PENGUIN PRODUCTIONS TIMELINE

PENGUIN PRODUCTIONS TIMELINE

2021
Winter
She Kills Monsters: Virtual Realms

By Qui Nguyen
​Directed by
Anna Klein

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.

Romeo & Juliet

By William Shakespeare
​Directed by
Anna Klein

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.

Fall
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. 

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!

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.

Summer
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.

2020
Spring
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.

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.

Summer
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?

Fall
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.

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.

Spring
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.

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.

2019
Winter
A Very Penguin Holiday Show

Directed by Sara Albertson

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

Spring
Macbeth

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.

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.

Summer
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. 

2018
Spring
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

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.

Winter
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.

Penguins on the Town

Directed by Shana Bestock

A theater-going teen cohort.

Fall
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.

2017
Summer 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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