The year is 1879. The Empire is British and proud of it. The Explorers Club is an entrenched organization in Great Britain...and it's members are in a tizzy! A woman has been formally nominated to become a member! Egads! Taproot Theatre opens its 2015 season at the Jewell Mainstage with "The Explorers Club," The show begins Jan. 30 and runs through Feb. 28. Wednesday and Thursday shows have a 7:30 curtain. Friday and Saturday shows start at 8. Each Saturday of the run includes a matinee that begins at 2.
"The Explorers Club" is loosely based on a real organization which has numbered Sir Edmund Hilary, Roald Amundsen, and Neil Armstrong among it's members. It is the age-old tale of men in power and women climbing the ladder to try and share the power the men hold so dear. While the actual Explorers Club honored female paleontologist Mary Leakey with an award in 1989 and, for this reason, should not be tarred with the sexist point of view of the play, the struggle is real. One need look no further than the controversy surrounding the Augusta (GA) National Golf Club to know the story still rings true. Taproot Theater invites their patrons to have a look at real issues through the comedy of a good night at the theater.
"The Explorers Club" is directed by Karen Lund. The set and sound designer is Mark Lund. Sarah Burch Gordon costumes the cast in the style of Victorian England. Kent Cubbage lights the action and Layla Walker makes sure the dialects spoken are accurate to the era.
Hana Lass plays Phyllida Spotte-Hume, the "uppity" woman whose membership in The Explorers Club may bring Brittania to it's knees. Ms. Lass is a veteran of Seattle Children's Theater, Seattle Shakespeare Company, Theater Underground, and Seattle Public Theater (at the bathhouse). Ms. Lass has also appeared in a national ad campaign for VISA and has lent her distinctively clear and melodic voice to numerous voice-over roles.
Conner Neddersen interprets the role of Lucius Fretway, one of the "Olde Guard," if you will. The slender Mr. Neddersen has appeared on Seattle stages such as Quiet Productions and Seattle Shakespeare Company. He received theater training at the University of Washington's Cornish College of the Arts and is an accomplished puppeteer.
Tickets are $20-$40 depending on seat location. They can be procured through the Taproot website, by calling 206-781-9707, or visiting the box office at 204 N. 85th Street, Seattle,
Taproot Theater offers some very specific dos and don'ts when it comes to parking. See their website for the particulars.