Arts & Events

Double Shot Show at the Broadway

Twenty-four hours to create, 70 minutes to perform: Tacoma’s own rapid theatre phenomenon, Double Shot, showcases the best local talent in two upcoming free performances. This year’s production of the annual event will also feature Puget Sound student Sophie Schwartz. The Double Shot show will be comprised of seven 10-minute short productions: five plays of various styles, an improvisation piece by local improv group Muh Grog Zoo, and a dance number choreographed and performed by the Barefoot Studios Dance Troupe. “You might get a piece that’s very funny, followed by a piece that’s very serious,” the playwright in residence for the Northwest Playwrights Alliance (NPA), Bryan Willis, said. The diversity of topics and genres presented means that the Double Shot acts have something for everyone.Double Shot is a collaboration by several different theater groups from around Tacoma and the Pierce County area, and the project is co-sponsored by the NPA of the Seattle Repertory Theater and the Broadway Center for the Performing Arts. Now a local phenomenon, Double Shot was once the brainchild of the student body at Puget Sound. The first Double Shot, which occurred on campus, “was a smash… [it] was wildly successful,” Willis said. University of Puget Sound put on the event the next year as well, before the venue moved downtown to the Broadway Center. There, the project grew into an enormous collaborative event, allowing writers and performers to access a different range of skill sets. “It’s freeing,” Willis said of scriptwriting with a deadline. “You stop overediting… it becomes about speed in a way.” He compared the style of Double Shot to slam poetry, connecting the two art media through shared qualities like quick composition and short format.  For several years, Double Shot has been part of a larger Tacoma festival called Free For All. Part of the expansion of the Tacoma theater community, Free For All invites the public to become more involved in the arts. Frequently, elements of Double Shot will come together so excellently that the performance team will take them on the road. “A lot we wind up taking to England,” Willis said. “It’s very strong stuff.” This spirit embodies the best of Tacoma’s artistic community, in their ability to extract the best of local art, and make that talent into a global phenomenon. Willis would “love to get more students enrolled at UPS in the ensemble,” he said. “It’s a lot of fun… [and] kinda magical.” Willis, who taught a course at Puget Sound last fall, also described the criteria he looks for in a performer: “If you aren’t talented, and fun to work with, you don’t get through the door!” Memorizing an entire play takes some effort, certainly, but the director and playwright of Double Shot watches his performers succeed every year. Look for classes he plans on teaching in the next few semesters to get involved in the project! This year’s Double Shot will be performed on Sep. 28, 2013 at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. at Studio III, on the third floor of the Broadway Center for the Performing Arts, 901 Broadway St. The event is free, though registration beforehand, either online or by phone, is required.