February 2024
Animal Farm

Directed and Adapted by Christopher Burnside and Valentine Wulf

Based on "Animal Farm" by George Orwell

After overthrowing their incompetent farmer, the animals of Manor Farm establish a new society where all animals are equal. But as they soon find out, some animals are more equal than others, and the leaders of their new utopia preside over them with an iron hoof. Based on Orwell's searing satire of the sugarcoated march towards totalitarianism, this original adaptation brings Orwell's charming cast of four-legged fascists to life onstage.

February 2024
2024 Bonfire Retreat

Produced with Seattle Repertory Theatre

With the support of teaching artist mentors, teen artists breathed life into six new short plays by their peers at Seattle Rep's PONCHO Forum.

November 2023
The Good Doctor

Directed by Tera Winter

Written by Neil Simon

The hilarious yet profound anthology adapts Chekhov's acclaimed short stories with wit and an appropriate dose of silliness. Stories include ill-fated sneezes, performative drowning, and more. Before performing for the public in the round at UHeights, the play toured four senior living homes, forging intergenerational connections through art.

"I heard nothing but rave reviews from our residents!" - Aegis Living Lake Union

"They were so happy and proud to tell people. You truly provided them with a gift." - Cedar Park Senior Affordable Housing

November 2023
Climate Change Theatre Action Workshop at Teen Night

At Teen Night of Seattle Rep's Islander, teens worked with Penguin Founding Director Shana Bestock and Seattle Rep teaching artists to read and discuss short plays centered around environmentalism as part of the global Climate Change Theatre Action Festival. The workshop was followed by a performance of Islander.

October 2023
Spooky Stories 'Round the Bonfire

Directed by Alphie Alloway, Greg Chvany, and Kate Petersen

Plays by Greg Chvany, Kenny Rosenblum, and Sebastian Borges

Time loops. Total nothingness. Falling in love... with the voice inside your head. Youth were given the chance to write, direct, and perform in three short horror plays addressing the fears of teens. Playwrights receive feedback from their creative team and Penguin admin and each director is paired with a directing mentor to support them throughout the process. The program was produced in partnership with 18th & Union.

October 2023
Chekhov Workshop

Led by Gavin Reub

Dive into Chekhov's canon, learning to interpret his language and understand his short stories that inspired our fall production of The Good Doctor. This free workshop was produced in partnership with The Seagull Project.

August 2023

Directed by Tera Winter, Willa Barnett, and Kate Petersen

Plays by Hersh Powers, Milo Mechem-Miller, Greg Chvany, and Jack Drake

This new playwriting program allowed four young playwrights to work with a director and ensemble of actors to develop a short play over the course of the summer, performing at three unique arts festivals at local outdoor venues: The Seattle Outdoor Theater Festival at Volunteer Park, Summer Celebration at the Luther Burbank Park Amphitheater, and Mostly Music in the Park at Mercerdale Park.

July 2023
Plastic Roses Workshop

Written by Valentine Wulf

While processing an upsetting piece of information from his ex-wife and trying to break the news to his grandmother that it might be time for the nursing home, a bumbling businessman becomes convinced his microwave possesses supernatural abilities. After workshopping an excerpt at our Bonfire retreat in February, Penguin teens had the opportunity to be a part of the script’s first public reading and develop the play for production!

July 2023

Directed by Kyle Gerstel

Written by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins

This hilarious, provocative Pulitzer finalist creatively tackles morality and mortality. The characters? Friendship, Mind, Beauty, Love, and Death. The philosophical roller coaster gets even wilder with a lottery system in which actors play new characters at each performance. Performed outdoors at the gorgeous Luther Burbank Park Amphitheater. The cast also performed an excerpt at the American Alliance for Theatre & Education conference at the Moore Theatre.

July 2023

Directed and Adapted by Valentine Wulf

Written by William Shakespeare

For Macbeth, white picket fences and pastel lawns are the only things blocking out the horrific memories of the Second World War. He and his wife have found peace in their idyllic suburban mundanity. But, in a world where the American dream feels as close as the imminent threat of nuclear annihilation, the Macbeths begin to wonder how far they're willing to go to make it to the top. As the Macbeths descend further into their shared delusion, war flashbacks and visions of the future blur together into a surreal nightmare trapped in the Technicolor confines of a 1950s sitcom.

June 2023
Hand to God

Directed by Kyle Gerstel

Written by Robert Askins

The critically acclaimed comedy follows Jason, a Christian teenager, and his puppet that may or may not be possessed by the devil. Hand to God asks the question, "When are we to blame for our actions?" without settling for simple answers. It speaks to the modern teenage experience and universal desire to embrace impulsivity with fearless authenticity and a hint of absurdity. The show performed in the 600+ seat Bagley Wright Theater, closing out Seattle Rep's 2023 YouthFest.

May 2023
Finding Trails: Intersections

Produced with ACT

Directed by Shana Bestock

Finding Trails: Intersections featured four short plays exploring environmental themes from a global perspective developed by students from the University of Vienna.

February 2023
2023 Bonfire Retreat

Produced with Seattle Repertory Theatre

With the support of teaching artist mentors, teen artists breathed life into eight excerpts from new plays by their peers at Seattle Rep's PONCHO Forum.

December 2022
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)

Directed by Anna Klein

Written by Adam Long, Daniel Singer, and Jess Winfield

Bringing back a Seattle winter tradition, Penguin alumni performed this irreverent, fast-paced romp through the Bard's plays. Presented at Theatre 4.

August 2022
Finding Trails: Bridging the Gap

By Kyle Gerstel, Pamela Hobart Carter, W. Barnett Marcus, and Divya Rajan

Produced as part of the Seattle OAC Art in Parks program, Finding Trails: Bridging the Gap brought together over 40 artists from the Seattle community and gave them the opportunity to create theatre pieces inspired by Be'er Sheva Park and Westcrest Park. The festival explored our relationships with nature, our communities, and ourselves through the lens of public parks.

July 2022
Twelfth Night

Directed by Adrian Martin

Written by William Shakespeare

If music be the food of love, play on! Viola loves Orsino, who thinks he loves Olivia. Olivia thinks she cannot love at all, then thinks she loves Cesario who is really Viola, dressed as a man. Malvolio thinks he ought to be a gentleman, while the foolish Sir Andrew is one, but is no match for the Lady Olivia. Add in a mournful clown, a wily and witty maid, a swashbuckling brother, and you have a recipe for music, madness, mayhem, and merriment! This production of Twelfth Night was set in a gendered summer camp, exploring the difficulty of choosing safety versus authenticity in a society that enforces cisnormativity and heteronormativity. The show, performed at Green Lake Park, explicitly celebrated gender fluidity and queerness in a contemporary setting, while staying true to the power and beauty of Shakespeare's text. 

To learn more about the vision for Twelfth Night, read an interview with Director Adrian Martin here!

To learn more about the production and process, read an interview with the cast here!

June 2022
The Sasquatch Society

Directed by Anna Klein and Kyle Gerstel

Written by youth playwright Hersh Powers

The Sasquatch Society is a secret middle school club dedicated to investigating urban legends in the Seattle area. In fact, it is so secretive that only two people know about it: Edward, the founder, and Corrie, the only other person who was interested. In pursuit of Sasquatch, they start a bootcamp, hijack a bus, pitch a tent, hatch a pyramid scheme, etc. Along the way, Corrie and Edward grow individually and as friends, learning that proving yourself can come in many different forms. The Sasquatch Society premiered at the 2022 Northwest Folklife Festival and performed again at Seattle Repertory Theatre's Youth Works Festival.

Read an interview with actor Auburn D'Artell here!

March 2022
Welcome to the Landfill

Directed by Annika Prichard

Written by youth playwright Valentine Wulf 

When three estranged siblings get a call that their deadbeat, small-time grifter father has died and they need to pay for the funeral, their families are forced to reunite. But as their road trip goes from bad to worse, tensions rise as they uncover their father’s most elaborate scam yet. From youth playwright Valentine Wulf comes a dark comedy featuring three generations of liars whose secrets have the potential to tear a family apart—or bring it back together. Live performances at Taproot's Isaac Studio. 

Valentine was also featured in Encore Spotlight by TeenTix writer Esha Potharaju. Read the full article here!

December 2021

Directed by Annika Prichard

Written by Mary Zimmerman

In-person at University Heights center, Penguins bring this award-winning play to the stage. Metamorphoses turns classic Greek myths into contemporary, provocative theater full of bawdy humor and deep sincerity. The Chicago Tribune describes it as "Theatrical genius...Find your way in, live among its stories, and reboot your life." 

December 2021
Bonfire New Works Festival

Led by Shana Bestock, Alex Reed, Sara Albertson, and Annika Prichard

Following our Artistic Retreat and Writer's Cohort in October and November, the New Works Festival—held at Seattle Rep's Poncho Forum—centered teen voices in a whirlwind weekend of rehearsal, ending with a showcase for the community. Teen playwrights came with their scripts, and other young artists stepped up as both directors and actors to bring these new works to life. 

September 2021
Finding Trails: Journey vs. Destination

By Dylan Thomas Elwood, Pamela Hobart Carter, Maggie Lee, Myles Mawa, Sadie Gingold, Kyle Gerstel, Aaron Sterne, and Disha Cattamanchi

Penguin Productions’ Finding Trails project broke us out of our zoom boxes to reconnect us with each other, our craft, and our shared environments. To increase accessibility, we invited anyone to direct a play. 

“Journey vs. Destination” – which is more important? What are the joys or disappointments of achieving destination without a great journey – or vice-versa?

July 2021
The Tempest

Directed by Anna Klein

Written by William Shakespeare

Live and in-person, join us as we  re-enter a brave new world or connection, magic, and reconciliation. Exiled to a fantastical island, Prospero unleashes a churning storm to shipwreck the traitor who stole the throne, and settle the score once and for all. But bitter revenge is upended by newfound love. Filled with comedy and rich with poignancy, our production will awaken you from the dreary sleep of quarantine. Refuel your artistic sensibilities as we come together to explore the magic of outdoor theater!

July 2021
Acting With Disabilities Workshop

Featuring Mickey Rowe and Annie Jankovic

Join Actors Mickey Rowe and Annie Jankovic for an interactive discussion of the challenges and joys of acting with disabilities, what access looks like in the theater, and tangible steps all theater-makers can take to create more inclusive, diverse, and vibrant theater.

May 2021
Youth Playwright Cohort

Led by PAC members Kyle Gerstel and Disha Cattamanchi

Featuring mentors Wayne Rawley, Keiko Green, Maggie Lee, and Jéhan Òsanyìn

The Youth Playwright Cohort is a biweekly opportunity for young writers to develop their playwriting skills and connect both with peers and experienced guest artists through collaborative discussions, readings, and workshops.

May 2021
One Act @ A Time: Halcyon and Happenstance

Directed by Aishé Keita
Support from Anna Klein 

A performance of co-created short theater pieces created to explore how theater shapes our lives and how our lives can shape the future of theater. Let’s create our future, one act at a time!

March 2021
She Kills Monsters: Virtual Realms

Directed by Anna Klein

Written by Qui Nguyen

She Kills Monsters tells the story of Agnes Evans as she leaves her childhood home in Ohio following the death of her teenage sister, Tilly. When Agnes finds Tilly’s Dungeons & Dragons notebook, however, she stumbles into a journey of discovery and action-packed adventure in the imaginary world that was Tilly’s refuge.

November 2020
Romeo & Juliet

Directed by Anna Klein

Written by William Shakespeare

Toxicity, nurture, growth, love, rage, and plague. Two polarizing houses - Montague, gritty and raw, Capulet, erratic and bright. When they meet, their power is immense. Will it create or destroy? 

This is a truly fantastic play - equal parts comedy, romance, and tragedy, with brilliant characters and language.

October 2020
Finding Trails: Getting Lost

By Olivia Sterne, Julieta Vitullo, Pamela Hobart Carter, and Anuhea Brown
​Directed by
Kiefer Harrington, Rebecca Collinsworth, Kathy Hsieh, Agastya Kohli

Brand-new stories both comic and poignant, spun into a moment in which many of us are both stuck in space yet emotionally adrift, having lost a sense of direction and seeking paths forward.

The Ocean by Olivia Sterne, directed by Kiefer Harrington
a solo performance artist attempts to capture oceanic majesty on zoom, only to be thwarted by the presence of a friendly roommate

The Cuckoo Clock by Julieta Vitullo, directed by Rebecca Collinsworth
a 17th century inventor in the Black Forest is challenged by his creation to let go of time

The Map Lies Folded in Your Pants Pocket by Pamela Hobart Carter, directed by Kathy Hsieh
a woman finds herself lost at the edge of a river

I’m Sorry about the Raw Eggs I Hid in your Apartment (and the time I trimmed your hair) by Anuhea Brown, directed by Agastya Kohli
a couple searches for the special place they first fell in love

Paula 101

By Pamela Hobart Carter
​Directed by
 Peggy Gannon

Paula, an art history doctoral candidate, wants the world to know about the artist Paula Modersohn Becker, the first woman to paint herself nude. 

August 2020
Pride and Prejudice

Adapted from Jane Austen by Don Fleming
​Directed by
Rachel Delmar

Enter into a world of strict physical distancing, where one social misstep or a misplaced missive can doom a reputation forever. Sound familiar? A period drama with a contemporary feel, Jane Austen's classic has been delighting audiences for generations, so we brought this 200-year old story to the world of Zoom!

August 2020
This is Our Youth

By Kenneth Lonergan
​Directed by
Shana Bestock

A powerful performance by three recent high school graduates in Lonergan's blisteringly resonant play. Our virtual production of This is our Youth is both a capstone to a decade of growing up together in the theater, and a full-throated artistic response to an uncertain world. Funny, painful, and compassionate, THIS IS OUR YOUTH is a living snapshot of the moment between adolescence and adulthood when many young people first go out into the world on their own, armed only with the ideas and techniques they developed as teenagers—ideas and techniques far more sophisticated than their parents ever realize, and far less effectual than they themselves can possibly imagine.

June 2020
Finding Trails

By Pamela Hobart Carter, Frank Garland, Sofia Sanchez, Maggie Lee
​Directed by
Agastya Kohli, Anna Ly, David Gassner, Rachel Delmar

Why do people seek out trails? What is our relationship to wild places, and to ourselves in these wild places? Do you forge your own trail or follow someone else's? Penguin commissions 4 local playwrights to explore the joys (and discomforts!) of moving down trails, and the feeling of being both small and large in majestic spaces.

Mi Cielo, by Sofia Raquel Sanchez. Directed by Rachel Delmar
Route Finding, by Pamela Hobart Carter. Directed by Agastya Kohli
The Light at the End, by Maggie Lee. Directed by Anna Ly
Almighty God of Lake and Tree, by Frank Garland. Directed by David Gassner​

Finding Trails profiled on KNKX's Morning Edition.

May 2020
King Lear

By William Shakespeare
Directed by Shana Bestock

An unhinged world gone mad with narcissism and drunk on power. Rash decisions that tip the state into war and tragedy. Faked news. Madness, betrayal, forgiveness, tragedy.  How did a family get lost in its own storm?

This production started as a traditional process - rehearsing together in a shared physical space. However, upon the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the show shifted to Zoom in order to continue forward, without really knowing anything about what that might mean. We discovered so much along the way - not only how to navigate collaborating artistically in a virtual space, but also how to develop an intimate relationship with this tremendous play. 

Preview and interview by Marcie Sillman on KUOW's All Things Considered.

Reviewed by TeenTix.

November 2019
My Name is Asher Lev

By Aaron Posner, from the novel by Chaim Potok
​Directed by
Shana Bestock

Adapted by Aaron Posner from the best selling novel by Chaim Potok, My Name Is Asher Lev follows the journey of a young Jewish painter torn between his Hassidic upbringing and his desperate need to fulfill his artistic promise. When his artistic genius threatens to destroy his relationship with his parents and community, young Asher realizes he must make a difficult choice between art and faith. This stirring adaptation of a modern classic presents a heartbreaking and triumphant vision of what it means to be an artist.

August 2019
Elephant's Graveyard

By George Brant
​Directed by
Shana Bestock

Elephant's Graveyard is the striking tale of the tragic collision of a struggling circus, a tiny town, and the deep-seated American craving for spectacle, violence and revenge. By turns funny and heartbreaking, this deceptively simple play explores the demands and limits of empathy, and the deeply complex rifts between our actions and our morals. Based on a true story of events 100 years ago, Elephant's Graveyard vibrates with contemporary resonance as it asks, what is the price of entertainment?

Playing Around

Directed by Shana Bestock

Artistic and Education Director Shana Bestock and a creative, committed ensemble of artists explored theater around Seattle ! This class took a cohort inside diverse rehearsal rooms to sample different artistic styles and aesthetics, and allowed them to delve deeper into their own artistic processes through discussion, writing, reflection, and performance. The program consisted of field trips around town, and conversations about the meaning and means of art, as well as specific creative exercises designed to expand awareness of artistic goals.

June 2019
Love and Information

By Caryl Churchill
​Directed by
Shana Bestock

“Tell me. Don’t ask. There’s this secret between us. I need to know. I don’t know if I should tell you. Well, now I know. I wish I didn’t.“ In a world flooded with data, how does our environment of information impact identity and relationships? With energetic intelligence and a dazzling instinct for the absurd, this ingenious play by one of Britain's greatest living playwrights confronts the data overload that bombards us every day – a glittering exploration of how we attempt to communicate what's inside our heads.

February 2019
I and You

by Lauren Gunderson
​Directed by
Shana Bestock

I and You is a heartwarming and surprising story about two very different teenagers. Housebound because of illness, Caroline hasn’t been to school in months. Confined to her room, she has only Instagram and Facebook for company. That is until classmate Toni bursts in – uninvited and armed with waffle fries, a scruffy copy of Walt Whitman’s poetry, and a school project due in the next day – Caroline is unimpressed all around. But an unlikely friendship develops and a seemingly mundane piece of homework explodes into a journey of discovery about art, connection, and identity.

Profiled by Broadway World.

Reviewed by Drama in the Hood.

Fall 2018
The Importance of Being Earnest

By Oscar Wilde
​Directed by
Sara Albertson

"A Trivial Comedy for Serious People”, acclaimed as one of the funniest plays ever written. Jack wishes to marry Algernon’s cousin the beautiful Gwendolen but first he must convince her mother, the fearsome Lady Bracknell, of the respectability of his parents and his past. For Jack, however, this is not as easy as it sounds, having started life abandoned in a handbag at Victoria station. When both men create alter egos to transcend the limitations of their lives, a tangled web of misadventure ensues. The rules of respectability are put to the test in a brilliant and wildly funny story of romance, identity, perambulators, and capacious handbags.

December 2018
A Very Penguin Holiday Show

Directed by Sara Albertson

A series of three brilliant new plays inspired by the holidays, devised by the group!

August 2018

By William Shakespeare
​Directed by Shana Bestock

Shakespeare's thrilling, chilling, unstoppable ride full of dark magic and desperate deeds in an exciting multi-generational ensemble production. An army general receives a prophesy that they will be King, and is unable to resist doing all they can to capture and secure their promised power - even as it destroys them and all they hold dear.

August 2018
H.A.G.S. (Have A Great Summer)

A world premiere play by Keiko Green
Directed by Shana Bestock

1995. Ten years after the big hair and bad attitudes of high school gave way to the happily ever after of adulthood...or so the class of 1985 would like everyone to believe. But at their ten-year reunion it turns out everyone has a secret to hide. As the night rages on, old classmates question whether to keep on pretending to be their dream versions of adults - or actually grow up and make some hard choices. An ensemble comedy about identity, purpose, and the mystery of being who we're meant to be.

June 2018
Enchanted April

By Matthew Barber
​Directed by Shana Bestock

A funny, poignant, and uplifting story of how travel can translate us back into our most real selves and restore the relationships that truly matter.

Unceasing rain and a gloomy nation beaten down by war are taking their toll on two housewives. When they impulsively rent a villa in Italy and ditch their husbands, recruiting two upper-class women to split the costs, they set in motion an adventure of a lifetime. 

May 2018
One Act at a Time

by Sara Porkalob, Keiko Green, Maggie Lee, and Aaron Norman
​Directed by
Jehan Osinyin, Faith Bennet-Russell, Chelsea LaValley, Brian K. Neel, Shana Bestock

A whirlwind weekend of new plays and musicals on themes of inclusion, representation, and social justice.
Produced by Penguin Productions in partnership with Foundry10

December 2017
The Best Shakespeare Pageant Ever

Directed by Shana Bestock

Countless generations have formed fond memories through experiencing The Best Christmas Pageant Ever (by Barbara Robinson) and The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, Abridged (by Adam Long, Daniel Singer, Jess Winfield). For BSPE, we rehearsed our favorite parts of both plays and performed them in a one-evening spectacular community celebration.

December 2017
The Princess Bride

Directed by Shana Bestock

The classic tale of True Love and High Adventure, brought to life with the power of your imagination.

December 2017
Penguins on the Town

Directed by Shana Bestock

A theater-going teen cohort.

November 2017
The Hamlet Project

Directed by Shana Bestock

Hamlet and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead: two spectacular plays about identity, choices, and power collide in an ensemble performance project.

June 2017
Penguin Productions' Inaugural Production
Operation 1600

By Frank Garland
​Directed by Shana Bestock

When life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are under threat by the criminally inept United States Government, the future of our country lies in the hands of a motley crew: two petty thieves, a hacker, an acrobat, an ex-senator and whoever else they can scrounge up to help them save the day. Will they be able to break into the White House and steal back the original constitution before the Secret Service catches up to them? Heist!

Penguin Productions programs are free to all in need. Fuel the future of healthy, equitable community theater with your support today!

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