Any theater festival that begins with the band processing in carrying their lead singer like an idol, and then genuflecting to, kissing, and in one case hugging the cow bell she holds out to them, is going to be my kind of theater festival. 14/48: The World’s Quickest Theater Festival is my kind of theater festival.
Location: Parking lot of the Seattle Repertory Theater, Seattle Center
Dates/Times: TOMORROW and SATURDAY are the last days of the Festival! Shows at 8pm & 10:30pm
Tickets: Go here to buy them online. $16 online, $20 at the door, FREE if you bring your own seat (holy poops!)
Notes: GO SEE IT IT IS AMAZING
Backing up – 7 new plays each night times two nights equals 14 new plays in 48 hours, hence the name. Though it’s now over two weekends, so technically it should be the 28/106 Theater Festival, but that doesn’t sound as good. Themes are chosen from the (giant ice cream) Cone of Destiny, which is filled with suggestions from the audience from the day before (how they pick the first night’s theme I do not know). Cast, playwrights, and set designers are put on teams at random and must work like mad to create their play before the show the next day.
A set-up like this could produce a theater festival that is weird. It is weird. It could make a festival that is kind of dumb. It is not dumb. It could create a festival that is astounding and amazing and a delight to behold. 14/48 is all those things.
The theme last Friday was “Lifting the Veil”. Many veils were lifted: bridal veils, the veil between the living and the dead, the veil between the comfortably known and the seriously awkwardly secret. A few highlights:
Play 1: The Size of a Quarter
Wherein three young women travel to the middle of the jungle to sacrifice their virginity to The Murdock in order to “ensure global capitalism will continue on its nihilistic journey for another thousand years.”
Second bride: This is where we freely give up our hymens, Sadie!
Chorus: Live in the now, now, NOW!
Third bride: ANN COULTER!
Play 2: Statues on Hilltops
Wherein a broken-hearted artist reveals to his friend his moderately creepy tribute to a former lover.
Male Friend: It’s sexist!
Male Artist: No it’s not!
Male Friend: You have one real life figure in your whole career and IT’S A WOMAN ON A PEDESTAL.
Play 4: The Voice is Familiar
Wherein a troubled woman kills herself to escape the awful voices in her head…and meets the voices in death. This one was terrifying. And D’Arcy Harrison (newly co-owner of Emerson Salon!) delivered the scariest line of all:
Woman: Is there a heaven?
Voice 1: Well, yes. It’s great. You can do what you want, be who you want, love who you want…
Woman: “Can I get there?”
Voice 2 (D’Arcy): Honey, you were there.
The only fault I could find is that some of the performances were a little stage-y: not bad, just definitely done with a “I am acting in the theater” accent. But I am putting even this small critique at the very, very bottom of my post because though I want to be honest, I really want you to go. So you should do that. Seriously, you can get FREE SEATS to an AMAZING SHOW. What more do you want?
If you’re still reading at this point, here is a special message for you, and only you: GO SEE THIS THEATER FESTIVAL BEFORE ITS NEW AND SPLENDID CREATION DISAPPEAR FOREVER IF YOU DO NOT YOU WILL BE FOREVER FILLED WITH REGRET