Courtesy Image, Theatre Battery

Courtesy Image, Theatre Battery

Theatre Battery returns this month with performances at Kent Station

‘Deep Purple Wiggle’ to be featured four days a week Aug. 24-Sept. 10

Kent’s Theatre Battery will return this month to the full production of new plays with “Deep Purple Wiggle” by Milo Cramer, directed by Logan Ellis.

The free performances are Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from Aug. 24 to Sept. 10 at the Kent Station shopping center. Showtime is 8 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday and at 2 p.m. Sunday. The venue is next to Gentle Dental at 444 Ramsay Way, Suite 107.

The cast will feature Emon Elboudwarej, Malex Reed, Donato Fatuesi, Matt Lockett, Douglas Ridings, Ronan Pirkle and Pyper. This will be the first production of Cramer’s new work, which was written in January of this year.

The company will perform in an original transformed theater space donated through sponsorship from Kent Station and all admissions will be free through Radical Hospitality, a term coined for use in theater by the Mixed Blood Theatre Company in Minneapolis, applies to the entire run of the show, according to a Theatre Battery press release. By removing the ticket price entirely, Theatre Battery aims to reduce barriers to arts participation within the underserved community of South King County.

Sixty tickets for each performance can be reserved online through The remaining 30 tickets will be released at the door to walk-up guests starting one hour before each performance.

Theatre Battery is supported by grants from The Seattle Foundation, 4Culture, The Kent Arts Commission and The Washington State Arts Commission. Seattle-based Shunpike is Theatre Battery’s 501(c)3 fiscal sponsor. The company is now paying artists the state minimum wage for their work in rehearsals, builds, and performances, moving up from previously offering artist stipends.

The 2023 Summer Season marks the 10th year of collaboration between the Kent Station and the emerging artists of Theatre Battery. In an effort to invigorate Kent’s downtown district with new art, Kent Station has opened the doors of its available retail space each summer for the construction of pop-up style theater.

“We are delighted to be able to provide space to help promote theater and the arts in downtown Kent,” said Kent Station general manager John Hinds. “From transforming donated space into an amazing theater atmosphere, all the way to delivering high quality productions, Theatre Battery is a premier production company that belongs in Kent long term.”

Theatre Battery brings artists from around the country to create new plays in Kent each summer. Founded by graduates of Kent-Meridian and Kentridge high schools, the company aims to share socially pertinent contemporary plays with the diverse audience of the Puget Sound region.

Play synopsis

Bro and Sibling are twins in their 30s who, up until now, have self-identified as dudes, according to a Theatre Battery press release. When one comes out to the other as nonbinary (without either of them fully knowing what it means), a queer Pandora’s box is opened. A new comedy (with music) about contemporary masculinity.

The play loosely reflects the experiences of the playwright Cramer, who recently began identifying as nonbinary and queer in their mid-30s, according to the press release.

“We are exploring how the emergence of queer identities has affected men’s self-image, confidence, sexuality, and relationships,” according to the release. “The main characters of the play are ignorant of queer discourse and language, and that ignorance is the source of the play’s comedy. We witness them bumblingly attempt to make sense of themselves as they start to question what maleness actually means in a world that has identified them as oppressors.”

Taking inspiration from the Great Fairy’s Fountain in the Zelda video game series, the production of “Deep Purple Wiggle” is set in a pool of water, wherein the actors of the ensemble become shapeshifting queer water nymphs. The production features a live harp player, original songs, movement and dance sequences, and an immersively constructed set featuring a body of water and audience seating configured in the round.

Theatre Battery said it is leading a community engagement effort surrounding the play’s discussion of masculinity, gender pronouns, food insecurity, and transgender and questioning identities.

The company is combining networks with the City of Kent, Kent Station, the Kent School District, UTOPIA WA, Living Well Kent, Kent Youth and Family Services, and other local youth-based organizations to provide tickets in bulk and facilitate a conversation series that follows performances.

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