The 2019 Season

...the stories, the jokes, the confidences and confessions I’ve heard that night, it makes me feel not alone.
— Small Craft Warnings, Tennessee Williams

The Bar Plays

Small Craft Warnings
By Tennessee Williams 
The Time of Your Life 
By William Saroyan

directed by Ryan Guzzo Purcell

August 7 - 25, 2019
Washington Hall
153 14th Ave, Seattle

Small Craft Warnings 
A doctor, a beautician, a sex worker, a scriptwriter, a stud, a cook, and a boy from Iowa walk into a bar. In a dive on the wharf in San Diego, a makeshift community laughs, drinks, dances, fights, and cares for one another in Small Craft Warnings, Tennessee Williams' raucous and searching meditation on the lengths to which we will go to find human connection.

The Time of Your Life 
How should you spend the time you’re given? A cast of eight will bring to life 27 indelible characters as they stumble in and out of Nick's Waterfront Saloon, a spot trying to hold onto its soul in a city transformed by economics and anxiety, and grapple with this unanswerable question. Full of music, humor, poetry, and politics, The Time of Your Life calls on us to enjoy our city and each other while we have the chance.

37 characters. 8 actors. 2 American classics. 1 real bar.
Grab a seat and make yourself at home.

From the Artistic Director:

Bars function a lot like theaters.

We go to both spaces to hear great stories, to laugh and sometimes cry, and to share an experience, whether with friends or complete strangers. Often, we accidentally expose our vulnerability and desperation. We can’t hide. Both spaces are filled with the complexity, diversity, and range of human experience. Politics and economics intertwine with friendships and rivalries. 
The Williams Project has done a lot of very political plays, and these slice-of-life stories in bars are a bit of a departure. But I couldn’t shake the feeling that these plays are exactly what we need to be working on and sharing. The denizens of these plays are living in scary times: Small Craft Warnings takes place during the Vietnam War; The Time of Your Life takes place shortly before the U.S. enters World War II. These characters are just trying to make a connection, do the right thing, enjoy their lives as the world changes around them. For me, these are plays about what community looks like and how we treat each other in the midst of uncertainty and catastrophe. As always, The Williams Project aims to do these plays in a way that makes these questions contemporary, complex, and urgent.     
”When you come to see Small Craft Warnings and The Time of Your Life, I’m hoping you experience one of those unforgettable nights at a bar. You’ll feel that alchemy of the right song on the jukebox, the drink in your hand, the people you wouldn’t meet anywhere else, and a story that takes you out of your every day. I believe theatre is about giving people the deepest possible experience of what it is to be human, and these plays elevate one of the most common things we do, get together for a drink, with writing that somehow captures our whole American problem. Cheers.
— Artistic Director Ryan Guzzo Purcell

Venue Sponsor

Cypher Cafe, one of the anchor organizations at Washington Hall, is The Williams Project’s host for The Bar Plays. About Cypher Cafe:

Cypher Cafe celebrates a Black Central District. Powered by a collective of black and brown artists and organizers, we have dedicated the last decade to building a home at Washington Hall for community grounded liberation work to take place through music, art, food and culture. We stand against the displacement impacts of gentrification and offer an accessible venue for events and gatherings held by marginalized communities.

Cypher Cafe is run by the WA not-for-profit Corporation, Black Power Unlimited, and manages the first floor of Washington Hall, spaces developed by The Hidmo Cypher, which includes the Lodge Room, Library, Cafe, Kitchen and Classroom.

We also sell delicious hot drinks and healthy home cooked foods. We encourage folks in the space to conversate and build community connections.

Season Partner


The Williams Project is a Path with Art Presenting Arts partner. About Path with Art:

Path with Art transforms the lives of people recovering from homelessness, addiction, and other trauma by harnessing the power of creative engagement as a bridge to community and a path to stability. Since 2008, Path with Art has been at the forefront of a growing international movement that utilizes the power of art as a means to bring dignity, awareness, and healing to the complexities of the issues surrounding homelessness, and recovery from trauma.

Season Sponsors

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