Local colleges collaborate to debut September 11 play at Erickson Theatre

Steel Poster Art
Theatrum Orbis and a collective of theater and film artists from Shoreline Community College, Seattle Central College, and Seattle’s theater scene have joined forces to bring a new play, Steel, to the Erickson Theatre on Capitol Hill this November.

Written by playwright Chris Fisher, a 20+ year faculty member at Shoreline before moving to Seattle Central, and directed by Duygu Erdogan Monson, a professor of Performance Arts and Film at Shoreline, Steel tells the story of a suburban New Jersey family coming to terms with the chaos and violence of September 11, 2001. A read-through of the play was performed at Shoreline Community College in 2016, with audience feedback incorporated into the script.

“We’ve been working on shaping this show since 2014, so it’s going to be enormously gratifying to see it come to life at the Erickson,” said Tony Doupé, cast member and co-producer of Steel and Chair of Shoreline’s Performance Arts and Digital Film program.

“What’s most exciting is the wellspring of opportunity for both our students and the Seattle theater scene that the collaboration between this group of industry professionals and the theater programs at Shoreline and Seattle Central represents,” said Doupé.

The cast includes Charles Santigo, a student from Shoreline’s theater program, and students from both colleges are involved with the production in positions ranging from stage manager and assistant director to box office and design assistants.

Tony Doupe

Tony Doupe, cast member and co-producer of the new play, Steel, and Chair of Shoreline Community College’s Performance Arts and Digital Film program.

“Being involved in a professional theater production like this gives students an extremely valuable opportunity to work with and learn from industry professionals, who are the very people who can potentially employ them upon graduation,” said Doupé. “And Capitol Hill is the mecca of small theaters in Seattle, so it’s beneficial to our students to gain exposure to the community outside of Shoreline as well as to their peers from Seattle Central.”

Aside from the opportunity for students to gain professional experience, the collaboration offers a boon to the Seattle theater community as well. “The more opportunity there is to do theater in general, the stronger the performing arts scene becomes for everyone,” said Doupé. “We believe this collaboration will signal that theater is growing more and more viable in the Puget Sound region and that we have no shortage of talent to contribute.”

Doupé hopes that Steel is just the first of many projects that will bring talent from the colleges together. “It strengthens both programs to collaborate and share resources in this manner,” said Doupé, whose long-term goal is to establish an agreement between Shoreline and Seattle Central that allows students at either college to take theater classes at both.

“That’s long-term goal number one,” said Doupé. “My other aim is to establish a Summer Stock program at Shoreline, an idea that’s the brainchild of Kathie Hunt, Dean of Humanities and ESL/ABE/GED.”

“Shoreline Community College is becoming increasingly recognized within Seattle as a big player in academic performing arts,” said Doupé. “With the success of our partnerships with Seattle International Film Festival, TheFilmSchool, and other organizations housed in the city, a Summer Stock program would be a natural extension and just another way for us to showcase our students’ talent while providing them with real industry experience.”

But for now, Doupé’s focusing on the short-term goal of getting Steel up and launched its opening weekend of November 10-12. “This unites my three passions: nurturing and producing new plays, working with superb professionals as we mentor student interns, and promoting the next generation of theater makers,” said Doupé. “I’m excited to see it come to fruition and bring this really important, provocative play to audiences.”

Steel runs for three weekends in November: Nov. 10-12, Nov. 16-18, and Nov. 25-26. Tickets are available at the door or at Brown Paper Tickets. Some proceeds from the production of Steel will be donated to the new Seattle Central Student Theatre Club.

Learn more about Shoreline’s Performance Arts and Digital Film program.

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