SecondStory Repertory, the professional theatre company upstairs at Redmond Town Center, will release juicy details about its 12th season at a special event called “Secrets Revealed” at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, June 6. The evening will include a song or a scene from each show in the upcoming season, introductions to creative team members, a silent auction, appetizers and a cash bar serving wine and beer.
Admission is $25 in advance or $30 at the door. If you purchase season tickets that evening, you’ll get a $25 credit.
It’s been quite a wild ride for this tiny but tenacious theatre company, which was recently chosen for a 2010 Redmond Arts Award from the Redmond Arts Commission and also named favorite children’s theatre on the Eastside by the readers of the Ruby Slipper Guide.
As Redmond Reporter readers may recall, the theatre almost had to close at the end of 2009 but dodged the bankruptcy bullet through donations from the community, funds raised at a teen cabaret show and a generous New Year’s Eve gift from a loyal theatre volunteer.
We asked artistic director Susanna Wilson what life at SecondStory Rep has been like since that nail-biting true story came to such a happy ending.
“We’re now in a transitional phase,” Wilson admitted, describing a national search for a new managing director since Caitlin Frances stepped down from the position. There have also been other staff changes and crazy days when Wilson has had to wear multiple hats, doing everything from bookkeeping to publicity to even answering phones.
But she has taken the chaos in stride and is bursting with excitement about the new season to be announced.
Although we’re not yet allowed to spill all the beans, we can tell you that an anticipated big hit for the new season will be a Broadway musical comedy that’s never been produced in this area before.
If you get a kick out of shows like TV’s “Glee” and its wide range of quirky characters, you’re going to be drawn to this upcoming show at SecondStory Rep.
“It’s one of those shows that is different every time you see it. The original was done by an improv group,” Wilson hinted.
“There will be four audience members screened to participate each time. And so it’s going to be unpredictable based on their gender, age, personality and ability to read from the script. It’s exciting and scary and everything theatre should be,” Wilson promised.
The new season will also include a Pulitzer Prize-winning play, a Seattle premiere of a science play and the unveiling of a brand-new Christmas show “that’s being written as we speak and is a musical, too,” as well as a “Russian farce that was written in 1928,” said Wilson.
Because SecondStory Rep decided to offer more than one elementary school summer production this year, the next fall-to-spring season will consist of six shows instead of the usual seven. But Wilson said the quality bar will be raised even higher because they’ll have more time to work on the season — while the cost to subscribers will be lower than in the past.
Other news from SecondStory Rep: An all-day improv festival will be held from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday, June 27. Guest improv troupes such as Unexpected Productions will visit, offering classes and performances for attendees of all ages. For that event, you can pay $5 for an hour-long show with one group or $30 to attend all the group presentations or $40 for all the activities plus an improv class. And from 9-10 p.m. that evening, a “free-for-all” will be free for the public and you’ll get to see neighbors who’ve just taken improv classes showing off what they’ve learned.
Another change with improv shows at SecondStory Rep is that during the 2011/2012 season, improv events will consistently be either “Family Friendly Fridays,” appropriate for anyone ages 5 and up or “Sinful Saturdays,” recommended for ages 18 and up.
Fans of the improv genre may want to keep in mind that Wilson will throw in four free improv tickets (a $40 value) to people who purchase new season tickets before Aug. 14.
For more information about SecondStory Repertory, call (425) 881-6777, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.secondstoryrep.org.