No Script Club on March 19, 2020

Covid-19 – sigh (a safe distance away from everyone else). BAT is canceling its March 19, 2020, Script Club meeting. BAT is concerned about maintaining the required social distancing at the host site, and the host intends to limit visitors to its location. 

BAT believes everyone should do what makes them feel safe during these times. Please take steps to stay safe and wash your hands.

Nevertheless, art will help you get through these times. Take a moment to read a script, even if we cannot get together to talk about it!

BAT’s script club is much like a book club, but instead of reading books, the members are reading scripts. Often the script will be for the play BAT will be performing next, but the Script Club also reads other very interesting scripts. 

The Script Club is a joyous way to become theatre literate, but more importantly, to have a good time and get to know your neighbors.

Burien has a long history steeped in live theater. Being part of the Script Club is your chance to become part of that history. It’s your chance to give BAT feedback and to be entertained with new friends. Please join the Script Club next time it meets.

For questions or more information, please email BAT at [email protected], or call us at (206) 242-5180. 

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Coronavirus (COVID-19

At BAT, the health and safety of our audiences, performers, and staff are of the utmost importance. We are monitoring developments around Coronavirus (COVID-19) very closely. To date, BAT has not decided to cancel any performances of The Rocky Horror Show. Like most schools, restaurants, and retailers, BAT will continue operations while maintaining a watchful eye on the situation. (Theater is not something you can telecommute to.)

BAT continues to sanitize, and hand sanitation stations have been added at the theater. We will continue to take steps to keep everyone safe while still providing a valuable and much-needed service to Burien and the Pacific Northwest.

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Audition notice for A Good Farmer

Seeking Latinx and white actors for moving and funny drama A Good Farmer at Burien Actors Theatre

Burien Actors Theatre (BAT) is seeking Latinx and white actors to play characters aged 30s through 50s in A Good Farmer, a drama laced with humor written by Sharyn Rothstein.

SynopsisA Good Farmer is the story of two women – Bonnie, a farm owner, and Carla, her unlikely best friend, an undocumented Mexican immigrant – fighting to survive in a small New York town divided by America’s immigration battle. Rothstein brings us the very human story behind some of today’s contentious political issues in a play about love, friendship and finding the power to face what separates us. (Act 2 takes place seven years before Acts 1 and 3.)

Performances are at BAT in Burien from April 24 through May 17, 2020. Shows are Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m.

Rehearsals begin the week of March 16 at BAT on some weeknight evenings, plus some Saturday afternoons or Sunday afternoons or evenings; exact times to 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 Devin Rodger.

$200 stipend provided.

Auditions are at Burien Actors Theatre on Thurs. March 12 from 7 to 10 p.m. and Sat. March 14 from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. Callbacks will be at Burien Actors Theatre on Sun. March 15 from 6 to 10 p.m. If these dates and times are problematic for you, let us know to see if we can work around it.

Actors will audition by reading sides from the script. Sides will be emailed to the actors. Please also bring a resume and headshot. Callbacks will also be reading 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. For directions, go to burienactorstheatre.org/about-bat/visit.

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. 

NOTE:  The play is written for 4 actors. The actress playing Rosemary will also play Lu and Sender. The actor playing Gabe will also play David & Rich. 

Bonnie Johnson (white female, age 34): Bonnie’s best friend is Carla. They depend on each other to survive. A single mom and a farmer who owns a struggling cabbage and dairy farm, Bonnie’s a fighter. She loves few but loves them deeply. She is fiercely protective, not easily intimidated, and she does not back down. To cope with grief, loss, and fear, she relies heavily on her sense of humor. She is also skilled at looking away from looming terrors that are too big or out of her control, in order to keep things running day to day. A city girl from Cincinnati, Bonnie never aspired to be a farmer. She took over the running of her husband’s family farm during his battle with cancer and after his death. Bonnie likes to wisecrack and has a bit of a mouth on her. (Cincinnati accent not required–but if you’ve got one bring it! Dialect coaching will be provided as needed.)

Carla Gutierrez (Latinx female, age 30):  Carla and Bonnie are dear friends, though their relationship is sometimes complicated by the privilege and lack of privilege inherent in their situation. Carla is funny, and she uses humor to get through the worst times and make the good times better. An undocumented farmer from Mexico, the mother of two, she is direct, practical and loyal. Though Carla’s life is steeped in fear right now, she has little use for avoiding the truth, no matter how scary. She is someone who believes there are choices in nearly every situation and Carla would always rather choose for herself. Carla is clear about what she wants, insightful about others’ motivations and she is excellent at giving boundaries. (Mexican accent/dialect is written into her lines. Carla speaks a prayer and a couple of other phrases in Spanish. Language and dialect coaching will be provided as needed.)

Rosemary Devlin (white female, age 30s): Rosemary is a zealous PTA mom whose chirpy brightness and desire for perfection thinly veil deep insecurity, loneliness and feelings of powerlessness. Her husband, a powerful local politician, sleeps around and everyone in town knows it, though Rosemary would rather not see any of that. Insensitive to the point of near blindness, loud and judgmental, Rosemary serves as comedic relief. She manages to be hilariously awful, painfully fragile and somehow still likable. The person who plays Rosemary will also play Lu and Sender. (Upstate New York accent is a plus, but not required. Dialect coaching will be provided as needed.)

Lu (female, age 30s-50s): A Nurse and a Christian, Lu loves to laugh. She has a special bond with David, they joke a lot and she doesn’t let him get away with much. Lu, and her devotion to nurturing and protecting life in whatever ways she can, is the driving force that first brings Bonnie and Carla together.

Officer Shirley Sender (female): Immigration Control Enforcement (ICE) officer. She wants to solve the case and she will use all her skills to do that. Sender may be less concerned with the truth than she is with building her case…which, of course, will later be used to prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law. (No offense.)

Gabe Dubay (white male, age 30s): An unemployed, single father and insecure “through-and-through jerk, Gabe has recently discovered that life can be meaner than he is. Often drunk and struggling to cope with emotional pain and growing feelings of powerlessness, Gabe blames others and stews in ineffectual rage. He has the warped notion that hurting others will empower him. The actor who plays Gabe will also play David Johnson and Rich Parks. (Upstate New York accent is a plus but not required. Dialect coaching will be provided as needed.)

David Johnson (male, age 30s): David is Bonnie’s husband, sick with terminal stomach cancer. He is a jokester, optimistic, kind, and motivated to do what’s right. David and Bonnie own the farm his family has run for generations, but which is now struggling terribly. He hates not being able to take care of Bonnie and their son, feels like he is burdening them with his care, and worries about his family’s wellbeing after he is gone. David wants to leave a legacy that will help Carla and her family and that will reassure him that Bonnie, the love of his life, will have people around her to love – a new family after she’s lost him. David is a fair and just person with a big heart and a keen ability to read others. (Upstate New York accent is a plus but not required. Dialect coaching will be provided as needed.)

Rich Parks (male): State-appointed lawyer. Parks wants to win the case; he isn’t so concerned with fairness or right and wrong – not his job. And who has time for that anyway? He’s a harried defense attorney whose job is to win, and he salivates over the rare, unexpected tidbits that plop into his lap and make his job easier. Also, Parks doesn’t understand “you people,” and he’s not super interested in fixing that, even if “you people” are his clients.

 

 

 

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Goodby Craig

The Rocky Horror Show is dedicated to Craig Orsinger (1956-2020). You may not have seen Craig around the theater, but he was a big part of what you did see and hear. Craig worked backstage and in the background. He was a dependable volunteer and a master of sound, light, computer equipment, and a much-needed set of hands.

Craig began working with BAT in the early 1980s. He took a break at one time but came back with a vengeance in the 2000s. He was one of the few longstanding BAT volunteers. He would tell stories of the early days, and he was also part of what drove the theater forward. Without Craig, much of the sound equipment you see would either not be there or would not work.

Craig was also a light designer and designed the light for several shows at BAT, including most the playwrights’ festivals for the last ten years.

Craig was taken from us too soon. He was a huge part of the BAT family and a dear friend to Maggie, me, and most of the regular BAT volunteers. It is an understatement to say he will be missed.

Wherever Craig may be now, I am sure things are running more smoothly because of his guiding hands.

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The Rocky Horror Show is coming – Presser

Come do The Time Warp again with Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Show at Burien Actors Theatre

Burien Actors Theatre’s (“BAT”) production of Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Show, an outrageous musical comedy, is a party that encourages audience participation, as well as a send-up of sexual awakening and sci-fi/horror genres.

Performances are February 21 through March 22.

BAT’s production features specialty drinks themed to the show and plenty of free on-site parking, plus BAT’s famous opening night party.

“THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW”

 In a musical send-up of sexual awakening, sweethearts Brad and Janet, stranded during a storm, discover the eerie mansion of a Transylvanian transvestite scientist and his household of unforgettable characters. Come do The Time Warp again in this sexy parody of sci-fi/horror genres. Join us for throwback cult classic honoring our 40th season! Costumes are encouraged.

Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Show–music, lyrics and book by Richard O’Brien–debuted on stage June 19, 1973, in London where it ran for 2,960 performances before closing in early September of 1980. Since its debut, the show has been translated into a variety of languages and produced in cities all over the world, including two runs on Broadway and BAT’s 2008 production. In 1975, the show was also made into the popular cult movie The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Contains a little adult language (one “D”, one “F”, and three “G” words), plus sexuality.

Audience participation kits are available for purchase at the show. No outside participation items allowed, including liquor.

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 $25. Student tickets are $10. Enjoy opening weekend deals:  Tickets on opening night, Feb. 21, include free admission to the opening night party. Only on Saturday, Feb. 22, which is BAT’s Lucky 13 Saturday, all tickets are just $13. Only on Sunday, Feb. 23, which is BAT’s Seven Buck Sunday, admission is just $7.  GET YOUR TICKETS HERE! Continue reading

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BAT will not be accepting application for its annual scholarships

Burien Actors Theatre is saddened to announce it will not be offering its annual scholarships for Burien high school students this year. Over the years, BAT has helped many Burien high school students. This year, due to the Burien City Manager terminating BAT’s lease mid-season, BAT is not sure it will continue to exist. Since BAT might not be around to pay the scholarships, it does not make sense to accept applications.

Besides scholarships, according to a study by the Foster School of Business in 2017, BAT adds $141,000.00 to Burien’s economy every year, over and above ticket prices. Besides theater, BAT has a public lending library with 1,500 scripts and books on theater; BAT lists the approximately 155 restaurants in Burien on its website with hours and Yelp reviews; BAT has a dinner and show package with a local restaurant, BAT has a BATcoin program where BAT gives out $5 “coins” redeemable at a dozen local businesses; a local business sells BAT tickets; and BAT has a script club where once a month 15 to 20 people read a script and discuss it, often the script BAT will be producing, but other scripts as well. All of these ways BAT makes Burien better are now at risk.

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Help BAT survive!

As you may have heard, in executive session (closed to the public) the Burien City Council supported the termination of the leases of all seven nonprofits in the Burien City Annex. This includes Burien Actors Theatre (BAT).
BAT intends to fight to stay alive.
If you could write a letter to the Burien City Council, that would be great.  Here is the email address:  [email protected] Below is an example of a wonderful letter.  
On December 9, 2019, BAT was given until January 31 to vacate its home of 40 years. Just over 7 weeks is simply not enough time for BAT or the other Annex nonprofits to find and move into affordable space that will allow us to continue our services or find and move into storage for our equipment, etc.  
 
We are also asking people to come to the Burien City Council meeting this Monday, December 16 to make sure the City Council really hears the support for and importance of all of the nonprofits in the Annex.  People can speak, bring signs and/or just be there to support BAT and the other nonprofits.
The meeting starts at 7 p.m. in Burien City Hall, 400 SW 152nd St, Burien, WA 98166 / phone (206) 241-4647.  Those who want to speak at the meeting should probably be there between 6 and 6:30 to sign up to speak.  Hopefully, there will be many.  The Council may limit the number of speakers so they can accomplish the work they need to do that night.
We ask that people take a respectful but impassioned approach.  We want people to be sympathetic to our struggle and not be put off by name-calling or anything similar.
 
EXAMPLE LETTER:
December 13, 2019

Brian J. Wilson and fellow members of the Burien City Council:

I hope this email finds you well during the busy holiday season. Thank you for spending your valuable time to read this email and consider it’s contents. 

I am writing in regards to the closing of the Annex Theatre building, home of the Burien Actors Theatre.

It is apparent that you care very deeply for the safety and well being of your citizens. I do not envy the weight you must carry from making the tough decision to close this building. 

In reading your statement regarding the building closure, I noticed the claim that “…the Annex presents no immediate health, life, and safety danger.”

If this is true, this brings your decision for the timing of the building closure into question. As a city that claims to “celebrate arts and culture,” I am struggling to understand the basis for the timing of your eviction. If there is no immediate danger present, as you say, I beg you to give the tenants more time to relocate. Giving the tenants until the end of June would allow planning time to secure alternate venues, allow smooth transitions as well as show that you do indeed care about the arts and culture in your community. You stated that you will be “making every effort to help find a new location.” I would love to see an extension of the lease as a fulfillment of that promise. 

If the statement that “…the Annex presents no immediate health, life, and safety danger” is not true, I ask for some transparency in your decision-making process. With accurate and honest information, the citizens of Burien and tenants of the building can make informed decisions moving forward about their place in the Burien community.

Once again, thank you for your time, consideration, and putting the needs of your citizens and community first. 

Sincerely,
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The Christmas Spirit – press release

The comedy The Christmas Spirit at Burien Actors Theatre

Burien Actors Theatre’s (BAT’s) production of the comedy The Christmas Spirit is a  touching and hilarious look at what makes life worth living.

Performances run November 29 through December 22, 2019.

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

THE CHRISTMAS SPIRIT 

When Death arrives to whisk Julia Dowling into the afterlife, Julia instead fast-talks him into a nonexistent Christmas party. As Julia scrambles to bring her estranged family together on Christmas Day, old resentments surface, new connections are made, and even Death feels the magic of the Christmas spirit.

The show contains a little adult language, including the “G”, “J”, “F” and “D” words. BAT’s policy is to inform audiences of content but to let parents, guardians and teachers make decisions that they feel are appropriate for the youth and teens in their care.

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. Continue reading

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How art “works.”

Early in my volunteering at BAT, I went to a Burien City Council meeting. The guy speaking right before me during the public comment said he just moved to Burien from a small town on the East Coast. He explained the town’s mayor had all but broken the City’s budget to bring arts and artists to the City. It was so bad that there was a recall petition started against the mayor.

I could see where all of this was going. Art bad. Art killed my last City, don’t let it happen here. Knowing I had to follow the speaker to talk about the next show at BAT, I began slumping down in my chair. I was thinking of ways to leave without being noticed.

But then the speaker took a breath and continued. Within a year, the City’s budget was balanced. Within three years, the City had grown so much it began decreasing taxes while expanding services. Due to expanded arts, the City grew. More restaurants. More businesses. More revenue.

I was pleased to get up and talk about BAT after that speaker. I also never forgot that night or the lesson that was there to learn. Continue reading

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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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