Sandbox One-Act Play Festival at West of Lenin

Seattle is a mecca that attracts extraordinarily talented theatre people—actors, production experts, and writers. For the next few days (through June 8) you can sample creative work by all three categories of theatre talent at the Sandbox One-Act Play Festival.

Sandbox Artists Collective issued a call for submissions for one-act plays last year, and in January of this year, four plays were selected from a pool of anonymous submissions. Directors were then chosen. These pieces couldn’t be more different from one another. After months of work involving playwrights, directors, and cast, they are now being offered to the public for the first time.

The result is a fascinating, and truly satisfying night at the theatre. The performance begins with “The Tyrant” by Yussef El Guindi and featuring G. Valmont Thomas as a former Middle East president now imprisoned by the United States. He’s a man who has a great deal to say about the necessities of his form of government as opposed to those of a democracy. Thomas ensnares his audience with his gracious manner, the lift of his eyebrows, his unctuous smile. The playwright captures the audience with his powerful reasoning. (Directed by Anita Montgomery)

In “Cumulus” by Juliet Waller Pruzan, Leslie Law is a super-efficient flight attendant with four passengers, two of whom can’t resist talking to their seatmates. The secrets revealed, the coincidences, and the shocking, and I do mean shocking, on-board surprise are marvelously funny and heartbreaking at the same time. (Directed by Rachel Katz Carey)


“il” by K. Brian Neel puts three young programmers in a timed hackathon trying to outdo their own and anyone else’s genius. This is a sci-fi lovers delight, with its references to the greats, its riffs on computer nerds’ tribulations and accomplishments, and its slapstick. Here Sam Hagen, Ben D. McFadden and Nik Doner excel as the comic, hyper-energetic wonks. (Directed by Annie Lareau)

“Things to Say When It’s Too Late to Say Them, aka Proof You Were Here” by Brendon Healy will cause you to turn to your loved ones and apologize for your wrongs and reaffirm your devotion. It’s poignantly played, yet red-blooded, and a very clever reminder that human life is fragile. (Directed by Peter Dylan O’Connor)

Tonight through Sat. June 7 at 8:00 p.m. and Sun. June 8 at 2:00 p.m. West of Lenin, 203 N. 36th St., Seattle, ( or tickets at the door, but seating is limited so check to make sure it’s available).

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