Artfully Edmonds: Phoenix Theatre ready to make us laugh, plus other arts events to love

Liz Adkisson (blonde) Simone Barron, Melanie (r)
Now performing at The Phoenix Theatre in “Communicating Doors” are (L to r) Liz Adkisson; Simone Barron; and Melanie Calderwood.

This week, Firdale’s Phoenix Theatre is lighting up the marquee.

The company, which formed in 2008, introduces itself thusly: “Laughter is vital to a productive and happy life.” With this in mind, the mission of The Phoenix Theatre is to “actively produce dynamic, top quality entertainment emphasizing humor to illuminate our common humanity and develop a fundamental appreciation for the magic of live theater.”

Adopting the slogan, “Comedy – without all the drama!” The Phoenix Theatre attracts over 5,500 patrons per year through six main stage productions, a summer series, and a play reading series.

Monday, Feb. 15

In January, The Phoenix Theatre began workshop sets starting with “Growing Your Chops,” which focused on getting more gigs. The next workshop in the series, “A Winter Break Acting Camp”, for ages 11-17 will be held the week of February 15, noon-6 p.m. each day. To enroll your winter break kids in the workshop contact Christine Mosere at for registration forms.

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Phoenix jPeg

Now Playing!
Through Sunday, Feb. 28
Friday/Saturdays ~ 8 p.m.
Sunday matinees ~ 2 p.m.

“Communicating Doors”
By Alan Ayckbourn
Director: Christine Mosere

The Phoenix Theatre
9673 Firdale Ave.

It’s deliciously devious! It’s darkly dystopian! It’s daring duality!

“Communicating Doors” opened to a pay-what-you-can dress rehearsal this past Thursday as devotees of the local fun house crowded into the popular venue for Alan Ayckbourn’s 1994 play.

Explained by playwright Ayckbourn, ”Communicating Doors,” is about ”turning points in lives, people you meet who can change your life, as Ruella does for Poopay and vice versa.”

The production won over reviewers at its opening at Gielgud Theatre, London and starred Julia McKenzie as Ruella. The comedy/thriller was then transferred to The Savoy shortly thereafter and Angela Thorne took the lead. After its February London (and Scarborough) opening, it premiered off-Broadway at the Variety Art Theatre in August 1994.

Closer to home, director Christine Mosere has cast Melanie Calderwood in the role of Ruella – the second wife of Reece, played by Carlos Martinez.

Also cast in the The Phoenix Theatre production are Liz Adkisson as Poopay (dominatrix for whom murderous Reece is a client); Simone Barron as Jessica (Reece’s first wife); Dan Jacoby as Harold (house detective); Curt Simmons and Michael McFadden as the older and younger Julian (Reece’s business associate).

Alan Ayckbourn Bio Page:

Ayckbourn is an Olivier and Tony Award-winning playwright who has written 79 plays, more than half of which have been produced in London’s West End as well as around the world. As an acclaimed director, he has worked extensively in the West End and has also run his own company at the National Theatre. Between 1972 and 2009, he was the Artistic Director of the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, where the majority of his work has been premiered.

An evening for adults: Please note that The Phoenix Theatre has posted an adult themes notice for “Communicating Doors.” The subject matter may not be suitable for children; parental discretion advised.

Tickets are available at the theatre’s online box office.

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Valentine jPeg

A Sweetheart of a line-up!

You are going to love what Edmonds’ entertainment venues have lined up over the next 10 days – and beyond! Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra is returning to the ECA; Café Louvre is hosting “Edmonds Tunes”; we have artist demonstrations and exhibitions; readings from popular local authors coming up soon!

So bookmark My Edmonds News on your tablet or smart phone – we’ve got so much to offer!

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Friday, Feb. 12
6 p.m.
Edmonds Tunes by Bob Z.
At Café Louvre
210 5th Ave S.

Love is in the air at Edmonds Tunes!

To help you start Valentines weekend right, Edmonds Tunes regulars Gary Davis, Mike Harline and Steve Fisher will fill the evening with songs of love and romance.

Bob Z. (the sweetheart that he is) has made arrangements for a professional photographer to be on hand to take portraits of couples who drop by to listen in to the line-up.

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Landscape in oil by Kelly Sooter. Courtesy of Dragonfire Neighborhood Gallery on Dayton St.

Saturday, Feb. 13
Dragonfire Neighborhood Gallery
529 Dayton St.
Artist Reception for Kelly Sooter

When given the opportunity, most people would love to get a glimpse into the world of a professional artist.

Dragonfire Neighborhood Gallery cares for us so much they are offering that chance.

The gallery is hosting an open house for landscape artist Kelly Sooter whose landscapes in oil, gallery director Kurt Mattingly tells us, “depict the wild beauty of the U.S. and are quickly being acquired by collectors – in the Northwest and beyond.”

“To create each of her pieces, Sooter uses techniques learned from years of study with European Masters, which combined with her own methods, produce the beautiful fields, streams and skyscapes that collectors love.”

Sooter is no stranger to Artfully Edmonds, catching our attention this past November at Dragonfire’s 1st anniversary party.

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The 2nd City .jpg
A Sell Out Alert!  takes effect this week for The Second City improv group performing at Edmonds Center for the Arts (ECA)

Saturday, Feb. 13
7:30 p.m.
Sell Out Alert!
The Second City
Edmonds Center for the Arts
410 4th Ave. N.


Last minute seating available in the balcony; plus single seating on the main floor.

This imaginative improvisational comedy enterprise, best known as the first ever on-going improvisational theater troupe in the U.S. and Canada is ready to show their Edmonds-Kind-Of stuff. It’s a sell out!

Their ticket link is through the ECA online box office.

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If you came in at 3rd place for The Second City, there are still great options for this Saturday night:

The Loft Sat Feb 13

The Loft is featuring the Acoustic Transitions with Pat Timmons Sydney Day; and Danny Welsh appearing on Sunday – and you’re invited! Celebrate Valentine’s Day weekend @ The Loft!

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Thursday, Feb. 18
5-8 p.m.
Artist’s Reception
Frances Anderson Center
700 Main St.

The Edmonds Arts Commission invites Edmonds’ art lovers to a reception for local art talents Darlene McLellan and Janet Still, celebrating their installation at the Frances Anderson Center gallery space.

This collaborative exhibit focuses on the nature themes that are inspirations for both artists and will show through March 14.

McLellan and Still for Frances Anderson
Works by Darlene McLellan (L) and Janet Still are currently featured at the gallery space located at Frances Anderson Center at 750 Main St.


Darlene McLellan’s artworks combine vintage kimono fabrics with embroidery, beading and metal embellishment. The use of what was once called “domestic arts,” along with these exquisitely designed fabrics acknowledges the unknown artisans of the past. The reflection of nature in the work of weavers and dyers using traditional methods is a constant reminder of the values in nature around us.

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Humans, as well as nature, are the main source of inspiration in Janet Still’s ceramics. Featured pieces include heads, a figure, and a series of small birds. Still’s human figures are always emotional, as compared to physical, self-portraits. She and her sons own 80 heavily wooded acres in eastern Washington, and the birds in her exhibit reflect her interest in the mystery birds, the unseen ones.

For information about the exhibition call 425-771-0230 or contact the Edmonds Arts Commission, visit

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10 Terrell Stafford
Terell Stafford, flying in from New York, joins the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra at ECA on Thursday, Feb. 18.

Thursday, Feb. 18
7:30 p.m
Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra at
Edmonds Center for the Arts
410 4th Ave. N.

Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra (SRJO) is offering a 25-per cent discount to music enthusiasts who want to experience the brilliance of Terell Stafford while he is here on the West Coast.

Stafford has performed with groups such as Benny Golson’s Sextet, McCoy Tyner’s Sextet, Jimmy Heath Quintet & Big Band, Carngegie Hall Jazz Band & Dizzy Gellespie All-Star Alumni Band. Stafford is the Director of Jazz Studies and Chair of Instrumental Studies at Temple University in Philadelphia.

Ticket Discount!

To enjoy the ticket discount now in effect use “NEWSSRJO” when purchasing your tickets online, or when you call SRJO at

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Haru no Sanka by Mary Washizu Hekinan Collection
Haru No Sanka by Mary Washizu. Photo courtesy of Edmonds Arts Festival Foundation and the City of Edmonds.

Exhibition Open Now!
  and through Monday, Feb. 20
The Hekinan Collection
EAFF Gallery (Edmonds Arts Festival Foundation)
Frances Anderson Center
700 Main St.

For over 25 years, the City of Edmonds and its International Sister City, Hekinan, Japan, have exchanged artwork as part of the two cities partnership in promoting international communication and understanding through the exchange of people, ideas, and culture.

Now through March 14, a selection of various artworks from the City of Edmond’s Hekinan Art Collection will be exhibited in the EAFF Gallery in the Frances Anderson Center, 700 Main St.

The pieces in the Hekinan Collection are of various medium, from sculptures and paintings, to calligraphy and photographs. The collection has grown from the original 19 pieces to over 40 artworks.  Part of the collection is permanently displayed on the third floor of City Hall in the administrative area.  An annual rotating exhibit of two-dimensional artworks is in City Hall’s Brackett Room. The rest of the collection is periodically shown in the Library, and as a joint exhibit with the EAFF Gallery in the Frances Anderson Center.

Among the 15 works displayed in this year’s joint exhibition are the sculpture “Rikyu,” by Ryoji Kajikawa; ceramic pot, “Tsubo” by Kenji Sugihara; framed fabric/quilt, “A Special Envoy of Flowers”, by Akiko Ishikawa, calligraphy by Shuko Yoshizawa, and watercolor, “Haru no Sanka,” by Mary Washizu.

For more information about the City of Edmonds Sister City Commission, go to: For more information contact the Edmonds Arts Office, go to, or call 425-771-0228, or email

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Driftwood Troupe jPeg

Now Open for Sign-up!
Driftwood Troupe by
   Driftwood Players

Notice from the Driftwood Players:

Edmonds Driftwood Players is thrilled to announce its brand-new education program for youth and adults, Driftwood Troupe. Marianni Groves recently joined the Driftwood team to develop the program that covers all elements of theatrical arts.

Sign Up Now!

Weekly spring sessions will begin the last week of February with several classes including Musical Theatre Dance for ages 12 to adult, Acting 101 for 4th-6th graders, morning Arts Adventure class for 3-5 year olds, Audition Tech for 7th to 12th graders, and many more. Summer camps are lined up for all ages, including two exciting four-week programs for teens. Troupe Mainstage (ages 11-16) will be learning and performing the full production of Thoroughly Modern Millie, while Teen Troupe (ages 15-20) will be rehearsing Into the Woods.

Driftwood Troupe classes and camps will be student-centered experiences focusing on working together to hone basic acting and performance skills, developing talent, and cultivating creativity.

Registration is opening now. To register or find additional information, visit and click the link for Driftwood Troupe.

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About Marianni Groves: Marianni has spent the last 30 years in and around the Theater. Marianni is an active teacher who maintains a private acting/audition studio, runs a college conservatory audition program (with a 98% placement rate), and teaches workshops and classes around the Puget Sound. She was also the founder of CORE Theatrics. While there are so many of the elements and disciplines that the Performing Arts provides she loves the “intersection of disciplines” that being an Educator and Director provides. Some of Marianni’s past directing credits include Thoroughly Modern Millie, Dancing at Lughnasa, A Street Car Named Desire, Much Ado About Nothing, Les Miserables, Godspell, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Crimes of the Heart, Peter Pan, Kiss Me Kate, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Brigadoon. Marianni is proud to be an educator, private coach, director, and arts advocate. Marianni’s website is at this location:!blank/wexkl

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   Feb. 25, 26, 27
   And March 3, 4, 5

Romeo & Juliet
By Shakespeare
Directed by Katie Powell

Meadowdale Players
Meadowdale High School
Black Box Theatre
6002 168th St. SW

Meadowdale Players’ first production of 2016 will be the Bard’s classic tragedy, Romeo and Juliet!

Tickets will be available for you and your family at the door of the Black Box Theatre.

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Art Lovers Bulletin Board
March 19-20
Edmonds Yacht Club
326 Admiral Way


Get ready for “UNCLAD 2016 – The Fine Art of the Figure,” invites Gayle Pickens in this promotional video

Featuring over 150 artworks by 90 artists from the Pacific Northwest and beyond! More info at

Local artists and gallery owners are buzzing about the reemergence of “Unclad” to the art scene.

Artfully Edmonds first began tracking the event’s progress in its Dec. 30 column and will follow the news and artist entries through February and into March

Edmonds artist Tracy Kay Felix is already showing (from her Facebook page) the beginnings of her entries into the show

Tickets are available online at this website.

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Snohomish County Arts Commission 

Now Accepting Submissions to Exhibit Sculptures on County Campus

The Snohomish County Arts Commission invites artists to submit images of existing free-standing sculptural works to be considered for temporary installation and exhibition in an open air setting on the Snohomish County Plaza in Everett, WA.

“The opportunity for the public to have access to public art is a continued goal of the Snohomish County Arts Commission, said Robert Fairfax, Commission Chair representing District 5.  By offering this annual sculpture exhibit, we activate dialog and conversations around cultural expression, artistic style and the creative process”.

Freestanding sculpture that is suitable for an outdoor setting is a requirement for submissions. The artwork must be durable, vandal resistant and pose no safety threats. Sculptures must be ready to install in May and available to the County until the end of 2016.

A fee of $1,000 will be paid to each artist that is selected to exhibit work.

Details of eligibility and other program requirements are included in the application package, which must be filled out and returned to the Snohomish County’s Office of Economic Development by 5 p.m. Monday, April 4th. Applications received after that time and date will not be considered.

Applications are available by contacting the Office of Economic Development at 3000 Rockefeller Avenue, M/S #411, Everett, WA, 98201, (425) 388.3186 or or at

— By Emily Hill


Emily Hill is the author of two novels and a short story collection. She also writes the “Lynnwood Lifestyle” column for Lynnwood Today. Emily is retired from a career in public information and news media relations. If you would like your event listed, or featured, in Artfully Edmonds, Emily invites you to contact her at



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