Archive Past Seasons from The Ensemble


This is an archive of The Ensemble’s past performances from 2004 to present. It’s a representation of what we’ve done, who we were, and a glimpse of who we will become. Season 1 began with a world premiere of Laura’s Bush by Jane Martin and since that time, we’ve seen numerous regional and world premieres throughout our 10 seasons.

Season 1 :: 2004-2005
Laura’s Bush
Playwright: Jane Martin
Director: Matthew Arbour
October 8 – November 1

Finer Noble Gases
Playwright: Adam Rapp
Director: Marya Sea Kaminski
Mucical Direction by: Randall Neal
December 10 – 23

Next Tuesday
Developed by: Steve Pearson and The Ensemble
Director: Steve Pearson
February 18 – March 14

Handcuff Girl Saves the World
Created by: KJ Sanchez and The Ensemble
Director: KJ Sanchez
May 6 – May 30

Season 2 :: 2005-2006
Crave
September 9 – October 3, 2005
Written by Sarah Kane
Director Roger Benington

A vivid dissection of lust, brutality, and ravenous love.

Wonderful Life Wonderful Life: The Holidays in Capitol Hill
December 1 – December 23, 2005
Thursdays through Mondays at 8:00 p.m.
Created by Amy Rebecca Boyce with The Ensemble
Director Amy Rebecca Boyce

A festive and funny exploration of the faces and places that deck the Hill during the holiday season.

Swimming Swimming in the Shallows
February 10 – March 6, 2006
Written by Adam Bock
Director Katjana Vadeboncoeur

The regional premiere of this recent off-Broadway hit about an eclectic group of friends navigating love, marriage, and the local aquarium. A mad comedy with an absurdist bent.

Sexy? What Is Sexy?
May 5 – May 29, 2006
Created by The Ensemble
Director Marc Kenison

A provocative new work that penetrates the fantasy and reality of what actually is sexy.

Season 3 :: 2006-2007
The Museum Play
September 1 – September 25, 2006
A World Premiere by Jordan Harrison
Directed by Marya Sea Kaminski

The world premiere of this bizarre and beautifully guided tour into the complications of love and the wonders of the natural history museum by exciting young playwright Jordan Harrison (KID SIMPLE, ACT A LADY)

Never Swim Alone Never Swim Alone
November 24 – December 18, 2006
Written by Daniel MacIvor
Directed by Roger Benington

Director Roger Benington (Crave) returns to Seattle for a biting plunge into the intricate secrets and the relentless competition that can surface between friends. Dark, deft, and devastating.

The Museum Play Crumbs Are Also Bread
Extended Through March 19th
February 16 – March 19, 2007
A World Premiere by Stephanie Timm
Directed by John Langs

A tasty bite of small town scandal warmed by the quiet fires that smolder beneath the dreary days and long nights of the icy winter months.

Iphigenia in Aulis
May 18 – June 11, 2007
By Ellen McLaughlin
Directed by Lathrop Walker

The Ensemble goes Greek at last! A vibrant, violent and visceral telling of the journey from betrayal to surrender in a time of stagnant war. This production, developed in response to McLaughlin’s brilliant textual reduction of the epic myth (which is a scintillating five pages in length) will be a fiercely physical exploration of this classic Greek tale of innocence, extreme choices and ultimate transcendence.

Season 4 :: 2007-2008
In. WHACK! Out.
Queer Teen Ensemble Theatre Program (QTET)

June 26-30, 2008
directed by Jessica Hatlo
created by local LGBT high school students with the Ensemble

“Love and reality fall in and out of whack as three teens grapple with relationships, sex, friendship and the secret to answering the most eternal question of our time: which Beatles songs best apply to my life?”

Now in its second year, Queer Teen Ensemble Theatre (or “QueerTET”) is an educational outreach program giving voice and artistry to LGBT youth in the Seattle community. Teens work with Washington Ensemble Theatremembers to explore their perspectives onstage in the creation of a new play. QTET is made possible by the Mayor’s Office of Art and Cultural Affairs. For an online QTET brochure, click HERE.

The Ten Thousand Things
May 23-June 16, 2008
a new play by Paul Mullin
directed by Braden Abraham

A mysterious messenger. A frustrated writer. A clock in the desert that will keep time for 10,000 years. A play that changes itself over time. Inspired by the 10,000 Year Clock Project of the Long Now Foundation, local playwright Paul Mullin (LOUIS SLOTIN SONATA, AN AMERICAN BOOK OF THE DEAD – “THE GAME SHOW”) weaves science, futurism, philosophy and politics together in this world premiere exploring the deep future, directed by Braden Abraham (MY NAME IS RACHEL CORRIE).

Mr. Marmalade
Feb. 22-March 24, 2008
a regional premiere by Noah Haidle
directed by Katjana Vadeboncoeur
Lucy is a four-year-old girl with a very active imagination. Unfortunately, her imaginary friend Mr. Marmalade doesn’t have much time for her. And Larry, her only real friend, is the youngest suicide attempt in the history of New Jersey. MR. MARMALADE is a darkly absurd comedy about what the real world really is.

blahblahblahBANG (a pistol fit in one act)
December 13-17, 2007 exclusively at On the Boards
based on Hedda Gabler by Henrik Ibsen
directed by Jennifer Zeyl
commissioned by On the Boards
“Written by Ibsen…destroyed by The Ensemble.”

Washington Ensemble Theatre takes on Ibsen’s timeless classic Hedda Gabler in this bold new re-envisioning of what has been called “the perfect play”. Commissioned by On the Boards for their Northwest Artist Series, this new ensemble generated work explores the collision of Hedda’s 19th century world with today’s popular culture. Traditionalists should be warned, because The Ensemble is taking this classic play and blowing it wide open to find out what makes it tick.

The Ensemble Mistletoe Makeout Party!
December 19th, 2007
hosted by Miss Elle Towe

Bring in the holidays with a BANG! Come celebrate the season with Washington Ensemble Theatre. The Ensemble is hosting a totally unchaperoned Mistletoe Makeout Party … and you’re invited! Those on the naughty list will revel in a night of burlesque, stand up comedy and seasonal libations. Get your picture taken with Santa and rock your stockings with live music by the Red Note! Unwrap your holidays early with your friends at The Ensemble. Who will you be making out with under the mistletoe this year?

Season 5 :: 2008-2009
THE MISTAKES MADELINE MADE
By Elizabeth Meriwether
Directed by Michael Place
Regional Premiere!
Feb. 13-March 16, 2009

A Scintillatingly dark comedy about coming clean.

Is dirty living a political act? IS clean living even possible in these times of unrest? Playwright Elizabeth Meriweather (HEDDATRON, NICKY GOES GOTH) bursts onto the Anerican theatre scene with this hot new sardonic comedy that Variety calls “savagely funny.” Michael Place will direct The Ensemble in the regional premiere of this unlikely stroy of love, politics, and what it takes to truly come clean.

TITUS
By William Shakespeare
Adapted and Re-Imagined by the Ensemble
Directed by Katjana Vadeboncoeur
May 15-June 15, 2009

A bold new take on Shakespeare’s bloodiest revenge drama

Political prisoners. Atrocious acts of violence and betrayal. Are there monsters in our midst, or just decent people driven to do the unthinkable by unthinkable situations? Shakespeare’s TITUS ANDRONICUS is known for being his bloodiest revenge drama, yet beneath the guts and gore lies an extremely personal narrative of grief and loss, told through some of the most beautiful words in the English language. Haunting, beguiling, and human, this is TITUS like you’ve never seen it before.

QTET
3rd Annual Queer Teen Ensemble Theatre project
June 26-29, 2009

Now in its 3rd year, Queer Teen Ensemble Theatre (or “QueerTET”) is an educational outreach program giving voice and artistry to LGBT youth in the Seattle community. Teens work with Ensemble members to explore their perspectives onstage in the creation of a new play. Watch for The Ensemble in Seattle’s Pride Parade as well!

Season 6 :: 2009-2010
Neighbohood 3: Requisition of Doom
By Jennifer Haley
Directed Makaela Pollock

Something sinister is coming to the subdivision. Lurking on the hard-drive of every teenager in suburbia, “Neighborhood 3″ is a video game that allows kids to fight zombies in a virtual reality that looks strangely familiar. Parents grow increasingly frantic as players descend deeper into the game-world. Playwright Jennifer Haley invites us to examine the veneer of control that shrouds the world of identical houses and exposes a suburban dystopia. As the boundaries crumble between our world and its virtual mirror, what happens when we replace interaction with interface? Panic pervades this compelling zombie thriller and fear takes on a life of its own.

Hunter Gatherers
By Peter Sinn Nachtrieb
Directed by Desdemona Chiang

Pam, Richard, Wendy and Tom are typical thirty-somethings: productive, cultured, and dissatisfied. Each year they come together on their joint wedding anniversary to reconnect, but as the smell of their freshly killed dinner fills the condo, the pack’s sophisticated gentility begins to unravel into a catastrophe of primal sex, violence, food lust and bondage, ultimately pushing one another to their absolute limits. In this award-winning comedy, what begins a celebratory dinner party evolves into a torrid epic of animal instinct and only the strongest will survive.

Robopop!
Created by The Ensemble
Directed by Heidi Ganser and Ben Zamora

An exuberant kaleidoscope of pop that follows one woman’s heroic quest to save the human race in an epic battle of Man vs. Robot where love is her downfall and ultimate savior. Conceived and directed by veteran Ensemble designers Heidi Ganser and Ben Zamora and created by the Ensemble, this performance piece delivers imaginative and heartfelt storytelling like only Washington Ensemble Theatre can.

Cancer: The Musical!
By Montana Von Fliss
Directed by Jon Osebold

You’re gonna die. Sorry for your loss. Well then, let’s pretend we’re scientists. How do we, as scientists, measure loss (scientifically)? How do we treat it? And more importantly, where’s the punchline? This solo show by Montana von Fliss (scientist) asks these questions and using the scientific method, carefully sidestep them. Through the story of caretaking for her dying dad, experience the joyously comedic approach to the ultimate end that is Cancer: The Musical (warning: may not contain actual music). Please note there is a Special Free performance for Caregivers on June 5, $12.00 tickets for caregivers throughout the show’s run and Two-for-one tickets (available at the door only) on June 10 & 13.

Season 7 :: 2010-2011
SEXTET (World Premiere)
By Tommy Smith
Directed by Roger Bennington
October 7th – November 15th

Sextet canonizes three love triangles to reveal a symphony of seduction and betrayal. As new affairs heat up, old lovers are left lurking in the shadows, inciting a chain reaction of vengeance. Set simultaneously in Austria, Italy, and Russia, this world premiere by Tommy Smith is a masterpiece of genius, driven by despair.

BABS THE DODO (World Premiere)
A SAD COMEDY BY MICHAEL MITNICK
DIRECTED BY ELISE HUNT
FEBUARY 3RD – MARCH 14TH

From 3 to 5:30pm millions of viewers tune in to Babs Gillespie on the Home Shopping Network. With a 14k heart of gold, dangly earrings, necklaces and bracelets, Babs jingle jangles like the gem that she is. But this rare bird is about to become extinct because tomorrow she is getting fired. Will our favorite On-The-Air personality survive this mid-life crisis or will she get dumped in the clearance bin with the Magi Peel Vegetable Peeler? This deliriously dark comedy sets Babs in the sale of her life as she grasps for love, happiness and sparkle.

LOVE HORSE (West Coast Premiere)
By Bryn Magnus
Directed by Makaela Pollock
April 28th-June 6th

Sometimes falling in love isn’t beautiful – it can just be a mess. When the mysterious Tanner Hicks intercepts a discerning waitress love tries to buck them off. Facts start piling up to show that Tanner’s past is not what it seems. Boy-Band Butoh enforcers and a cokehead dentist help guide the way as Tanner follows a trail from a broken tooth to spliced genes. This poetic and humorous West Coast premiere is an eccentric love story frothing with energy.

Washington Ensemble Theatre Presents
CRANDAL’S BAG (World Premiere)
Created and Performed by Kyle Loven
December 10th – December 20th

“Loven’s much-anticipated second play…” -The Stranger

“… Loven just might be a burgeoning genius.” -The Stranger

“Loven … has the raw, beautiful confidence of a young star.” –The Stranger

Crandal collects the undesirable. Making it disappear is his craft. But when a surprising find shakes his routine, Crandal must prepare to conjure the impossible. Objects, puppets, shadows, and music curiously combine in this one-man show. This project is made possible with the generous support of 4Culture.

RAW
Created and Performed by The Ensemble An evening of fresh theatrical events harvested by The Ensemble and presented in a cabaret fashion. In our commitment to new work development, we invite you into the kitchen to test these dishes in the making.

WORKSHOPS: STUCK
By Jessica Hatlo
March 1st

Amy won’t get off the toilet and Daniel can’t pay the bills on time. Together, they are the perfect couple: career underachievers. Their isolated world is threatened when the landlady starts snooping around Daniel and the television starts talking to Amy. Will Oprah and Dr. Phil succeed in an intervention or will they prove to be the Weakest Link?

WORKSHOPS: LOWER DEPTHS
By Maxim Gorky
May 10th

The thief, the gambler, the ex-artist, the ex-aristocrat, and the prostitute: The Lower Depths portrays a lodging house where all of the social derelicts gather. In this masterwork of realism, the Ensemble examines complex characters wrestling with hard truths and comforting lies.

QTET
Created by QTET
Directed by Jessica Hatlo
June 23rd – June 26th

This educational outreach program provides voice and artistry for Seattle’s LGBT youth through a summer theatre workshop. Our month long intensive culminates into a new ensemble-generated piece that the students will present over three nights followed by a march in the annual Seattle Pride Parade.

Season 8 :: 2011-2012
Milk Milk Leomonade
by Joshua Conkel
[Seattle Premier]
Directed by Montana von Fliss
September 16-October 10, 2011

Grandma doesn’t approve of little effeminate Emory’s choreographed ribbon stick dance numbers or his talking chicken. Why can’t Emory be more like Elliot, the boy down the road who likes to burn things? Wouldn’t Grandma be shocked to learn of the two boys’ secret relationship…MilkMilk Lemonade deals head on with themes of homophobia, bullying, death, and the human body. Get ready for a brutally hilarious barn-burner.

The Mormon Bird Play
[World Premier]
Written and Directed by Roger Benington
October 28-November 21, 2011

Ten year-old Ivona–ugly, gawky, and mute–comes to live with her cousins in Salt Lake City. When she finds an injured bird on the grounds of the Mormon Temple, Ivona becomes an object of suspicion, dangerously reflecting the sins of the culture that surrounds her. But can that society suffer a mirror of its’ own imperfection, or must that mirror be shattered?

Urban Tanuki Samurai
[World Premier for all ages]
Performed and Developed by Ali el-Gasseir and Jonah Von Spreecken
Winter 2011/2012

Cherry blossoms fall. Swords are drawn. The recycling gets collected! Urban Tanuki Samurai tells the story of two friends who live in a hilarious trash-filled game of make-believe. But when the game has to end, which one of them is going to take out the garbage? Urban Tanuki Samurai is a comedic romp for all ages.

The Callers
[World Premier]
A Musical Production
by Ali el-Gasseir and Ella Dorband
January 13-January 30, 2012

The Callers: Phone Sex, Phone Psychics and the love they spread. In a world of tangled phone cords and dial tones everybody’s just hoping they don’t get a busy signal. These callers are looking so hard that they might just find … something. Original music composed by Richard Andriessen.

Stuck
[World Premier]
by Jessica Hatlo
Directed by Sarah E.R. Grosman
March 16-April 9, 2012

Amy doesn’t leave the bathroom and Daniel doesn’t pay the bills on time. Their love deepens with every episode of Matlock and heightens with every bong rip. Together these career underachievers are the perfect couple. But when the landlady gets suspicious of their overflowing mail, everything they’ve been hiding from starts stacking up on their couch. Can they weather the storm of letters from Spokane, Howie Mandel’s germaphobia and some seriously toxic leftovers? Or will their refuse break them apart?

BED SN▲KE
Performed and Developed by Noah Benezra and Hannah Victoria Franklin
[World Premier]
May 11-28, 2012

Get all up in a world of light and crunk. Bed Snake is the Psychotic Brainchild of Co-Artistic Directors Noah Benezra and Hannah Victoria Franklin. Bringing the noise and raw energy of a concert to the storytelling of theatre, Bed Snake promises to melt your face.

QTET (Queer Teen Ensemble Theatre)
Created by Queer Teen Ensemble Theatre
Directed by Jessica Hatlo
June 21 – June 25, 2012

This educational outreach program provides voice and artistry for Seattle’s LGBT youth through a summer theatre workshop. The month-long intensive culminates into a new ensemble-generated piece that the students will present over five nights followed by a march in the annual Seattle Pride Parade.

Season 9 :: 2012-2013
The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls
[West Coast Premiere]
By Meg Miroshnik
Directed by Ali el-Gasseir
September 28-October 22, 2012

It’s summer in Moscow 2005. American Annie has returned to Mother Russia to lose her accent and make some business contacts, but her encounters with monstrous bears, axe wielding prostitutes, and an old terrifying witch might just cost Annie her life. In true folkloric fashion, The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls reminds us all that a girl’s journey through life is laden with traps, especially in post-soviet Russia.

Ballard House Duet
[A Custom Made Play Project]
By Paul Mullin
Directed by Erin Kraft
December 2012

Two estranged sisters reconnect at a house in Ballard to rescue their Great Aunt from a premature death at the hands of her own compulsive hoarding. As they wade through a lifetime of accumulated possessions – and personal grudges – they must decide: What has value and what are they better off just throwing away? Ballard House Duet is the inaugural production of the Custom Made Play Project, which matches local playwrights with local actors to develop and produce new plays of regional significance. This intimate, absorbing world premiere by Stranger Genius Paul Mullin was developed with and for actresses Hana Lass and Rebecca Olson.

Number 2 Quebecois Robot Detective Agency
[All Ages World Premiere]
Performed and Developed by Ali el-Gasseir and Jonah Von Spreecken
Winter 2012; Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday mornings

You’re a robot!? You are, aren’t you?! Jonah Von Spreecken and Co-Artistic Director Ali el-Gasseir have teamed up again to create another live weekend morning cartoon. Bring the whole family to the back streets of Montreal and follow the two French Canadian detectives on the hunt for robots! This hilarious noir comedy will have you wondering who’s who until you just have to sit back and pound a shot of ice-cold milk.

Smudge
[Seattle Premiere]
By Rachel Axler
Directed by Erin Kraft
March 29-April 22, 2013

Nick and Colby are expecting a baby, but their adorable domestic dreams evaporate when she gives birth to a smudge instead. Part hysterical look at the perils of new parenthood, part post-partum horror story, Smudge is a pitch black comedy that explores how we love and value each other—even with warts, a lack of limbs, and delusional dream waltzes.

Tall Skinny Cruel Cruel Boys
[World Premiere]
By Caroline V. McGraw
Directed by Jane Nichols
May 31-June 24, 2013

Brandy is the city’s most sought-after birthday party clown, and she’s never let her drinking, gambling, and bed-hopping interfere with her work—until now. Her teenage boyfriend won’t stop calling, her clients are getting needy…and the monster under her bed is growing restless. Weaving fantasy, clown, and puppetry with brutal reality, Tall Skinny Cruel Cruel Boys asks…what is the price of growing up?

Season 10 :: 2013-2014
Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo
{Regional Premiere}
By Rajiv Joseph
Directed by Michael Place
Follow a tiger that haunts the streets of present day Baghdad searching for the meaning of life. Along with a cast of disgruntled American soldiers, a grief stricken Iraqi topiary gardener and the deranged ghost of Uday Hussein, Rajiv Joseph’s Pulitzer Prize Nominated play takes us on a vivid quest for friendship, redemption, and a gold-plated semiautomatic pistol.

Ed, Downloaded
{Regional Premiere}
By Michael Mitnick
Directed by Ali el-Gasseir
Set in a future where one can purchase immortality and spend an afterlife in a digital heaven of  one’s favorite memories, this soon-to-be true story tackles classic themes of love and death in a world where technological advancements bring infinite possibilities.  Half-live action play and half-feature film, Ed, Downloaded is a sci-fi love story for high-tech dreamers.

The Edge of Our Bodies
{Regional Premiere}
By Adam Rapp
Directed by Devin Bannon
On a cold Winter night, a precocious and pregnant 16-year-old aspiring writer named Bernadette boards a train to New York City with only a notebook as a companion hoping to find a sense of meaning in an adult world she cannot escape… and to deliver some heavy news to her distant boyfriend. Rapp’s poetic and honest one-woman show takes us headfirst into the brutal realities of young adulthood and the challenging pull between the need to connect to others and the desire to disappear.

The Hunchback of Seville
{World Premiere}
By Charise Castro Smith
Directed by Jen Wineman
Charise Castro Smith’s The Hunchback of Seville spins a vividly naughty and hilariously bizarre tale set in Seville in the year 1504. Combining the madcap sense of humor of Monty Python and the poetic grandeur of Shakespeare, The Hunchback of Seville is a knee slapping, anti-colonialist romp examining how our future was sculpted long ago.

Season 11 :: 2015
Sprawl
{World Premiere}
By Josh Conkel
Directed by Ali el-Gasseir
January 16 – February 2, 2015
The first production that will take place in 12th Avenue Arts is world premiere of Josh Conkel’s darkly hilarious new black comedy, Sprawl. Cornish Alum and Playwright of the Ensemble’s Season 8 smash success Milk Milk Lemonade, Conkel’s Sprawl nestles a group of friends and frenemies in a Washington suburban model home for a book club meeting, only to be interrupted by… THE-END-OF-THE-WORLD. Part Mars Attacks and part Serial Mom, the brutally-campy Sprawl reminds us that beneath suburban tranquility, nasty secrets are waiting to emerge that are as wicked as they are hilarious.

The Tall Girls
{West Coast Premiere}
By Meg Miroshnik
Directed by Kelly Kitchens
May 1 – 18, 2015
The Tall Girls by Meg Miroshnik (Season 9 Playwright of critically-acclaimed The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls), a grim Dust Bowl era tale of a struggling high school women’s basketball team in the small town of Poor Prairie. The Tall Girls follows this group of young women as they strive for escape from their isolating and vast “grave town” through any means necessary. Intimate and gripping, The Tall Girls asks: what is the real cost of mortgaging your dreams for a meal ticket?

R.A.F.T. (Rabbits Afloat From Thuringia)
{World Premiere}
Created and Performed by Jonah Von Spreecken & Ali Mohamed el-Gasseir
May 2015, Exact Dates TBA
The fourth installment of Von Spreecken and el-Gasseir’s all-ages weekend morning live-action cartoon series follows two German rabbits trapped on a “R.A.F.T.” attempting to cross the Atlantic to find their fortunes in America. This epic adventure pits bunny versus bunny on a harrowing journey. Will they survive sharks, squabbles, and the Bermuda Triangle or will an even greater mystery sink these two industrious bunnies? Stay tuned!

Construction Zone Co-Production with ACT Theatre (Title TBA)
June 12 – July 6, 2015
Curated by Washington Ensemble Theatre and ACT’s Associate Artistic Director John Langs and Literary Manager Anita Montgomery, Construction Zone provides playwrights with opportunities to develop and share new work, while giving audiences a personal invitation into the process. One of the four plays read during the current Construction Zone season at ACT will be given a full Co-Production at ACT Theatre’s Bullitt Cabaret.