P.S. Don’t forget: Subscribers get $7 off additional regularly priced single tickets to Jewell Mainstage productions!

For your safety, Taproot Theatre requires that masks be worn at all times in the theater. Taproot has made structural changes that increase the intake of outside air, upgraded air filters to MERV-13, and added UV air-purifiers to the HVAC system. Click to read essential details.

Taproot Presents Agatha Christie’s Black Coffee

The formula for a secret weapon has been stolen, and that isn’t the only mystery in the Amory house! When Sir Claude discovers the theft, he locks his family in the library. Moments later there’s a dead body, a room full of suspects, and a Belgian sleuth at the door. Witness the famous Hercule Poirot untangle a jumble of deceptions to discover whodunit.

Black Coffee marked Taproot’s first season at its new permanent facility in Seattle’s Greenwood neighborhood in 1996. Back then, Hercule Poirot was played by Nolan Palmer, a frequent actor on the Taproot stage, and Palmer returns this summer to play both Tredwell (the butler) and Johnson (a constable). This time, Richard Nguyen Sloniker, who last appeared at Taproot in The Bishop’s Wife: A Live Radio Play, brings Agatha Christie’s beloved character of Poirot to life.

Marianne Savell directs Palmer and Sloniker, along with Nathan Brockett (See How They Run), Justine Yu-Ping Davis (Taproot Theatre debut), Samuel Johns (Taproot Theatre debut), Tyler Todd Kimmel (Arsenic and Old Lace), Claire Marx (The Bishop’s Wife: A Live Radio Play), Kim Morris (Steel Magnolias), James Schilling (See How They Run), and Michael Winters (Sweet Land).

The production team includes Mark Lund, scenic and sound design; Chris Tschirgi, costume design; Chih-Hung Shao, lighting design; Jeffrey K. Hanson, stage manager; Rowan Gallagher, dramaturg; and Katya Davida, dialect coach.

Crime is terribly revealing. Try and vary your methods as you will, your tastes, your habits, your attitude of mind and your soul is revealed by your actions.
– Agatha Christie


Tickets are on sale now! Learn more here →

ACTOR SPOTLIGHT: What it’s Like to be an Understudy for Black Coffee 

Jessica Ziegelbauer, understudy for Black Coffee

Live theatre depends on actors being able to show up each night to bring the story to the stage. But what happens when someone gets sick—or in the case of COVID, becomes exposed? That’s where understudies come in. While the actors work hard to enact their characters, the understudies are rehearsing too, in the event they might need to step in and fill the role.

Meet the understudies for Black Coffee and find out their best and worst parts of being an understudy, what it’s like to prepare for the roles, and guess how many roles an understudy can prepare for in one show while keeping the characters straight! Plus, for one of the actors, being an understudy for Black Coffee has become a family experience.

Click to watch Jessica Ziegelbauer, Nick Watson, Teri Lee Thomas, and Bill Johns share their experience.

Black Coffee is playing July 13 – August 13th on Taproot’s Jewell Mainstage.  

STAFF SPOTLIGHT: Meet Taproot’s New Box Office Manager and Patron Service Manager

Just in time for Black Coffee, Taproot is thrilled to announce two new staffing changes. You may already be familiar with Kit Kidder-Mostrom, the former box office lead. Kit has stepped into the role of box office manager, replacing Kristi Matthews who has taken another position in the Taproot team. Also, Scott Zenreich is the new patron services manager (don’t worry, Jenny Cross is still at Taproot, in another position!), and among his many roles, he is bringing some exciting new changes to concessions. Here’s an introduction from both Scott and Kit.

Kit Kidder-MostromKit Kidder-Mostrom

Hi there! I’m Kit (that’s short for Christopher). I’m the new(-ish) Box Office Manager. I moved from Chicago to the Greenwood neighborhood of Seattle back in 2019, just in time for the world to shut down for a couple of years. When things started to get back to normal, I looked to get back into the world of theatre, and I found a theatrical home not far from my residential one. Many of you have spoken me over the last few months while I was the Box Office Lead. Meeting Taproot’s audience members and being able to provide helpful information and great customer service while spreading the joy of our shows is what I look forward to most in this position.

Scott ZenreichScott Zenreich

Hello, my name is Scott.  I moved to Seattle mid-pandemic from Dallas, where I spent the last decade working at several wonderful theatre companies.  I am excited to be the new Patron Services Manager at Taproot, thinking about different ways to enhance the theatergoing experience.  You’ll notice some changes in concessions right away; we decided to carry some delicious PNW-made snacks and drinks.  I also work with the ushers and house managers at the theatre, and I’m constantly thinking of ways to engage with local businesses in our community.  I look forward to seeing you for a play (and maybe serving you a drink) soon!

ART SPOTLIGHT: Hens and Heath: Prints from Davidson Galleries

Tied to the English country home setting of Black Coffee, Hens and Heath showcases paintings by Tacoma’s Marit Berg, among British artists.

Art from Hens and Heath ExhibitDuring the run of Agatha Christie’s Black Coffee, it is thrilled to showcase the work of Tacoma’s Marit Berg, among several British artists, in its Kendall Central Lobby in a complementary art exhibit called Hens and Heath, which ties into the English country home setting of the play.

“The setting for Agatha Christie’s Black Coffee is the country home of the Amory family in Abbot’s Cleve, a fictional location outside of London, writes the exhibit’s curator, Gina Cavallo, who is also Taproot’s Director of Development. “The mere mention of a home in the English countryside brings to mind idyllic oak-lined rural roads, hens in the garden, and floral abundance in graceful greenhouses. Artists, particularly printmakers, have long captured the delicate beauty of a natural world in which humans have carefully curated scenery to illicit both awe and peaceful contemplation.”

The prints in this exhibition were selected to capture the feeling of visiting this type of landscape: the quiet solitude of a country walk, the simple pleasure of gardening, the reverence of an historic church in the mist. Though the artists are not all English, the works speak to what we think of as the elements that make up a setting like Abbot’s Cleve.

Marit Berg is a Tacoma-based artist and tenured professor at Tacoma Community College. Her images explore the natural world, ecology, and ancient myths. In her own words, she “is interested in the delicate balance of life within the natural world, the relationships between species, and how animals develop traits to thrive in their habitats.”

Phil Greenwood is a Welsh printmaker whose etchings and aquatints reflect the quietude of British landscapes while not always relating to any specific place. His primary focus is on the atmosphere exemplified by the landscape. He has shown throughout Wales and internationally since the 1960s.

British artist, Martin Mitchell, similarly brings to life detailed landscapes through the subtle, tonal beauty of mezzotint. Producing works without nostalgia or sentimentality, he has exhibited throughout Great Britain and abroad. In speaking to his approach, he states “For me art is combining the aesthetics of the image and the dexterity of the craft skills of the artist.”

English wood engraver, Geri Waddington’s, works are hand-printed on a Victorian hand press. She began engraving in 1995 and is an active member of the Society of Wood Engravers and the Royal Academy. Her use of wood engraving reflects her passion for a process that offers “clarity and ‘sparkle’ unmatched in other media, the equivalent of ‘drawing with light’.”

Art from Hens and Heath ExhibitAll works on display are on loan from Davidson Galleries in downtown Seattle. All inquiries for the purchase of prints should be directed to manager Rebecca McDonald at rebecca@davidsongalleries.com or 206.624.7684. Davidson Galleries handles contemporary, modern, and antique artworks on paper, including the work of hundreds of exceptional artists. Their website is DavidsonGalleries.com. 

Next on the Jewell Mainstage: A Night with the Russells: The Legacy of Us

A Night with the Russells: The Legacy of Us

Playing on the Jewell Mainstage September 21 – October 22, 2022
Stories and songs performed by Faith Bennett Russell, Be Russell, and Sarah Russell

An evening of laughter, love, and unrelenting joy! Seattle’s own Sarah, Be, and Faith Bennett Russell carry on their family’s legacy as storytellers, while celebrating their individual journeys as Black female artists. From their roots in Jamaica to their home in Seattle, this cabaret is filled with songs both new and old. Bring your tissues and party-poppers and prepare to leave with a song in your heart.


Subscribers get a $7 discount on additional single ticket purchases to A Night with the Russells: The Legacy of Us.

An exclusive event for Taproot Subscribers!

2023 Season Sneak Peek

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2023 Season Subscriber Sneak Peek
August 8, 2022 at  7:00 PM
at Taproot Theatre

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