A news blog for Seattle's Phinney Ridge and Greenwood neighborhoods

 

Annual SketchFest brings comedy to Greenwood’s Pocket Theater

September 13th, 2017 by Doree

The annual SketchFest comedy festival is underway, with several shows of local performers coming up this week and next at The Pocket Theater, 8312 Greenwood Ave. N., and the headline shows with comedy acts from around the world at the Annex Theater, 1100 E. Pike St., Sept. 22-23.

The Pocket Theater shows are at 8:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. this Friday, 7 p.m. Sunday, and 7 p.m. next Thursday, Sept. 21. Tickets are $10 online or $14 in advance.

See the lineup for each show online, plus performer bios. Some acts are solos or duos, while others are larger groups of sketch artists.

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Annual SketchFest comedy festival comes to Greenwood

September 9th, 2016 by Doree

The comedy festival SketchFest is coming to Greenwood’s Pocket Theater, with performers from all over the country as well as Canada. SketchFest is the world’s first sketch comedy festival, founded in 1999.

This year’s event will bring talent from around the country, with a special showing of acts from Canada. Audiences can look forward to the wit of Ladies & Gentleman, recently seen on Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal and at the Montreal Fringe Fest, as well as Winnipeg’s H.U.N.K.S., who have been tearing up the fringe circuit, garnering tons of acclaim (including a 4 star review from the CBC, who called them “among Winnipeg’s finest sketch brands”), in addition to over 25 other groups.

SketchFest has continued to make it a priority to attract diverse acts–and this year boasts the widest variety of performers yet. Los Angeles-based Blade Brown (which includes former Seattleite Myrone Sumner) recently won the 2016 L.A. Scripted Festival Sketch Cage Match Tournament and include members who are writers and performers from the CBS Diversity Showcase. Blade Brown calls themselves “a diverse group of performers that bring that urban slice of life theme to any sketch stage.” Deep Lez is an all queer-identifying group who have performed at Bumbershoot, Seattle SketchFest, and lesbian living rooms all over the Pacific Northwest.

The main shows are on Sept. 23-24 at the Annex Theater, but several preview events are at The Pocket Theater, 8312 Greenwood Ave. N.: 7 p.m. on Sept. 15; 7 p.m., 8:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. on Sept. 16-17; 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 18; and 7 p.m. on Sept. 22.

You can buy tickets online.

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Greenwood actress performing ‘The Two Step’ at The Pocket Theater

July 23rd, 2015 by Doree

Greenwood actress Christine Longé will perform her solo show, “The Two Step,” at The Pocket Theater, 8312 Greenwood Ave. N., this Sunday and the following Friday, before traveling to Australia to perform in September.

Show times are 3 p.m. Sunday, July 26, and 8:30 p.m. Friday, July 31. Audience members can take part in a special potluck in the lobby after Sunday’s performance. Tickets are $10 online or $14 at the door. The performance runs 55 minutes without an intermission, and is suitable for ages 10 and above.

THE TWO-STEP media photo 2 by John Small-resized

 

Photo by John Small.

Edith is an enchanting woman who dares to dream big. From sleepy suburbia to sweltering Saudi Arabia, she struggles to marry her independence with her need for love. THE TWO-STEP explores how music, travel, and memory influence a life well-lived.

THE TWO-STEP is a solo show inspired by the life of my worldly grandmother, who is a longtime Queen Anne resident and local legend among senior citizens. She teaches folk, line, and ballroom dance for seniors at the Seattle Center in addition to multiple retirement homes and senior communities throughout the Puget Sound region. She’s an avid traveler, matriarch, and opinionated optimist.

I’ve performed THE TWO-STEP for many audiences in the 2014 Winnipeg, Chicago, and Seattle Fringe Festivals (where my show was voted as the Audience Choice Award winner), and my next adventure is overseas in the 2015 Melbourne Fringe Festival come September. THE TWO-STEP is a whimsical, physical play directed by the talented Paul Budraitis which features an original musical number composed especially for this show by UW graduate Tom Freeman.

Off stage, the Cornish College graduate teaches theater and coaches gymnastics at Seattle Gymnastics Academy in Ballard.

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Wheelhouse Workshop to help teens develop social skills through role-playing games

July 13th, 2015 by Doree

Wheelhouse Workshop is back in our neighborhood this summer, trying to help teens develop social skills through fantasy role-playing games.

Part recreation and part social support, our groups may be of interest to families in Seattle looking for additional social experiences for their teens, especially during the summer when solo video games can be so compelling.

In Wheelhouse Workshop groups, teens and adolescents access their inner heroes, collaborate as a team, and save the world.

Our groups help teens develop perspective-taking, develop flexibility and conflict resolution, and cultivate their creative problem solving skills…

…all while rolling dice from the safety of a table.

Wheelhouse Workshop groups use modified rules from the popular and accessible game Dungeons and Dragons. What makes Wheelhouse Workshop unique is that in-game scenarios are designed to target players’ real-world areas of social growth and players are given a safe and rewarding space to practice real-world skills. For example, two players in our group who were specifically working on conflict resolution skills met a creature in our fantasy game that had two heads with opposing and conflicting personalities. The players wanted to befriend this creature to assist them in their adventure, but in order to do so needed to help the two personalities (role-played by a drama therapist) better understand their opposing viewpoints. The two players who started off the quarter as rivals eventually exchanged phone numbers and became friends outside of our weekly group!

Even though our facilitators are trained Masters level therapists and educators, the players never feel like they are in a “therapy” group. A parent even said, “This is the only time my child actually looks forward to leaving the house!”

Wheelhouse Workshops will be at The Pocket Theater, 8312 Greenwood Ave. N., on Wednesdays from 5:15-6:45 p.m. beginning July 15 through Sept. 16. To register, call 206-588-5523 or email contact@wheelhouse-workshop.com.

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Wheelhouse Workshop hosting weekly groups to help teens and adolescents build social confidence

January 14th, 2015 by Doree

Wheelhouse Workshop is expanding its weekly groups to help teens and adolescents build social confidence and group cohesion using table-top role-playing games. Currently in Kirkland, the group is expanding to Greenwood at The Pocket Theater, 8312 Greenwood Ave. N.

The first group is tonight, Jan. 14, from 5:15-6:45 p.m. The group meets every Wednesday.

The format is perfect for youths struggling with social isolation because it lets them take on the role of heroes in a fantasy realm, playing out in-game scenarios that specifically target real-world areas of growth.

For example, two players in our group who were working on conflict resolution met an in-game creature with two heads (the beauty of a magical setting!) whose two heads had opposing and conflicting personalities. The players wanted to befriend this creature to assist them in their journey, but in order to do so, needed to help the two personalities (the players named them George and Maverick) better understand their opposing viewpoints. The two players who started off the quarter as rivals exchanged phone numbers and became friends outside of our weekly group.

Players develop conflict resolution skills, creative problem solving skills, and reinforce their innate narrative storytelling abilities, all while rolling dice around a table. One of the best things about our groups is that even though our facilitators are trained Masters level therapists and educators, the players never feel like they are in therapy. Parents have said, “this is the only time my child actually looks forward to leaving the house.”

We don’t turn away clients if we have capacity to serve them, so while our group rate is $50 per session, we have a very flexible sliding scale for families who need extra support.

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Theater group to recreate Saturday morning cartoon time in Greenwood

October 6th, 2014 by Doree

Those of us of a certain age remember Saturday mornings as the time to watch cartoons. Long before 24-hour kid-friendly channels and the Cartoon Network, Saturday was the ONLY day where you could plop yourself in front of the television and zone out for a few hours watching your favorite super heroes and animated characters.

But now, a group called B-Sides & Rarities, which is a partner project of The 14/48 Projects, is bringing family-friendly theater it calls Saturday Morning Cartoons to The Pocket Theater, 8312 Greenwood Ave. N., in November. The show starts at 10:30 a.m. on Nov. 8, 15 and 22.

Saturday morning cartoons were a staple of the childhoods of B-Sides producers Jim Jewell, Paul Shipp, and Joe Zavadil, but are anachronistic for today’s kids raised on 24-hour access to animated delights. “Saturday mornings used to belong to kids,” says Jewell. “I remember waiting all week for that one day I could binge on cartoons for hours. So, we wanted to try and create that same feeling with some fun live theater, and what better way to understand what kind of art kids want to see than engaging them in the creation of it?”

The result is five all-new plays written by local playwrights based on ideas generated by their children, all in the spirit of Saturday morning cartoons. Saturday Morning Cartoons features:

  • Don’t Touch That Dial! by Penelope Venturini and Marcy Rodenborn
  • Roderick Saves the World (or at least the Day) by Finn Judd and Maria Glanz
  • Feline Fitness by Olivia and Jim Jewell
  • The Family Jynx by Jack and Joe Zavadil
  • Magical Man and the Space Needle of Hideousness by Declan, Keelan, and Paul Mullin

Tickets for Saturday Morning Cartoons are available at The Pocket Theater website and are $10 adults/$5 kids online (or $14/$7 at the door). Seating is general admission and all children MUST be accompanied by an adult. More information can be found at the B-Sides & Rarities Facebook page at facebook.com/bsidesrarities or at The 14/48 Projects website.

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