Arts and Entertainment

Blue Stilly Players plan summer performances

Marni Otness, left, and Sue Weingarten review auditions for the Blue Stilly Players on June 5. - Kirk Boxleitner
Marni Otness, left, and Sue Weingarten review auditions for the Blue Stilly Players on June 5.
— image credit: Kirk Boxleitner

ARLINGTON — After years of discussions and plans, the Blue Stilly Players expect that they’ll finally spread their wings this summer, once they get maybe just a few more players.

The idea for the local drama group was hatched by Bridget Clawson and was nurtured by artistic director Sue Weingarten, whose 25 years of theatrical experience at  Arlington High School most recently yielded a reader’s theater tribute to the impact of the Holocaust upon France during World War II.

The Blue Stilly Players’ upcoming fare features far lighter material, which Clawson and Weingarten hope will attract audiences, and perhaps even aspiring actors, of all ages.

“I have a passion for theater and am in this group to exercise that passion and share it with performers and audiences,” Weingarten said. “I love to create a world from thin air.”

“My vision is a local theater group performing live theater that families can attend and afford, such as ‘Our Town’ and other older but still relevant and entertaining material,” Clawson said. “I checked high and low, but there’s no such organization in Arlington, other than the ‘Shakespeare in the Park’ put on by the city.”

To that end, the Blue Stilly Players will present a production of “Hansel and Gretel” in Terrace Park on Saturday, Aug. 25, as part of the city of Arlington’s “Summer in the Park” series.

“This is going to be very exciting,” Clawson said. “It’s a play within a play that’s highly interactive with the audience.”

The Blue Stilly Players have already held auditions at both the Arlington Boys & Girls Club and the Arlington Utilities Building, looking for an all-volunteer cast.

“The city immediately encouraged me to fill a need,” Clawson said. “The Arlington Arts Council is also sponsoring a children’s theatrical course this summer, taught by the Blue Stilly Players. Claire Cundiff of Fogdog Gallery has provided spaces for idea exchanges, and open-mic monologues, and has been a champion of the Blue Stilly Players from the get-go.”

Weingarten will not only direct “Hansel and Gretel,” but will also teach the children’s theatrical course during the month of August alongside Andy Clawson and MacKensie Mott.

“This will be capped off with a production in the park, in conjunction with the Arlington Farmer’s Market, on Saturday, Sept. 1,” Bridget Clawson said. “The instructors have chosen to write a retelling of ‘Aesop’s Fables’ for the students to perform on Sept. 1.”

As a 23-year human resources director for Snohomish County government, Bridget Clawson sees the Blue Stilly Players as another form of public service. As a woman whose husband of 34 years passed away in 2009, she saw theater as a way of learning to live again.

“One of the touchstones in my life is community theater, stretching back to my childhood,” Clawson said. “I believe that live theater should be un-stuffy and accessible.

For more information, call Clawson at 360-435-6223 or log onto http://bluestillyplayers.com.

 

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