NW New Works 2016 Artist: Allie Hankins & Rachael Dichter May 24, 2016

by Erin

Performers/artists Allie Hankins and Rachael Dichter join forces in an uncomfortable, hilarious, and provocative new collaboration exploring sex, power dynamics, the inversion of the audience/performer gaze, and much more. Queerness meets hetero meets celibacy meets sex work in a crude, funny, and surreal duo performance.

Hankins and Dichter perform in the Studio Theater in the first week of the Festival. 

Learn more about Allie Hankins.
Learn more about Rachael Dichter.

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NW New Works 2016 Artist: Britt Karhoff May 24, 2016

by Erin

photo by David Stern Levitt

Britt Karhoff is a dance artist and performer based in Seattle. She is well-known in the Seattle dance scene as a performer and has performed with Alice Gosti TO|GET|HER, zoe | juniper, Anna Conner + Co., Shannon Stewart, PE|Mo, and more. Karhoff branches out in this iteration of the Festival with an intimate and physically taxing  feminist reconciling inspired by the mixed messages women receive on reaching fulfillment.

Britt Karhoff performs in the Studio Theater in Weekend 1 of the Festival.

Learn more about her work here. 


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NW New Works 2016 Artist: Paris When it Sizzles! May 24, 2016

by Erin

photo by Coley Mixan

Paris When it Sizzles! is the brainchild/band name of artist Coley Mixan, a multimedia artist and queer rock musician based in Seattle. Her work incorporates video, pie, cake, still images, original songs, GIFS, clay sculptures and more in an exploration of the theater of everyday existence. 

Mixan's debut at the NW New Works Festival revplves around kolaches - soft, misshapen pastries of yeasted dough with a divot in their center (typically filled with secrets and poppy seeds).

Check out Paris When it Sizzles in the Studio Theater during the first weekend of the Festival.

Learn more about her...

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NW New Works 2016 Artist: ilvs strauss May 24, 2016

by Erin

photo by Tim Summers

ilvs strauss is a Seattle-based performance artist, writer, and mover. strauss works across genres, through film, dance, sound, text and more. Recent projects have investigated red sea cucumbers, womanhood, and the color teal. For the 2016 Festival, strauss branches out to work with a team of female dancers, employing her signature off-the-cuff movement style, conversational super- and sub- text, sonic and visual repetition, and the help of the band Daft Punk.

Catch strauss' new work in Week One in the Studio Theater.


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In response to the 600 Highwaymen May 2, 2016

by Daemond Arrindell

Young Woman takes the stage,
steps from darkness into the light like creation was her idea
and she belongs right where she placed her body.
Young Woman speaks but the words don't belong to her.
Other women's words have climbed into her mouth. 
The words were invited. They have her permission.
There is no tragedy here.

Young Woman shares the words that have climbed into her mouth with us.
They paint a picture but pieces are missing
her body fills in the blanks.
First her arm is a garden. Then her arm is a tomb.
There may be a tragedy here.

She does not give us the keys to whatever big bang came before her.
That blank has no arm.
Her voice unfolds the words like origami.
Young Woman unfolds into a garden.
Into a home.
Into a question unanswered.
Into a grown woman with a fault line.

A stiff wind blows her into our hearts.
We don't know what to do with her
other than...

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Eleven Sentences for Employee of the Year May 2, 2016

by Gregory Laynor

Eleven Sentences for Employee of the Year

How old were you when you were eleven years old?

Employee of the Year, you are now three years old.

How old were you when you were three years old?

I was in an audience watching Employee of the Year.

How old were you when you had your first performance evaluation?

What do you see, on a scale of 1-10, in your favorite song or shadow?

On a scale of 1-10, what's your worst memory?

On a scale of 1-10, what's your most expensive memory?

What's your newest memory?

Somebody was telling me that the Employee of the Year performers used to drink ginger ale but now drink seltzer. 


Gregory Laynor teaches art and language at University of Washington Bothell and has been writing The Making of Intermedia: John Cage to Yoko Ono, 1952 to 1972. His singing of Gertrude Stein's...

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A Testament to the Power of Simplicity May 2, 2016

by Tina LaPadula

Employee of the Year is a testament to the power of simplicity...

...and it’s got me thinking about the impact of unadorned story telling and the truth seeking that ends up defining who we are.

There is a gut wrenching intimacy in this collectively held monologue. Such thoughtful care in one woman’s story.  And, there’s something very special about preteens.  A palpable vulnerability, courage and honesty in the simple way these young performers stand, the way they speak, the way they gaze straight forward into the audience and demand our attention. Oh that we could all have our lives acted out by 11 year olds. Maybe witnessing this show will suffice. The experience is at once nostalgic and immediate, like peering into a universal looking glass and seeing your current self and the person you used to be.

The work unfolds episodically in the genuine way most us recall our lives; a collage of half remembered sentence fragments, visual freeze...

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Employee of the Year Responses May 2, 2016

by Beatriz and Lucia Santos

This evening I watched the performance Employee of the Year. I can’t call it a play because it’s deliverance and cast were so unique. Instead of having millions of dollars worth of props, costumes and sets all they had were their shadows and a carpet. They still managed to convey a beautiful and heart wrenching story. The five girls switched off, each playing a different part of J’s life. The many time jumps and opinions meld together to form a perfectly intense story about a girl’s life long search for her mother.

- Beatriz Santos, age 10



Tonight I saw the play Employee of the Year. It was an extremely thoughtful and poignant production, and even after the show I’m thinking about it a lot. Even though the only thing on the stage other than the incredible...

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