On Stage

The Pig War

Mannequins on the move

Attend

What: Mrs. Bave Presents the Pig War

Where: Firehouse PAC, 1314 Harris Ave.

More:

WHEN: 7:30pm Sept. 8-10 and 15-17

Cost: $15

Info: http://www.bellinghamtheatreworks.org

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

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 supreme—were inherently laugh-inducing.

“In July of 1859, five British warships were stationed off the coast of San Juan Island and 500 American troops were ready to resist any attempt by the British to take over San Juan Island,” Lyons says. “And it all started because an American farmer shot a British boar. This seems kind of funny to me.”

What also struck Lyons as being worthy of historic hilarity was that, 100 years after the original skirmish, an islander named Emilia Bave presented an original play, The San Juan Saga, to commemorate the centennial of the aptly named Pig War.

Her first theatrical foray used local actors, but when she tried to round up a cast the following year, she couldn’t find any willing participants. Undeterred, she rewrote the play to be a narration and filled in the primary players in the story with mannequins (you’ll see at least one of the originals in the modern-day play). From 1965-85, they helped tell her tale to visitors and tourists—who weren’t typically aware of the weirdness they were in for until they saw Mrs. Bave bustling about onstage while moving the non-human actors.

When Bellingham TheatreWorks debuts Mrs. Bave Presents the Pig War beginning Sept. 8-10 at the Firehouse Performing Arts Center, audiences can expect an intersection of the aforementioned timelines when the stiffer-than-usual characters manipulated by the titular heroine come to life to correct the gaffes in her saga and set the record straight.

“When they realize how horrible the script is, even the mannequins refuse to be in her play unless they can present the true story of the Pig War,” Lyons says. “So Mrs. Bave attempts to direct a play starring these cantankerous, ornery characters.”

One persona that will seem familiar to local audiences is that of U.S. Army Captain George Pickett, who after helping diffuse the border dispute went on to become a major general in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War. Due in part to racial tensions throughout the country, his name was recently removed from a local bridge, and he’s been back in the news.

“I think that people are complicated, including George Pickett,” Lyons says, noting that as a playwright it’s often necessary to find the humanity in bad guys as well as good guys.

Ultimately, Bellingham TheatreWorks is committed to telling stories of regional significance, and Mrs. Bave Presents the Pig War fits the bill—complete with mannequins come to life, a script approved by the Bave family, puppets and the original boar Emilia used in her own play.

More On Stage...
Baderson
Beyond Cody Rivers

For a glorious spell of time, Bellingham was home base to the Cody Rivers Show. The brilliant sketch comedy duo comprised of Mike Mathieu and Andrew Connor not only made audiences laugh uproariously, but their original works also made people think. It’s been five years since the two graced…

more »
Edgar Allan
The mystery and the mania

As cofounders of the Twin Cities Horror Festival, actors and musicians Katie Hartman and Nick Ryan are familiar with things that go bump in the night.

Performing as the Coldharts, the Minnesota-based duo furthers their love for the macabre by bringing original works inspired by the…

more »
Sh'Bang!
A picture-perfect party

Last week, after perusing hundreds of photos of past Sh’Bang! events, I was left with a few conclusions about the late-summer gathering that, early every September, fills the Lookout Arts Quarry near Alger with all manner of entertainment and enticements.

First off,  I observed that those…

more »
Events
Today
Whatcom Water Week

10:00am|Whatcom County

Whatcom Water Week

10:00am|Whatcom County

Eat Local Month

10:00am|Whatcom County

Singin' in the Rain, Jr.

7:00pm|Ferndale High School

Tuesdays with Morrie and On Approval

7:30pm|Claire vg Thomas Theatre

And Then There Were None

7:30pm|Bellingham Theatre Guild

Student warriors march for climate justice

9:00am

Skagit County Garage Sale

9:00am|Skagit County Fairgrounds

Wild Things

9:30am|Whatcom Falls Park

Whatcomics Call for Art

10:00am|Whatcom County

Voter Registration Event

11:00am|Bellingham Public Library

Books and Bites

1:00pm|Blaine Library

Ferndale Farmers Market

2:00pm|1750 LaBounty Dr.

Whatcom Museum Tag Sale

5:00pm|Syre Education Center

Open Mic Night

6:00pm|Deming Library

Family Story Night

6:00pm|Fairhaven Library

The Cody Rivers Show presents Baderson

6:30pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

Sin & Gin Tours

7:00pm|Downtown Bellingham, historic Fairhaven

The mystery and the mania

7:00pm

Trivia Night Fundraiser

7:00pm|Lincoln Theatre

Downriver

7:00pm|Village Books

Edgar Allan

7:30pm|Firehouse Arts and Events Center

Godlike

7:30pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

Miss Fitts

8:00pm|Cirque Lab

Improv Evolution

9:00pm|Upfront Theatre

Tomorrow
Whatcom Water Week

10:00am|Whatcom County

Whatcom Water Week

10:00am|Whatcom County

Eat Local Month

10:00am|Whatcom County

Singin' in the Rain, Jr.

7:00pm|Ferndale High School

And Then There Were None

7:30pm|Bellingham Theatre Guild

Tuesdays with Morrie and On Approval

7:30pm|Claire vg Thomas Theatre

Skagit County Garage Sale

9:00am|Skagit County Fairgrounds

Whatcomics Call for Art

10:00am|Whatcom County

Whatcom Museum Tag Sale

5:00pm|Syre Education Center

The Cody Rivers Show presents Baderson

6:30pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

Sin & Gin Tours

7:00pm|Downtown Bellingham, historic Fairhaven

Godlike

7:30pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

Miss Fitts

8:00pm|Cirque Lab

Improv Evolution

9:00pm|Upfront Theatre

Pancake Breakfast

8:00am|Ferndale Senior Center

Hamster Endurance Runs

8:00am|Lake Padden

Giant Pumpkin Festival and Weigh-Off

9:00am|Christianson's Nursery

Anacortes Farmers Market

9:00am|Depot Arts Center

Mount Vernon Farmers Market2333

9:00am|Riverwalk Park

Twin Sisters Farmers Markets

9:00am|North Fork Library

Mindful Meditation and Combining Food Wisely

9:00am|Community Food Co-op

Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day Live!

10:00am

Boating Center Fall Hours

10:00am|Community Boating Center

Blaine Gardeners Market

10:00am|H Street Plaza

Bellingham Farmers Market

10:00am|Depot Market Square

Lynden Farmers Market

10:00am|Centennial Park

Purls & Pop-Ups Yarn Crawl

10:00am|Whatcom County

Correspondence Club

10:30am|Mindport Exhibits

Your Life is a Story Writer's Group

10:30am|South Whatcom Library

Persistence of Light

10:30am|Lynden Library

Backyard Fairies

11:00am|North Fork Library

Cemetery Tours

11:00am|Lynden Cemetery

One Planet

11:00am|Peace Arch Park

Fall Show Reception

2:00pm|River Gallery

Sedro-Woolley Brewfest

2:00pm|Hammer Heritage Square

Remembering Ella Higginson

3:00pm|Deming Library

Nooksack River Walk

3:00pm|Horseshoe Bend Trailhead

Gardening Rount Table

3:00pm|North Fork Library

Wayne Carter Book Signing

3:00pm|Upper Skagit Library

Artist talk with Drie Chapek

4:00pm|i.e. gallery

PechaKucha Night

5:00pm|Museum of Northwest Art

International Day of Peace with WPJC

6:00pm|The Majestic

Homeless for a Night

6:00pm| Allen United Methodist Church

The Sound and the Glory

7:00pm|Village Books

Blue Abode Comedy Show

7:00pm|Blue Abode Bar

Sin & Gin Tours

7:00pm|Downtown Bellingham, historic Fairhaven

Modern Slavery

7:30pm|Lummi Island Library

Salsa Night

9:00pm|Cafe Rumba

Sunday
Whatcom Water Week

10:00am|Whatcom County

Eat Local Month

10:00am|Whatcom County

Tuesdays with Morrie and On Approval

7:30pm|Claire vg Thomas Theatre

And Then There Were None

7:30pm|Bellingham Theatre Guild

Whatcomics Call for Art

10:00am|Whatcom County

Miss Fitts

8:00pm|Cirque Lab

Hamster Endurance Runs

8:00am|Lake Padden

Boating Center Fall Hours

10:00am|Community Boating Center

Homeless for a Night

6:00pm| Allen United Methodist Church

Sin & Gin Tours

7:00pm|Downtown Bellingham, historic Fairhaven

Oyster Run Motorcycle Rally

9:00am|Downtown Anacortes

Brunch on the Bay

10:00am|Bellingham Cruise Terminal

Birchwood Farmers Market

10:00am|Park Manor Shopping Center

Bellingham Handmade Market

11:00am|Goods Nursery and Produce

Langar in Lynden

11:00am| Guru Nanak Gursikh Gurdwara

Bellingham Veg Fest

11:00am|Depot Market Square

Walk to End Alzheimer's

12:00pm|Riverwalk Plaza

Audubon at the Museum

1:30pm|Whatcom Museum's Old City Hall

George Winston

2:00pm|McIntyre Hall

More than a piano man

2:00pm

Open Borders

4:00pm|Village Books

Skookum Rocks the Farm

7:00pm|Bellewood Acres

Seattle International Comedy Competition Audition Showcase

7:30pm|Upfront Theatre

see our complete calendar »