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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Note from the Artistic Director

Hello Friends,

                Thank you so much for joining us in our inaugural year.  One year ago we set out to bring new theatre to Tacoma that is more accessible and relevant to the working class. We have been working diligently on this new company with measurable success. We have produced two shows, a month of readings and were commissioned by the Tacoma Arts Council to present several pieces for Art at Work Month in October 2014. We made it into the Volcano’s Best of Tacoma as “the best new inexpensive theatre experience.” 

Last November, we had full readings of six shows that culminated in an evening of selected scenes from those readings, video interviews from some of our founding members and a silent auction. In May, we produced a short run of our first show A Life in the Theatre by David Mamet.  Admission was free.  This preview was a trial run of our mission and ability to build a small base audience.  Managing Director, Christina Hughes, used this experiment as the driving force of her Masters Degree project. In September, we produced our first full run play The School for Lies by David Ives.  This show was a smash hit with close to 5,000 people in attendance over ten performances.  This was a huge undertaking-  balancing a small budget while maintain the high production values that the script demanded.  By closing weekend we were sold out every night.  Thank you for that!

We are now rounding out our first year. Although we intended to produce all six of our original shows this year, we are spreading them out instead.  We have faced many challenges in finding space to perform, which has slowed things down.  However, we are still going to produce the rest of our original season this coming year. The founding members of WCTNW have full time jobs, which puts us right in the middle of the Working Class and alongside the majority of Tacoma. Just because we work hard all week does not mean that we don’t have the time to experience life through theatre. In fact, the working class deserves to be rewarded with live artistic experiences. And that is our goal!

Theatre is not like any other art form. Theatre’s sole purpose is to be experienced by an audience. Theatre is a shared experience that is unique to a moment in time and is only shared by those who are there at that moment sharing in the experience. Theatre cannot be duplicated. This season you are guaranteed a unique experience, in which you are the largest character- the audience!

Thank you for being a part of Working Class Theater NW.

Tim Samland
Artistic Director

Monday, November 24, 2014

Audition Announcement!

The Sunset Limited by Cormac McCarthy. Directed by Tim Samland.
Auditions will be held at Tacoma Youth Theatre: 924 Broadway, Tacoma
December 14, 15 at 7:30pm. Callbacks on December 16 at 7:30pm.
Please be prepared for cold readings from prepared sides. No monologue or appointment is necessary.

Casting Needs: 1 Black Man (50s) and 1 White Man (50s)

The show will rehearse late December 2014 through January 2015 and run in February 2015.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Come see the show!

Have you heard? School for Lies is a smashing success!
Photo by Kate Lick

 After a successful opening weekend, Working Class Theater NW continues its run of David Ives's scintillating farce The School for Lies with performances on September 18, 19, 20, 21, 25, 26, and 27 in the third floor ballroom at 733 Commerce! All performances start at 8:00 p.m. 

Read a review by Alec Clayton on this hilarious production, directed by Tom Sanders and starring a remarkable local cast, then see for yourself what all the fuss is about at an upcoming performance. Tickets are available at BrownPaperTickets.com or at the door with a suggested donation of $10-$12. 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Showtime! The School for Lies by David Ives

I'm going to drop this in here and back away until tomorrow. Allison Hughes of Sweetium designed this awesome poster for us.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Showtime! Come see "A Life in the Theatre"

 Working Class Theater NW Presents: "A Life in the Theatre" by David Mamet.
May 23, 24, 30 &31 at 8pm
Admission is Free!

1st floor of the Old Post Office (inside the DASH Center)
1102 A. Street, Tacoma

Warning: Contains some adult language.

"A Life in the Theatre" was chosen as our first script because it tells the story of why theater is important to its practitioners: the artists who chose to make their living treading the boards. David Mamet wrote "A Life in the Theatre" (LiT) in 1975. First produced in New York City in 1977, the play centers around the lives of two actors at different points in their careers. As the story of the relationship of two actors onstage and off, the play serves as an explanation of why artists choose the titular life in the theatre. 

This short run is the final graduate project of Christina Hughes. Here is what she has to say about why this play is important to her, and to Working Class Theater NW:

"With this play, we can show why we are passionate about theater, what it means to work in the theater, and why people choose theater as a profession. By positioning theater artists as members of the working class that we seek to engage, we are using similarity as a foundation for building trust. Mamet promotes the idea that actors work hard and are not abstract and above the working class but an integral part of it. While the script is not a direct reflection of any actor’s experiences, it helps address the question of what drives actors to act and in turn what drives WCTNW to open a theater. Themes of the show, which include the interdependency of artists with each other and the audience, mirror WCTNW’s dependency on the surrounding community and explain our goals of community building, education and outreach. Telling this story is a way to situate ourselves within a working class context as trustworthy narrators of community concerns.
It is idealistic to open a theater in a depressed economy, especially in an area that has an uneasy history with new theater companies. But I am not a theater person if I do no theater. There is a point where it is more constructive to open a new theater under challenging circumstances, than to complain endlessly about my inability to relate to existing theater. If my needs as an artist and audience are not being served, it is my responsibility to change that. I want to participate in modern, challenging, underperformed works of theatrical excellence. Working Class Theater NW is my opportunity to meet that goal."
       We  hope that you will join us. After all, what is life without theater?

Monday, February 17, 2014

In The Beginning - The First Installment

“Theaters are curious places, magician’s trick-boxes where the golden memories of dramatic triumphs linger like nostalgic ghosts and where the unexplainable, the fantastic, the tragic, the comic and the absurd are routine occurrences on and off the stage.”
-E.A Bucchianeri from Brushstrokes of a Gadfly

Welcome to Working Class Theatre Northwest’s (WCTNW) official site.  As we get under way, it seems only fair to tell you about us and our mission. Grounded in the diverse history of Tacoma, Washington, WCTNW builds community through production of theater that is socially conscious and relevant to the issues of working class people today. 

You might be wondering whether this means WCTNW only highlights current political issues. Theater’s supposed to be Shakespeare and boring musicals, right? And it’s super expensive. I mean did you see how much tickets were to the recent production of Broadway’s Wicked in Seattle, or Portland? Could you afford $160 tickets for an evening out?

The simple answer? ABOSLUTELY NOT!! The more complex response begins with: Theater is so much more than Shakespeare and even musicals like Oklahoma!  The art of production is an ages old form of human expression. Even more than that movie you just watched or that TV show you’re hooked into, theater is up-close and personal. The next Sean Patrick Thomas could enter the stage two feet from your seat! (Intrigued yet? I hope so.) Modern plays aren’t just about stuffy theaters and long-winded monologues in a language that is harder to understand than modern day slang. It’s about passion; show casing social dynamics that aren’t necessarily mainstream and highlighting the racier side of civilization. Theater is art.

I don’t know about you, but I often find myself standing in front of the movie theater, looking through the options, grumbling at the cost of tickets and muttering how, with a little patience, the same movie might soon be found on my Netflix account. Or I choose to spend an evening at home with my kittens rather than go out and take in the exciting night life, because I can’t afford it. At WCTNW, we aim to bring you high quality entertainment without emptying your wallet of its hard earned cash.

Like us on Facebook at “Working Class Theatre Northwest.” As they say at the Portland Opera: “Nights of passion, no regrets in the morning.”

(Originally posted by Silva Goetz, November 7, 2013)