Artfully Edmonds: Boisterous Driftwood Players and ‘Creative Age’ take the lead

Driftwood's six spellers include (from left to right): Olivia Waring as Marcy, Ireland Woods as Schwartzy, Dakota Daley as Barfee, Laura McFarlane as Olive, Marshall Link as Leaf and Michael Yichao as Chip The full cast also includes: Mason Beaver as Mitch, Morgan Dietkus as Rona and Jon Woods as Vice Principal Panch.
Driftwood’s six spellers include (from left to right): Olivia Waring as Marcy, Ireland Woods as Schwartzy, Dakota Daley as Barfee, Laura McFarlane as Olive, Marshall Link as Leaf and Michael Yichao as Chip
The full cast also includes: Mason Beaver as Mitch, Morgan Dietkus as Rona and Jon Woods as Vice Principal Panch.

Audience participation is the name of the game in the Driftwood Players production, “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” which opens this week after enthusiastic fanfare from local producers and the theatre community at large.

Yes, what caught the attention of Artfully Edmonds in the historic company’s promotion for “Spelling Bee” was the enticement “audience participation encouraged” – but what does that mean? The Driftwood troupe invites, “Buy a ticket and find out!”

“The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” centers on a fictional spelling bee set at Driftwood Elementary. Six delightfully quirky adolescents compete in the spelling bee, which is run by three grown-ups – each with their own set of personality tics.

The musical high-jinx comedy includes pratfalls, buffoonery and absurdities in its look at childhood rituals and how they lead us through the lessons of life.

Driftwood Players
950 Main St.
Opens April 22
8 p.m. 
Audience participation encouraged!

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
   Directed by Pauls Macs
   By Finn, Sheinkin and Feldman
   Plays through May 8

“Six spellers enter; one speller wins. At least the losers get a juice box.”

The reigning spelling champion of the school is Chip, played by Michael Yichao.

Chip is an athletic and outgoing student who expects life to be easy based on his already established success in athletics. Not so fast, we caution. Chip and his school mates must get through the social gauntlet of high school and recover from those adolescent stings of defeat.

Chip’s school mates include Logainne, aka “Schwartzy,” a student with tics, political awareness and a keen sense of justice; Leaf Coneybear, home schooled and as surprised as anyone that he is included in the competition; William Barfee, playground bully who does not expect kindness from anyone – with good reason; Marcy Park, the perfect over-achiever we all suffered in school; and Olive Ostrovsky, an only child who quietly fills her time reading the dictionary.

The adult roles include Rona Lisa Perretti, the local realtor and long-time bee hostess (played by Morgan Dietkus); Vice Principal Douglas Panch, stuck in his job, not entirely pleased to be called in at the last minute for the bee but ready to impress with hopes of a promotion dancing in his head (featuring Jon Woods); and Mitch Mahoney, the community’s “outsider” who wonders about the sanity of putting children through such intense competition as a high-stakes spelling bee (Mason Beaver has been cast in this role).

Tickets for this riotous musical production are on sale now at Driftwood Players online ticket outlet, or by calling 425-774-9600.

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Celebrate your 'Creative Age' at this weekend's CAFE festival.
Celebrate your ‘Creative Age’ at this weekend’s CAFE festival.

Creative! Active! Fulfilled! Edmonds!
April 15/16

Speaking of participation — CAFE — a festival celebrating creative options is this weekend.  CAFE is an acronym for Creative! Active! Fulfilled! Edmonds! developed by an inspirational team of local visionaries who encourage active engagement in the arts and community of Edmonds.

The weekend’s schedule is at CAFE’s official website. There is still time to register and have new, fresh topics to talk about on Monday!

Here’s is what CAFE co-founder Dick VanHollebeke has to say to My Edmonds News about developing this two-day festival:

“We are most excited about the way the arts community has rallied to support our inaugural event. That includes the Edmonds Arts Festival, Cascadia Art Museum, The Cascade Symphony,  the Mayor and many individuals who have been more than happy to help in any way they could. We feel that there is a team effort to make our Creative Age Festival an annual part of the culture that makes Edmonds such a wonderful place for a day or a lifetime.”

What a joy it has been to watch this new participation-encouraged event come together over the past 18 months.

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Long-time Edmonds resident Donna Biscay found her 'Creative Age' in torn paper mosaics after retiring from Shoreline Community College.
Long-time Edmonds resident Donna Biscay is finding joy in torn paper mosaics during her ‘Creative Age’ and after retiring from Shoreline Community College.

Edmonds, long known for the creativity of its residents, offers classes in various art forms including mosaics, photography lessons, dance and drama. Many of the workshop and forum leaders for this weekend’s CAFE have taught such art disciplines.

Here are several samples neighbors who are already engaged in enjoying their own “creative age”.

No Fear Art
Offered through Edmonds Senior Center
190 Railroad Ave.

Some of the art-class highlights built in to an Edmonds Kind Of Lifestyle include “No Fear Art”. Taught by Ruth “Rifka” Barth who was featured in this March mention.

A recently retired educator and longtime Edmonds resident, Donna Biscay enrolled in Ruth’s torn paper mosaic series under the banner “No Fear Art” and is being celebrated this month for her inaugural piece titled, “Constance”.

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Now that spring is here – what better time to gather your camera equipment and look around Edmonds for photography-as-art.

Maybe begin your quest at Randall J. Hodges Photography (317 Main St.) since Hodges has classes coming up in just a couple weeks and going through April 30, May – and beyond.

The studio’s website and more information about photograph classes is

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201 2nd Ave. S.

Maybe you’d prefer to participate in another creative art form – like calligraphy! ArtWorks is offering a class beginning Friday, May 6; taught by Brigette Hefferan.

Here’s what Brigette says about her class, “We begin with a review of basic Italic, our alphabet will take on distinctive forms by using different tools and varying weights, sizes & slants.  Some flourishing techniques add to the fun!”

Required – both a beginner italic class and a beginner copperplate class. For more information go to ArtWorks official website.

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Writing instructor Catherine Alexander continues a lifelong passion in writing during the 'Creative Age' segment of her life.
Writing instructor Catherine Alexander continues a lifelong passion in writing during the ‘Creative Age’ segment of her life.

Edmonds’ Creative Local Writers!

Local author and writing coach Catherine Alexander has been published in the journal, When Women Waken this month.

Her piece is titled, “First Morning” and is available at CreateSpace.

When Women Waken is a literary journal of poetry, prose and images by women.

Alexander’s theme concerns life’s transitions and overcoming the uncertainties – even fear – of moving forward when life takes an unexpected turn.

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Retired from teaching Edmonds resident Paddy Eger volunteers at the elementary level and publishes novels to celebrate the 'Creative Age' of her life.
Retired from teaching Edmonds resident Paddy Eger volunteers at the elementary level and publishes novels to celebrate the ‘Creative Age’ of her life.

Paddy Eger, retired Edmonds educator and active in local writing circles, has taken Second Place in the YA division of the Reader View Literary Awards for 2015-16 for her novel, When the Music Stops-Dance On published by award-winning Tendril Press.

The second book in a ballet-themed trilogy, “When the Music Stops-Dance On” is about the life of Marta Selbryth, a young woman from 1950-60s Bremerton. Many local references and historically staged.

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For the next seven days — and beyond — there is a rich selection of arts and events taking place in Edmonds. Here are this week’s selections:

April 14/15
7 p.m.
True West
By Sam Shepard

Directed by Bruce Mindt
Performed by:
Edmonds Woodway Players
Edmonds Woodway High School
7600 212th St. SW

A little dark humor, anyone? If cynicism, grifting and fast-Eddy action is how you get your vicarious kicks, then you are in for a treat as the young thespians of Edmonds-Woodway High School present Sam Shepard’s “True West” this weekend.

Main character Austin is a moderately successful Ivy League screenwriter who is stuck in a slump. However, all that is about to change when Austin is left to watch his mother’s house while she’s on vacation.

Saul Kimmer, a producer interested in Austin’s work, appears on the scene with the intention of approving Austin’s well-worked project but – alas! — Kimmer ends up choosing the untested work of Austin’s brother, Lee instead.

General Admission: $5 at the door.

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Our Meadowdale High School talent is extending an invitation for you to attend "Miscast Cabaret"
Our Meadowdale High School talent is extending an invitation for you to attend “Miscast Cabaret”

April 14/15
6:30 p.m. doors open

Miscast Cabaret, a comedy
Meadowdale Players
Meadowdale High School
Great Hall
6002 168th St. S.W.


The Meadowdale Players has a dinner show in mind for their spring benefit.

This event is a wonderful opportunity for a community sit down to dinner while high school memories are made.

The dinner portion of the special occasion dinner will be served by the Culinary School with a dinner show directed by Addy and Peter Davies.

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Bob Z w scrim3
Owner of Edmonds Tunes, Bob Z. uses his creativity to put together Friday-Night-Free talent for Cafe Louvre’s small stage.

Friday, April 15
6 p.m.

Edmonds Tunes at
Café Louvre
210 5th Ave. S.

Family time and teen-date perfect!

Artfully Edmonds received this communiqué from Edmonds’ snappiest emcee and owner of Edmonds Tunes, Bob Z., “This week Edmonds Tunes welcomes back the ever-popular singing sensation Kaylee Tilton!”

Also on the bill is songwriter Brad Serka and the incredible unique (and wildly talented) singer/rapper/ukulele master Ryan Higgins (a.k.a. “Higgs”).

Come enjoy this lineup of local musical talent and ease your tax weekend blues with some free entertainment at the same time.

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Cascade Symphony Orchestra's many members are living creatively through their music.
Cascade Symphony Orchestra’s many members are living creatively through their music.

Sunday, April 17
3 p.m.

Cascade Symphony Orchestra
United Methodist Church
828 Caspers St.

The Cascade Symphony Orchestra is offering an annual spring Ensemble featuring unique and varied solo players and chamber ensembles from all sections of the beloved orchestra.

CSO will showcase small ensembles during its annual Ensemble Concert. More information and your ticket link to this annual concert can be found at the CSO online ticket booth

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Patty LuPone
Patty LuPone, who will be appearing at the ECA next Thursday is shown here in some of her most noteworthy roles: “Evita”, “Sweeney Todd” and “Sunset Boulevard”. Montage courtesy of the ECA staff.

Thursday, April 21
7:30 p.m.

Sell Out Alert!

Patty LuPone sings at
Edmonds Center for the Arts
410 4th Ave. N.

Patty LuPone, who has played such Broadway roles as “Evita” “Sweeney Todd” and “Sunset Boulevard” arrives to show off her tour, “Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda” which she brings to ECA next Thursday.

Tickets will be gone by performance day – get your set of tickets today at the ECA online box office.

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Don’t let this happen to you!
Sold Out!

Friday, April 22
7:30 p.m.
Yuri Shevchuk

On a number of Artfully Edmonds ‘first-run’ notices you will see the words, “Sell Out Alert!” Over the past year we have adjusted our notifications of the acts coming to town to a two-week advance-notice schedule. Edmonds has become such an arts destination that one cannot sit on the sidelines when the box office opens.

For those who are able to make the now sold out Yuri Shevchuk concert here is a little background about the star’s recent schedule and achievements:

Yuri Shevchuk in Acoustic concert-songs, poetry, dialogue. The legendary musician, singer and a leader of DDT rock band Yuri Shevchuk will present his solo chamber concert “Acoustic”. Acoustic concerts by Shevchuk are quite rare and his fans in Seattle will have a unique opportunity to communicate with the legendary rocker and hear a live performance of old and new hits in an extraordinarily wide spectacle.

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Fado great Ana Moura arrives Edmonds Saturday, April 23. Sell Out Alert! in effect. Tickets at the ECA box office.
Fado great Ana Moura arrives Edmonds Saturday, April 23. Sell Out Alert! in effect. Tickets at the ECA box office.

Saturday, April 23
7:30 p.m.

Ana Moura sings Fado
Edmonds Center for the Arts
410 4th Ave. N.

Ana Moura is a Portuguese Fado singer, and the youngest fadista to be nominated for a Dutch Edison Award.

You’ll thrill at this YouTube clip of Moura in a performance which earned her a standing ovation.

Known for her soaring notes and haunting message, Moura has performed with The Rolling Stones and Prince.

What ECA says about Ana Moura, “She brings the requisite soul and a contemporary sensibility to the longing-filled Portugese music called Fado,” to Edmonds main stage.

For tickets to what promises to be an exquisite performance go to this ticket link.

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Wednesday, April 27
7:30 p.m.
Second Hand Newz
Fleetwood Mac Tribute Band
Presented by Tribute Time Machine
Edmonds Center for the Arts
410 4th Ave. N.

Expect heat As the Tribute Time Machine presents tribute concerts portrayed through fictional radio station-KTTM-Seattle. This particular Tribute Time Machine segment features Second Hand Newz as Fleetwood Mac.

Second Hand Newz is the Pacific Northwest’s premier Fleetwood Mac tribute band whose focus on authenticity is unmatched,” say critics.

We went to YouTube to verify the authenticity of Second Hand Newz.

In performing the hits of the British-American rock band the repertoire of Second Hand Newz blends the early Fleetwood Mac blues days of founding frontman Peter Green with the mega hits from the solo career of Stevie Nicks. Fleetwood Mac ultimately sold over 100 million records and in 1998 some of its members were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Among the hits you can expect to hear on April 27 are “Black Magic Woman”, “Albatross” and “Oh Well, pts. I & II”

Tickets at this ECA online box office site.

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Christine Mosere establishes her star power in "Becky's New Car" now playing at The Phoenix Theatre in Firdale Village.
Christine Mosere establishes her star power in “Becky’s New Car” now playing at The Phoenix Theatre in Firdale Village. 

Phoenix Theatre
Firdale Village
9673 Firdale Ave.

Plays through Sunday, May 1
Betsy’s New Car
Starring Christine Mosere
Directed by Ted Jacquith
Play by Steven Dietz

Thespians Choice!

Laura Kenny, an onstage personality herself gives ‘thumbs up!’ to the production, “It is a terrific show! Congrats and Enjoy!”

Christine Mosere proves her star power unequivocally in the lead role of “Betsy’s New Car” reviewed here by My Edmonds News.

— by Emily Hill


Emily Hill is the author of two novels and a short story collection. 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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