On Stage


The fabric of our lives

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

She died 30 years ago, but I still have a couple of my mother’s cardigans hanging in the far corner of my closet—along with a blue silk bathrobe of my grandmother’s, a faded T-shirt I wore while traveling in Central America in 1997, and assorted other items of adornment I can’t bear to get rid of.

The memories I associate with each article of well-worn clothing are dear to me. And apparently, I’m not not alone in holding on to the past in this fashion. In “Threads,” Kuntz and Company’s latest endeavor to tell stories of social significance through dance and theater, the “fabric of memories” was the impetus for its creation.

Choreographer and dancer Pam Kuntz says the idea for the nonprofit’s latest community collaboration came about after she was asked to create a piece in response to Western Washington University’s “Coded Threads: Textiles and Technologies” exhibit currently on display at Western Gallery. She wasn’t able to see the work in advance, so she began thinking of her response in different ways.

“I landed on clothing and what it is and represents,” Kuntz says. “This opened up a truth that I hadn’t really been aware of in myself—that clothing is one of my strongest memory holders.

“With more thought I recognized that the items I have saved from those who I love are fabric or clothing items—my mother’s wedding dress, a blanket my grandmother made, my other grandma’s apron, my dad’s navy peacoat. They hold my history. They are of the person, they were close to this person—they represent their body, their life, their breath, their time.”

Earlier this month, advanced dance students at WWU participated in “Decoded Threads,” a performance featuring nine dancers who were each inspired to make a piece focusing an item of clothing from a family member. Simultaneously, Kuntz was focused on making a larger work for Kuntz and Company dancers.

When “Threads” shows Oct. 26-28 at the Firehouse Performing Arts Center, accomplished dancers Kate Stevenson, Vanessa Daines, and Yuki Matsukura will share some of their own history—along with those of other community members—with audiences. 

Among other stories, the trio of performers will investigate a father’s navy whites, a mother’s pre- and post-cancer blouses and a great-aunt’s swimsuit from her days in the Aqua Follies. Both laughter and tears will likely be induced, and those in attendance might find themselves searching for memories by going through their own closets or storage spaces after the show.

“Through some of the stories we learn of beautiful, wonderful times and of very difficult, challenging times,” Kuntz says. “It is pretty great to be reminded that beauty and grace exists. It is also great to learn that people survive difficult times and even come out the other end in a better place. This kind of ‘survival’ is inspiring to me and I suspect to others. I can use a reminder every once in a while that things will get better.”

ICU Roof #2
More On Stage...
Minimizing Macbeth

When it comes to Macbeth, William Shakespeare’s timeless tale of war, murder and betrayal typically boasts large casts who share the heavy lifting required to tell the tale of a Scottish general who resorts to bloodshed in order to gain access to the throne. In iDiOM Theater’s 3MB—which…

more »
Evil Dead
A date with demons

A certain coworker of mine can be counted on to join me for theatrical displays that are more than a little out of the ordinary.

For example, she’s been my plus-one to shows sporting everything from performing cats to vampire bunnies, as well as dramatic productions featuring full (male)…

more »
Bellingham Burlesque
Not the same old song and dance

History lessons aren’t what audiences typically expect when they attend a spirited song-and-dance production, but when Bellingham Burlesque of 1927 shows Oct. 5-7 at the Firehouse Performing Arts Center, that’s one of the many side benefits those in attendance will reap.

As part of the…

more »
MVHS Fall Concert

4:00pm|McIntyre Hall

Book Group Mixers

5:30pm|Village Books

Group Run

6:00pm|Skagit Running Company

Life of the Arctic Polar Bear

6:30pm|Community Food Co-op

Creekside Open Mic

6:30pm|South Whatcom Library

Anyone for Stew?

6:30pm|Gretchen's Kitchen

Seasonal Beers

6:30pm|Cordata Community Food Co-op

Birds and Plants

7:00pm|RE Store

Thriving in the Middle

7:00pm|Village Books

Jeremy Kahn Quartet

7:00pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

Scottish Dancing

7:30pm|Fairhaven Library

Book Group Mixers

5:30pm|Village Books

Bringing history into sharp focus


Fall Craft & Antique Show

10:00am|Northwest Washington Fairgrounds

U.S. Citizenship Class

6:00pm|Lynden Library


7:00pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

The Women of Lockerbie

7:00pm|Lynden Christian High School

Balkan Folk Dance

7:00pm|Fairhaven Library

Summer Bike Stories

7:00pm|Cafe Velo

Young Frankenstein

7:30pm|Anacortes Community Theatre

Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1 Village Books
Fall Craft & Antique Show

10:00am|Northwest Washington Fairgrounds


7:00pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

The Women of Lockerbie

7:00pm|Lynden Christian High School

Young Frankenstein

7:30pm|Anacortes Community Theatre

Wild Things

9:30am|Stimpson Family Nature Reserve

Book and Bake Sale

10:00am|Lynden Library

Grand Opening and Open House

11:00am|Social Fabric

Books and Bites

1:00pm|Blaine Library

Clean Eating

2:00pm|Cordata Community Food Co-op

Coffee Tasting

3:00pm|Camber Cafe

Food Not Bombs

4:00pm|downtown Bellingham

Art Night

5:00pm|SpringHill Suites by Marriott

12 Minutes Max Auditions

5:00pm|Firehouse Performing Arts Center

Amber Sky CD Release Party

6:00pm|Presence Studio

Gore & Lore Tours

6:00pm|Historic Fairhaven, downtown Bellingham

Falliday Vintage Market

6:00pm|Port Transit Event Center

Family Story Night

6:00pm|Fairhaven Library

Wild & Scenic Film Festival

6:30pm|Lincoln Theatre

Poetry Party

7:00pm|Mount Baker Theatre


7:00pm|Village Books

USA Dance


Thriller Dance Class

7:00pm|Moles Farewell Tributes

Halloween Movie Night

7:00pm|BHS Performing Arts Center

Friday Night Flicks

7:30pm|Van Zandt Community Hall

Sanford-Hill Piano Series

7:30pm|Performing Arts Center


8:00pm|Upfront Theatre

Holding the Light

8:00pm|Honey Moon

see our complete calendar »

Village Books Mt. Baker Theatre Undersea Bubble Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1 CWWarrenMiller Bellingham Farmer’s Market Trove