Tag Archives: Foss Waterway Seaport

The Other Country – The Story of Thea & Andrew Foss

26 Jun

The Other Country is a community-based, site-specific event, placing the memorable Thea Foss story squarely in its original and authentic setting. The production will take place both inside and outside the dynamic and historic Foss Waterway Seaport, with five shows on August 10-13 (patron preview on August 10 is sold out.)  This play celebrates our diverse backgrounds, the spirit of a strong female entrepreneur, and the enduring beauty and power of Puget Sound.

Spanning from 1880-1927, The Other Country encompasses Thea’s humble beginnings in Norway, her marriage to Andrew Foss, and her family’s subsequent immigration to the United States.  Once settled in Tacoma, this practical, intelligent, and determined woman began a small Puget Sound boat business.  Due to Thea’s tenacity and business acumen, and with the help of her husband and children, this eventually became the famous Foss Maritime Company, which continues to thrive.

A diverse company has been cast of  twenty local actors and singers of multiple ages and local cultures and heritages, reflective of the “immigrants from many countries” referenced by Thea in her letters home, accompanied by 2 area musicians.  The Other Country,  produced by Nancy Bourne Haley, will be co-directed by Marilyn Bennett and Suzy Willhoft, artistic directors of the independent theatre companies Toy Boat Theatre and Found Space Productions, musically directed by Debbie Birkey and with costumes by Alex Lewington.

What: The Other Country
Where: Foss Waterway Seaport, 705 Dock Street
When: August 11 @ 7 pm, August 12 @ 2 pm & 7 pm, August 13 @ 2 pm
Tickets: $10, available online at brownpapertickets.com or, if available, at the door (cash only)

To keep up to date, visit the Foss Waterway Seaport website or Facebook

 

The Backstory to The Other Country

First remembered as the character Annie Brennan in a series of stories in the Saturday Evening Post in the late 1920’s, Thea Foss came to America’s notice in film and TV as “Tugboat Annie” between 1930 and 1950. In 2006, local filmmakers Nancy Bourne Haley and Lucy Ostrander researched and co-produced a film, Finding Thea, about this remarkable woman and her Norway-to-the-Pacific-Northwest saga.

In 2009 the film was aired on Norwegian national television and caught the attention of playwright Kristin Lyhmann, who was inspired to write Det Andre Landet — The Other Country, a play that tells the story of Thea and Andrew Foss from the vantage point of their native Norway. In summer, 2015, the play was produced in Foss’s homeland in SE Norway outside Skiptvet. Nancy Bourne Haley and Foss’s great-granddaughter Leslie Foss Johnson traveled to view the production.

In the fall of 2015, News Tribune arts writer Rosemary Ponnekanti wrote about Bourne Haley’s film and trip to Norway, and suggested Nancy contact Marilyn Bennett and Suzy Willhoft, local theatre directors, about a possible production in Tacoma. Kari Nellie Groven, daughter of the playwright, and Janet Ruud of Tacoma, wrote an English translation of the play, from which this vignette was drawn.

The Other Country is made possible thanks to these funders and facilitators:  Foss Waterway Seaport, Pacific Lutheran University Scandinavian Cultural Center, University of Puget Sound Theatre Department, Foss Maritime Company, Florence Kilworth Foundation, Tacoma Arts Commission, Bayview Partners, Sons of Norway Foundation, University of Washington Tacoma College of Arts and Communication, Tacoma Historical Society, various Daughters of Norway lodges, and many kind individuals.

19 Arts Projects funding recipients announced

27 Dec
Arts Projects funding supports the Hilltop Street Fair. Photo courtesy of Hilltop Business Association.

Arts Projects funding supports the Hilltop Street Fair. Photo courtesy of Hilltop Business Association.

The Tacoma Arts Commission recently awarded $50,000 in Arts Projects funding to 19 Tacoma organizations in support of 2017 public outreach projects in the fields of theater, visual, dance, music, literary, film, cross-disciplinary, and cultural arts. The awards range in value from $1,000 to $4,500.

“We were blown away by the diverse group of community and arts organizations, several of whom were first-time applicants,” said Tacoma Arts Commission Chair Mike Sweney. “This is a strong indicator that the arts are thriving in Tacoma. We’re pleased and honored to be able to support these projects for artists and communities throughout the city.”

Arts Projects funding helps support Write253's Louder Than a Bomb teen poetry slam. Photo courtesy of Write253.

Arts Projects funding helps support Write253’s Louder Than a Bomb teen poetry slam. Photo courtesy of Write253.

Funded projects include the production of six diverse cultural and arts festivals, historical arts and crafts demonstrations, visual art programs for families, three dance workshop series, one film festival, one theater production, three music performance series, poetry writing and performance workshops for youth, poetry readings, and visual art exhibits.

Arts Projects funding supports Tacoma Wayzgoose: Letterpress and Book Arts Festival. A student from Charles Wright inks a linoleum plate for Steamroller Printing.  Photo by Scott Haydon.

Arts Projects funding supports Tacoma Wayzgoose: Letterpress and Book Arts Festival. A student from Charles Wright inks a linoleum plate for Steamroller Printing. Photo by Scott Haydon.

Funded organizations include Asia Pacific Cultural Center, Barefoot Collective, Centro Latino, Children’s Museum of Tacoma, Old Town Business & Professional Association, Destiny City Film Festival, Eastside Neighborhood Advisory Council of Tacoma, Fort Nisqually Foundation, Foss Waterway Seaport, Hilltop Business Association, King’s Bookstore, Morgan Family YMCA, Northwest Repertory Singers, Puget Sound Poetry Connection, Salishan Association, Tacoma Concert Band, Toy Boat Theatre, Washington State Historical Society, and Write253.

The Arts Projects Funding Program supports high quality community projects with a strong focus on arts that are accessible and affordable to the public. Arts Projects is one of three funding programs administered by the Tacoma Arts Commission. For a complete listing of funding programs and information about the Tacoma Arts Commission, visit cityoftacoma.org/funding.

20 Arts Projects funding recipients announced

29 Dec
Arts Projects funding helps support hands-on arts programming at the Children's Museum of Tacoma. Photo courtesy of Children's Museum of Tacoma.

Arts Projects funding helps support hands-on arts programming at the Children’s Museum of Tacoma. Photo courtesy of Children’s Museum of Tacoma.

The Tacoma Arts Commission recently awarded $50,000 in 2016 Arts Projects funding to 20 Tacoma organizations in support of public outreach projects in the fields of music, dance, theater, literary, visual, film, cross-disciplinary, and cultural arts. The awards ranged in value from $1,000 to $5,000.

Children of the Alaska Kuteeyaa Dancers begin a dance performance. Photo courtesy of the Washington State Historical Society.

Children of the Alaska Kuteeyaa Dancers begin a dance performance. Photo courtesy of the Washington State Historical Society.

“These organizations represent a cross section of the incredibly dynamic, thriving arts community in Tacoma,” said Tacoma Arts Commission Chair Mike Sweney. “We are thrilled to be able to support projects that will benefit talented artists and diverse audiences throughout the city.”

Funded projects include the production of six diverse cultural and arts festivals, historical arts and crafts demonstrations, visual art programs for families, contemporary dance performances, two theater productions, four music performance series, poetry writing and performance workshops for youth, poetry readings, visual art exhibits and lectures, and an international film festival.

Revealing a steamroller print, created by Charles Wright Academy, at Wayzgoose. Photo by Aaron Locke.

Revealing a steamroller print, created by Charles Wright Academy, at Wayzgoose. Photo by Aaron Locke.

Funded organizations include Asia Pacific Cultural Center, Assemblage Theater, Barefoot Collective, Centro Latino, Children’s Museum of Tacoma, Feast Arts Center, Fort Nisqually Foundation, Foss Waterway Seaport, Hilltop Business Association, King’s Bookstore, Northwest Repertory Singers, Old Town Business and Professional Association, Puget Sound Poetry Connection, Second City Chamber Series, Sister Cities Council of Tacoma/Pierce County, Sixth Avenue Business District, Tacoma Concert Band, Tacoma Little Theatre, Washington State Historical Society, and Write@253.

The Arts Projects funding program supports high quality community projects with a strong focus on arts that are accessible and affordable to the public. Arts Projects is one of three funding programs administered by the Tacoma Arts Commission. For a complete listing of funding programs and information about the Tacoma Arts Commission, visit cityoftacoma.org/funding.

Tacoma Maritime Fest returns this July

5 Mar
2014 Tacoma Maritime Fest attendees add to the community mural on a shipping container.

2014 Tacoma Maritime Fest attendees add to the community mural on a shipping container.

The only annual celebration of Tacoma’s historic waterfront will return to the Thea Foss Waterway on July 18 & 19 this year. The 23rd annual Maritime Fest will take place at its customary location at the Foss Waterway Seaport, 705 Dock Street.  This year’s festival will continue to honor the historic working waterfront and maritime trades, as well as reintroduce the public to the modern waterfront – a place that also caters to recreation and dining.

Maritime Fest is a free community event for people of all ages.  Familiar activities include the popular Port of Tacoma tours, toy boat building and remote control boats; and a range of boats from tugs to classic wooden boats, will be on display. Building on last year’s success, they are bringing back their Arts Initiatives, including a found art sculpture contest for adults, and a community-created mural on a sail for children, led once again by local artist Kate Cendejas. Other features include live music and entertainment all weekend, and free entrance to the Foss Waterway Seaport Museum.

Also returning for its 11th year is the wildly popular Quick and Dirty Boat Building Contest.  This contest features local teams of three who have six hours to build a boat from scratch and race it around a course. You don’t want to miss it!

Maritime logoFor more information about Maritime Fest, including parking and transportation details, please visit www.maritimefest.org.

The Tacoma Arts Commission is proud to help support the Arts Initiative portion of Tacoma Maritime Fest through Arts Projects funding. Other event sponsors include: Port of Tacoma, Belina Interiors, City of Tacoma, Foss Waterway Development Authority, Foss Waterway Seaport Museum, Tacoma Community Boat Builders, Tacoma Waterfront Association, Downtown Tacoma Courtyard Marriott and many others.

Art at Work Month kickoff this Monday

25 Oct
What happens when molten iron is poured into 300# blocks of ice? Come check it out.

What happens when molten iron is poured into 300# blocks of ice? Come check it out.

Come celebrate with us. You know you want to! Join the Tacoma Arts Commission in a free community celebration of the arts as we kick off Tacoma’s 12th annual Art at Work Month.

Art at Work Opening Party and AMOCAT Arts Awards
Monday, October 28

6 – 8:30 pm
Foss Waterway Seaport, 705 Dock Street, Tacoma
Free and open to the public

We’ll keep you entertained with:

the BareFoot Collective will  be dancing us into Art at Work Month. Photo by Michael Hoover.

the BareFoot Collective will be dancing us into Art at Work Month. Photo by Michael Hoover.

music by Taxi Driver
molten iron pour by Tacoma Community College
contemporary dance by the BareFoot Collective
urban arts by Fab-5
poetry by Tacoma Poet Laureate Lucas Smiraldo
films by Kat Ogden and Carla Barragan
museum displays and marine life touch tanks

You will even have the opportunity to contribute to Diane Hansen’s soon-to-be-installed public art piece, The Locks, by personalizing a padlock to hang on the installation. We’ll provide the supplies, you provide your sentimental love of Tacoma.

Enjoy appetizers, dessert, and no-host bar while experience the newly-renovated Foss Waterway Seaport including a new public art piece, Lot 411 by Bret Lyon.

Help us honor the 2013 funding recipients and AMOCAT Arts Award winners – Erivan and Helga Haub and family, Puget Sound Book Artists, and David Domkoski. Mayor Marilyn Strickland and Deputy Mayor Marty Campbell will present the awards beginning at 7:15 pm.

This event is free and open to the public. No RSVP required. Dress warmly – we’ll be over the water and it’s fall.

The Art at Work Opening Party is sponsored by Foss Waterway Seaport and NW Stage. Art at Work Month is generously sponsored by Click! Cable TVThe Greater Tacoma Community FoundationKPLUPremier Media GroupTacoma Weekly, and Weekly Volcano.

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