Native Gardens press release

Good fences make bad neighbors in comedy Native Gardens at Burien Actors Theatre 

(September 11, 2019 – Burien, WA) Burien Actors Theatre (BAT) kicks off BAT’s 40th-anniversary season with the company’s production of Native Gardens, a comedy about new neighbors and a fence line disagreement that soon spirals into an all-out war of taste, class, privilege, race, and entitlement.

Performances of this play, which premiered in 2016, run September 27 through October 20, 2019.

The Burien Actors Theatre production, written by Karen Zacarias, features specialty drinks themed to the show and plenty of free on-site parking, plus BAT’s famous opening night party.

NATIVE GARDENS

Pablo, a high-powered lawyer, and doctoral candidate Tania, his very pregnant wife, have the American dream on lock when they get the keys to a house next to deeply rooted Virginia and Frank. But a spat over a wandering fence line blooms into an all-out war of taste, class, privilege, race, and entitlement. Planted in difficult issues, in this hilarious play, no one comes out smelling like a rose. Continue reading

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Native Gardens poster art – choices

[This post is edited to include the reply to BAT’s comment on FaceBook.]

BAT is on FaceBook. Come and say, “Hi” sometime.

FaceBook is one of the places BAT gets feedback. Some is postive, and some not so much. Here is one coment, and BAT’s response.

From FaceBook:

Seriously? This is the image you chose for the show? Here is an important play about Latinx identity and conflict, written by an important Latinx playwright, and you put the white male as your poster image.

I wish you would think harder about the choices you make. Why do this play in the first place? Was it to show the issues inherent in the play, or simply to capitalize from the current popularity of the playwright and Latinx themes in general?

BAT’s response:

Thanks for your input.

You are right. A talented Latinx playwright wrote Native Gardens. It is a beautiful script, one that deserves to be on many stages. It is a comedy, but it looks at human relationships with amazing insight.

If you think BAT selected this play to “simply capitalize [on] the current popularity of the playwright and Latinx themes,” you are mistaken. Native Gardens is about much more than Latinx issues. It is also about the relationships between women; the relationships between men; differences in class; how couples work out their differences; how neighbors get along or don’t; how race and privilege may be an issue in all of those relationships; and how we are all much more alike than we are different. Continue reading

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Stagehand/acting auditions for Native Gardens

Seeking stagehands of all races and ethnicities to perform in onstage action in comedy “Native Gardens” at Burien Actors Theatre

Burien Actors Theatre (BAT) is seeking stagehands of all races and ethnicities, preferably with performing background, or performers with stage crew background for Native Gardens, written by Karen Zacarias. The stagehand-performers will perform in the action onstage, both during some scenes and in the full visible set changes between scenes, playing a surveyor, building examiner and landscapers.

Since the play is about a Latinx couple and a Caucasian couple, having a mix of races and ethnicities for the stagehand-performers would be ideal.

The stagehand-performers will be rehearsed to create their own part of the Native Gardens world onstage. While there is no written dialogue, there may a little silently mouthed conversation and some vocalized reactions like gasps or laughter to go along with the stagehand-performers’ physical action.

Synopsis of Native Gardens:  Pablo Del Valle, a high-powered lawyer, and his wife, Tania, a doctoral candidate who is very pregnant, are realizing the American dream when they purchase a house next door to community stalwarts Virginia and Frank. But a disagreement over a long-standing fence line soon spirals into an all-out war of taste, race, class, privilege, and entitlement. Planted in difficult issues, this hilarious play guarantees no one comes out smelling like a rose.

There are 12 performances at BAT from Sept. 27 through Oct. 20, 2019 on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m.

Rehearsals for the show are in progress at BAT. Stagehand-performers would join the show during tech rehearsals from Sept. 21 to Sept. 26, plus potentially one or two evening rehearsals during the week of Sept. 15 to Sept. 20.

BAT has free on-site parking and is two blocks from the Burien Transit Center.

Burien Actors Theatre is located at 14501 Fourth Ave S.W., Burien. For directions, go to www.burienactorstheatre.org/about-bat/visit.

The directors are Rochelle Flynn and Maggie Larrick, who have co-directed six productions together.

$100 stipend provided.

If interested, contact Maggie Larrick at [email protected] or 206-949-9554 for more information.

 

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The joy of giving

I was walking into the PCC in Burien. I saw a young woman and her baby sitting under a small tree. She had a sign that said she needed money for rent.

As I walked by I stopped, said, Hi, and gave her a little money. Although it was not that much money, she seemed very happy.

I went in a did my shopping. While there I ended up cashing a larger bill at the register.

When I came out, I sat at the tables outside and took a minute to read part of a script BAT is considering for next year. As I read, I watched the people walking by the young woman and her child. Some ignored her. Some stopped and talked. Some gave her money. A couple gave her food they had bought in PCC.

It was interesting to watch. I did not notice much about the people who just walked by. The people who talked to her seemed alright. But what I did notice, and could not avoid noticing, was that everyone who gave the young woman something had a smile on their face when they walked away.

It is funny how giving to someone else makes us happy.

On the way back to my car, I stopped and gave the young woman a little more money. Sure enough, I found a smile on my face as I walked away.

BAT has its sign out too. In the next few months, we have rent and most importantly $7,200.00 in royalties due for the first few shows of the season. (Royalties are what BAT pays to get permission to produce the shows.)

Put a smile on your face. If you can, give a little to help. DONATE HERE. It can be as little as $5.00 or as much as $5,000.00. The amount you give is not as important as the fact you give.

I am willing to bet, if you give, there will be a smile on your face too.

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Audition for The Christmas Spirit

Audition! 

Seeking actors from their mid-20s through 70s for a Holiday comedy

The Christmas Spirit at Burien Actors Theatre

Burien Actors Theatre (BAT) is seeking actors to play characters from their mid-20s through 70s in the comedy The Christmas Spirit, written by Frederick Stroppel.

Synopsis: When Death arrives to spirit Julia Dowling to the afterlife, Julia instead wheedles him into joining her for a Christmas party with her family. Julia, who had no such party planned, scrambles to persuade her estranged family to come together on Christmas Day. Old resentments surface, new connections are made, and everyone, even Death, feels the magic of the Christmas spirit. A touching and hilarious look at the things that really make life worth living.

Performances are at BAT in Burien from Nov. 29 through Dec. 22, 2019. Shows are Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m.

Rehearsals begin the week of Oct. 20 at BAT on some weeknight evenings, plus some Saturday afternoons or Sunday afternoons or evening, exact times be determined based on actor availability, until tech week.

BAT has plenty of free on-site parking and is two blocks from the Burien Transit Center.

The director is Taylor Davis.

$200 stipend provided.

Auditions are at Burien Actors Theatre on Tuesday, Sept. 3 from 7:30 to 10 p.m. and Wednesday, Sept. 4 from 7 to 10 p.m. Callbacks will be at Burien Actors Theatre on Thursday, Sept. 5 from 6:30 to 10 p.m. If any of these dates is problematic for you, let us know to see if we can work around it. Video submissions also accepted. Skype available with advance notice.

Actors will audition by reading sides from the script. Sides will be emailed to the actors. Actors auditioning for Paul or Melissa should be prepared to sing something a cappella: Happy Birthday is fine. Please also bring resume and headshot. Callbacks will also be from sides.

Please make audition appointment:  [email protected], 206-242-5180. Auditions will be held at Burien Actors Theatre, 14501 Fourth Ave S.W., Burien. Directions HERE.

Continue reading

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AUDITION – Native Gardens – August 7 & 10

Seeking Latinx actors and Caucasian actors for race-specific comedy “Native Gardens

at Burien Actors Theatre

Burien Actors Theatre (BAT) is seeking two Latinx actors and two Caucasian actors for Native Gardens, written by Karen Zacarias.

Synopsis:  Pablo Del Valle, a high-powered lawyer, and his wife, Tania, a doctoral candidate who is very pregnant, are realizing the American dream when they purchase a house next door to community stalwarts Virginia and Frank. But a disagreement over a long-standing fence line soon spirals into an all-out war of taste, race, class, privilege, and entitlement. Planted in difficult issues, this hilarious play guarantees no one comes out smelling like a rose.

Performances are at BAT in Burien from Sept. 27 through Oct. 20, 2019. Shows are Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m.

Rehearsals begin the week of Aug. 18 at BAT on some weeknight evenings, plus some Saturday afternoons or Sunday afternoons or evening, exact times be determined based on actor availability, until tech week.

BAT has free on-site parking and is two blocks from the Burien Transit Center.

The directors are Rochelle Flynn and Maggie Larrick, who have co-directed six productions together.

$200 stipend provided.

Auditions are at Burien Actors Theatre on Wednesday, Aug. 7 from 7 to 10 p.m. and Saturday, August 10 from 1 to 4 p.m. Callbacks will be at Burien Actors Theatre on Sunday, Aug. 11 from 6 to 10 p.m. If any of these dates is problematic for you, let us know to see if we can work around it.

Actors may audition by either performing two contrasting contemporary monologues (serious/comedic) totaling no more than 3 minutes or by cold reading sides from the script, which are available on request.  Please also bring resume and headshot. Callbacks will consist of cold readings from the script.

Please make audition appointment[email protected], 206-242-5180. Auditions will be held at Burien Actors Theatre, 14501 Fourth Ave S.W., Burien. Click for directions.

Character Descriptions/Requirements

NOTE: The intent in casting is to be as consistent as possible with the time, place and circumstances in which the play is set. Actors do not have to be the ages or sex indicated but must be able to convincingly portray them. 

Tania Del Valle (female, late 20s to early 30s):  Latina, from New Mexico. Tania comes from a working-class family. She is a smart, likeable PhD student with a deep passion for the environment and gardening, including the philosophy behind indigenous plants. Fit and highly energized even though she is quite pregnant, she is intent on fixing up her yard with a native garden in time for her a BBQ for her husband’s law firm. Determined, passionate and positive. Speaks a few phrases in Spanish (coaching will be provided as needed).

Pablo Del Valle (male, early 30s): Latino, from Chile. Pablo comes from an affluent family, and attended boarding school in the States. While Spanish is his first language, he has no accent. He is an ambitious, driven and successful attorney trying to make partner by “fitting in” and hosting a BBQ for the entire firm in the unkempt backyard of his brand-new home. Smart, likeable, argumentative, and willing to overlook a lot until pushed over the edge by the Butleys. Speaks a few words in Spanish (coaching will be provided as needed).

Virginia Butley (female, 55-65): Caucasian, Polish-American. Virginia is the breadwinner in the family and an engineer working for a large defense contractor in the D.C. area. Originally from Buffalo, she is smart, likeable and assertive. She smiles a lot, but her opinions are well ingrained and she will fight ruthlessly to protect her turf.

Frank Butley (male, 55-65): Caucasian, New England native. Retired, he is deeply passionate about his garden. While Frank can get worked up and stressed out easily, gardening and Virginia help keep him calm. Beta to his wife’s alpha. He is a smart, likeable, vulnerable, giving person, yet he gets his back up when his precious garden is threatened.

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The Importance of Being Earnest – Press release

Burien Actors Theatre is taking it to the parks with the comedy “The Importance of Being Earnest”

This hilarious, family-friendly adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s farce has fictitious personas, romantic proposals, and the big shoulders of the 1980s. 

BAT is taking it to the streets (well, the parks anyway) with a beautiful adapation by Rachel Rene of the family-friendly comedy The Importance of Being Earnest. Set in 1985 with all of the big hair and Valley Girl charm that goes with that, this show will make you laugh out loud.

Oscar Wilde’s farce follows the story of two men who use fictitious personas to escape the social standards of the Valley Girl era. The show is full of dramatic, romantic proposals that are thwarted by the fearsome Lady Bracknell–and the insistence of the two women the men are infatuated that they can only marry a man if his name is Ernest.

Often touted as a perfect comedy, BAT is bringing The importance of Being Earnest to:

    • Des Moines – Sunday, July 14, 2019, at 3 pm at Wooton Park at Redondo, 28336-28464 Redondo Way S, Des Moines, WA 98198
    • Burien – Friday, August 2, 2019, at 8 pm at Town Square Park, 480 SW 152nd St, Burien, WA 98166 (part of Burien’s First Friday)
    • Normandy Park – Sunday, August 4, 2019, at 5 pm at Marvista Park, 19990 4th Avenue SW, Normandy Park, WA  98166
    • SeaTac – Friday, August 9, 2019, 7 pm at Angle Lake Park, 19408 International Blvd, SeaTac, WA 98188

“This is BAT’s first time performing outside of its roost,” said Eric Dickman,  BAT’s artistic director. “We are so excited to perform in your park!” Continue reading

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BAT meets the Burien Arts Commission

The Burien Arts Commission has a few new members. A good thing. But they do not know BAT. A bad thing.

So, soon BAT will be introducing itself the Burien Arts Commission. BAT was asked to tell the Commission what BAT does. Here is a brief outline of what BAT does. (Can you think of more?)

Brief History

BAT is getting ready for the 40th consecutive season in what is now called the Burien Parks Annex. Originally this space was offered free to BAT, but when Burien became a City, the City saw the Annex as a profit center and began changing BAT rent. That rent has gone up significantly over the years.

About BAT

BAT has a 94 seat house in the Annex

BAT typically does four main stage shows a season (usually over four weekends). EXAMPLE  HERE are some photos from BAT’s recent seasons!!!

According to the 2017 study by Foster School of Business at the University of Washington, these four shows bring $141,000 to Burien, over and above ticket prices. On average each patron spends $22.70 per person in Burien

70% of BAT audience is from outside Burien. The audience comes from as far away as Vancouver, BC, and Vancouver, WA. The audience is mostly from nearby cities, and the Eastside and Covington areas. Continue reading

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BAT scholarship – deadline June 15, 2019

Burien Actors Theatre is pleased to continue its tradition of awarding scholarships to high school students who have a passion for arts within the Highline School District. BAT want Burien to be a place where art and artists thrive!

This year, with the assistance of the King County Council through Council Member Dave Upthegrove, there will be three $1,000.00 scholarships.

Recently one of the scholarships was awarded to a student at Kennedy Catholic High School. The other two scholarships will be awarded to students in the Highline School system.

If you are a qualifying high school student in the Highline School District and are interested in applying for a scholarship from BAT, please go to BAT’s Scholarship page download the application found on that page, fill it out, and submit it with the other required items to BAT.

The DEADLINE to apply is June 15, 2019.

Awards are based on a demonstrated love of theater and arts. Two scholarships will be awarded to students in the Highline District who are striving to obtain a degree or pursue a career in theater or performance in the amount of $1,000.

Eligibility

1.   Applicants must be full-time students at the High School Level.
2.  Applicants must be interested in theater or arts.
3.  Applicants must be current residents of King County, and be attending a Public High School located within the Highline School District.

This year the three scholarships were graciously funded by King County Council through Council Member.Dave Upthegrove.

In the picture, Maggie Larrick (left), BATs managing director, and Eric Dickman (center),

Dave Upthegrove, Maggie and Eric – big check!

BAT’s artistic director, happily receive a $3,000.00 check from King County Council Member Dave Upthegrove (right).

Dave Upthegrove is an ardent supporter of the arts and Burien students, and he is a friend to BAT. Here, Council Member Upthegrove is providing funding for the second year of BAT’s high school scholarships for students interested in the arts.

The photo with King County Council Member Dave Upthegrove was taken on BAT’s set for Visiting Cezanne.

There is one weekend of performances left in BAT’s bi-annual Playwrights Festival of new plays which is onstage through May 19, 2019. The critics say, “This year’s production of BAT’s Playwright Fest is very satisfying. It is wonderful to be able to see great theater so close to home.”

TICKETS to the BAT Playwrights Festival HERE!

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BAT Scholarship – 1 of 3

On May 1, 2019, Burien Actors Theatre (BAT) was pleased to award the first of its three

Maggie & Grace at scholarship award

$1,000.00 scholarships to a high school student interested in theater or the performing arts. Here Maggie Larrick (BAT’s Managing Director – left) poses with Grace Clark (right) the recipient of the BAT arts scholarship at Kennedy Catholic High School.

Two more high school students interested in theater or the performing arts from the Highline School District will be awarded $1,000.00 each in June.

2019 is the second year BAT has offered scholarships to high school students interested in the arts in the greater Burien area.

This year’s three scholarships were graciously funded by King County Council through Council Member Dave Upthegrove. In the picture below, Maggie Larrick (left), BATs managing director, and Eric Dickman (center), BAT’s artistic director, happily receive a $3,000.00 check from King County Council Member Dave Upthegrove (right).

Dave Upthegrove, Maggie and Eric – big check!

Dave Upthegrove is an ardent supporter of the arts and Burien students, and he is a friend to BAT. Here, Council Member Upthegrove is providing funding for the second year of BAT’s high school scholarships for students interested in the arts.

The photo with King County Council Member Dave Upthegrove was taken on BAT’s set for the recently closed Visiting Cezanne. Please join BAT at its bi-annual BAT Playwrights Festival on stage now through May 19, 2019. BAT is producing four never-before-produced works: two one-acts and two-full length plays over four weeks. TICKETS

(Also, please remember BAT during GiveBig on May 8, 2019. DONATE HERE

BAT is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) entity and operates on revenue from ticket sales, donations, grants, sponsorships and volunteers!) Continue reading

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