Upstart Crow

A new theater collective takes flight with an all-female King John. Plus: Mary Sheldon Scott/Jarrad Powell Performance.

King John

The newly formed fringe troupe, Upstart Crow, takes its moniker from a 1592 quote by Robert Greene denigrating then-actor William Shakespeare for daring to take on the profession of writer. Founding members Betsy Schwartz, Kate Wisniewski, and Rosa Joshi are unlikely to receive such scorn. Joining Seattle’s abundance of female talent for classical repertory with the contemporary relevance of King John results in a more perfect union. Like Girl Fight, the 2000 film that showed female boxers holding their own in the ring, the cast of King John has medieval England and France going head-to-head. Joshi’s production is a knockout, getting a lot of bang for the buck: minimal sets, women simply clad in business suits, and battle scenes suggested through sound effects. Amy Thone (pictured) is a marvelous King John, her cadences and gestures fully conveying the usurper king’s complexities. Although Upstart Crow has been planning King John since the 2004 elections, their production is not intended as commentary on present-day politics. Nevertheless, the topicality of the bard’s work will likely resonate even with viewers unaccustomed to Shakespearian speech. What can Seattle expect next from these clearly talented upstarts? Though specific future productions are still unannounced, members plan on reclaiming theatrical history (men telling stories about men, largely) by concentrating on the classics. Upstart Crow at Capitol Hill Arts Center, 1621 12th Ave., 800-838-3006, $15. 7:30 p.m. Thurs.-Sat., 2 p.m. Sun. Ends Sun. June 4. SUZANNE BEAL

Mary Sheldon Scott/Jarrad Powell Performance

Choreographer Scott and composer Powell have been working together for years on a repertory that digs deep into natural forces and mysterious powers. They’ve revived last autumn’s Ashes/Ashes, with its paired references to death and children’s games, and are taking it to New York City and the prestigious Dance Theater Workshop. The work is elegant and eerie, and the dancers match that intensity, in a performance that can twist your gut as well as your mind. They need to rehearse before they take off (and perhaps raise a little money too); come wish them bon voyage. Chamber Theater, 915 E. Pine St., 4th floor, 206-760-2555, Pay what you can. 1:30 p.m. Sat. May 27. SANDRA KURTZ

More in Arts & Culture

Screenshot from
Paradiso Festival is on the rocks following lawsuit

Paradiso Festival, one of the most popular annual EDM events in Washington… Continue reading

Photo by Haley Ausbun. Kim Shepard (left) and Carolyn Ossorio (right) launched a new true crime podcast, recorded at a sleek studio in Coal Creek. Ossorio is a former Renton Reporter columnist and both hosts previously worked at KIRO radio.
They wanted to tell true-crime stories, so they started a podcast

“Scene of the Crime” begins its first season in Renton

Cast trailers for “Three Busy Debras” filming at the Snoqualmie YMCA parking lot on Sept. 4. Madison Miller / staff photo
New TV show filming in Snoqualmie

“Three Busy Debras” is being filmed in cities in the Seattle area, including Snoqualmie.

Tyler, The Creator performs during Bumbershoot Music & Arts Festival on Friday, Aug. 30, 2019 in Seattle, Wash. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Gallery: Bumbershoot Music & Arts Festival 2019

Scenes from Bumbershoot Music & Arts Festival at the Seattle Center.

Acquisition gift chosen from 2018 Seattle Art Fair. Installation view of Recent Acquisitions: Toyin Ojih Odutola, Frye Art Museum, 2019. Photo: Jueqian Fang.
Seattle Art Fair renews partnership with Frye Art Museum

The Seattle Art Fair, presented by AIG, is pleased to announce the… Continue reading

Bread Face. Courtesy of the artist @breadfaceblog.
Seattle Art Fair returns Aug. 1

The Seattle Art Fair, presented by AIG, is proud to announce the… Continue reading

Linda Hodges Gallery in Pioneer Square. Photo courtesy Linda Hodges Gallery
Despite Construction, Pioneer Square’s Art Galleries Remain Strong

Long a hub for Seattle’s visual arts scene, the neighborhood gets an new space this spring with the opening of ARTS at King Street Station.

Patty Gone offers an artistic toast to Danielle Steel. Photo courtesy Mount Analogue
Patty Gone’s Queer Romance Novel Reflections

The artist’s upcoming residency at Mount Analogue explores the cultural impact of pulpy romantic fantasy.

Photo by Spencer Baker 
                                Mark Haim’s torso will be guided by his friends’ movements in Parts to a Sum.
Crowdsourced Choreography

Mark Haim’s ‘Parts to a Sum’ exemplifies how choreographers are relinquishing control in the name of collaboration.

Seeing the Seattle Opera’s <em>The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs</em> counts as screen time. Photo by Philip Newton
The Innovative Tech Disconnect of ‘The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs’

Like the technology Jobs pioneered, the Seattle Opera production is flashy but lacking in soul.

Seattle Asian American Film Festival 2019 Picks

Make the most of the cultural cinematic event with these four selections.