Monday, December 14, 2009

- F E A T U R E S -

Fire Rips Taproot, Land at Stage One through end of year
By Tom Smeeth
... Nothing parallels the story of the classic American move, It’s A Wonderful Life, quite like the nightmare lived by those who steer the local Taproot Theatre Company who faced devastation in a fire that swept their premises October 23 last year.
... How fitting that the resilient company of thespians were able to take over Stage 1 to mount this classic tale of human triumph over trial and tribulation. It's as special a story s to how Taproot was taken in by North’s own Stage One Theatre. It is after all a story of spiritual renewal through family, community and the values that withstand the test of time – and of inexplicable tragedy that might otherwise bring any of us to the brink. For the full overview, see Comments.
Visit Taproot's website.

1 comment:

  1. Taproot stand at Stage One complete -
    This year in the Northwest, there has been a too-long line of tragedy - personal and public - to go around. No doubt, there are many who identify with the time tested classic American story by director Frank Capra of dealing with hardship through a time when many wish to warm themselves from the iron caste of tragedy.
    North’s respected director of theater, Dawson Nichols, was “thrilled” to have North host the professional troupe.
    “After the fire, we knew they were looking around town,” said Nichols. “Knowing we would be a good fit,” he approached Taproot with the powerful combination of advantages North could afford them. “We have the parking that makes downtown difficult, and our theater is well-equipped. Plus, we could offer competitive rental pricing.” The capper was the banquet facilities of the North Star Café, facilitating their dinner and a play program.
    Coming off what Nichol’s calls the huge success of the landmark premiere of “It’s Not in the P-I,” North looks to continue to forge relationships in the community.
    “Our constant battle is the message that it’s not just about jobs,” opined Nichols, who informed the Polaris that further work is underway from the trio who brought “P-I” to stage – Nichols, fellow playwright Paul Mullin, and former P-I science writer Tom Paulson.
    “Just as I go by an Art class at North, I am impressed to see a student learn to draw. There’s more to the quality of life, as well as preparing ourselves for a job.” Nichol’s message is not lost on an appreciative Stage One audience. The creative communication arts, are essential to our development as human beings. Interconnectedness in our at-large community is essential to surviving and thriving.
    As noted by Brendan Kiley, in the Stranger (November 6, 2009), “One of the funnier recurring bits, by Dawson Nichols, is called "How to Press a Politician." Building as well as mending fences with the Seattle theater community, North hosting Taproot’s holiday show contributes to a communal vision.

    For Taproot, No Mainstage available, the actors studio and touring companies continue to work on the road to further their mission. The Taproot staff gathered in their stripped auditorium on November 3rd to affirm that restoration was underway. The spirit of Taproot was and is in the process of rebounding. Their staging of ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ offers us the opportunity to not only give back but receive from them a truly heartfelt gift of theater that entertains and inspires.
    “It’s a Wonderful Life” is a Live Radio Play adapted for the stage by Joe Landry, with original music by Ed Smart. Taproot’s Karen Lund directs with scene and sound design by Mark Lund. Aaron Lamb is the music director. The cast includes: Grant Goodeve as George Bailey, graced by wife (or librarian?) Mary played by Candace Vance. Only Mark Lund could brave playing Mr. Potter (true Barrymore fans appreciate your disdaining boo's on cue), as well as Joseph and other characters.
    But you ask, Who plays Clarence? Why Alex Robertson, of course! The plot moves with the capable assistance of Jesse Notehelfer as Violet, Mrs. Bailey and others and Eric Riedmann as war hero, brother Harry, pitching in with inventive sound effects – must have for a radio play.
    Running a short hour and three quarters, by the time it’s done you want more – and carrying hope and other good feelings out the door and into your family, your community, with you. If they can pull this off with such style, the play and their own renaissance, surely there is hope for us, and humankind.
    Showtimes ran Tuesdays through Saturdays, with student Matinees. Northstar Cafe was used for dinner options.
    -> Taproot Theater Company <-
    PO Box 30946, Seattle WA 98113
    Phones: (206) 781-9707, -9708 Groups, (206) 529-3668 Actors Studio