Slate Theatre


An Intimate “Twelfth Night, Or What You Will” at the Slate

Fern Shakespeare Company brings us now an intimate and funny Twelfth Night, Or What You Will at their new home: The Slate Theater. Using the performance method called Original Practice, director Wiley Basho Gorn, set a slow open to the show. The cast enters the stage and casually talk with the audience about everyday matters such as, what brought us out tonight, or how far did we travel. One can ask questions, I asked, “Who are you playing tonight.” I happened to be talking to Camille van Putten: “Viola.” “Oh, you have a lot of lines.” I’m not quite backstage, yet she’s not fully in role either.

My short exchange with an actor sampled the close contact of audience and performer common in Shakespeare’s time.


The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) by The Fern Shakespeare Company

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) expertly parodies the Bard’s work with puppets, rap, Freudian analysis, and more. In this encore production at the Slate Theatre, the Fern Shakespeare Company caricatures some classics with mixed results.

The Complete Works was first performed by its writers, Adam Long, Daniel Singer, and Jess Winfield, of the Reduced Shakespeare Company, at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 1987. Since then, this three-actor play has been performed by theater troupes all over the world. The show presents all 37 of Shakespeare’s plays in abridged, parodied, and/or combined form. With room for improvisation, audience participation, and other deviations from the script, it’s easy to see the appeal for both actors and audiences.


The Trojan Women-adaptation of Euripides Play, As relevant today as in 415 B.C.

The Trojan Women explores the Class, Racial and Sexual Politics of War

An intense but highly intriguing adaptation of Euripides’s The Trojan Woman, by Caroline Bird opened at Seattle’s favorite venue for plays taking place in prisons: The old Immigration Jail, now called The Slate Theatre. Produced by Civic Rep Theatre, the play offered a scintillating exposé of the interconnection between war and rape, of the rationalizations of the powerful as they evade their responsibilities and avoid making amends, how the wives of the powerful, accepting of their “feminine” roles, use power ruthlessly and of course, how the poor and disenfranchised pay the ultimate price for war. All this wrapped up in a coherent script, sprinkled with poetic witticisms, which honored the classical text and our modern theatrical conventions.

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