As BAT relabels the books in BALL

BAT has a lending library. It is located in Phoenix Tea on 152nd in Burien. Right now there are about 300 books and scripts in BALL, Burien Actors Lending Library. A small personal library has just been donated to BAT, so the number will rise as the books and scripts can be labeled and logged in.

So, why does BAT have a lending library?

The short answer is that when BAT looked for scripts to produce, there were none to be found in Burien. Sure, a bookstore or two had some Shakespeare, but nothing more recent. But there is much more to the answer to that question. Continue reading

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BALL in boxes

BALL, Burien Actors Lending Library, is temporarily closed. In fact, it is in five boxes.

After living in Bumbershoot Books for years, BALL is moving. Sadly, Bumbershoot Books permanently closing on December 31, 2017. It was a great host BALL, and Bumbershoot Books will be missed.

Very soon, BALL will be moving to Phoenix Tea located at 447 SW 152nd St, Burien. BAT and BALL are very excited about the move. Read a script or theater book and enjoy some great tea. Sounds like a perfect fit.

Before BALL can reopen, BAT has to re-label all of the books and scripts with the new address. But there is good news, BAT has more than 100 new books to add to BALL. In its new home, BALL will be even more of the resource!

BALL is coming soon to a tea shop near you!

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My father’s coat

This is a request for blankets, winter coats, or a donation to help BAT buy emergency blankets, sometimes called space blankets. It is now winter and BAT sees many people in need of a little warmth. DONATE HERE.

Now, the Holiday story: on Christmas Eve we were at BAT doing what we do most days to make it possible for BAT to produce better live theater.

In the building next to BAT is Transform Burien, a group of churches who work together to feed and clothe those in need. They are great neighbors, and when BAT gets a costume donation we always check to see if there is something Transform Burien’s clothing bank can use.

On Christmas Eve, Transform Burien had a free meal for people. It was also the day it snowed in Burien. As they cleaned up a few apparently homeless folks hung around under the awnings at BAT. It was a cold and snowy night.

As we were leaving, we noticed some we’re underprepared for the cold.

At BAT we keep a box of blankets, energy blankets, and winter coats that we give out when we see this kind of need. BAT does not use that many heavy coats and blankets on stage, and the emergency blankets are there just to give out.

BAT had not restocked its supply of blankets and the like since last winter, so we did not have as much to share as we do sometimes. BAT gave out what it had, but there was still a gentleman without a warm coat. Continue reading

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Year end 2017

It is that time of year when we look back and look forward. Here at BAT, our fiscal year ends in June, but the calendar year is a good place to pause too.

Looking ahead, BAT is getting ready for Rapture, Blister, Burn. Like all of the shows this season, BAT is excited to get Rapture, Blister Burn on stage. About a week ago, BAT had the first reading of the show with the cast. We all laughed out loud. Rehearsals begin in earnest right after the First of the Year.

Soon, there will be auditions for Church & State. Church & State is BAT’s final show this season, and the season will end with a gem. Continue reading

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A script search

BAT is reading scripts for 2018-19. This is a fun time because, right now, BAT’s season could be anything. Literally anything. As BAT begins the narrow things down, the season will come into focus.

To make a good season, BAT often has to chase down scripts. This is how BAT has gotten to know a number of playwrights and their agents. Some of these relationships have lasted, and others have not. But either way, dealing with an author or an agent is almost always more fun than dealing with a big script publishing house. To the publishing house, BAT is just someone at the end of an online royalties form. With an author or agent, BAT has a face.

Right now, BAT is chasing down a script from London. This chase may not turn into something because the rights may not be available in the US, but sometimes they are. Once the foreign show is done by a US professional house, even just once, it may be available to smaller theaters like BAT. So, it is possible, if BAT finds the right person to talk to, that the show might be available.

This chase has been frustrating, but as it turns out fun. Continue reading

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BAT does not always produce family-friendly shows. This comes, in part, from the idea

Photo by Michael Brunk /

that adults deserve entertainment too. Not every story worth telling is suitable for every young person or those who are easily offended. Some very interesting stories are more suitable for adults.

That said, BAT’s current Holiday show, The Christmas Carol Rag, is family-friendly. It has been drawing very good audiences. It only has one weekend left. GET YOUR TICKETS HERE.

At its shows, BAT asks patrons to fill out questionnaires. The questionnaires ask a number of questions, like how often you come to BAT shows? Did you eat or drink at a Burien restaurant before the show? And so on. These questionaries are part of the data the Foster School of Business used to determine that, on average, each BAT patron adds $22.27 to the Burien economy over and above the ticket purchases.

Two of the questions are, “What types of shows would you like to see BAT produce?” And, “Name a show you would like BAT to produce?

On one questionnaire, there were these two comments:

What type of show, “Only family friendly shows!” (The highlight was on the quetionairre.)

What show BAT should produce, “The Rockey Horror Show.”

Now, the last time BAT produced The Rockey Horror Show, in 2008, PHOTOS, it was not what I would call family-friendly. But that is just me. Maybe times have changed?

BAT will continue to produce interesting scripts, including those that are not as family-friendly as others. Come take a look, and join BAT from February 16, 2018, through March 11, 2018, for Rapture. Blister, Burn. TICKETS

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Is there more than butts in the seats?

This is a tale of two shows. One, BAT’s current Holiday show, The Christmas Carol Rag, and the other In The Next Room, or the vibrator play which BAT produced in 2016.

The former is currently in production. The run is half over and it has sold out five performances. It looks like that trend will continue throughout the run. BAT is a small house, but a show that consistently sells out is a very good thing.

During the entire run of In the Next Room, or the vibrator play the show was seen by just over half as many people who are likely to see The Christmas Carol Rag. GET YOUR TICKETS HERE.

So, by the butts in the seat measure, The Christmas Carol Rag is a better show for BAT. Right? About twice as many people will see it. Well, it may not be the best show for BAT. Continue reading

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A bit of kindness

BAT shares its space with a youth theater education organization. Typically, there are no problems with that relationship, however, it does means that BAT must move its seats out of the way for their rehearsals. This does required a bit of work on BAT’s part.

Last Friday, one of the moms in the hallway, waiting for the child to get out of class, offered to help me reset the seats. The seats are on risers and although they roll, the work is much easier with a couple of sets of hands.

Not only did she help set up the seats, but she volunteered to vacuum both the seats and BAT’s concessions room.

While it took her about 30 minutes, it meant the world to BAT. With her help, BAT was up and ready when the first of the audience showed up.

Her bit of kindness made BAT’s day. Thank you.

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The Christmas Carol Rag – 2017

In this delightfully irreverent musical take on the Dickens classic, Ebenezer Scrooge has been recast as an embittered woman named Evelyn and moved to 1911 New York City. Evelyn runs her New York City sweatshop with an iron fist, but slowly opens her heart when visited by a Yiddish-spouting Ghost of Christmas Past and a gospel-wailing Ghost of Christmas Present.

Get your tickets online: Christmas Carol Rag, buy your tickets in person at Pickled & Preserved, enjoy dinner and a show with Frankies B-Town Bistro, or send an email request to [email protected]

Link to full press release


The Westside Seattle (Highline Times) review

Photo by Michael Brunk /

“Regardless of the gender of story’s central miser and the quirkiness of the ghosts, the takeaway is no different. Scrooge has to reexamine her choices and move into a brighter future – one where she gets into the Christmas spirit instead of foregoing the holiday to spend more time at the office. ”



The Burien Culture Hub review

Photo by Michael Brunk /

“All in all, I highly recommend keeping up our holiday traditions by doing something slightly non-traditional. Norman Allen’s vision of A Christmas Carol offers a slightly different perspective of the classic but cautionary tail of getting too wrapped up in ones own ambitions and the tear littered paths we leave behind when we care for nothing but profits.”




The B-town Blog review

Photo by Michael Brunk /

“The Christmas Carol Rag is successful in getting the audience into the warm feeling of the holiday season.”






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The Chistmas Carol Rag – press release

(Nov. 14, 2017 – Burien, WA) – Burien Actors Theatre’s holiday show, The Christmas Carol Rag, is a delightfully irreverent and moving musical comedy set in ragtime-era New York City. This reimagining of the original Dickens’ classic, written by Norman Allen with musical arrangements by Howard Breitbart, is a Northwest premiere in which Scrooge is an embittered woman who runs a sweatshop. Performances are Nov. 24 through Dec. 17.


The Burien Actors Theatre production features specialty drinks themed to the show and plenty of free on-site parking, plus an opening night party.


This musical comedy take on the Dickens classic is set in the ragtime-era world of rough-and-tumble New York City, circa 1911. Ebenezer Scrooge has been recast as an embittered woman named Evelyn who runs her sweatshop with an iron fist, but slowly opens her heart when visited by a Yiddish-spouting Ghost of Christmas Past and Gospel-wailing Ghost of Christmas Present.  A funny and moving show that puts a new twist on a holiday classic with production numbers featuring live music from ragtime tunes to Gospel.

This show is suitable for all age.

Performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. at Burien Actors Theatre, 14501 4th Ave. S.W. in Burien.

Ticket prices range from $7 to $20. Student tickets are just $10. Enjoy an opening weekend deal:  Tickets on opening night, Nov. 24, include free admission to the opening night party after the show. On Saturday, Nov. 25 all tickets are half price. On Sunday, Nov. 26, known as Seven Buck Sunday, admission is just $7.

For tickets, special deals or other information, go to or call 206-242-5180.

The Christmas Carol Rag is sponsored by 4Culture and Pickled & Preserved.


 Stage director Calen Winn and music director Elizabeth Bender direct the talented cast of  Cara Hazzard (Evelyn Scrooge), Rochelle Flynn (Gladys/Janet Marley/Partygoer), Hannah Rockel (Anne Cratchit/Young Evelyn Scrooge), Jessica Robins (Agnes/Christmas Past/Edie), Angelica Barksdale (Ruthie/Partygoer/Christmas Present), Jaron Boggs (Bob Cratchit, Young Bob Cratcht), Max Lopuscynski (Fred/Tim), Rosemary Herold (Sylvia/Partygoer), Kevin Finney (Bobby/Fezziwig).  Elizabeth Bender is also the pianist for the show. Lisa Harringon is the show’s stage manager.

Designers for the show are: Gayle Staker, choreographer; Albie Clementi, set; Rob Falk, lighting; Cyndi Baumgardner, props; Tucker O’Conner, costumes; and Eric Dickman, sound.

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