Braden Abraham Announces Seattle Rep’s 2017/2018 Season

Artistic Director Braden Abraham today announced Seattle Repertory Theatre‘s new nine-play 2017/2018 Season, which kicks off with a massive, community-driven musical adaptation, and continues with a theatrical take on a Jane Austen favorite, the launch of a  Broadway National Tour of a Tony Award-winning play, an August Wilson masterpiece, and much more.

“Our 2017/2018 season is full of joy, humor, hope, and perseverance,” Braden Abraham, Artistic Director comments. “Through the work of a dynamic and diverse group of exciting artists, this coming season explores our greatest passions, our hopes for the future, and the dark corners within ourselves in the hope of finding a new sense of belonging. It’s about adventures in love, beginning again, and charting courses into unknown territory. Most of all, next season is about the unexpected connections people make when they join together to bridge divides and create a home in the world. We are messy, we are complicated, but above all, we are remarkable, and never more so than when we come together to tell incredible stories. I am delighted to share these nine, extraordinary plays with you that truly demonstrate the power of humanity.”

Seattle Repertory Theatre’s 2017-2018 Season:

“The Odyssey”

Presented by Public Work Seattle

Adaptation/Music/New Lyrics by Todd Almond
Original Concept and Direction by Lear Debessonet
Directed by Marya Sea Kaminski
September 8 – September 10, 2017
Bagley Wright Theatre

Homer’s epic, reimagined! Travel with us on a story of high adventure and true love as over 100 Seattle citizens join professional actors and regional performance groups onstage to create the beautiful and dangerous world of The Odyssey. Odysseus leads his crew to wrestle legendary monsters, resist treacherous temptations, and face the darkest dangers of the high seas to find their way home. A theatrical celebration for the whole family, this musical adaptation of Homer’s mythical tale will bring our entire city together.

“Pride And Prejudice”

West Coast Premiere
Adapted by Kate Hamill
Directed by Amanda Dehnert
September 29 – October 29, 2017
Bagley Wright Theatre

It is a truth universally acknowledged that Pride and Prejudice ranks among author Jane Austen’s works as one of her best. Playwright Kate Hamill imbues new life to this classic love story with a decidedly progressive take on the trials and travails of Elizabeth Bennet, Mr. Darcy, and, of course, the delightful Bennet clan. But not to worry, empire waists and lavish Regency-era attire still abound in this familiar, yet surprisingly modern adaptation.

The Humans Seattle Repertory Theatre

Reed Birney, Jayne Houdyshell, Lauren Klein, Arian Moayed, Sarah Steele & Cassie Beck in “The Humans” (Photo credit Brigitte Lacombe)

“The Humans”

By Stephen Karam
Directed by Joe Mantello
Produced as part of the official Broadway National Tour
November 17 – December 17, 2017
Bagley Wright Theatre

Stephen Karam’s The Humans is an uproarious, hopeful, and heartbreaking play that takes place over the course of a family dinner on Thanksgiving. Breaking with tradition, Erik Blake has brought his Pennsylvania family to celebrate and give thanks at his daughter’s apartment in Lower Manhattan. As darkness falls outside the ramshackle pre-war duplex and eerie things start to go bump in the night, the Blake clan’s deepest fears and greatest follies are laid bare. Our modern age of anxiety is keenly observed with humor and compassion in this new American classic that won the 2016 Tony Award™ for Best Play.

“Two Trains Running”

By August Wilson
Directed by Juliette Carrillo
Produced in association with Arena Stage
January 12 – February 11, 2018
Bagley Wright Theatre

There’s a new President in the White House, and racial tensions are on the rise. No, it’s not 2017, it’s 1969. At a critical moment in the Civil Rights Movement, Memphis is forced to consider selling his restaurant to the city of Pittsburgh as urban planning eats away at his beloved neighborhood. Featuring a captivating slice-of-life cast of characters, Two Trains Running is celebrated playwright August Wilson’s portrait of a defining moment in American history.

Two Trains Running Seattle Repertory Theatre

U.R. as Sterling, Johnnie Hobbs, Jr. as Memphis, and Lakisha May as Risa in Arden Theatre Company’s production of Two Trains Running. Photo by Mark Garvin.

“Ibsen In Chicago”

World Premiere
By David Grimm
Directed by Braden Abraham
February 2 – March 4, 2018
Leo K. Theatre

In 1882, an unlikely ensemble of scrappy Scandinavian immigrants converge to put on a play in boomtown Chicago. As this ragtag group of new Americans rehearse a controversial new play written by their fellow countryman Henrik Ibsen, their various enmities and misunderstandings take on vaudevillian proportions. Bricklayer turned impresario Henning Folden has a chance to fulfill a dream, but first he has to keep the real world at bay and get his cast to opening night in this world premiere comedy.

“Hershey Felder As Irving Berlin”

Music and Lyrics by Irving Berlin
Book by Hershey Felder
Directed by Trevor Hay
February 23 – March 18, 2018
Bagley Wright Theatre

From Imperial Russia to the streets of the Lower East Side, actor and pianist Hershey Felder takes us on a journey through “America’s Composer” Irving Berlin’s incredible and fascinating life. Featuring Berlin’s most enduring tunes including “God Bless America” and “White Christmas,” this musical portrait is an uplifting immigrant tale that breathes new life into the American Dream.

“The Great Leap”

Co-World Premiere
By Lauren Yee
Produced in association with Denver Center for the Performing Arts Theatre Company
March 23 – April 22, 2018
Leo K. Theatre

China, 1971. The Communist Cultural Revolution is in full swing. San Francisco, 1989. The city by the bay is on the brink of a cultural revolution of its own. The name of the game is basketball. Beijing University’s Coach Wen Chang is the quiet, efficient Tim Duncanesque Party supporter, and Manford is a young, sparky kid from SF’s Chinatown, vertically challenged, yet graced with undeniable baller skill. As the story leaps back and forth in time, Wen Chang and Manford play the game, facing unimaginable cultural barriers; and as they circle ever closer to one another, an undeniable truth is revealed: that sometimes there’s more to life than making the shot.


By Danai Gurira
Directed by Taibi Magar
Produced in association with the Guthrie Theater
April 27 – May 20, 2018
Bagley Wright Theatre

In wintry Minnesota, the Chinyaramwira family is getting ready for the marriage of their eldest daughter, but when the bride wants to observe a traditional Zimbabwean custom for her wedding, deep-seated tensions arise. Adding fuel to the flames, unexpected family guests turn up revealing uninvited secrets. Written by Tony™-nominated Danai Gurira, Familiar focuses a lens on the messy, hilarious, spirited dynamic of a modern first-generation Zimbabwean American family, revealing the bonds that cannot be broken, and reminding us that agreement is not always the rule for those who love one another.

“Mac Beth”

World Premiere
Adapted and Directed by Erica Schmidt
Participant in Seattle Celebrates Shakespeare Festival
May 18 – June 17, 2018
Leo K. Theatre

In playwright/director Erica Schmidt’s innovative adaptation, seven young women gather after school to re-tell the story of Macbeth, Shakespeare’s epic tragedy about the corrosive effects of ambition. Witches, ghosts, and prophecies drive this dark tale of a Scottish general who believes he is destined to be King of Scotland. And as the girls immerse themselves further and further in this infamous tragedy, the line between real life and bloody fantasy becomes increasingly blurred…

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More About Seattle Repertory Theatre’s 2017/18 Season:

The 2017/2018 season opens with Homer’s epic The Odyssey, reimagined through musical adaptation as part of Public Works Seattle. Adapted from the nationally recognized Public Works model – built by The Public Theater in New York – and helmed by Associate Artistic Director Marya Sea Kaminski, Seattle Rep has partnered with community-based organizations throughout the region to create theatre of, by, and for the people. In Seattle Rep’s production, over 100 Seattle citizens will join professional actors and regional performance groups on stage to create The Odyssey. With this exciting new program, the Rep is putting theatre at the heart of our city and the city at the heart of our theatre. Tickets are free, but space will be limited.

This fall, everyone’s favorite Jane Austen tale will see new theatrical life in playwright Kate Hamill’s brilliant, modern adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. Known for her award-winning adaptation of Sense and Sensibility, Hamill developed Pride and Prejudice in part through The Other Season, Seattle Rep’s new play development program. The production is directed by Amanda Dehnert (West Side Story, Timon of Athens, Richard III).

Next, the official Broadway National Tour of The Humans kicks off its coast-to-coast tour at Seattle Rep. Penned by Stephen Karam (Speech and Debate) and described as “blisteringly funny” by The New York Times, The Humans follows Mr. Blake, who brings his family from Pennsylvania to his daughter’s new apartment in Chinatown to celebrate Thanksgiving. Winner of four Tony™ Awards, including Best Play, this will be the first opportunity to see this celebrated production outside of New York.

In the new year, the August Wilson masterpiece Two Trains Running plays on the Bagley Wright Theatre stage. Seventh in Wilson’s 10-part series The Century Cycle, the play is set during the Civil Rights Movement and paints a portrait of a defining moment in American history. Last seen at Seattle Rep in 1991, this new production will be directed by Juliette Carrillo (The Brothers Size and The Cook) and is produced in association with Arena Stage.

Seattle Rep Artistic Director Braden Abraham is set to direct the next play in the season – the world premiere of Ibsen in Chicago by David Grimm (Kit Marlowe, Measure for Pleasure). This comedy about a group of Scandinavian immigrants aspiring to put on a new play by their fellow countryman Henrik Ibsen was commissioned by Seattle Rep and developed through The Other Season.

The season takes a musical turn in late February with Hershey Felder As Irving Berlin. Critically acclaimed actor and pianist Hershey Felder (George Gershwin Alone) takes us on a journey through “America’s Composer” Irving Berlin’s fascinating life. The play features Berlin’s most enduring tunes including “God Bless America” and “White Christmas,” all while breathing new life into the American Dream through captivating storytelling.

Next up, playwright Lauren Yee’s new play The Great Leap, the hilarious and moving story of Manford, a kid from San Francisco’s Chinatown who works his way into a tryout for a college basketball team traveling to Beijing for a “friendship” game. The Great Leap is a co-world premiere between Seattle Rep and The Denver Center for the Performing Arts Theatre Company.

In Spring 2018, Tony-nominated playwright Danai Gurira’s Familiar plays the Bagley Wright stage. A New York Times critic pick in 2016, Familiar tells a very human story of culture clash within a Zimbabwean American family. Produced in association with the Guthrie Theater, Familiar is directed by Taibi Magar in this west coast premiere.

The season comes to a close with an innovative adaptation of Mac Beth. In this play, seven young women embody the entire cast of Macbeth, Shakespeare’s tragedy about the corrosive power of ambition. Adapted and directed by Erica Schmidt, Mac Beth was also developed through Seattle Rep’s The Other Season.

About Seattle Rep’s New Initiative Public Work Seattle

Public Works Seattle creates theatre of the people, by the people, and for the people. Adapted from the nationally recognized model built by The Public Theater in New York, the program seeks to engage audiences by making them creators and not just spectators. Working with community-based organizations, Public Works Seattle invites a wide diversity of people to participate in workshops, attend performances, and to join in the creation of an ambitious work of participatory theatre.

About Seattle Repertory Theatre

Seattle Rep was founded in 1963 and is currently led by Artistic Director Braden Abraham and Managing Director Jeffrey Herrmann. One of America’s premier not-for-profit resident theatres, Seattle Repertory Theatre has achieved international renown for its consistently high production and artistic standards, and was awarded the 1990 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre. With an emphasis on entertaining plays of true dramatic and literary worth, Seattle Rep produces a season of plays along with educational programs, new play workshops, and special presentations.

Seattle Repertory Theatre’s 2017/2018 Season is sponsored in part by ArtsFund.

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Earle Dutton

Earle Dutton

Earle Dutton is the Chief Blogger and Editor of He founded in 2013 to provide information about LGBTQ friendly events of interest, and to support LGBTQ entertainers and supportive artists who visit our community. Earle is a successful businessman in the Pacific Northwest with a long history of support for and involvement in, the Northwest LGBTQ community. His personal interests include: music, theater, pets, culinary arts and technology.

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