Back from the Dead-Animal Saints and Animal Sinners-delights at 18th and Union

Back from the Dead-Animal Saints and Animal Sinners best ever at 18th and Union

One of my favorite events at my favorite theatre in Seattle is the storytelling group Animal Saints and Animal Sinners, comprised of Bret Fetzer, Scot Augustson and Kelleen Conway Blanchard. Although they are always incredibly superb, last night they reached stratospheric heights, in terms of fantastic writing and snappy delivery, Back from the Dead was the best of the best. What I also really love about this fantastic trio is that their styles and subject matter are all very different, but thematically unified.

The evening started off with Scot Augustson recounting the story of St. Penguis & the Great Chain of Events. The story tries to answer the question: Whether the Debate around Free Will is just a Distraction? St. Penguis is about all the seemingly little things that made that day possible; that is to say, the flotsam and jetsam of life that lead to the catastrophic events. It’s about the grand scheme of things.

Although it has an underlying great philosophical question, the tale is expertly constructed and told in a very Garrison Keillor style, full of incredibly well-written and well delivered details of small town life and its hidden secrets. It was completely delightful and incredibly funny.

Then, the great Kellen Conway Blanchard dishes up Pest, a very eerie version of high school angst and hell! She narrates the trials and tribulations of a teen-age girl named Tricia, who perceives suburban life as boring until it isn’t. When the geeky girl, her friends have persecuted, ends up at Tricia’s house for a sleep over, it does not end well. Blanchard’s delivery was spot-on; changing voices to imitate the different characters, the mother and the snotty obnoxious teen-age Tricia. Since writing had all the current teen-age slang, it was uproariously funny until it got a little macabre.

The Rotten Groom—Harriet, was old-fashioned storyteller Bret Fetzer’s contribution. He successfully manages to incorporate both the creepy animal theme and the more innocent Southern tradition into his storytelling, and dresses to look the part, with an old fashioned vest, beard and curled moustaches. Like many of his other tales, he concentrates on a lonely spinster looking for a husband, but like many of the tales of Internet romance, it does not end well, but not in the way anyone would have foreseen. The writing was witty, unpredictable and delivered with panache.

Back from the Dead
is a Gem. Get your tickets for the Friday, Dec. 1st performance, or watch it streamed. On the same block, Alexandra’s café has Pizza night on Friday nights, before the show.

Back from the Dead. Animal Saints and Sinners. 18th and Union Arts Space, 1406-18th Ave, Seattle, WA (Corner of 18th and Union-Central District. ) 7:30 Live. Performance Fri. Dec. 1, 7:30 Live and streamed.


Street parking. Or # 8 Bus from Capitol Hill Light Rail or Downtown. Bus #48 along 23rd Ave.

Scroll to Top