Mirror Stage Programs
Mirror Stage originally started as Looking Glass Theatre in 1991. LGT’s 1994 Seattle Fringe Theatre Festival production of Mississippi Nude
by John Reaves was hailed as "one of the best the Festival has to offer."
In October 2002, Mirror Stage presented the West Coast premiere of The Knee Desires the Dirt
by Julie Hébert, followed in February 2003 by the NW Premiere of Far East
by A.R. Gurney. The NW Premiere of Abstract Expression
by Theresa Rebeck was named “Best Play of 2003” by Seattle Gay News.
The Feed Your Mind
series of staged readings was developed in 2004 as a less expensive way to engage the community. A vehicle for stimulating civic dialogue, Feed Your Mind
examines topical issues from different perspectives. The plays are presented simply: no costumes or sets— just the actors and the text. Following every performance, a discussion with the audience and artists further explores the issues raised in more depth.
Mirror Stage has presented Feed Your Mind
readings at venues including the Richard Hugo House, Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Seattle University, Freehold Theatre, The Rendezvous Jewelbox, ACT Theatre and the Ethnic Cultural Theatre. In January 2007, Mirror Stage partnered with the Central District Forum for Arts and Ideas on "The Road to the Nobel Peace Prize: Martin Luther King, Jr." which was presented to more than 1,400 people across Seattle at Seattle Center and the Central branch of the Seattle Public Library, as well as Seattle University.
Mirror Stage returned to fully staged productions with the West Coast premiere of Odin's Horse by Robert Koon, at the Ethnic Cultural Theatre, October 24 through November 11, 2012. Odin's Horse, named "one of the best productions of 2012" by Seattle Gay News, was Mirror Stage's first fully-staged production since 2003.
Following Sunday matinees of Odin's Horse, Mirror Stage presented post-play discussions and Community Forums that further explored the play’s themes of storytelling, Nordic mythology and the challenges of sustainable forestry. Community Forums were free and open to the general public.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
After a 20 month hiatus, Mirror Stage re-launched Feed Your Mind
at the Ethnic Cultural Theatre in February 2011—attracting the largest audience since November 2005. The 10|40 Celebration in October 2011 marked 10 years and 40 Feed Your Mind
Mirror Stage returned to fully-staged productions with the West Coast premiere of Odin’s Horse
by Robert Koon at the Ethnic Cultural Theatre, October 24 through November 11, 2012. Odin's Horse
marked Mirror Stage's first fully-staged production since 2003.
Behind every sheet of paper and within every tree, there is a story. Odin's Horse
told the story of Arman, a newly successful writer of Icelandic heritage. Seeking fresh inspiration, he obtains the cell phone number of a tree-sitter whose commitment to the forest thrusts him into the struggle between those who make their living cutting timber and those who risk their lives to save the oldest trees.
Following Sunday matinees, we presented post-play discussions and Community Forums. The Community Forum on Storytelling featured Odin’s Horse
playwright Robert Koon, in town from Chicago, joined by Richard Hugo House Executive Director Tree Swenson. Dr. Lars Jenner of UW’s Scandinavian Studies department and Nordic woodcarver Jay Haavik discussed Nordic Mythology: Then and Now, and Ryan Temple of Sustainable Northwest Wood came up from Portland, Oregon to join Dr. Gregory Ettl, Director of UW's Center for Sustainable Forestry at Pack Forest, to discuss the challenges of sustainable forestry.
Both critics and audiences raved about Odin’s Horse:
"...skillfully weaves together big trees and big questions...a fine return of Mirror Stage to producing theater."—Misha Berson, The Seattle Times
"...one of Seattle's best productions of 2012."—Miryam Gordon, Seattle Gay News
"Against all trends, Mirror Stage continues to believe in the theater’s power to teach and to change and to discuss. And I am glad they do... Odin’s Horse
is in a class by itself.”—Omar Willey, Seattle Star
- "I will never forget this play and performance. My many thanks go out to you all...good work well done...I want you to know of my great appreciation to you and to all who made possible the production of this wonderful play."
- "Excellent performances, interesting unusual staging, lighting, quick switches of viewpoint, balanced presentation of complex material. Wonderful script."
- "You produced a wonderful, important show...Thank you for all you do!"
- "Cutting edge material, good production value.”
- "...you did a fantastic job. I am really excited by your approach and I encourage you to keep up the good work. Real conversation about important topics is needed."
- "Always very well done - excellent casting and directing!"
- "I like intelligent, well-acted/directed theatre."
- "Well done. Loved the words, topic, acting & presentation."
- "Very compelling, dramatic portrayal."
- "It was entertaining and thought-provoking."
- "We were blown away by the play, the actors and your amazing direction. Be proud of your triumphant return to fully produced works! We're hooked and look for many more to come. You got the right stuff!"
As a nonprofit theatre company, ticket sales cover far less than half of our production costs. We took a risk on some new marketing strategies, such as The Hunt for Odin’s Horse puzzle hunt, which had more than 100 participants roaming the streets of Ballard in mid-October. Unfortunately, the excellent reviews and enthusiastic audience response for Odin’s Horse did not translate into tickets sales, and we ended the three-week run approximately $5,000 short of the ticket revenue goal. We started raising the funds for Odin’s Horse
in early 2011, and have secured 93% of $58,530 in contributed support, with less than $4,000 left to reach our original funding goal. Combined with the ticket revenue shortfall, the funding gap for Odin’s Horse
stands at a little less than $9,000, as of December 10, 2012.