…that a literary actor in possession of a musical inclination, must be in want of an adaptation.

Fortunately, I am in want no longer, because in a few weeks I’ll be playing Mary Bennet in a new musical version of Pride and Prejudice for two concert readings as part of the Seattle / Mainstreet Festival of New Musicals. I am a devoted Austen reader, so I’m especially delighted to be taking part.

What is Mainstreet, you ask? Mainstreet Musicals is a national organization, whose mission is “to evaluate, identify and regularly introduce brand new, highly regarded musicals into communities that present them live in concert” through regional festivals, helmed by local directors (in Seattle’s case, the inimitable Billie Wildrick). The festival is also presenting two other new musicals that I’m looking forward to viewing, and that I encourage you musical fans to catch as well: Under Fire (based on the 1983 movie) and Merton of the Movies.

I love that Mainstreet is encouraging not only new musical works, but also regional theatre. Regional theatre can be a fantastic place to develop a show (as a multitude of union and fringe theatres in Seattle demonstrate regularly). It’s a win-win for many parties. Regional audiences get to be some of the first viewers of new shows before those shows progress to larger productions; the playwrights, lyricists, & composers of this year’s scripts get the chance to see many iterations of their work with a variety of casts; and regional actors and artists get the opportunity to work on fresh material (that doesn’t have to compete with current or previous Broadway productions) and to contribute to the creative development of the pieces in the long run.

I leave you with this little nugget– so integral to my character, middle sister Mary Bennet:

“Mary wished to say something very sensible, but knew not how.”

~ Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

The Piano Lesson by Edmund Blair Leighton, 1896

Seattle / Mainstreet Festival of New Musicals

Thursday, June 18 – Monday June 23**

West of Lenin203 N 36th St, Seattle, WA 98103

Subscriptions & info (w/ full festival schedule)

** The Fremont Solstice Festival is happening this weekend, so please plan on extra time to bus/park and reach our venue! My suggestion? Arrive early in Fremont to enjoy a nosh or swing by the Solstice Festival on your way to a show. You can bet your Regency ballgown that’s what I’ll be doing.

In June I will be appearing in the cast of Planet X by Victoria Stewart, directed by Mimi Katano — AND — assistant directing Leap with director Ashley Flannegan, all as part of Quickies Vol. 14 with LiveGirls! Theatre. After a very good time with LG in their recent Cupcake series, I’m tickled to be returning so soon, and getting a chance to work on both sides of the stage. If I were going to belabor my baked-goods theme, I would say I feel as though I’m getting to have my cake and eat it, too.

Quickies Volume 14
Presented by LiveGirls! Theatre
June 7-15, 2013 at Theatre Off Jackson
Stay tuned for the ticket link…

Also, my eighth-grade self wants you to know how exciting this other item is. It’s a little way off–more details later– but all anyone really needs to know is that yes, it’s in iambic pentameter, and yes, the cinnamon buns are happening.

Happy Friday!

Cupcake-FeaturedNews! I’ll be doing a few roles in a reading of Joanna Horowitz’s new play Miss End of the World, Etc., directed by Ashley Flannegan, for LiveGirls! Theater’s 2013 Cupcake Reading Series. The series is already going on, so if you are looking for something fun to fill the rainy nights, hop on over to Annex, see readings of new plays and air your opinions with your fellow audience members afterwards.

I’m pretty excited to be a part of it, for a few reasons.

Reason #1: While making New Year’s goals (not resolutions, because resolute has such a grit-your-teeth quality, whereas goals? Goals are exciting!)– one of my personal and professional goals was to see more new work, because I realized how much I enjoyed and was piqued by the unfamiliar. It’s an extra boon that I now get to participate in new work.

Reason #2: I haven’t met Joanna yet, but LG! did a playwright spotlight on her here in which she talks about corporate-speak, something that made me howl with recognition. There are several instances in my personal employment history in which I have had difficulty suppressing mirth over the very special phrases that the corporate sector employs with all-too-serious gusto.

Reason #3: I get to work with several new and somewhat less-new friends on this project, and while I love meeting new people in the theatre, I also love working with those with whom I already have a language.  There are both varieties in this team, as well as some complete strangers to me, so it’s the best of both worlds.

Go see some fresh-from-the-oven plays!