WORLD PREMIERE: Time’s Arrow (October 2016)

Time’s Arrow

People Pass Through. Spaces Remain.

teaserSeattle, Wa— Seattle Experimental Theater is proud to present its original improvised play, Time’s Arrow.

The old jail that might be haunted. The house that has housed three generations of a family. The local restaurant that was the site of a bank robbery in the 1940s. What ghosts are you walking through? The spaces around us are rich with history defined by wonderful, terrible, forgettable, sublime individual and collective experiences, yet we exist in them for only one moment at a time.

Time’s Arrow invites you to take a walk through the spaces of the past. Every performance, Time’s Arrow uses stories from the audience to explore the layers of life piled in a single location. Every performance will be completely improvised and unique, based on that evening’s stories from the audience.

Time’s Arrow is created and directed by Elizabeth Brammer.


Performances are October 13, 14, 15, 20, 21 and 22 at 8pm
at the Ballard Underground.
(2220 NW Market Street, Lower Level; Seattle, WA 98107)

Tickets are $20 at the door or $18 online. Advance tickets available at


Press Release

For Press Comps, please email Jeannine Clarke at

July 28, 2016
For Immediate Release
Kill Date: October 23, 2016
Media Contact: Jeannine Clarke (

Download the Time’s Arrow Press Release

Time’s Arrow: Behind the Scenes with Christine Riippi

Time’s Arrow CLOSES this weekend – see it Oct 20, 21 and 22 at 8PM at the Ballard Underground in Seattle. Tickets available at Brown Paper Tickets.

Christine Riippi first performed with Seattle Experimental Theater in the cast of 2013’s “Wedding Horror Stories”, followed by “The Wolf and the Witch” (2014/2015). She is now appearing in Time’s Arrow through October 22, and shared her thoughts below on the experience and the show through her mother’s eyes.

“My Mom Liked It!” by Christine Riippi

A couple months ago, I saw an audition posting for Seattle Experimental Theater’s newest show, “Time’s Arrow”. Along with the usual time, date, and contact information, there was a brief description of the show: “The spaces around us are full of history and potential; haunted by ghosts and gilded by dreams. Halls and streets and fields are rich with meaning defined by wonderful, terrible, forgettable, and sublime individual and collective experiences, yet we exist in them for only one moment at a time.” Well, that sounded incredibly interesting, intense, and slightly wacky. And like nothing I had ever seen on stage, especially in an improvised show. So I signed up and hoped to find out a little more about this mysterious “Time’s Arrow”.

Fast forward to Opening Night. My mom was to attend and I was explaining the premise of the show to her as we carpooled to the Ballard Underground. As a dedicated supporter of my improv habit, she has been to her share of shows where the performers do not memorize lines. Not every show has stuck the landing (“It was fun, but I liked ‘Wicked’ – remember ‘Wicked’? She flew!”), and now know to brief her before each show so she will know what to expect.


Christine Riippi (L) and Sarah Scheller (R) in SET’s world premiere production of “Time’s Arrow”.

“So it’s a time travel show?” she asked.
“Sort of,” I answered, “But more like time-hopping. There’s no time machine or anything like that.”
“And you stay in the same place?”
“Yeah, we show big moments and events that happen in the same space, but it’s at any point in time. They might overlap, but they might not. So you could see when the place was built, or when it burned down, or when the space aliens invaded in the year 3046.”
“And you make it up as you go?” (A classic question, familiar to any improviser.)

I do not know if my explanation was satisfactory or if it just confused her more. But this is improv; I have no idea what it is going to be “about” until we are in it. Luckily, the show went off without a hitch. The audience did not leave and nobody threw perishables at the performers, so I counted it as a win. When I found my mom after the show, I asked, “What’d you think?” Her answer delighted me: “That was one of the best shows I’ve seen!”

Okay, I know what you’re thinking. I am her daughter and she loves me and wouldn’t tell me anything other than good things. Maybe you’re right. But then she went on to compliment specific moments in the show and characters she liked, plus shared her ideas on what she thought might have happened in the location during the specific time periods we didn’t portray in the show. She even added, “I’m going to come back next weekend – I want to suggest the place!”

For the remainder of the weekend we enjoyed lovely audiences, including a group of fearless souls who braved Seattle’s Storm of the Century on Saturday night. Over the course of three days, we explored a parsonage in the Cayman Islands, the original tasting room at the Jack Daniel’s distillery in Tennessee, and saw several versions of Seattle’s own Salty’s on Alki. We created moments of adventure, sadness, romance, terror, and even a little whimsy, all occurring throughout the life of the location.

This show is a reminder that we are merely a brief chapter in the story of the places around us. We are just passing through. After this weekend, the show will be closed, but it will exist in time as a part of the story of Seattle Experimental Theater and the Ballard Underground. Even after weeks of rehearsals and several performances, “Time’s Arrow” is still like nothing I have ever seen or participated in onstage. The best way to understand what we’re creating and doing up there, is to come by and see it. It is wonderfully original, not to mention entertaining. But don’t take my word for it. Just ask my mom. She’ll be there on Saturday night.



Congratulations to the cast of Time’s Arrow for a successful opening weekend, even in the face of a tumultuous weather weekend! One of our audience members submitted a lovely review on Goldstar – check it out and then grab your tickets for this week’s final 3 performances at Thursday-Saturday, Oct 20, 21, and 22 at 8PM in the Ballard Underground.

From Goldstar Reviewer:
Wasn’t sure what to expect … first time at improv theater. Plain stage with couple of boxes; wet bar with some good whiskeys and decent white wine with the white wine going for $3; decent chairs. OK by me.

Topic was a parsonage on the Grand Cayman Island (from a audience member suggestion) and then one hour of improv. Highlight was (must have googled Grand Cayman) skinny bespectacled Bartholomew courting the governor’s daughter in competition with a British sea captain (Grand Cayman is a British Protectorate) and finally disclosing his true identity as the notorious pirate Black Bart (real historical Caribbean Pirate) winning the girl in a swordfight.

Sorry you missed it with the theater 1/3 full (could have been the storm warning over Seattle) as this particular play will never be seen again.

But the creative minds are still there awaiting your suggestion for the evening’s theme. Suggest you attend this affordable delight.


PHOTOS: Time’s Arrow

This gallery contains 8 photos.

Production photos from Time’s Arrow (2016). People pass through. Spaces remain. A world premiere improvised play debuting Oct 13-22 at the Ballard Underground in Seattle. Tickets available at

Time’s Arrow: Behind the Scenes with Tony Beeman

Tony Beeman is a SET veteran (The Doctor, Where No Man Has Gone Before) who rejoins us in the cast of Time’s Arrow. Below, he shares his thoughts on being a part of this truly unique world premiere production.

Time’s Arrow runs October 13 – 22 at the Ballard Underground – 6 performances only. Get tickets now at today!

I grew up in East Tennessee, along the Clinch River, where the earth would give up a lot of arrowheads each spring. A friend of the family gave me one of those arrowheads: a quartz arrowhead from the banks of the river, crafted by unknown tribes which had populated the area long before the Shawnee or Cherokee. I remember holding the chipped quartz in my ten-year-old hand and imagining the men and women who must have stood exactly where I was standing all those years ago. How they stood, what they wore, what they were doing. Who they loved. How they lived and how they died.

Time’s Arrow, created by director Elizabeth Brammer, and produced by Seattle Experimental Theater, is a show about an arrow of another sort. It opens this Thursday, and of the hundred-some shows I’ve performed in, it’s already among my favorites. The show explores a fixed place on Earth, while jumping through time. In 1972, a teenager storms out of the dining room, and collapses into a chair that stands where we just watched a 1790’s settler bury her own daughter. In 2173, our descendants argue water as dust sweeps across the landscape. In 1870, two conferderate deserters plan a doomed heist as they hide away in the settler’s now-abandoned shack.

Tony Beeman and Sarah Scheller at tech rehearsal for "Time's Arrow".

Tony Beeman and Sarah Scheller at tech rehearsal for “Time’s Arrow”.

We are surrounded by the ghosts of what has been and what will be. And while the characters are unable to break out of that arrow’s path, the audience escapes that velocity, and witnesses the past, present and future simultanously. It’s a sometimes funny, sometimes sad love song to places, with the dusty smell of old bookstores, the lit spark of future possibilities, and the comfortable air of a present that keeps slipping away. We’ve had a great time rehearsing the show, and are incredibly excited to invite an audience to participate in the journey!

Time’s Arrow opens Thursday, October 13th, and plays for two weeks on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at the Ballard Underground. Advance tickets available at Brown Paper Tickets.


AUDITIONS: As You Wish (Coming February 2017)

Audition Announcement for Seattle Experimental Theater’s production of As You Wish

Seattle Experimental Theater will be holding auditions November 6, 2016 from 12pm to 4pm for its latest original improv show, As You Wish, an improvised parody inspired by The Princess Bride. The show is directed by Paul Levy.


February 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, and a special Valentine’s Day Performance February 14th at 8pm at the Theatre Off Jackson.


Saturdays and Sundays January 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, & 28 in Seattle.
Tech dates are January 29, and two of the three days between January 30-February 1st.


Improvisers will receive a $70 stipend ($10 a show) for participation in this production.

Auditions will be one day only, on November 6, from 12pm-4pm in Seattle. For an audition spot, please email with your name, resume and headshot. Please plan to stay for the entire four hours. The time will be broken up into explanation of the show, auditions and callbacks.


As You Wish is supported by a small cast of improvisers that are willing to take risks, play, and ultimately have fun together telling a love story. The cast requires improvisers that are light, playful, and comfortable breaking the rules and inviting the audience along the journey with them – the fourth wall is there to be broken. The As You Wish ensemble cast each has a main role, but will also be used to play supporting characters. Below are the main roles in the show and what is required for each of them.


The Master of Dance (Male/Female)
Seeking revenge for something in the past this accented character is a master of dance and will stop at nothing to avenge the wrong doing of the past. Male or female role, this role requires someone passionate about improvising character accents and improvised dance styles.

The Best Rhymer (Male/Female)
This oddly shaped character won a prize in school for the best rhyming skills. To this day, the Best Rhymer continues to entertain large crowds no matter the style: musical, rap, Dr. Seuss, even Shakespearean verse. Male or female role, this role requires someone passionate about rhyming.

The Only Person Who Dies In The Show (Male/Female)
Master of nothing but full of great ideas, The Only Person Who Dies In The Show is very good at big dramatic deaths. Male or female role this role requires someone who is over dramatic.

The Girl (Female)
Full of heart, The Girl brings heart to the show. She is smart, charming, and wears her heart on a sleeve. This improviser must be comfortable falling in love on stage.

The Boy (Boy)
Full of heart, The Boy is excellent at many things but notably: dancing, rhyming, and loving. Male role, this role requires an improviser who is very comfortable dancing, rhyming, and falling in love.

The Torturer (Male/Female)
About as evil as it gets, The Torturer enjoys others misery. Male or female role, this role requires an improviser who is comfortably being a terrible person.

The Prince (Male)
The Prince is really good a wishing for things that are ridiculous. Focused primarily on himself, The Prince will stop at nothing to get what he wants. Male role, this role requires an improviser who is comfortable caring only about himself and his wants.

The Unemployed Miracle Worker (Male/Female)
Full of delight, energy, and charm The Unemployed Miracle Worker is great at singing and can make even the most depressing of situations come to life. Male or female role, this role requires an improviser who is full of charm, singing, and great at working an audience.