Ron Sandahl, Artistic Director
Aaron Allshouse, Co-Assoc. Artistic Director
Andy Justus, Co-Assoc. Artistic Director / Business manager
Toni Rose, Company Manager
Open Circle Theater is a multi-disciplinary performance company committed to the development of new works and adaptations that speak to the human condition through fantasy and mythic storytelling.
Welcome to the home the most thrilling and fantastical theater you will find in Seattle!
Throughout our seasons, Open Circle's resident company unites with local directors, musicians, visual artists and performers, to bring fresh insight and invention to our creations of highly physical, ensemble-style theater. Join us as we reinvent the theatrical experience.
Click on a show below to see details about that show.
This new work by Seattle playwright Dustin Engstrom was created from the remaining notebooks and writings of Franz Kafka.
Populated by those around him as well as the creations of his imagination, as the story progresses the lines between the two become blurred and reality frays beyond the point of repair. A mesmerizing evening of astounding theater.
May 11 - June 2
Thu. - Sat. @ 8pm
Sun. 5/20 & 5/27 @ 3pm
All Thrusdays 2-for-1
OPEN CIRCLEíS LATE-NIGHT SKETCH PHENOMENON! Itís the end of Times and this, the second incarnation of OCTís house dark-comedy sketch group, features such varied characters as a dimension-jumping scientist, possums, Hercules, animate corpses, Wilford Brimley, Irish gods, a silent film star, a terrorist clown, a robot with a penchant for practical jokes, and more apocalypses than you can shake a stick at. If youíve gotta go, why not go laughing! 100% Polonium-free comedy.
THEM! runs Fridays and Saturdays at 11pm
after Duchess of Malfi
March 30 thru April 21
Reservations: (206) 382-4250
The lyrical savagery of John Webster's masterpiece is presented in a crisp new adaptation by Open Circle's Artistic Director Ron Sandahl (H.P. Lovecraft, A Clockwork Orange: REMIXED) as edited and directed by John Kaufmann (Line One, Star Ball).
Described as "the killingest play in the English language" this classic of the Jacobean stage presents several theatrical firsts: the first strong female lead on the English stage, as well as its first werewolf. Add to this incest, madness, spies, betrayal, lycanthropy, a ghost, and a startling variety of murders, and you have the stunning DUCHESS OF MALFI. Based on actual events, the story involves the widowed Duchess of Malfi who is enjoined by her powerful brothers, The Duke of Calabria and the Cardinal of Milan, to not re-marry. In secret she takes as her spouse the lowly Antonio, the head of her household. When a spy in her midst reports that not only is she wed, but she has had a child, her brother the Duke flies into an insane, lust-fueled rage. His actions will set in motion a cataclysmic series of events with dire ramifications for all.
In seeking to adapt this Jacobean masterpiece, great care was taken to keep as much of Webster's brilliant lyricism as possible. "We wondered why it was so difficult for smaller theaters to successfully put classical theater on their stages," says adapter Ron Sandahl. "The main two reasons seemed to be the unwillingness of modern audiences to sit through a 3 1/2 - 4 hour show. The other - the language barrier. So by updating only enough of the words and phrasing to make modern sense (i.e., "you" for "thou," "carriage" for "carioch," etc.) and by sagely editing the piece with the director, we were able to retain almost all of Webster's amazing language." Judge for yourself March 23 as Open Circle stuns audiences with the premiere of an amazing, harrowing classic: THE DUCHESS OF MALFI.
WHAT: The Duchess of Malfi
WHEN: March 23 - April 21
Thursdays thru Saturdays at 8pm / Sundays 4/1-4/15 at 3pm
HOW MUCH: General admission $15
All Thursdays are 2-for-1 / all Sundays are pay-what-you-will
Seattle School and Open Circle Theater presents
A CLOCKWORK ORANGE: REMIXED
Remix a movie like you would a song. It's a simple idea, really.
INT - Theater, Day. A harried publicist enters house left. He is disheveled, mid-thirties, and would be the spitting image of Stanley Kubrick, if Kubrick was a nervous Asian. The theater is completely white, blindingly bright, and has a subliminal whiff of fresh milk.
I know what you're thinking. You're thinking we took the screenplay and then carefully and tastefully adapted the film for the stage - A Clockwork Orange: Xeroxed. Uh Ö no. Tasteful? Nope. You're way, way off, amigo. That would be a yawn farm, a snore orgy. A snorgy. This ain't no uninspired regurgitation. This production takes the ethos of hip hop sample pirates, who mine source materials and then imagine completely new worlds with them. We do the same thing but for film, create a completely new narrative, and then in a blink, abandon everything.
Enter twins holding hands. One has the body of Nicole Kidman, the other Tom Cruise. They both have heads of Peter Sellers.
Silence, Asian Kubrick-esque publicist! It's you who's the snorgy. Also, you fail to mention the seamless and stunning integration of several live disciplines: movement, acting, media capture, media playback. Imagine several moving screens playing different streams of film, interacting with dancing actors, while the audience is encapsulated in a cocoon of light and deconstruction. It's like Cirque du Soleil, if it was curated by Stan Brakhage and did not suck. In fact, it rules! A Clockwork Orange: REMIXED cannot be missed by any art snob or proto-hipster worth their insouciance.
Everyone dances demurely. FIN.
A Clockwork Orange REMIXED
Feb. 2 - 24
Thu. - Sat. @ 8pm
Sun 2/11 & 2/18 @ 4pm
Last year's smash hit from Bumbershoot is back for Christmas!
Produced in conjunction with Sweet Pea Cottage Preschool of the Arts, a team of adapters has worked with a group of preschool students to create a production entirely from the childrenís imaginations and interactions. At times fantastic & baffling, it is a world you will not soon forget. Definitly the most charming show you will see this year. It's weird to be a kid!
This production ran to critical acclaim at OCT and last year at Bumbershoot. DO NOT MISS this one-of-a-kind theaterical experience.
Three weeks only!!
12/1 - 12/16
Fri. & Sat @ 8pm
Sat. & Sun. @ 3pm
18 & under are $6
Under age 6 FREE!!
LATENIGHTS AFTER ARE WE SCARED?
Itís 1963: Judy Garland decides that she wants to do a homey Christmas special for her TV show. The kids are there, Liza, Lorna and the little gay boy that no one remembers. And you are there as well for the live run through the night before the taping. What could possibly go wrong? Judy's been out all night on a bender, she and Mel Torme have been fighting, and what the hell is up with those god-damned Santas running through the place? Propped up by pills and bouyant with booze, Judy pinballs through the show in the way only she could. Featuring the incomparable Andrew Tasakos as the incandescent Judy Garland.
Sometimes the holidays can really be a drag.
The Judy Garland Christmas Special
December 1 - 16
Fridays and Saturdays ONLY @ 10pm
This is Open Circle's fourth annual installment of adaptations for the stage from the master of the macabre, H.P. Lovecraft.
Since his death in the late 1930's Lovecraft has inspired generations of fans - from Robert Bloch and Stephen King to Clive Barker and Alan Moore - and assured his cult status as maestro of strange fiction. This year, we are adding to the usual new adaptations a completely new story based in the worlds of H.P. Lovecraft - created specifically for this production! The stories are:
The Thing on the Doorstep
A young bachelor meets the girl of his dreams, though she is not all that she seems. As they peer together into the depths of the dark arts will he fall prey to even darker forces?!
Strange Magicks (an original piece)
An A-list magician is on tour in witch-haunted Arkham. In the midst of his performance, what eldritch forces might conspire to shake him to his very marrow?!
The Colour Out of Space
A farmer and his family are tending their land one day, when a meteorite slams into the ground near their well. As time passes who can tell whether their dire situation is due to fate, or some malevolent hichthiker from the cosmic deep?!
Sean Branney, of The H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society and the creator off the hit cult film The Call of Cthulhu, has described Open Circle Theater as "The foremost adapters in the world of H.P. Lovecraft for the stage." Don't be the last of your friends to lose
their sanity staring into the gaping maw of the audient void. Come see what all the screaming is about.
WHAT: The Colour Out of Space
WHEN: Oct. 6 - Nov. 11
Thu. - Sat. @ 8pm
Sun. 10/22 - 11/5 @ 3pm
Sunday, Oct. 29 is our special Halloween gala after the show, with food, drinks and fun -
meet the cast, chat with the adapters - holy crap, what a great time!
HOW MUCH: $13
All Thursdays are pay-what-you-will!
WHERE: Open Circle Theater
429 Boren Ave. N. (at Republican St.)