Photos by Ty Swenson
Up top, the 2012-2013 ArtsWest theater lineup. To the left, Kody Bringman who will play Andrew in Andrew Jackson and Sonny Malone in Xanadu. To the right, ArtsWest Managing Director Line Sandsmark.

ArtsWest previews 2012-2013 theater season, "Nothing is Just Black and White"

West Seattle’s ArtsWest gallery and theater brought together actors, arts philanthropists and theater enthusiasts on April 2 to reveal the lineup of plays for the 2012-2013 season and introduce new Managing Director Line Sandsmark and Christopher Zinovitch as the new Artistic Director (although he has been with ArtsWest for 12 years).

Managing Director Line Sandsmark came to ArtsWest after decades working as a film producer in Scandanavia. She said she was drawn to the theater because the staff and actors “wear their passion on their sleeves” and the “intimacy and energy of the space.”

Here is what she had to say about moving away from a world where the arts are heavily funded and her hopes for the new position:

“I actually find a lot of similarities between working with the shorter format independent films and this type of theater space because the goal here isn’t solely to get bums into seats, as they say, because we are not a mass medium, as film can be, but the emphasis here gets to stay on communication, on storytelling, and not least of all engaging audiences intellectually and also emotionally.

“I believe the best of all worlds is having a combination of private, corporate, public funding in addition to, of course, paying audiences. I’ve seen things get taken for granted over there to the point where sometimes public funding actually replaces community engagement and even personal responsibility. So I want to say I am very happy to be back in the States, because I’m impressed with both the creative and the philanthropic initiative it takes for us to be able to enjoy the arts …

“The arts create a space for dialogue by stimulating debate, stimulating conversations and, most importantly, by providing meaningful shared experiences. So I am very happy to be able to work in this region, and hope the work I do here contributes positively to ArtsWest, and to the cultural identity of this dynamic and vibrant and very unique Seattle community.”

Artistic Director Christopher Zinovitch introduced the upcoming season and discussed the theory behind the theme: “Nothing is Just Black and White”:

“What does that mean? Well it means ArtsWest does shows that do not have an ending. We are not giving you a tidy little bow at the end, we are not sending you off outside with a little pat on the butt that says ‘Thanks for coming.’ We are sending you out ready to talk, ready to ask questions of yourselves as well as your local community members.”

“You are going to like our villains, you are going to disagree with our heroes, you will laugh at our tragedies and I dare you not to cry at some of our comedies. Those are the types of shows that we do: they are not black and white, they are shades of grey and full of color.”

Zinovitch said over 298 actors auditioned for the season.

And without further ado, here is the 2012 -2013 ArtsWest season lineup from a press release:

For the ArtsWest 2012-2013 season, Artistic Director Christopher Zinovitch has announced a selection of plays, beginning in September with a fast-paced irreverent rock musical about the country we live in - a Broadway blockbuster, that received Tony Award© nominations, an Outer Critics Circle Award, and two Drama Desk nominations. The holiday season will have audiences dancing in the aisles with a mix of rockin' holiday hits in a fond salute to 1960’s girl groups. Audiences will then travel from Liverpool to Greecewith a middle-aged, working class housewife in a classic comic masterpiece. The season’s fourth play, another recent Broadway blockbuster, exposes the fundamental truths that result when opposing views of family and friends collide. We’ll close out the season watching genius at work as Beethoven and a musicologist examine the creative process against a background of passion and parenthood.

September 19 – October 20, 2012
Northwest Premiere

Book by Alex Timbers, Music and Lyrics by Michael Friedman
Directed by Christopher Zinovitch, Musical Direction by Kim Dare

Fresh from its Tony Award© nominated 2011 run on Broadway, this comedic audacious mix of historical fact and fiction surrounding America’s controversial seventh president -- the man who invented the Democratic Party, drove the Indians west, and ultimately doubled the size of our nation -- blends outrageous comedy, anarchic theatricality and a rock score. “Bloody entertaining” (New York Daily News); “Insanely funny!”(Time Out); “A wildly exhilarating theatrical ride.” (Backstage). Appropriate for ages 16+.
CAST: Cindy Bradder (Elizabeth, etc.), Kody Bringman (Andrew Jackson), Justin Carrell (John Calhoun, etc.), EmilyRose Frasca (Female Soloist, etc.), Morgan Gwilym-Tso (Lyncota), Lindsey Hedberg (Female Soloist, etc), Justin Huertas (Male Soloist, John Quincy Adams, etc), Brian Lange (Andrew Senior, Henry Clay, etc.), Alex Lathum (Guitars, etc), Ryan McCabe (James Monroe, etc.), Meg McLynn (Rachel Jackson, etc), Jeff Orton (Black Fox, etc), Mandy Price (Story Teller, etc), Rob Scherzer (Martin Van Burien, etc), Zac Stowell (Drums, etc.) William Williams (Guitar, etc)

November 23 – December 30, 2012
Seattle Premiere

Book, Music and Lyrics by Rodger Bean
Directed by Troy Wageman, Musical Direction by Kim Dare

It’s Christmas, 1968 - get ready for songs, songs, and more songs. Take a nostalgic trip through the late 50’s & early 60’s when the Marvelous Wonderettes, Betty Jean, Cindy Lou, Missy and Suzy, are asked to entertain at the Holiday Party for Harper’s Hardware. While the girls decorate the hardware store, turning it into a winter wonderland, Mr. Harper, dressed as Santa Claus, goes missing, and the employees’ holiday bonus envelopes may bring surprises. “The perfect Christmas revue! Crackles with energy and joy!” (LA Weekly) Appropriate for all ages.
CAST: Kate Jaeger, Trish LaGrua, Lindsey Larsen, Erin Sprow

January 23 – February 16, 2013

by Willy Russell
Directed by Christopher Zinovitch

A Laurence Olivier Award winner for Best New Comedy in 1988 and Tony Award© nominee for Best Play. This one-woman show is filled with gems of wisdom, a good dose of laughter and a lot of poignancy. The story follows a middle-aged Liverpool housewife who finds herself in the rut of her dull daily life and in a loveless relationship. When her best friend wins a trip for two to Greece, she packs her bags, leaves a note on the kitchen table, and sets off on a “Mamma Mia” style adventure in search of her own life and soul. Heather Hawkins will return to ArtsWest to play the title role. Appropriate for ages 14+.
CAST: Heather Hawkins (Shirley)

March 13 – April 6, 2013
Northwest Premiere

by Geoffrey Nauffts
Directed by Cindy Bradder

Ben Brantley (New York Times) called Next Fall an “artful, thoughtful and very moving story.” Luke believes in God. Adam believes in everything else. It’s an examination of faith, commitment and unconditional love – with sharp humor and unflinching honesty. Not a typical love story, this timely and compelling new American play forces us all to examine what it means to “believe” and what it might cost us if we don’t. “It contains the kind of quips that prompt not one but two waves of laughter. This is rare.” (David Finkle, Huffington Post). 2010 Tony Award© nominee. Appropriate for ages 16+.
CAST: Christopher Zinovitch (Adam), David Traylor (Luke), Kate Jaeger (Holly), Daniel Stoltenberg (Brandon), Patricia Haines-Ainsworth (Arlene), Paul Custodio (Butch)

May 1 – 25, 2013
Northwest Premiere

By Moises Kauffman

Directed by Christopher Zinovitch
A mother coming to terms with her daughter. A composer coming to terms with his genius. And, even though they're separated by 200 years, these two people share an obsession that might, even just for a moment, make time stand still. Drama, memory and music combine to transport you from present-day New York to nineteenth-century Austria in this extraordinary American play about passion, parenthood and the moments of beauty that can transform a life. Nominated for 5 Tony Awards©. “Not to be missed” (New York Magazine). Appropriate for ages 16+.
CAST: Jody Mc Coy (Dr. Katherine Brandt), Lindsey Larsen (Clara Brandt), Matthew Gilbert (Ludwig Von Beethoven), Anton Schindler (Mike Spee), James Lyle (Anton Diabelli), Mark Tyler Miller (Mike Clark), Ruth Mc Ree (Dr. Gertrude Ladenburger)

Subscriptions to the full five-play season go on sale on April 4th at $159 - $200 for general audiences, $140 for seniors – at ArtsWest Box Office, (206) 938-0339.

About ArtsWest: ArtsWest produces artistic events so fiercely compelling that they require conversation, improve the imagination, and promote cultural vibrancy as a core value for the communities of Seattle. Utilizing a 149-seat, 3/4 thrust theater and visual art gallery, ArtsWest has presented over 550 different performing arts productions and gallery exhibitions to over 225,000 visitors since 1999.

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