2020–2021 Digital Programming
Revitalizing our Village
To our subscribers, donors, audience members, KIDSTAGE families, and supporters: We miss you!
COVID-19 has made this a season of experimentation and flexibility. We can’t wait to welcome you back in person, and until then, we are pleased to share the digital content Village Theatre is planning across the three pillars of our organization—Mainstage, New Works, and Youth Education.
We are also using the pandemic’s “intermission” to evaluate past practices and move forward as a company where Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) folks—artists, staff, and audiences—feel comfortable, welcome, and able to succeed. We are taking intentional, strategic steps towards anti-racist practices, culture, and training and we look forward to inviting you into that process, learning as we learn, and joining us on our journey towards a more inclusive Village Theatre.
Join us as we reflect on our past, connect through stories, invest in our community, celebrate musical theatre, and design a better and brighter future. Read more about our approach to 2020–2021 digital programming >
We’re filming some of your favorite Village Theatre artists performing musical theatre songs with their own personal take on a piece that’s especially meaningful to them. They miss you too! This series of short videos celebrates a shared love of theatre by connecting our community of artists with our community of patrons.
Watch your inbox and our social media channels: Beyond the Curtain starts in October/November and continues with a winter holiday edition in November/December. View the video playlist >
Connecting our patron communities with artists as full, complicated individuals, Artistic Director Jerry Dixon hosts intimate conversations with some of your favorite artists (and some you may not know) to give us a personal look into subjects and themes beyond the stage, giving audiences deep insight into what it means to be an artist both onstage and off.
This series started in September and continues weekly on our Facebook and YouTube channels. View the schedule and watch past episodes >
As we look to more actively support the growth of our artistic community, Village Theatre has created a free series of professional development classes. Any member of the Northwest artistic community is welcome in these practical development sessions and conversations taught by local and national industry leaders. Topics include audition techniques, finding agency and autonomy in a rehearsal room, voice over work, marketing yourself, and more.
New Musical Development
Focusing on stories that reflect our diverse community, Village will continue its deep commitment to forwarding the genre of musical theatre by nurturing four new musicals at different stages of their development. Patrons will get a behind-the-scenes look at the writers’ process and even a sneak peek into the work they’ve created. Shows include:
- BROKEN GROUND (Village Theatre commission; book and lyrics by Christine Toy Johnson, music and lyrics by Jason Ma) tells the story of a grief-stricken young woman in a small farming village in China who discovers her destiny through messages embroidered by her late mother in an ancient writing system created by and only for women.
- MISS STEP (by Melissa Li and Kit Yan) is a heartfelt ’80s dance musical comedy featuring a transgender/non-binary (TGNB) cast, live aerobics, stunts, competition, and exercise. This diverse and exhilarating show is a classic underdog story that portrays TGNB characters as both ordinary and extraordinary people, defying all odds to sing, dance, compete, and dazzle audiences. Miss Step is for anyone with a dream, who loves the ’80s, and who has ever found family in the most unexpected places.
- EASTBOUND (book and music by Cheeyang Ng, book and lyrics by Khiyon Hursey, directed by Desdemona Chiang) is a new bilingual musical about the unexpected meeting of two brothers from opposite sides of the world, their quests for survival, and the power of choice.
- I HAVE A DREAM (book and lyrics by Sukari Jones, music by Roderick Whitley) is a new musical based on the life of the queer, Black civil rights pioneer and architect of the March on Washington, Bayard Rustin.
Stay tuned for date/time announcements and event invitations in the coming months!
Newly committing to more actively supporting local artists, eight Black, Indigenous, and POC musical theatre creators will receive a residency to begin work on a new musical! An artist-centric program, these residencies will be based on creators’ artistic points of view and goals. Read more about the creators here.
After serving more than 800 students with our Zoom into Spring and Zoom into Summer series, KIDSTAGE has mastered the art of live, interactive, truly engaging online theatre classes. Students in PreK–age 20 of all experience levels use their imaginations, innovate, and gain storytelling skills and confidence.
Fall sessions began in September. Stay tuned for winter classes, to be announced in November with class meetings starting in January.
What can we create in one week? KIDSTAGE students will work with a variety of teaching artists and theatre makers to challenge themselves to create something in a matter of days in this theatrical tour-de-force of determination, spontaneity, and creativity.
Pop-Up Productions took place October–December.
Students worked with professionals to create a cabaret to celebrate the Winter Solstice, which is deeply tied to personal awakening. The Cabaret explored this metaphor through songs, dances, and scenes during a powerful time for reflection, renewal, and regeneration. The free, virtual performance premiered Monday, December 21. Learn more >
The recent Dungeons & Dragons-inspired high-octane dramatic comedy She Kills Monsters was adapted by the playwright, Qui Nguyen, to be performed in the “virtual realm” (aka Zoom) and incorporates tech elements to help tell the story in the digital performance space. She Kills Monsters offers a heart-pounding homage to the geek and warrior within all of us. The virtual performance premiered for one night only in January. Learn more >
KIDSTAGE Originals is an original musical project created by emerging theatre artists. Students in grade 9–age 20 generate their own material under the mentorship and guidance of a professional writing, composing, and directing team. The program emphasizes the process of creating a script from the initial concept to the stage. This year the entire process took place online via Zoom with the culmination of the KIDSTAGE Originals Festival on March 27 and 28.
This school-year production program is designed for our younger students (grades 4–8) where they will learn the fundamentals of performance, choreography, staging, and vocals, and the production process directed, designed, and produced by adult theatre professionals.
This production will utilize a combination of online rehearsals and in-person filming with masks, as per the Washington State Outdoor Performance regulations. All rehearsals will be online, and we will have 2 days of filming in-person with masks. Vocals will be pre-recorded, so there is no singing in person. The show will split into small groups for filming who will perform a combination of 2-3 scenes and songs from the show in their cast “bubble”. These scenes will all be stitched together in post-production to create a filmed version of the show.
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