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SEPTEMBER 20 – OCTOBER 21, 2023
Previews: September 20 & 21 at 7:30pm
Opening Night: September 22 at 8pm
Pay What You Can: September 27 at 7:30pm
Sat Mat: 2pm
Length: Approx. 1 3/4 hours, including one 15-minute intermission
Age Recommendation: 14+ (children under 5 are never admitted)
Sensitivity Warning: Use of inoperable rifle seen on set; strong language.
Read the digital Encore program in advance.
This fall, Taproot Theatre and The Hansberry Project present the world premiere production of Last Drive to Dodge by Seattle playwright Andrew Lee Creech. Last Drive to Dodge is directed by Valerie Curtis-Newton, the Founding Artistic Director for The Hansberry Project, which is a professional Black theatre company dedicated to the artistic exploration of African American life, history and culture. The show opens on September 22, 2023 and runs through October 21, 2023.
Prophet and Ro are chasing dreams faintly whispered on the wind that sweeps the dusty Texas plain, where ranching is brutal work and change is on the horizon. Set at the end of the Cowboy Golden Age, Last Drive to Dodge examines race, love, and legacy in a time when everyone is scrambling for their piece of the American Dream.
Valerie Curtis-Newton directs Tim Gouran, Jonelle Jordan, Yusef Seevers, and Dedra D. Woods. Marianna de Fazio, Nik Doner, Esther Okech, and Jarron Williams understudy.
The production team includes Bretteney Beverly, assistant director; Matthew Smucker, scenic design; Melanie Burgess, costume design; Brian Engel, lighting design; Evan Mosher, sound design; Mark Lund, projection design; Kathryn Louise, stage manager; Gin Hammond, dialect coach; and Sonja Lowe, dramaturg.
Tickets are on sale now! Learn more here →
Andrew Lee Creech is an award-winning writer, performer, and content creator, currently based in Seattle, WA. He is the creator of The Legacy Plays Project—a nine-play, multi-century-spanning meditation on the lives and journeys of Black Americans during pivotal moments of American History. Selected Awards & Nominations: 2023-2026 Core Writer—Playwrights’ Center, 2023 Finalist—Seven Devils Playwrights Conference, 2022 Semifinalist—Blue Ink Award, 2021 Winner and 2020 Finalist—Ashland New Plays Festival, 2021 Recipient—Grants for Artists’ Progress Award, 2018 Recipient—4Culture Art Projects Grant, 2018 Gregory Awards People’s Choice Nominee for Outstanding New Play, 2014 Gypsy Rose Lee Award Nominee for Excellence in Performance of a Play as a Supporting Actor.
His plays have been produced with companies including: Seattle Public Theater, Copious Love Productions, and Radial Theater Project, and have been workshopped, developed, and presented with ACT Theatre and more. As a performer, Andrew has been on many major Seattle stages including: Seattle Repertory Theatre, ACT Theatre, Seattle Shakespeare Company, and Seattle Children’s Theatre. As a content creator, under the names “AndrewThaScribe” and “Papadontcreech”, he has built a community of over 90,000 followers across all social media platforms, where he is known for his theatre industry analysis and hit comedy series Breaking News!
Andrew holds a BFA in Theatre from Cornish College of the Arts. He is a proud member of both the Dramatists Guild of America and Actors’ Equity Association. He’s passionate about telling stories which privilege a Black lens, create lead roles for Black actors, and add more Black narratives to the American theatre canon. He’s currently under commission from ACT Theatre and Trial & Error Productions.
Q. What are a few highlights since we last saw you on the Taproot stage?
A. I’ve gotten to work with some amazing artists and perform on more stages around town including ACT, Seattle Public Theater and Arts West to name a few. I was also a book writer and additional lyricist for And So that Happened, produced by The 5th Avenue Theater.
Q. What roles are on your bucket list?
A. Anything by Dominique Morriseau and maybe Rose in Fences by August Wilson
Q. Outside of acting, what else would you like to share about your theatre and creative pursuits?
A. I am passionate about bringing stories of Black life to stage and creating opportunities for historically marginalized people to be seen and celebrated through their artistry. Two years ago I took on the role as Casting Director and my goal is always to bring joy to the work we do and that starts with the audition process while making sure actors feel seen.
Q. You’ve worked with Andrew before, tell us more about that.
A. Andrew and I worked together on my first show here in Seattle, We Are Proud to Present… by Jackie Dribbles-Jury. I had moved here from Los Angeles and was pleasantly surprised by the vibrant theater community. Andrew served as Assistant Director and we instantly hit it off. Last year we got to share the stage in SeattlePublic Theater’s production Pipeline by Dominique Morriseau. He is one of the funniest and smartest people I know. I will always be rooting for him and hope to work on more of his plays.
Q. What’s a question that you wish someone would ask you?
September 8 – October 28, 2023
I was born and raised in Kansas City, Kansas. Our house sat on 5 acres of land in the middle of the city. In the field behind the house, I would spend my summers picking blackberries, climbing trees, and catching fireflies with my sister. On the street in front of our home, we would avoid gangs, police, and all forms of trouble.
I grew up, moved away and started a career as a photographer and designer. As I advanced and got promoted, I was surrounded by fewer and fewer Black people. I developed a case of imposter syndrome, feeling like I didn’t belong and would be discovered as a fraud. One day I was at a party, and the only other Black person there came up and introduced himself. His name was Charles Perry, and he told me he was working on a documentary about Black cowboys. I chuckled, assuming he was kidding. I had seen Black cowboys on TV and in movies, but they were always a joke, like Sheriff Bart in Blazing Saddles. He invited me to come to a Black rodeo in Oklahoma that summer to see for myself. I said sure, it was an opportunity to be around Black people and get away from my desk job.
I showed up at the rodeo arena on a 105° day in August and was stunned to see thousands of Black cowboys. There were young men with braids, gold chains, and Jordans riding horses. I saw women bedazzled from head-to-toe racing quarter horses at 40 miles per hour. Everyone there was kind and willing to share a story and let me take their photo. I met a man named Robert Criff. I asked him where he was from, and he said Kansas City, Kansas. As we talked, I realized he lived on the other side of the 5-acre field from where I grew up. He told me that many of the people at the rodeo travel from Kansas City every year for their family reunions. In this chance encounter, I found a part of my culture I knew nothing about. It changed my definition of home from a place of pain and poverty to a place of pride, grit, and independence.
This began a seven-year journey that has taken me across the country and introduced me to lifelong friends. From rodeos to ranches, I’ve documented the lives of these extraordinary people. This work has shed light on Black cowboy culture, elevating their stories in popular media. I do this work not only to disrupt perceptions but to celebrate this newly found part of my identity.
– Ivan McClellan, photographer
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Ivan McClellan’s photography brings Andrew Lee Creech’s story of Prophet and Ro in Last Drive to Dodge to us directly, here in the 21st century. Looking at Ivan’s breathtaking portraits there is no doubt that the culture, the work, the heart, and the hope that Andrew captures onstage has persevered. The Black cowboy is alive and well and riding still.
All works in the exhibition are available for purchase unless marked by a red dot. Please visit Ivan’s website, https://eightsecs.com/, for more information on his work. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
– Gina Cavallo, Curator & Director of Development, Taproot Theatre
Georgiana Darcy is an accomplished pianist but wary of romance. Kitty Bennet is a bright-eyed optimist and a perfect best friend. These two younger sisters are ready for their own adventures in life and love, starting with the arrival of an admirer and secret correspondent. Meddlesome families and outmoded expectations won’t stop these determined friends from forging their own way in a holiday tale filled with music, ambition, sisterhood, and forgiveness. The third and final play in the trilogy by Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon.
November 22 – December 30, 2023
December 1-23, 2023
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