ACT Theatre


Pass Over: Can Young Black Men Escape the Block?

It’s traumatizing being a brother on the block. Playwright Antoinette Nwandu and Director Tim Bond skillfully blur this into a block more like a cell block in prison than a city block one passes through between home and anywhere else one wants to go. Our protagonists in this show at ACT: Moses played by Treavor Lovelle, and Kitch, played by Preston Butler III, are prisoners on this block, kept there by their lack of means to get free.


Skylight-Insightful and Funny

Battle of the sexes: A Nouveau Riche woos a Do-Gooder.

The date, 1995, when David Hare’s play Skylight, now playing at ACT theatre, first opened in London is highly significant, being the twilight years of the glorious reign of Thatcherism. In many ways, the play, ostensibly about whether a couple will rekindle their relationship, is actually a metaphor for two different perspectives to the Thatcher years. Right down to the Tesco “carrier bag” the details and especially the wit are very English, but it has universal resonance


Powerful Crucible Arrives at the ACT

Director John Langs has gathered an all-star cast to present one gut-punch of a show with his current production of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible. Written in 1953 and set in 17th century Salem, Massachusetts, the play, with its laser focus on the horrors of fanaticism and paranoia successfully echoes the tumult and angst of the current state of US affairs. Miller lays out a tough road for his audience, allowing the final moral redemption of his hero to become all the more satisfying. For its final production of the season, ACT is offering an essential and powerful night of theater.


The 14/48 Project: Saturday night World Premiere Show

Two days, fourteen new plays. With lots of laughs and some moments of compelling drama, the second night of “The 14/48 Project” is just as skillfully executed and fun as the first.
If you’ve been to the festival or read my review from Friday’s 10:30 p.m. show, you know how “The 14/48 Project” works. The plays I saw at the Saturday 8 p.m. show were written between the playwrights receiving the prompt “Taking a Shot” on Friday night and 8 a.m. the next morning. After being assigned to plays by random drawing, the directors and actors tackled seven more new plays. The pieces I saw on Saturday night premiered after forty-eight hours of new theatre creation by an adventurous group of artists.
The atmosphere in the Gregory Falls Theater was significantly different at this Saturday World Premier show. The audience was larger and older on average. An audience member could overhear conversations between friends of the performers, or between middle-aged, male theater figures scouting talent…


The Royale

The Royale Packs a Profound Punch ACT’s production of The Royale, the story of a black boxer from the Jim


The Mystery of Love & Sex Dances into the ACT

Playwright Bathsheba Doran is on a roll; she’s been collecting awards while writing scripts for TV’s Masters of Sex, Smash and Boardwalk Empire as well as a set of successful Broadway shows. The Mystery of Love & Sex opened at the Lincoln Center last year in New York and now has landed with a marvelous staging here at Seattle’s ACT. The show features a playwright in total command of her work, hitting on all cylinders.


Explosive Assassins Hits ACT Stage

I’ve always had mixed feelings about the works of Stephen Sondheim. I loved Into the Woods and admired Sweeny Todd and pretty much accepted most of his other shows as fine pieces of musical theater, though maybe not my cup of tea. Where I drew a line was with Assassins, a play I have avoided seeing. Perhaps because I am old enough to remember the deaths of John and Robert Kennedy and Dr. King, I wanted nothing to do with an entertainment that focused on the killers and would-be killers of presidents. This is what I learned on opening night of Assassins at the ACT: It is a fantastically entertaining play; and it is as timely and important now as any show could possibly be for the American theater.

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