itself
  3. Exploit the difficulties and flaws, don’t try to hide them
  4. Don’t provide the spectator with answers. Give them just enough to recognize the questions and draw their own conclusions
  5. Use Real Objects, unless unobtainable
    • Fabricated Objects should be made with the highest degree of craftsmanship and “real world” permanence
    • Theatrical Facsimiles are not acceptable
  6. Everything on stage should be practical. Question anything that is purely decorative
    • Everything should be able to serve multiple functions
      • As it is
      • As it could be
      • As it has never been before
  7. No electronic or recorded sound effects. All sound created by the performers
  8. No Technical Special Effects (fog, strobe, video projection, etc). Whenever possible “stage magic” should be created by the actor or the architecture
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    The Glas Nocturne at APL Downstairs Studio, Lake Forest Park WA (Photo: Joe Patrick Kane 2015)

  9. Shadow is at least as valuable as Light
  10. Before using gobos or other effects, determine whether the same result can be produced by an actor or the architecture interacting with the light
    • If not, What is the intent?
    • is it indispensable?
  11. Use unusual angles
  12. Use color sparingly, to maximum effect
  13. Use everything sparingly, to maximum effect
  14. Costumes should never dictate what an actor cannot do
  15. Actor insight is crucial regarding costumes
  16. Light, set, and costumes should stimulate the spectator to develop an understanding of people, place, and atmosphere
  17. Light, set, and costumes should stimulate the actors toward always greater awareness and precision
  18. Light, set, and costumes should provoke the actor, not solve their problems for them
  19. No principle is inviolate
  20. Once conceived, question everything
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Seneca’s Oedipus at WSFGC Garden House, Seattle WA (Photo Julia Salamonik 2006)

 

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730 Steps Premiere Announcement!

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Raskolnikov (Tyler Polumsky) Murders Lizaveta (Annie Paladino) (Rehearsal Photo by Joseph Lavy)

Mark your calendars!
Friends, supporters, and media folks, we are very excited to announce that 730 Steps, (an original adaptation of Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment), will have its premiere run of performances
July 14 – 29, 2017!

In a move which we expect will once again defy preconceptions, 730 Steps will be produced in the Isaac Studio Theatre at Taproot Theatre Company, marking the first time since 2004 that APL has produced a full-scale work in a traditional theatre space.
Our work has always been developed with sensitivity to the relationship between the performance art and the specific architecture it inhabits. Over our history, we have developed an approach to creation that we consider “site responsive;” creating work that is at once both very specifically detailed in its performance score, and flexible enough in execution to interact organically with each unique space we perform in.
Over the years, we have produced in a Beacon Hill historical estate house, the Volunteer Park Water Tower, a church sanctuary in Ballard, and the basement of our own home. We have also produced in the On the Boards Studio, CHAC, Freehold and The Chamber Theatres (once upon a time in the Oddfellows Building), and Theatre4 at the Center House Armory.
730 Steps is developing into a very theatrical piece and we’re thrilled to have been invited into Taproot’s beautiful Isaac Studio Theatre to bring it to you!
Wherever we perform, rest assured the artistic principles, vision, and commitment to austerity and intimacy that define our work as uniquely APL will continue to guide us without compromise.
So, mark your calendars!

730 Steps
(based on Crime and Punishment by FM Dostoevsky)
Produced by Akropolis Performance Lab
July 14 – 29, 2017
Isaac Studio Theatre
Taproot Theatre
Greenwood, Seattle WA

Get Ready for GiveBIG!

We are so excited to participate in Seattle Foundation’s GiveBIG event on May 3, and we hope you are, too! Seattle’s GiveBIG is the most successful in the country. It is thrilling to see the impact we can make in just one day by working together.

#‎GiveBIG today through May 3, and your support for Akropolis Performance Lab will be stretched by Seattle Foundation pooled funds. And as an additional bonus, the first $1,000 in contributions to Akropolis will be matched 100%! – Please help us meet this goal.

As you know, we primarily produce our work in non-conventional or found spaces. We believe this increases authenticity and enriches audience experience. It also requires us to be fully self-sufficient, mobile, flexible, and nimble — for many productions we must set up and strike our set and tech every night! To fulfill our production plans for the next two years while continuing our commitment to this mobility, we must acquire some new equipment.

Money raised during GiveBIG will fund as many of these items as possible:

  • Risers for 2nd-row audience seating
  • Lighting fixtures (light board and 6 instruments with safety cables, barn doors, gel frames, gels)
  • Rigging for lights
  • Pipe & Drape
  • Road cases to transport and protect our equipment

And you don’t have to wait to make a pledge and risk missing the BIG day. You can schedule your donation today, and Seattle Foundation will process it automatically on May 3! To pre-schedule your gift, visit our GiveBIG profile page HERE.

We hope you will make a donation to APL’s GiveBIG campaign and see your dollars stretched through the power of community.
DONATE NOW!

Thank you, as always, for your friendship and support of our work!

Theatre Journal publishes Glas Nocturne Review

Theatre Journal TGN ScreenshotWe are so proud to share this performance review of The Glas Nocturne, which is published in the current issue (68.1) of Theatre Journal!

Thank you to Jeanmarie Higgins and ‪#‎theatrejournal‬ for venturing out to our corner of the country and giving APL’s work critical consideration as part of the international theatre conversation.

From the author: “What started as a quick trip to Seattle to see some friends and some theatre turned into a Theatre Journal performance review of Joseph and Zhenya Lavy’s The Glas Nocturne. I love writing about Akropolis Performance Lab; the work is always virtuosic, irrefutable, and strangely joyful.”

READ THE REVIEW FREE ON ACADEMIA.EDU

An Actor’s Early Thoughts on Ecce Faustus

"But you others, what do I see? You are all sitting there with lusting eyes: you free souls, where is your freedom gone?" | Tyler Polumsky as The Bad Angel | Ecce Faustus (2016) | Photo: Mark Jared Zufelt, Aether Images

“You are all sitting there with lusting eyes: you free souls, where is your freedom gone?” | Tyler Polumsky as The Bad Angel | Ecce Faustus (2016) | Photo: Mark Jared Zufelt, Aether Images

This message was written to Joseph and Zhenya early in the rehearsal process for Ecce Faustus. As APL prepares to remount the piece for video and a special one-night-only showing for audience, it seemed like a good opportunity to share these thoughts.

I am a bit sleepless. Working on text, and stepping through sequences in my mind.

So, I am writing to tell you how genuinely enamored I am with our work.

Ecce Faustus cuts deep. It is a complicated text; based on tried and true classical literature, neither profane nor vulgar in content–though the message is one that strikes straight to the bone of the profanity and vulgarity of the human condition in our time (perhaps throughout all of time).

Sitting and listening/reading the text, observing the shapes of the action, I begin to see what amount of devastating efficacy we can bring to this story.

I know we have a long way to go before these themes begin to sound out and resonate with the intended genuine depth, but I have no doubts that this group of artists will get there.

As I lay my head to sleep, I am grateful for the opportunity to endeavor with you all on something of this calibre and in which I can find a great worldly meaning and value. Faust is a story to be told, again and again, now more than ever.

Indeed we are all Faust: selfish, self absorbed, and self centered. It would almost be a cruel joke were it not disappointingly true….

I have always believed the theatre to be a spiritual endeavor first and foremost. I am glad to not be alone in this and overjoyed at an opportunity to convey a deeply meaningful story to anyone that would hear it–and with a group of artists who are not afraid to delve so deeply for the sake of spiritual wealth.

Thank you,
Tyler

1-night only! See Ecce Faustus April 4

The Invocation of Mephistopheles | Ecce Faustus (2016) | Photo: Mark Jared Zufelt, Aether Images

The Invocation of Mephistopheles | Ecce Faustus (2016) | Photo: Mark Jared Zufelt, Aether Images

Dear Friends,

If you missed the February premiere of Ecce Faustus or just want to see it again, you are in luck: We are remounting it to shoot video and are inviting friends to enjoy a free showing — one night only — on April 4. That’s next Monday, and this is short notice, but we hope you can join us!

Seating is capped at 50 and first-come, first-served, so  reserve yours here now!

While this event is free to attend, there are expenses associated with this remount that we would appreciate your support in helping cover. Please consider making a donation to APL as you are able.

~ The APL Ensemble

Ken Griffey Jr & the Aesthetics of Function

Ken Griffey Jr - August 27, 2008

Ken Griffey Jr – August 27, 2008

The Kid.

Baseball legend. Seattle’s defining superstar. Generational talent. All of these terms are routinely used to describe Ken Griffey Jr, one of the greatest sports players of the ’90s. For baseball aficionados, watching Griffey play baseball is akin to listening to Montserrat Caballé sing Ave Maria. But why is this so? And more importantly, why should theatre artists care?

Sure, there were the layout game-saving catches. The singles he turned into triples with speed, guile, and vision. The bullet-like, perfectly timed throws from across the field. More than all this, though, it was the swing.

In an era drunk on steroids and raw power, of McGwire and Sosa hitting 60, Griffey was right there, keeping pace alongside them. The fluidity of that bat’s passing through the strike zone could just as easily turn a low and outside two-seamer into a home run as turn a high change-up into a line-drive single. Griffey had a swing that Bobby Valentine (one of the most infamously irascible coaches in history) famously called “perfect” (Stone). Jay Buhner, his teammate with the Mariners, said Griffey would “…call his shots all the friggin’ time. We’d all shake our heads” (Stone).

That swing was magic, more than just effective; it was beautiful.

Kant argues that our judgment of beauty emerging from an object of perception – or in this case an action “ . . . arises on the achievement of a purpose, or at least the recognition of a purposiveness” (Burnham). For Kant, purpose “is the concept according to which it was made” (Burnham). Purposiveness however has an “intrinsic purpose” whereby “a thing embodies its own purpose” (Burnham). There is a particular and mischievous delight in thinking that because the “universality and necessity” of artistic judgments “are in fact a product of features of the human mind” (Burnham), we could just as easily apply our idea of beauty to actions as something like Kant’s sunset or a painting by J.M.W. Turner.

Griffey’s swing didn’t dazzle Bobby Valentine because it was so effective. In fact, I’m sure it would have been the opposite when he coached for the Rangers. Griffey’s swing stood out since there is “pleasure in something because we judge it beautiful, rather than judging it beautiful because we find it pleasurable” (Burnham).

The act of hitting a baseball is a functional movement. It serves a very real world purpose. While this feat can be described as impressive on its own, there are all sorts of examples of other people (Nelson Cruz) hitting balls very far without the action’s being particularly beautiful. So why is Griffey’s swing so beautiful? Bobby Valentine again: “Once you start your swing, people talk about transferring your weight. I always thought his transfer was impeccable, the way he was able to stride, and have a good stride, and yet stop his weight as he was going forward so he could transfer all that weight to his front foot, get off his back foot, and stay balanced as he translated all that energy to the bat” (Stone). All of this boils down to being able to do something extremely well with style, a little bit of “extra” that adds something not essential, yet not extraneous to the basic action. “Griffey got into the box, and it almost looked like he was dancing” (Stone).

I remember going to see Pina Bausch’s final piece of choreography at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2010 entitled “ . . . como el musguito en la piedra, ay si, si, si …” and being dazzled by the dancers’ simply walking around the stage. It was just walking. There wasn’t even a particular aberration of the movement, but it mutated from sensual to unnerving in an instant, yet never deviated from the essential action of needing to carry each individual dancer’s body across the stage. Bausch’s dancers floated with, like Griffey’s swing, “ . . . this dance of balance that performers reveal in fundamental principles common to all scenic forms” (Barba). The shift of balance is not done simply for itself. It is a functional movement—a functional movement that is nevertheless enacted with a certain style and specificity, a little something extra that transforms it from basic action into beautiful action.

Theatre is constantly faced with a tension between establishing something real, while simultaneously establishing something beautiful. In day-to-day existence, people strive to “ . . . follow the principle of minimum effort, that is, obtaining a maximum result with a minimum expenditure of energy” (Barba). In performance, the performer is faced with the particular problem of making actions “ . . . which do not respect the habitual conditionings of the use of the body” (Barba). The audience wants to see something real, as in action that accomplishes something verifiable, and yet is also something that has a little flair. Flair that isn’t added on or layered but that is central to the action. There is a subtle shift of focus by the actor not only from the effective and skilled execution of the action but towards something greater.

Whatever that greater thing is can be left open, maybe even unknown explicitly to person performing the action. Étienne Decroux, the father of corporeal mime, is described as having a “ . . . lion inside him and his technique kept it at bay” (Barba). When we see truly incredible performance on the scale of Griffey’s willfully distributing balls about the field, or Bausch’s dancers gliding across a stage, we see not just the action itself, but what they are pointing towards: the lion in the quote about Decroux.

Such mastery over technique hints at a different aesthetic experience that is called by Kant the Sublime, which “names experiences like violent storms or huge buildings which seem to overwhelm us; that is, we feel we ‘cannot get our head around them’ ” (Burnham). People find these actions awe-inspiring because they relate beyond the actions themselves towards a rational idea that is absolute in some way: “Extra-daily techniques . . . lead to information” (Barba). True expression of genius can be called “beautiful, but in addition is an expression of the state of mind which is generated by an aesthetic idea” (Burnham). Information that gets communicated from functional movement at the scale of Griffey seems to relate less to a quotidian idea and more towards something that has a capital letter in front of it.

For years that bat gliding through the strike zone enraptured millions. But it wasn’t just how good Griffey was at swinging that bat; it was the way that he was good at it that made it so special. The real trick is to be able to do that on stage when the performer only has to pick up a teacup.

Trevor Young Marston was an Akropolis Performance Lab Artistic Associate from 2014 to 2016, appearing in Pomegranate & Ash.

Works Cited

Barba, Eugenio. The Paper Canoe: A Guide to Theatre Anthropology. Trans. Richard Fowler. New York: Routledge, 1995.

Burnham, Douglas. “Immanuel Kant: Aesthetics.” Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2016.

Stone, Larry. “For Hall of Fame-bound Ken Griffey Jr., it all started with the swing.” 5.1.2016. Seattle Times.

Eadweard Muybridge. Animal locomotion: an electro-photographic investigation of consecutive phases of animal movements. 1872-1885 / published under the auspices of the University of Pennsylvania. Plates. The plates printed by the Photo-Gravure Company. Philadelphia, 1887 / USC Digital Library, 2010.

Eadweard Muybridge. Animal locomotion: an electro-photographic investigation of consecutive phases of animal movements. 1872-1885 / published under the auspices of the University of Pennsylvania. Plates. The plates printed by the Photo-Gravure Company. Philadelphia, 1887 / USC Digital Library, 2010.

Second Gypsy Nomination for Glas & Joseph Lavy

In addition to Zhenya’s nomination for local composing, Joseph received a Gypsy Rose Lee Award nomination for Best Male Lead Actor in a Play for his role as Dr. Glas in The Glas Nocturne.

The Gypsy Rose Lee Awards are selected by Seattle Theatre Critics. Here is the entire slate of 2015 nominees:

Excellence in Production of a Play (Larger Theaters):

  • Best of Enemies – Taproot Theatre Company
  • Orpheus Descending – Intiman Theatre Festival/The Williams Project
  • Our Town – Strawberry Theatre Workshop
  • Slaughterhouse-Five – Book-It Repertory Theatre
  • The Flick – New Century Theatre Company

Excellence in Production of a Play (Smaller Theaters):

  • Chinglish – ArtsWest
  • Dance Like A Man – Pratidhwani
  • The Secretaries – Theater Schmeater
  • The Tall Girls – Washington Ensemble Theatre
  • Water By The Spoonful – Theatre22

Excellence in Production of a Musical

  • American Idiot – ArtsWest
  • Come From Away – Seattle Repertory Theatre
  • Into the Woods – STAGEright Theatre
  • Lizard Boy – Seattle Repertory Theatre
  • The Great America Trailer Park Musical – STAGEright Theatre

Excellence in Direction of a Play (Larger Theaters):

  • Josh Aaseng – Slaughterhouse-Five (Book-It Repertory Theatre)
  • David Bennett – Buyer & Cellar (Seattle Repertory Theatre)
  • Malika Oyetimein – Bootycandy (Intiman Theatre Festival)
  • Ryan Purcell – Orpheus Descending (Intiman Theatre Festival/The Williams Project)
  • MJ Sieber – The Flick (New Century Theatre Company)

Excellence in Direction of a Play (Smaller Theaters):

  • Julie Beckman – Water By The Spoonful (Theatre22)
  • Desdemona Chiang and Howie Seago – Sound (Azeotrope)
  • John Kazanjian – Mud (New City Theater)
  • Kelly Kitchens – The Art of Bad Men (MAP Theatre)
  • Annie Lareau – Chinglish (ArtsWest)

Excellence in Direction of a Musical

  • Eric Ankrim – American Idiot (ArtsWest)
  • Christopher Ashley – Come From Away (Seattle Repertory Theatre)
  • Matt Giles – Into the Woods (STAGEright Theatre)
  • Brandon Ivie – Lizard Boy (Seattle Repertory Theatre)
  • Steve Tomkins – No Way to Treat a Lady (Village Theatre)

Excellence in Performance in a Play as a Lead Actor (Male) (Larger Theaters):

  • John Aylward – Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (ACT Theatre)
  • Robert Bergin/Erik Gratton/Todd Jefferson Moore – Slaughterhouse-Five (Book-It Repertory Theatre)
  • Jeff Berryman – Best of Enemies (Taproot Theatre Company)
  • Scott Drummond – Buyer & Cellar (Seattle Repertory Theatre)
  • Tyler Trerise – The Flick (New Century Theatre Company)

Excellence in Performance in a Play as a Lead Actor (Male) (Smaller Theaters):

  • Jany Bacallao – Water By The Spoonful (Theatre22)
  • Ryan Higgins – 99 Ways To Fuck A Swan (Washington Ensemble Theatre)
  • Joseph Lavy – The Glas Nocturne (Akropolis Performance Lab)
  • Terry Edward Moore – A Delicate Balance (Theatre9/12)
  • Tyler Trerise – My Mañana Comes (ArtsWest)

Excellence in Performance in a Musical as a Lead Actor (Male)

  • Mark Anders – My Fair Lady (Village Theatre)
  • Nick DeSantis – No Way to Treat a Lady (Village Theatre)
  • Brian Earp – Cabaret (Village Theatre)
  • Frederick Hagreen – American Idiot (ArtsWest)
  • Justin Huertas – Lizard Boy (Seattle Repertory Theatre)

Excellence in Performance in a Play as a Lead Actor (Female) (Larger Theaters):

  • Hana Lass – The Explorers Club (Taproot Theatre Company)
  • Claudine Mboligikpelani Nako – Little Bee (Book-It Repertory Theatre)
  • Jeanne Paulsen – Mother Courage And Her Children (Seattle Shakespeare Company)
  • Faith Russell – Best of Enemies (Taproot Theatre Company)
  • Amy Thone – Our Town (Strawberry Theatre Workshop)

Excellence in Performance in a Play as a Lead Actor (Female) (Smaller Theaters):

  • Mary Ewald – Mud (New City Theater)
  • Sophia Franzella – My Dear Miss Chancellor (Annex Theatre)
  • Kathy Hsieh – Chinglish (ArtsWest)
  • Yesenia Iglesias – Water By The Spoonful (Theatre22)
  • Anna Kasabyan – Bad Jews (Seattle Public Theater)

Excellence in Performance in a Musical as a Lead Actor (Female)

  • Kristin Burch – Legally Blonde (SecondStory Repertory)
  • Jenn Collela – Come From Away (Seattle Repertory Theatre)
  • Beth DeVries – Snapshots (Village Theatre)
  • EmilyRose Frasca – Are You There, God? It’s Me, Karen Carpenter (STAGEright Theatre)
  • Allison Standley – My Fair Lady (Village Theatre)

Excellence in Performance of a Play as a Supporting Actor (Male) – any non-lead (Larger Theaters):

  • Quinn Franzen – Threesome (ACT Theatre)
  • Sam Hagen – The Flick (New Century Theatre Company)
  • Bill Johns – The Explorers Club (Taproot Theatre Company)
  • Isaiah Johnson – Bootycandy (Intiman Theatre Festival)
  • Adam Standley – Mr. Burns, a post-electric play (ACT Theatre)

Excellence in Performance of a Play as a Supporting Actor (Male) – any non-lead (Smaller Theaters):

  • Scott Ward Abernethy – Indian Ink (Sound Theatre Company/Pratidhwani)
  • Ben Phillips – Bad Jews (Seattle Public Theater)
  • Brandon Ryan – The Art of Bad Men (MAP Theatre)
  • Ryan Schlect – Sound (Azeotrope)
  • G. Valmont Thomas – Water By The Spoonful (Theatre22)

Excellence in Performance of a Musical as a Supporting Actor (Male)

  • Rodney Hicks – Come From Away (Seattle Repertory Theatre)
  • Dan Kremer – My Fair Lady (Village Theatre)
  • David Pichette – The Sound of Music (The 5th Avenue Theatre)
  • Caesar Samayoa – Come From Away (Seattle Repertory Theatre)
  • William A. Williams – Lizard Boy (Seattle Repertory Theatre)

Excellence in Performance of a Play as a Supporting Actor (Female) (Larger Theaters):

  • Angel Brice – Bootycandy (Intiman Theatre Festival)
  • Emily Chisholm – The Flick (New Century Theatre Company)
  • Rebecca M. Davis – Bootycandy (Intiman Theatre Festival)
  • Jenny Vaughn Hall – Best of Enemies (Taproot Theatre Company)
  • Sarah Harlett – The Memorandum (Strawberry Theatre Workshop)

Excellence in Performance of a Play as a Supporting Actor (Female) (Smaller Theaters):

  • Rose Cano – Water By The Spoonful (Theatre22)
  • Cheyenna Clearbrook – Sound (Azeotrope)
  • Ashley Flannegan – The Secretaries (Theater Schmeater)
  • Peggy Gannon – The Art of Bad Men (MAP Theatre)
  • Rhonda J. Soikowski – Wizzer Pizzer (Theatre22)

Excellence in Performance of a Musical as a Supporting Actor (Female) – any non-lead

  • Kirsten deLohr Helland – Lizard Boy (Seattle Repertory Theatre)
  • Priscilla Hake Lauris – My Fair Lady (Village Theatre)
  • Chelsea LeValley – Angry Housewives (ArtsWest)
  • Q. Smith – Come From Away (Seattle Repertory Theatre)
  • Billie Wildrick – Carousel (The 5th Avenue Theatre)

Excellence in Performance as an Ensemble (Larger Theaters):

  • Bootycandy – Intiman Theatre Festival (Chris Ensweiler, Tyler Trerise, Rebecca M. Davis, Isaiah Johnson, Angel Brice)
  • Come From Away – Seattle Repertory Theatre (Eric Ankrim, Petrina Bromley, Jenn Colella, Joel Hatch, Rodney Hicks,Kendra Kassebaum, Chad Kimball, Lee MacDougall, Caesar Samayoa, Q Smith, Astrid Van Wieren, Sharon Wheatley)
  • Festen – New Century Theatre Company (Emily Chisholm, Bradford Farwell, Ray Gonzalez, Brenda Joyner, Conner Neddersen, Michael Patten, Jason Sanford, Betsy Schwartz, MJ Sieber, Amy Thone, Connor Toms, Evan Whitfield, Peter Dylan O’Connor, Helen Milam)
  • Orpheus Descending – Intiman Theatre Festival/The Williams Project (Grant Chapman, Kemiyondo Coutinho,Rebecca Gibel, Tiffany Nichole Greene, Elise LeBreton, Richard Prioleau, Max Rosenak, Charlie Thurston)
  • No Way to Treat a Lady – Village Theatre (Nick DeSantis, Dane Stokinger, Jessica Skerritt, Bobbi Kotula, Jayne Muirhead)

Excellence in Performance as an Ensemble (Smaller Theaters):

  • Brechtfest – The Horse in Motion (Katherine Bicknell, Nathan Brockett, Liza Curtiss, Amy Escobar,Chris Lee Hill, Harry Todd Jamieson, Sylvia Kowalski, Adria LaMorticella, Kevin Lin, Jocelyn Maher, Nic Morden, Andrew Pritzkau, Hannah Ruwe, Matt Sherrill, Dylan Smith, Shaudi Bianca Vahdat)
  • Dance Like a Man – Pratidhwani (Jay Athalye, Tanvee Kale, Abhijeet Rane, Meenakshi Rishi)
  • The Art of Bad Men – MAP Theatre (Grace Carmack, Peggy Gannon, Ben McFadden, Ben Burris, Brandon Ryan, Sean Schroeder)
  • The Tall Girls – Washington Ensemble Theatre (Leah Salcido Pfenning, Hannah Ruwe, Chelsea Callahan, Adria LaMorticella, Bailie Breaux, Ali Mohamed el-Gasseir)
  • Water By The Spoonful – Theatre22 (Jany Bacallao, Yesenia Iglesias, Rose Cano, G. Valmont Thomas, Keiko Green, Jeff Allen Pierce, Jake Ynzunza)

Excellence in Set Design (Larger Theaters):

  • Andrea Bryn Bush – The Flick (New Century Theatre Company)
  • L.B. Morse – Lizard Boy (Seattle Repertory Theatre)
  • Matthew Smucker – Cabaret (Village Theatre)
  • Matthew Smucker – Our Town (Strawberry Theatre Workshop)
  • Carey Wong – The Comparables (Seattle Repertory Theatre)

Excellence in Set Design (Smaller Theaters):

  • Nina Moser – Mud (New City Theater)
  • Jared Roberts – American Idiot (ArtsWest)
  • Paul Thomas – Dump Site (Seattle Immersive Theatre)
  • Montana Tippett – Water By The Spoonful (Theatre22)
  • Craig Wollam – The Tumbleweed Zephyr (Pork Filled Productions)

Excellence in Costume Design (Larger Theaters):

  • Erik Andor – Lizard Boy (Seattle Repertory Theatre)
  • Sarah Nash Gates – Carousel (The 5th Avenue Theatre)
  • Kelly McDonald – Bootycandy (Intiman Theatre Festival)
  • Pete Rush – Slaughterhouse-Five (Book-It Repertory Theatre)
  • Deb Trout – Mr. Burns, a post-electric play (ACT Theatre)

Excellence in Costume Design (Smaller Theaters):

  • Cherelle Ashby & Jonelle Cornwell – Are You There, God? It’s Me, Karen Carpenter (STAGEright Theatre)
  • Candace Frank – Indian Ink (Sound Theatre Company/Pratidhwani)
  • Kelly McDonald – Chinglish (ArtsWest)
  • Nina Moser – Mud (New City Theater)
  • Ali Rose Panzarella – 99 Ways To Fuck A Swan (Washington Ensemble Theatre)

Excellence in Lighting Design (Larger Theaters):

  • Howell Binkley – Come From Away (Seattle Repertory Theatre)
  • Kent Cubbage – Slaughterhouse-Five (Book-It Repertory Theatre)
  • Geoff Korf – Festen (New Century Theatre Company)
  • Geoff Korf – Mr. Burns, a post-electric play (ACT Theatre)
  • Andrew D. Smith – The Flick (New Century Theatre Company)

Excellence in Lighting Design (Smaller Theaters):

  • Tess Malone – The Art of Bad Men (MAP Theatre)
  • Tristan Roberson – Water By The Spoonful (Theatre22)
  • Gwyn Skone – My Dear Miss Chancellor (Annex Theatre)
  • Lindsay Smith – Mud (New City Theater)
  • Tim Wratten – Tilt Angel (theater simple)

Excellence in Sound Design (Larger Theaters):

  • Dominic CodyKramers – Mr. Burns, a post-electric play (ACT Theatre)
  • Mark Lund – Best of Enemies (Taproot Theatre Company)
  • Evan Mosher and Robertson Witmer – The Flick (New Century Theatre Company)
  • Matt Starritt – Lizard Boy (Seattle Repertory Theatre)
  • Matt Starritt – Slaughterhouse-Five (Book-It Repertory Theatre)

Excellence in Sound Design (Smaller Theaters):

  • Dana Amromin – The Secretaries (Theater Schmeater)
  • Christen Audio Group (Andy Somora and Hannah Victoria Franklin) – Is She Dead Yet? (Annex Theatre)
  • Evan Mosher and Andre Nelson – Slowgirl (Seattle Public Theater)
  • Haley Parcher – American Idiot (ArtsWest)
  • Kyle Thompson – Water By The Spoonful (Theatre22)

Excellence in Musical Direction

  • Ian Eisendrath – Come From Away (Seattle Repertory Theatre)
  • Chris Ranney and R.J. Tancioco – American Idiot (ArtsWest)
  • RJ Tancioco – Lizard Boy (Seattle Repertory Theatre)

Excellence in Choreography or Movement

  • Donald Byrd – Carousel (The 5th Avenue Theatre)
  • Kelly Devine – Come From Away (Seattle Repertory Theatre)
  • Trina Mills, Shadou Mintrone and Gabe Corey – American Idiot (ArtsWest)

Excellence in Local Playwriting

  • Josh Aaseng – Slaughterhouse-Five (Book-It Repertory Theatre)
  • Caitlin Gilman – My Dear Miss Chancellor (Annex Theatre)
  • Keiko Green – Bunnies (Annex Theatre)
  • Justin Huertas – Lizard Boy (Seattle Repertory Theatre)
  • Brandon Simmons – Is She Dead Yet? (Annex Theatre)

Excellence in Local Composing

  • Justin Huertas – Lizard Boy (Seattle Repertory Theatre)
  • Zhenya Lavy – The Glas Nocturne (Akropolis Performance Lab)
  • Mark Siano, Opal Peachey, and Dayton Alleman – Bohemia (Marxiano Productions)

Ecce Faustus Tickets Now on Sale

Ecce FaustusIt’s time! Tickets are now available for Ecce Faustus.

Don’t delay. The show runs just 3 weeks: February 5-27, 2016.

See what happens when APL explores the various ways we sell our souls and deconstructs the Faust legend to create a Modern Medieval Mystery Play… staged in a church in the Ballard neighborhood.

Did we mention the composer was a murderer?

Truly another not-to-be missed original piece by the ensemble!

Complete details here.

Zhenya Lavy Nominated for Gypsy Award

2016_01-07 NOMINATION - Gypsy - Music - ZhenyaFor the second year in a row, Co-Artistic Director Zhenya Lavy has been nominated by the Seattle Theatre Writers for a Gypsy Rose Lee Award in the category of Excellence in Local Composing. The nomination recognizes her work on The Glas Nocturne.

Zhenya’s nomination as one of three for 2015 is an especial honor because, unlike most awards for theatre in the greater Seattle area, the Gypsy Awards do not differentiate separate categories for music at larger- or smaller-budget houses: the potential nominee pool encompasses all original music for theatre activity in the area.

L-R: Joseph Lavy, Linnea Ingalls, Catherine Lavy, Sara Kaus, Annie Paladino, Margaretta Campagna, and Zhenya Lavy | Photo: Joe Patrick Kane

The musical landscape Zhenya built for The Glas Nocturne included piano nocturnes by composers from Field and Chopin to Alkan and Bartok (played live by Zhenya), as well as dynamic arrangements of traditional Swedish folk tunes sung in three- and four-part harmonies by the ensemble.

Award winners will be announced later this month.

If you missed The Glas Nocturne, request a spot on our waitlist and be among the first to know when we will remount it in our 2016-17 season.

In the meantime, buy your tickets now for Ecce Faustus, which opens February 5. Ecce Faustus features stunning 5-part madrigals and sacred music by Carlo Gesualdo, with some of the most complex structures and harmonies APL has ever put on stage — all performed live.