The Pocket Theater recently called Fremont home while performing at the West of Lenin Theater from January 31st until March 1st. In that time, they produced more than 15 shows and put on more than 25 performances. The calendar offered a wide range of shows including sketch comedy, improv, stand up, theater and variety shows.
This new theater, founded in 2013 by Clayton Weller after a successful Kickstarter campaign, is currently living the nomadic life while searching for a permanent home. During the month of March they will be based at the Seattle Creative Arts Center in Ballard before heading south to the Rendezvous in Belltown and eventually returning to Fremont in May.
The Pocket Theater places an emphasis on small, intimate performances that reward both the audience and the performers. As Executive Director, Clayton has spent significant time researching, collaborating, and questioning traditional theater models. The goal he says, is to “make a theater where its impossible for the performers to fail, from everyone’s perspective.”
The end result is indeed more intimate and fosters a stronger sense of community. Having a theater nearby offering the high volume and variety of shows that the Pocket does makes stage entertainment far more accessible. Tickets are about the same price as a movie (all shows are $10 ahead of time online and $14 at the door) and audience members are rewarded with impromptu laughter and a greater sense of participation. All together this makes the Pocket’s performances worth venturing out for, whichever venue they are currently calling home.
While at West of Lenin the sketch comedy group Ubiquitous They, which Clayton is a member of, made the most of the studio space and engaged every member of the audience with their antics. Clayton explains sketch comedy has the ability to be extremely “lean” comedy and that when done right it sheds much of the unnecessary content. In Ubiquitous They’s most recent show “Foxtrot,” every facial expression, exaggerated gesture, and slight cue resulted in either laughter or furthered the plot. Not a moment of the audience’s time is wasted and that certainly adds up to more laughs. Visit Ubiquitous They’s Facebook page for more news about upcoming performances.
Image from Ubiquitous They’s Facebook Page
Here are a few more useful facts:
UBIQ·UI·TOUSadjective : existing or being everywhere at the same time
UBIQUITOUS THEYcomedy group : collaboratively creating and performing sketch comedy since forming at University of Puget Sound in 2003
SketchFest Mash Upcomedy workshop
: an intensive weekend workshop for people of skill levels to brainstorm, pitch, practice, produce, and perform a sketch comedy show, all in one weekend. The first one of 2014 begins Friday March 14th
A writer is forced to return to Seattle, site of her personal and professional ruin, to cover the story of Dorothy Dietrich. Crashing with a college roommate and proprietor of an earnest yet doomed tour business, and surreptitiously followed by a lover whose interest may be swayed by a surprising suitor, her life is once again changed by a trip she didn’t want to take to a city she hoped never to see again.
The play runs through April 7th and tickets can be purchased here.
Meanwhile, Seattle playwright, activist and street theater director Ed Mast has written a political play he is doing for free in living rooms and spaces all around Seattle. This weekend he’ll be performing the play, titled Something I Can Do: Voices From Occupy Seattle, at VDP Studio (4128 Fremont Ave. N) on Saturday, March 10 at 2 p.m. They play lasts 45 minutes and is followed by a group discussion. Call 206 632-2353 for more info.
Finally, for some theater that’s a little more free-flowing, The folks at The Fremont Tour checked in to let us know that a group of women from Montana will be taking the tour through the neighborhood on Sunday to celebrate a 50th birthday. The tour begins at the Fremont Sunday Market, end at Lola Pop, before they do brunch at 35th St. Bistro an end the day at the zoo. Fremonsters are encouraged to “accidentally” run into the tour and deliver a surprise 50th birthday card for birthday girl Kelly.
Fremont’s new theatre, West of Lenin (203 N. 36th Street), has revised it’s Fall schedule. Below are the revised dates and shows. For ticket information or more on the theatre, make sure you check out their site.
The Fussy Cloud Puppet Slam
October 8, 2011 @ 9pm
The most ornery, able, and intrepid puppeteers in this rainy city assemble for an evening of short, spirit-lifting performances. You’ll laugh at puppets doing human things, marvel at puppets doing curious things, cry at puppets doing *%$&ed up things. Featuring the work of Gavin Cummins, Jess Haynie-Lavelle, Nick Hubbard, Lisa Haslbauer (of Puppets Behaving Badly), and more. Tickets at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/201688.
Sandbox Radio Live 2: The Halloween Episode
October 10, 2011 @ 8pm
The first-ever production at West of Lenin returns. New plays, poetry and music by the Sandbox Artists Collective (www.thesandboxac.org) recorded live for podcast. Tickets at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/202199.
Café Nordo presents To Savor Tomorrow
October 28, 2011 – November 20, 2011 (Thurs & Sun @ 7:30pm and Fri & Sat @ 8pm)
Café Nordo presents To Savor Tomorrow, a journey of international intrigue aboard a Pan Am flight bound for the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair, featuring cocktails and a complimentary in-flight meal of small bites by Chef Nordo Lefesczki. For more info, visit http://www.cafenordo.com/. Tickets at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/201222.
Upcoming events for Winter 2011-12 include Kevin Joyce’s A Pale and Lovely Place and The Paradise Theatre School’s The Milosevics.
West of Lenin also wants to make sure you know that Fremont Coffee Company, Kylie’s Chicago Pizza and The George & Dragon Pub all offer discounts to West of Lenin patrons, inquire within.
The first multi-performance production in Fremont’s newest theater venue, West of Lenin, arrives in Seattle this week. Digital artist J-Walt brings his newest Spontaneous Fantasia show, The Omnicentric Universe, to West of Lenin for four performances – Wed 8/31 at 8pm, Fri 9/2 at 8pm and Sat 9/3 at 5pm and 8pm.
In Spontaneous Fantasia, J-Walt utilizes the latest in interactive computer graphics techniques to bring paintings to life. The result is a live animated movie that unfolds before an audience. These works incorporate elements of animation, theater, dance, painting, sculpture, music, architecture, and interactive art.
“With my performances, I take literally the meaning of the word ‘animation’: making images come to life. I use my drawing skills to give directions to computer programs I’ve written. I aim to capture the sensitivity of gesture, but I also use techniques which amplify and augment the gestures. The wave of the arm or the stroke of the pen is my foundation, but the effect is much more. My creative process for these pieces is to continually shift between painting, programming, composing music, and performing. My goal is to create a wholly integrated experience for the eye, ear, and mind.”
Check out a preview of the show below and head over to Brown Paper Tickets to purchase tickets.
West of Lenin, Fremont’s theatre venue, has announce the following shows for their 2011 Fall season.
J-‐Walt and Spontaneous Fantasia: The Omnicentric Universe www.spontaneousfantasia.com
August 31,2011 @ 8pm;
September 2, 2011 @ 7pm;
September 3, 2011 @ 5pm & 8pm
J-‐Walt is a performer, interactive designer, filmmaker, graphic artist, and composer at the forefront of interactive art and computer performance, expanding the uses of computer animation into uncharted territories.
A new theatre design group led by Paul Budraitis presents:
A non-‐verbal, one-‐man interpretation of DEATH OF A SALESMAN, featuring actor James Cowan in the principal role.
September 15-‐17, 2011 @ 8pm
Sky White Tiger www.skywhitetiger.com
October 5, 2011
Inspired by works of astrological mythology and blurred lines between fantasy and reality, five-‐piece psyche-‐pop band Sky White Tiger comes to Seattle!
When the Empty Space Theatre closed its doors in 2005, Fremont was left without a place to call its own for live theater. And if there’s any neighborhood in Seattle crying out for a place to perform, it’s gotta be Fremont.
Finally, live theater is coming back to town.
West of Lenin is a new theater opening at 203 N. 36th Street. West of Lenin is a 88-seat black theatre being built as part of the renovation of the former Warden Fluidynamics building, and will host its first event on June 20, 2011 with Sandbox Radio Live, a production of Sandbox Artists Collective.
The renovation is a project of The Ethereal Mutt – Limited, led by principal A.J. Epstein. The completed project will include office and retail space in addition to becoming the new headquarters for EMutt and the home of West of Lenin.
“As I was getting deep into the design phase of the building, I realized that I had a resource and a unique opportunity to get more deeply involved with the arts community simply by thinking a little bigger and making this a public venue,” says Epstein. “I’m not starting a theatre company. I’m putting together an attractive comfortable space and encouraging artists whose work I respect to be featured during our first year.”
Sandbox Radio Live will be the first official event in the new space. Conceived and directed by Leslie Law, Sandbox Radio Live is an evening of new works written specifically for the radio by Scot Augustson, Vincent Delaney, Elizabeth Heffron, Chuck Leggett, Anita Montgomery, and Paul Mullin, and new music from the Sandbox Radio Band led by Jose Gonzales, recorded live for future podcast. Doors open at 7:30pm and the show starts at 8pm. Admission is free. For more info on Sandbox Artists Collective, visit www.thesandboxartistscollective.com.