Two Queen Anne theater luminaries join forces

pair of Queen Anne residents well known in the theater world have teamed up for a staged reading of “Dark Farce,” a satiric look at humanity’s continuous struggle with violence. 

Written by Freddie Brinster and directed by Arne Zaslove, the reading will take place Monday, May 21, 7:30 p.m. at the OM Culture Center, 2210 N. Pacific St., one block north of Gas Works Park.

“It’s a farce, basically,” Brinster said. “But there’s a bit of reality in it.” Brinster, former long-time theater critic for the late Bellevue Journal-American, has worked as an Alternative to Violence Project volunteer at the Monroe Correction Complex where she taught conflict resolution. 

“It does seem we’ve come to the point that the urge to fight and kill had a survival benefit a million years ago,” she said. “But now it’s poisoned the culture.”

The play is set in a surreal prison and features an anti-hero who has been punished and executed countless times yet continues to pop up and wreak havoc.  This time around he is assailed by assorted reformers who are sure they can fix him. Zaslove characterizes the script as a meeting between the film “Dead Man Walking” and the Coen Brothers.

Zaslove is known for his numerous contributions to the city’s theatre scene as the creator and director of the Floating Theatre and the Bathhouse Theatre. His current project is the Hit-and-Run Theatre Co., which produced Sinclair Lewis’  “It Can’t Happen Here” last year. 

The creative collaboration between Brinster and Zaslove sprung up after the two friends happened to meet on the street. 

“She said she’d written a play,” Zaslov recalled, “and would I look at it. She sent me the script and I said we have to do this.”

The play features a dozen actors. It’s free and open to the public.

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