Assemblage Theater presents Pericles Snowdon’s haunting Bluebeard

17 May
Cherilynn Williams & Annie Katica Green in rehearsal for Bluebeard.

Cherilynn Williams & Annie Katica Green in rehearsal for Bluebeard.

What: Pericles Snowdon’s Bluebeard
Where: Chapel at Urban Grace, 902 Market Street, Tacoma
When: Fridays & Saturdays, May 31 – June 15, 8 p.m.
Tickets: $14/adults; $7/students w/ID. Tickets available at the door or in advance at Brown Paper Tickets.
Information: www.assemblagetheater.com

Raised inside an abandoned church since they were babies, four women have been taught to fear the outside world. Locked in to keep them safe from an ice storm which, 25 years ago, brought the world-as they-knew-it to an apocalyptic end, the four exist in a makeshift society controlled by their tortured matriarch, Blue. This uniquely written tour de force highlights one of London’s finest young playwrights. In its west coast premiere, English playwright Pericles Snowdon’s Bluebeard explores parenthood, political subjugation, gender, the environment, betrayal, and the apocalypse. The play, while dark and creepy, is charming and engaging with a fetching touch of dark humor. Bluebeard, presented by Tacoma’s Assemblage Theater, opens Friday, May 31 and runs for three weeks. Two pay-what-you-can performances are scheduled for Thursday, June 6 and 13.

Featured in the cast are Kathi Aleman, Nicole Lockett, Heather Christopher, Kaylie Rainer, Annie Katica Green and Cherilyn Williams.  Bluebeard is directed and produced by David Domkoski, with original music by Stanley William. Production design is by Erin Chanfrau.

“We all know the fairy tale about Bluebeard, who keeps his wives hostage, insisting that they be obedient to his will. It’s clearly a tale of patriarchal rule,” said David Domkoski, the play’s director. “How do we react to the tale, however,” asked Domkoski, “when the controller is a mother bent on protecting her daughters? That’s the premise which Pericles explores in his play. As the girls’ mother asks, ‘Isn’t it better to be put away somewhere safe than to get sent out to a world without a heart.’” Post-play discussions with the cast and director are scheduled after every performance.

Bluebeard was first produced in London, enjoying a sell-out run at the Old Red Lion Theater and garnering Time Out Critic’s Choice. It then transferred to New York and the Toronto Festival where it won rave reviews and the coveted Patron’s Pick award.

Assemblage Theater’s production of Bluebeard is funded in part through the Tacoma Artists Initiative Program of the Tacoma Arts Commission. Additional funding came from a recently completed campaign on KickStarter.com

About the playwright

In 2009 Pericles was selected by a panel of Radio 4 producers and artistic directors to receive the £10k OffWestEnd Adopt A Playwright award. The winning play, They Who Lay in Fields Like Beasts, was then introduced by Ian McKellen at The Theatre Royal Haymarket. Last year his memory palace play The Cat’s Mother was produced by all-female theatre company FoxedUp at The Courtyard in London, receiving 5 stars and a grant from the Arts Council.

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