On Stage

The Seagull

Northwest Passage sets the stage

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

I’ve written numerous stories about iDiOM Theater founder Glenn Hergenhahn during the past decade, but even I have a tough time discerning his next move.

For example, even though he moved to New York City a handful of years ago, he could still occasionally be seen wandering the streets of downtown Bellingham, or popping in as a guest director or thespian at the Cornwall Avenue theater he helped give birth to.

Meanwhile, as he careened back and forth between opposite coasts, he insisted he was still a resident of the Big Apple.

But, like many before him, Hergenhahn has finally admitted he’s back in Bellingham to stay. While still maintaining ties with the iDiOM—he’ll be directing four shows there this coming season, including a new full-length play and an original serial play—he’s also founded a new acting studio, Northwest Passage.

This weekend, the public will have a chance to see what it’s all about when the theater collective presents a staged reading of Anton Chekov’s The Seagull Aug. 30-31 at Inspire Yoga Studio. Hergenhahn says the Russian comedy will be presented with a new translation from Moti Margolin, an actor and translator he met in New York.

“Margolin’s translation of The Seagull is one of the most brilliant scripts and definitely the most brilliant translation of a play that I have read,” Hergenhahn says. “He manages to capture all the strangeness and humor that I think is often missing when Chekhov is done in English.”

Being as the performances are part of a fundraiser for Northwest Passage, audiences who come to the Friday night soiree before the show, and Saturday’s performance, will be able to find out more about Hergenhahn’s new venture.

“Northwest Passage is a new theater group with a primary focus on actor training and developing new work and ways of working,” Hergenhahn explains. “For the past year we have presented acting intensives and weekend workshops taught by industry professionals. This year we will be introducing multi-week classes, classes for youth, a summer program and we will beginning our Theater LAB.”

The LAB, Hergenhahn says, will focus on a group of seven dedicated actors who will work with each other, and collaborate, for an entire year. While performance may be part of what the LAB does, the group’s focus will be on experimentation, the development of new skills and taking risks. LAB members will be paid a small monthly stipend, and that expense is what the take from this weekend’s performances will go toward.

“We are paying LAB members $120 a month, and for that we need to raise $8,400,” Hergenhahn says. “It is a challenging goal for a brand new theater company, but the best time to make a commitment to pay creative staff is at the onset of a project. We hope to meet our goal and exceed it, and spread the gospel of paying actors far across the city.”

And, while Northwest Passage is a separate project from the iDiOM Theater, the majority of the classes will take place there, and season pass holders can see Northwest Passage productions for free. Meanwhile, Hergenhahn urges area residents to continue to support the theater he founded.

“iDiOM Theater has always felt like my child, and like any parent, I am always delighted and terrified to see it go off into the world on its own,” Hergenhahn says. “Like any parent, I am always thrilled when it calls, and like any good parent, I will always do whatever I can to help it succeed in life.”

More On Stage...
Forever Plaid
Adoration and the afterlife

James Dean died in a tragic automobile accident in 1955, but the actor has never been forgotten. The same goes for actresses Grace Kelly and Jayne Mansfield—both of whom were in deadly car wrecks when they were at the either at the height of their fame, or were so well-known their names…

more »
The Pig War
Mannequins on the move

Playwright Steve Lyons understands full well that war is not a laughing matter.

That said, when he set out to write Mrs. Bave Presents the Pig War, he soon realized that the chain of events that nearly led to a violent border dispute—but instead saw diplomacy and peace reign…

more »
Improv Insights
Finding the momentum

Oona Cava is the type of person you’d want to have on hand at the scene of an accident.

That’s because in addition to being wicked smart, the longtime improviser and instructor is calm in a crisis, a quick thinker and nimble in both spirit and form. (As a fellow Upfront Theatre alum, I…

more »
Eat Local Month

10:00am|Whatcom County

Bard on the Beach

12:00pm|Vanier Park

Boating Center Open

12:00pm|Community Boating Center

Dog Day Afternoon

3:30pm|South Whatcom Library

All-Paces Run

6:00pm|Fairhaven Runners

Back to School Night

6:30pm|Lynden Library

Try Something New

6:30pm|Mount Vernon City Library

Books on Tap

7:00pm|North Fork Brewery

Skagit Folk Dancers

7:00pm|Bayview Civic Hall

Comedy Open Mic


Salsa Night

9:30pm|Cafe Rumba

MBT Janis Joplin
Eat Local Month

10:00am|Whatcom County

Boating Center Open

12:00pm|Community Boating Center

Bard on the Beach

12:00pm|Vanier Park

Sedro-Woolley Farmers Market

3:00pm|Hammer Heritage Square

Peaceful Poetry Workshop and Contest

4:30pm|Village Books

Women's Rock Climbing Basics


Creekside Open Mic

6:30pm|South Whatcom Library

Exploring Vegan Flavors

6:30pm|Whatcom Humane Society

Autumn Soups for the Body and Soul

6:30pm|Community Food Co-op

Seattle Quartet

7:00pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

MBT Janis Joplin Bellingham Farmer’s Market
Eat Local Month

10:00am|Whatcom County

Boating Center Open

12:00pm|Community Boating Center

Lynden Farmers Market

12:00pm|Front Street

Together for Peace


Stream Tour

6:00pm|Whatcom Creek

Day of Peace observes those displaced by war


Trash Talk

6:30pm|Community Food Co-op

Travel Talk

7:00pm|Whatcom Museum's Old City Hall

Balkan Folk Dance

7:00pm|Fairhaven Library

Chuckanut Radio Hour with Nancy Pearl

7:00pm|Village Books

Authentic Illusionist Jay Ownehouse

7:30pm|Mount Baker Theatre

The Addams Family Musical

7:30pm|Claire vg Thomas Theatre

see our complete calendar »

Bellingham Farmer’s Market BOB_2017 MBT Janis Joplin Trove Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1 2020 Solutions Sept 2017 Village Books