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A Holiday Feel-Good Gift

Are you looking for something small, easy to wrap, that's as much a pleasure to give as it is to receive? The UW Drama Flex Pass grants 6 admissions to the School's Main Stage productions. That's three nights (or afternoons) out for a couple to Pentecost, Once Upon a Time 6X in The West and Tennessee Williams One-Act Plays. Or, a special shared evening for six good friends (who knows, you might be included!) Seriously, it's a virtually waste-free gift that gives you and yours something to share and feel good about supporting students at the School, too. Best holiday wishes all!

To purchase a flex pass, please contact the UW Arts Ticket Office: 206-543-4880 or toll-free 206-859- 5342.

Beyond the Main Stage

Pippin Pippin
by Stephen Schwartz and Roger O. Hirson
directed by Kelsey Thorgalsen (BA '13)
Through December 9
Cabaret Theatre
Tickets: $10

Pippin, a musical by Stephen Schwartz with a book by Roger O. Hirson, tells the story of a boy and his quest to find personal significance. The Leading Player guides Pippin through the trials of war, love and politics as he is coerced to perform a final act—the grand finale. Pippin yearns to discover the secret of true happiness and fulfillment, finding it in the simple joys he has known all along. Coming in January: Burn This by Lanford Wilson, directed by Mary Hubert (January 24-February 3, 2013)

Foliage of Vision
created by the ensemble
directed by Andrew McGinn (MFA '13)
December 7-10; 7:30 PM
Glenn Hughes Penthouse Theatre

Conceived by Andrew McGinn and the noted actor Charles Leggett, this one-act play has been devised from the early poems of James Merrell. Feast your eyes on a vision of movement, poetry and performance.

Novel Workshop Series
with Book-It Repertory Theatre
Selection 1: Thurs., Jan 17 & Sat., Jan 19
Selection 2: Fri., Jan. 18 & Sunday, Jan. 20
Meany Studio Theatre
Tickets: $10

Book-It Repertory Theatre and MFA drama students join forces in a workshop to bring novels to the stage. Watch as a work is adapted in the Book-It Style™ based on collaborative experimentation by the adapter, director and participating actors. Last year's readings brought us authors from Emily Brontë to Wally Lamb. These readings give the audience a major role in shaping the adaptation. Selections for 2013 in the planning stages include Alexandre Dumas's The Count of Monte Cristo and Ann Patchett's Run. Stay tuned for more details.

Faculty Dance Concert
Fri., Jan 18-Sat., Jan.19
Featuring Dance, Music and Drama Programs
Meany Hall
Tickets: $10-$18

UW Dance, Drama and Music celebrate the 100th anniversary of Rite of Spring with this performance and a series of lectures and events this spring. The collaboration is distinguished by Professor Sarah Nash Gates' original costumes. Music faculty brings Stravinsky's music to life while Dance faculty member Jürg Koch tackles the movement themes. The concert also features new work by faculty member Jennifer Salk and a restaging of Limon's Dances for Isadora (1971).

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Save the Date for Celebration 2013

Saturday March 16, 6pm-9pm
Floyd and Delores Jones Playhouse

Please join us as we celebrate the transformative power of theatre during an evening of food, fun, and fundraising.

  • Enjoy delicious hors d’oeuvres and desserts
  • Imbibe specialty wines and boutique beers
  • Catch an original live performance
  • Bid on unique auction items
  • Mingle with a cast of hundreds

Go "Behind the Seams" with an expert. Professor Sarah Nash Gates is your guide to the Henry Art Gallery costume collection.

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Remembering "Vito"

One day last spring Joseph “Vito” Albanese and his dear friend Drew Keriakedes were together at Café Racer, as usual. Both musicians performed there and met often at the cafe around the corner from where they lived. That morning they were killed; two of the five victims in a deliberate shooting.

Remembering Vito

It’s a tribute to their friendship and larger circle of friends that they are often remembered together. Vito was the bassist for God’s Favorite Beefcake and Drew was front man for the band. They had also worked together for seven years at Circus Contraption, Keriakedes “Schmootzi the Clod” sang while Vito played stand up bass. The circus arts group’s final performance The SHOW to End All SHOWS envisioned an imaginary circus with real circus acts backed by the band’s original “gypsy carnival opera music.” The SHOW brought together many theater professionals including well-known alumni scenic designer Jennifer Zeyl (MFA ‘03), lighting designer Ben Zamora (MFA ‘05), and costume designer Christine Tschirgi( MFA ‘07).

Vito is remembered with a new and very special connection to the School. His sister, Vaune, has presented the costume shop with a living memorial in Vito’s collection of leather-working equipment and materials. Deborah Skorstad says the family would like to preserve his memory as a craftsman. A collaborator and friend, she helped arrange the memorial and remembers this side of Vito well. “He was so good,” she says “it’s rarer and rarer to specialize in a craft that’s traditionally passed down from craftsman to apprentice.”

When he wasn’t on stage, Vito worked at an orthotics and shoe repair shop owned by John McManus who became a close friend. McManus says he was a gracious presence in the store though quite a “wild dresser,” appearing from behind the counter in black top hat and handmade leather pants. The people he served loved him for it — those of all ages from 90 down to 11, people with disabilities, and even his most reserved Laurelhurst customers. “He was just a swell, neat guy; a nice, honest, genuine caring person,” McManus recalls. He talked about Vito’s singular skills creating precision shaping and special buckle arrangements for orthotics. McManus also described the intricacies and detail work Vito put into corsets and garments for dancers, and his own signature leather pants.

In his life, Vito touched many people and everyone seems to have a story. He was “so incredible in his own right as a musician, craftsperson, teacher and member of many communities,” says Skorstad. We’re fortunate to continue Vito’s story through his family’s thoughtful and generous donation.

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Holiday Reads


Terry Bleifuss (Marketing/Comm) - I received 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami as a Christmas gift last year. Not a holiday story, it's been classified as "alternate history." This is a very visual novel and I can easily imagine costumes and sets; the alternate reality is scattered with interesting cues to the change, including a sky with two moons. It would be a huge challenge to adapt, but there you go - a great read for a few quiet days.

Coldest Winter

Carol Dempsey (Administration) - I have been reading a book that is completely outside my normal genre of murder mysteries or Jane Austen - The Coldest Winter by David Halberstam. It's a nonfiction account of the whys and wherefores of the Korean War. Halberstam delves into the intricacies of the United States becoming a world power, Gen. Douglas MacArthur, communism, etc., in a VERY readable way.

Christmas Mysteries

Anne Stewart (Production) - For mystery buffs I recommend Anne Perry's Christmas Mysteries (she has written seven to date). For warming holiday scenes you can't go wrong with Little Women although I love the scenes in Alcott's Jack and Jill.

Drama - An Actor's Education

Jim Thompson (Constituent Relations) - John Lithgow's memoir Drama — An Actor's Education takes the reader through an extraordinary journey of family relationships, the perils of becoming an actor (as well as the ultimate success this particular actor experiences), hilarious characters and mischievous activities, and finally the joy Lithgow has found in planting his own amazement - as well as the amazement he continues to give to us as one of the finest artists at work today.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Kathryn Burch (Administration) - I finally read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn this summer and wondered why I'd never read it before. It's a lovely story of childhood at the turn of the century in the tenements of New York, if that isn't a contradiction. This classic story of a young girl struggling to find herself still feels modern and fresh.

I'm Down

I then discovered, as I wandered through the newly renovated HUB bookstore, I'm Down: A Memoir. The author is the daughter of a white man who grew up in the Rainier Valley. As the demographics of the neighborhood changed, he came to identify himself with the black community. His daughter, however, struggles to fit into the black culture and be "down." She is transferred to an upper-middle class school and then finds that she is too black for the rich white kids, thus magnifying her attempts to fit in. This is a universal theme of childhood: discovering your place in the world. It is told with love for her family and the hilarity of hindsight. Whether you're drawn to Brooklyn or the Rainier Valley, you'll be sure to enjoy the journeys of either of these young women, each of whom vividly brings to life their time and place.

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Grad Bag: Who's Been Naughty and Who's Been Nice?

'Tis the season to recognize all of our alumni on the list who perform, educate, direct and inspire every day of the year. (By the way, you can get on that list by dropping a line to We love hearing from all of you and sharing your work, so please keep in touch! Let us know if you're doing anything special during the holidays and we'll include it in our New Year's update. Here are a few highlights—Read More

Robyn Walker Murphy

Robyn Walker Murphy (PATP '00) and her organization DreamYard accepted the National Art and Humanities Youth Program Award, the equivalent of the Academy Awards for youth after-school arts programs, at the White House.

Kimberly Brangwin (BA '71) helped celebrate the creation of the new Downtown Historic Seattle Theatre District this fall.

Paul Mitri (PATP '89) took over as the chair of the Theatre and Dance department of University of Hawaii-Manoa.

Tikka Sears (BA '99) performed in the premiere of Ramayana, based on the ancient Hindu epic, at Seattle's ACT Theatre.

Thomas Stroppel (PATP '09) was the voice of Jingle the Husky Puppy in the Hallmark Christmas movie Jingle All The Way.

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Local Theatre Front & Center

Balagan Theatre opened its doors six years ago and has been at the Erickson Theatre at Seattle Central Community College for the past two years. The theatre strives for engaging, accessible and community-focused productions - with a bit of glitz! On offer now is the raunchy comedy Avenue Q running through December 16 (with help from alums Brian Lange and Danielle Franich). Next up this spring is Next To Normal (February 8- March 2). Next to Normal is a co-production with UW Drama alumni Brandon Ivie and Robert Aguilar's Contemporary Classics theatre company. Alum Marya Sea Kaminski appears in the Pulitzer-Prize winning musical that explores how a suburban household copes with crisis and mental illness.

Jesus Hopped the A Train

Azeotrope, founded by PATP alum Richard Nguyen Sloniker and PDTP alum Desdemona Chiang, is a theatre consortium with a goal to broaden Seattle's cultural and artistic environment with vital, urgent, and exciting projects that would otherwise be underrepresented. Azeotrope's production Jesus Hopped the A Train recently won several 2012 Gregory Awards for: Outstanding Scenic Design (alum Deanna Zibello), Outstanding Supporting Actor (alum Ray Tagavilla), Outstanding Director (Desdemona Chiang), and Outstanding Production. Azeotrope's third show, Gruesome Playground Injuries by Rajiv Joseph, is slated for summer 2013.

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In The Arts

Exciting news: The UW360 film crew recently spent a day at the School of Drama for an upcoming episode. Look for the premiere of this "Day in the Life" feature on Sunday, December 9 at 9 p.m. and stay tuned to see it on KOMO too next spring.

This month UW 360 is also airing Voices of the First Peoples- documentaries created by Native American artists and the UW American Indian Studies Native Voices film program. For more info:

Arts Dawgs

UW College of Arts and Sciences and UW Alumni Association launch ArtsDawgs, a chance for all alums to experience a selection of the shows, exhibits and concerts going on all around campus. Join up here: or find more information at

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Banner Image:


December 2012

In This Issue

Pretty Package

Beyond the Main Stage

Celebration: Save the Date

Remembering "Vito"

Holiday Reads

Grad Bag

Local Theatre Front & Center

In the Arts

Upcoming Events

November 29 - December 9
UTS Presents: Pippin

December 7-10
Foliage of Vision

December 9
UW 360: PATP 'Day in the Life'

January 17-20
Novel Workshop Series

January 18-19
Faculty Dance: Collaboration

For a full list of upcoming shows and events, visit


Alumni Grad Bag

Arts UW

College of Arts & Sciences


Celebration & Benefit

School of Drama


Cue to Cue

Terry Bleifuss

Hutchinson Hall
Box 353950
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195-3950

(206) 685-0600 phone
(206) 543-8512 fax

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