Lamar Legend in ArtsWest's 2018 production of "An Octoroon." (Photo: John McLellan)

ArtsWest Announces 2018-19 Season

The season will feature productions around the theme ‘Beyond Ideas.’

SEATTLE: ArtsWest Playhouse and Gallery has announced their 2018-19 season, which will include productions about the need to communicate and find understanding in a time of division, and going “Beyond Ideas.”

“This is a season about the heroic effort to connect,” said ArtsWest artistic director Mathew Wright in a statement. “There’s an ugly kind of power and reward we’re rediscovering in talking at each other rather than to each other, and the temptation to do so feels like it grows stronger by the day. What does it feel like to actually hear and see each other? Do we even know this feeling anymore?”

The season will open with the Seattle premiere of Skeleton Crew (Sept. 20-Oct. 14) by Dominique Morisseau, about a family of Detroit auto factory workers during the 2008 Great Recession.

Next will be a new 10-person chamber version of Jane Eyre (Nov. 15-Dec. 23), with music and lyrics by Paul Gordon and a book and additional lyrics by John Caird. It is adapted from the classic novel by Charlotte Brontë about a young orphan who finds a home in a wealthy family and unexpectedly finds love.

Following will be M. Butterfly (Jan. 24-Feb. 17, 2019) by David Henry Hwang, inspired by the opera Madama Butterfly, about a French diplomat who has a decades-long affair with a man posing as a Chinese opera star.

Next will be the Seattle premiere of John (March 14-April 7, 2019) by Annie Baker, about a young couple who try to rebuild their relationship, the elderly owner of the bed and breakfast they are staying at, and the literal and figurative ghosts that haunt them.

Following will be the Seattle premiere of Office Hour (May 2-May 26, 2019) by Julia Cho, about a professor who invites a troubled student to her office hours, where they tackle issues such as gun violence, immigration, and being an “other.”

Closing out the season will be the world premiere of the new musical The Last World Octopus Wrestling Champion (June 20-July 28, 2019), with a book, music, and lyrics by Justin Huertas. It is a modern myth that combines Puget Sound history and folklore through the tale of a young girl who discovers strange new abilities.

ArtsWest is a center for the performing and visual arts in Seattle that produces artistic events and works of theatre that incite conversations and change.