On Stage

Fairhaven Rep

A stage for the summer


What: Fairhaven Summer Repertory Theatre

Where: Firehouse Arts & Events Center, 1314 Harris Ave.

Cost: $20 per show/$50 for all three

Info: http://www.bellinghamtheatreworks.org

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

No matter what, the shows will go on.

That’s one of the important messages to be gleaned from reading about Bellingham TheatreWorks’ current Kickstarter campaign, which aims to raise funds to give a boost to its inaugural Fairhaven Summer Repertory Theatre season.

The ambitious undertaking will see three groundbreaking plays—Margaret Edson’s Wit, Sarah Ruhl’s The Clean House, and the iconic Cat on a Hot Tin Roof by Tennessee Williams—being performed six nights a week for four weeks, beginning July 2.

While opening night at the Firehouse Arts and Events Center is still a few weeks away, another crucial takeaway from perusing the details on the funding platform is that every dollar raised before then will go to ensuring the company can continue to grow roots in Fairhaven.

When Bellingham TheatreWorks was founded in 2014 by Western Washington University theater professor Mark Kuntz and producing director Steve Lyons, it was with a goal of bringing world-class theater with a local twist to patrons of the arts. Fairhaven Summer Repertory Theatre takes that challenge even further.

The $2,000 Kickstarter ask is just the beginning. Ultimately, the company hopes to raise a total of $10,000 through partnerships with local businesses and individual donors to help keep ticket prices on the low side, pay actors, designers and crew members, and return in the summer of 2020 with more high-quality productions.

Meanwhile, this year’s plays will test the waters between hilarity and heartbreak. Edson’s Wit kicks things off with a sardonic exploration of a journey toward death as seen through the eyes of a 50-year-old English Lit professor who has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. The Pulitzer Prize-winning play asks audiences and characters to examine aspects of life that make it worth living, and will also be the subject of a related collaboration with the Palliative Care Institute dubbed “The Wisdom of Wit.”

Up next is The Clean House, which features a doctor who is too busy to clean her own abode and hires a feisty maid from Brazil who’d rather make jokes than make beds. After the doc’s neat-freak sister surreptitiously takes over cleaning duties, the doctor’s personal life takes a dive, and even more messes must be attended to.

Finally, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof enters the fray with a familial fracas that brings up big issues such as alcoholism, suicide, homosexuality, trust and greed.

If you’re intrigued. consider donating to the Kickstarter campaign. Even those who give $1 will get their names in the printed program, meaning you’ll be doing your part to ensure Fairhaven Summer Repertory Theatre sticks around for the long haul.

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