This fall, Mirror Stage returns 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 marks Mirror Stage's first fully staged production since 2003.
Directed by Suzanne M. Cohen, Odin's Horse features set design by Craig B. Wollam, light design by Marnie Cumings, costume design by Julia Evanovich, sounds design by Jay Weinland and prop design by Suzi Tucker. The cast includes Daniel Christensen, Alex Garnett, Joe Ivy, Hannah Mootz, Stan Shields and Anna Warren.
Behind every sheet of paper and within every tree, there is a story. Odin's Horse tells 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, Mirror Stage will present post-play discussions and Community Forums that further explore the play's themes of storytelling, Nordic mythology and the challenges of sustainable forestry.
Following the reading of a different script back in 2002, Koon met with an actress friend who mentioned an interview she'd just heard on the radio with renowned tree-sitter Julia Butterfly Hill. He doesn't remember the rest of their discussion about the play, but thought, "A person up in a tree-I'm going to use that," and filed it away.
Several years later, Koon was researching how nature impacts the way people look at the world; he first came upon the myth of Odin hanging himself from the World Tree to unlock the secret of the runes in the book Landscape and Memory by Simon Schama. "Another light bulb goes on in my head," Koon said. "I'm trying to figure out a way to make that story a part of the play. What's the organic way that this becomes part of the play?" Looking for more Nordic mythology in a bookstore, he came across a book called Conversational Icelandic, and decided to see what the language looks like. "I flipped it open and the first thing I saw was the line that said 'She sat among the trees,' and that's the moment the hair stands up on the back of your neck and you feel like the universe is tapping you on the shoulder saying, 'Get on with it, get on with it!'"
Robert Koon is a Resident Playwright at Chicago Dramatists where he serves as the company dramaturg. As an actor, he has appeared at Steppenwolf, Long Wharf, and New American Theatres, as well as with other companies in and around Chicago. His plays include Vintage Red and The Dust of the Road (Jefferson Award Citation for New Work), Odin's Horse (Jefferson nomination), Menorca, and St. Colm's Inch. He is a member of The Dramatists Guild and has served as the director of The Playwrights Network, providing dramaturgical assistance for writers across the country. He received his MFA from the University of California at Davis, and resides in Chicago.
The Ethnic Cultural Theatre is located at 3940 Brooklyn Ave NE in Seattle. Performances will be Thursdays at 7:30pm, Fridays at 8:00pm, Saturdays at 8:00pm and Sundays at 2:00pm, with a special $10 Wednesday preview on October 24 at 7:30pm. Friday, Saturday and Opening Night admission is $25. Non-Opening Thursday and Sunday admission is $22. Half-price tickets are available for Senior Citizens and students, and every performance has 10 Pay-What-You-Can rush tickets ($1 minimum) for purchase at the door. Free parking is available in University of Washington's lot W12, located at just south of the Ethnic Cultural Theater on Brooklyn Ave NE. For more information, visit www.mirrorstage.org/odinshorse.
Originally founded in 1991, Mirror Stage is a small professional theatre company reflecting the diversity of the community on stage in high quality, progressive, thought-provoking productions that play it smart without always playing it safe. The mission of Mirror Stage is to use the power of theatre to challenge assumptions, bias and prejudice, while encouraging more thoughtful reflection on today's issues. We nurture unique artistic voices while providing opportunities for newly emerging artists to work alongside more seasoned professionals. More at http://www.mirrorstage.org.