Category Archives: Behind The Scenes

VIDEO: The Wolf and The Witch Preview!

What’s The Wolf and the Witch? What’s so great about fairy tales? Meet two of our cast members and hear about the 2014 run – and what to expect from 2015 – in this short preview video.

The Wolf and the Witch is SET’s improvised fairy tale production for the whole family, returning Saturdays September 5 – 19 at 2PM at Theatre Off Jackson in Seattle.

Tickets $15 at (student and senior pricing available.) Join our merry band of players this Saturday!

The Examiner interviews “Where No Man…” cast

Rosemary Jones with the Seattle branch of the Examiner took some time this holiday season to interview two of our original “Where No Man Has Gone Before” cast members. Nicholas Schell and Cheryl Platz reminisce about favorite suggestions, venues, and life in a Starfleet uniform.

What’s the easiest or hardest part of playing those iconic 1960s characters?
Platz: There’s very little easy about the Original Series uniforms, actually. It’s amazing how short those skirts were, even then! The official term for TOS female crew uniforms was “skant,” which is oddly appropriate. But I’m strangely proud to wear the crew uniform.

Schell: The captain’s log at the beginning of most episodes. It’s difficult not to plan when you know you are going to make the first offer. I have to concentrate on clearing my mind and just start talking. Since that is Kirk’s MO in a nutshell, everything after that point is easier.

Platz: The most challenging part of these performances is combining the suggestions with all that we know about how our characters and their peers acted in the existing series. As much as possible, we try to honor the canon, watching and re-watching episodes to keep our memories fresh. In this set of performances, I’m playing the helmswoman, so I’ve been watching any episode I can find to study Sulu’s technique and vocabulary.

To read the whole article on, click here.

“Where No Man Has Gone Before” will be performing their hit improvised Star Trek parody at Theatre Off Jackson in Seattle Thursday Jan 8 (Tonight!) through Sunday January 11, 2015. Tickets are $15 online or $18 at the door (if available.) To buy tickets, click here.

Our Fairy Tales #3 (The Wolf and the Witch)

The Wolf and the Witch, our world premiere improvised fairy tale show, runs October 3 – 12 at the Ballard Underground and tickets are onsale now ($12 advance purchase.) Click here to buy tickets at Brown Paper Tickets!

The cast of “The Wolf and the Witch” is writing their own original fairy tales as part of the rehearsal process. Story #1 was “The Tale of Hubert and Pooch” by Cheryl Platz, and Story #2 was “Sharing isn’t Caring” by Chris Wong.

Christine models some costume pieces at an early fitting

Christine models some costume pieces at an early fitting

Today’s story comes to us from Christine Riippi, whose debut with Seattle Experimental Theater was alongside Chris and Cheryl in “Wedding Horror Stories” in Summer 2013. Christine’s challenge was to write a new fairy tale that incorporated elements of several other familiar tales.

The Tale of Sisters Robin Hoode and Peeta Pann

by Christine Riippi

Once upon a time there were two sisters: Robin Hoode and Peeta Pann. While there were twins by birth, they could not be more different in demeanor and values. Robin Hoode was a brave, clever girl while Peeta Pann favored a life of playtime, yearning to stay set in her childish, flighty ways forever.

The girls lived with their grandmother in a cottage, deep in the Neverneverhamm Woods. Grandmother had recently fallen ill and was bedridden. As she grew more ill, the girls were afraid they would lose her for good. They decided to venture into town for help. The girls gathered up the last five gold coins they had and kissed Grandmother on the forehead. Before they left, Grandmother told them, “Stay on the path to the village, no matter what temptations you see. The forest is property of Sherriff Hooksby – villagers are allowed to stay on the path but those who venture off dissappear into the forest and do not return. When you have reached the village, ask for the apothecary, Jeannie Lampe. Give her the golden coins and she will give you three magical healing vials. And remember, stay on the path.”

The girls left their house and headed out into the wilderness. They had only been gone twenty steps when Peeta saw a rabbit hopping through the bushes. Peeta – not remembering Grandmother’s words of warning – darted off the dirt path and straight into the woods, laughing and calling after the rabbit. “Peeta! No!” exclaimed Robin, running after her, far off the path.

The sisters soon found themselves alone and surrounded by the dark woods. Suddenly, a looming figure appeared in sillouhette between the trees.

“It is against the law to enter the forest of Sherriff Hooksby!” a low, booming voice called out, “And now, you must pay the price.”

“We did not mean to offend, Sir,” Robin replied, holding the shaking Peeta behind her.
“No one ever means to offend. But nevertheless, you disobeyed the law. And if you wish to escape with your lives, you must do something for me.”
“What do you want?” Robin asked. The figure held up an arm, which was shaped like a giant hook.
“Many years ago I was cursed in this forest. I am not able to leave until this burden is gone. Bring me the three magical healing vials from Jeannie Lampe and I will allow you to leave my forest unharmed.”
“But what of our ill Grandmother-”
“She will die.”
“Robin,” Peeta whispered so the figure wouldn’t hear her, “If we just say yes, we will get to leave anyway. We can tell him yes, then go get the vials and keep them for ourselves.”
“But that wouldn’t be honest, Peeta – that’s not right,” Robin said. Peeta rolled her eyes.
“What does he know?! Come on – one little lie won’t hurt anyone,” Peeta raised her voice, “We’ll do it!”
“We have a deal,” the figure answered, “Now – my insurance.” And with a crack of thunder, Peeta was gone and Robin stood alone.
“When you’ve returned with my vials, you’ll have your sister back.”

Robin ran from the woods as fast as she could and did not stop until she saw the lights of the village ahead. She ran through the village gates and immediately began searching for Jeannie Lampe. She spent hours running up and down the streets of the village, asking everyone she met where to find Jeannie Lampe, but no one knew. It was growing dark and Robin was feeling defeated, when she finally saw a little cart with a merchant in the distance.

“Excuse me, do you know of Jeannie Lampe?” she asked the merchant. The kindly old man held up a small, golden lamp in response.

“Here you are: the last of the genuine Jeannie Lampes. Three healing vials guaranteed to cure any ailment you may have,” he said proudly. Robin spied several other lamps in the cart that looked exactly like the one he held.

“If that is the last one, what are those?” she asked.

“Oh, those are impressions,” he said knowingly, “To make people believe they are receiving the magical healing elixir, when actually it is a sleeping potion.” Robin considered this for a moment – what if she were to bring two lamps and trick the figure into believing he had been cured? Then she and Peeta could return to Grandmother with the actual elixirs. But then again, she made the promise. She knew to do anything else was not just or fair. For that was not the deal they had made and she would not risk Peeta’s life over what could only be a risky game. Robin looked at the merchant and stated matter-of-factly, “I’ll take the last of the Jeannie Lampes.”

The merchant looked at her in amazement. “Are you sure?” he asked, with a twinkle in his eye. “Yes,” Robin stated firmly, and held out the gold coins. He laughed, “Brave girl.”

With the lamp in hand, Robin ran back to the woods, frantically calling out to her sister, until she found herself in the deepest, darkest part of the forest. The figure appeared to her again.

“Do you have the Jeannie Lampe?” it asked. Robin held up the lamp, then set it out in front of her.
“Is it the real lampe?” the figure asked.
“Yes . . . Of course,” Robin replied, tentatively. Slowly, the figure began emerging from the trees, heading towards Robin and the lamp. As he approached, Robin could begin to make out a face . . . a familiar face. She realized she was standing in front of the merchant.
“How did you . . . I don’t understand,” Robin said. The merchant laughed knowingly.
“I am Sheriff Hooksby and you my dear, have demonstrated a great deal of bravery and fairness. You protected your sister and kept your word; not breaking a promise, no matter the cost.” The merchant opened the lamp and handed the vials to Robin.
“Your reward for your bravery and honesty.” Robin smiled with a sigh of relief.
“Thank you,” she said, then asked, “And my sister?”
“She is waiting at the cottage with your Grandmother, who will surely not die.”

Robin thanked the merchant again and turned to head out of the forest, when she heard him call back to her again: “Remember, Robin – those who place honesty, bravery, and fairness above all will be rewarded.”

The End

Are you enjoying our original fairy tales? You’ll love seeing us create new ones live! Just days until the premiere of “The Wolf and the Witch”. Shows run October 3 – 12; click here to buy advance tickets.

Our Fairy Tales #2 (The Wolf and the Witch)

The Wolf and the Witch, our world premiere improvised fairy tale show, runs October 3 – 12 at the Ballard Underground and tickets are onsale now ($12 advance purchase.) Click here to buy tickets at Brown Paper Tickets!

The cast of “The Wolf and the Witch” is writing their own original fairy tales as part of the rehearsal process. Story #1 was “The Tale of Hubert and Pooch” by Cheryl Platz – if you missed it, check it out!

ChrisWongToday’s story comes from Chris Wong, whose first show with Seattle Experimental Theater was “Wedding Horror Stories” in the summer of 2013. Here’s what Chris had to say about the inspiration for his story:

This was inspired by a story from a young gentleman who was visiting Pike Place Market. He was asked to speak of a time he got into trouble as a child and recounted a story of how he was forbidden from picking apples from his grandfather’s tree, but, being mischievous, knocked down all the apples with a baseball bat when his grandfather wasn’t home one day, and was beaten up by his grandfather as punishment for it.

Sharing isn’t Caring

Chris Wong

Once upon a time there was a young boy who lived with his mean, old grandfather. The boy’s father and mother had passed away when he was very young, leaving him alone in the world, but for the grandfather, who every day would scold him and threaten to beat him. The boy, alone and weak, had not a friend in the world. Beyond that, they were very poor.

However, one day, the grandfather came home with a magic seed and demanded that the boy make himself useful and plant it. The boy did so, and every day, without fail, watered and nurtured the seed until it soon began grew into a beautiful apple tree. As the boy soon discovered, this was no ordinary apple tree – it was a magic tree that could speak to him and speak it did, telling the boy, “My apples have no seeds, but gold coins at their center! These apples are my gift to you and I will bear them as long as I so shall live on one condition – that you only use the apples which fall from my branches and never the ones which still hang from my limbs.”

The boy excitedly told his grandfather of this fantastic news, which finally brought happiness to the grandfather’s life. From that day forward, every day, the boy would collect the apples that fell to the ground and the grandfather would slice them open, collecting the gold coins within and using them to provide for the family. They were by no means wealthy, but were finally able to get by with their newfound source of income. Better yet, the boy finally had a friend and every day, he and the apple tree would spend hours chatting away. The boy often wished he could be as strong and sturdy as the tree and the tree wished he could travel and see the world as the boy did, as the tree was unable to move, being forever rooted to the ground. However, through thick and thin, they had each other.

Until one day, as the boy and the tree were relaxing as they usually did, the boy noticed someone he had never noticed before – a young, very beautiful girl. She was very thin and looked in need of a meal. The boy, excited to finally have another friend, asked the girl what he could do to impress her. The girl replied that she was very hungry and could the boy spare but a few apples from the tree. The boy attempted to offer her the apples that had fallen to the ground, but the girl insisted that she only wanted the fresh apples which still hung from the tree’s branches. The boy, overcome with excitement, reached for his knife and was about to cut the apples from the tree, when the tree piped up, reminding the boy that he was only to use the apples that fell to the ground, but never to cut the apples from the branches. The boy, remembering their deal, sadly informed the girl that he could not offer her the unfallen apples. The girl, in a huff, stormed off.

However, the next day, the girl again walked by, and again drew the boy’s attention. Again, she repeated her request and again rebuffed the boy’s offer of the apples from the ground. Again, the boy drew his knife, only to be reprimanded by the tree, and again the boy denied the girl’s request.

This continued day after day, week after week, and as the girl grew thinner and thinner, the boy’s resolve began to wane. Finally, one day, he could stand it no more, and when the girl requested the apples from the tree, he drew his knife and began to cut the apples. The tree began wailing in despair and the forest animals – birds, squirrels, and raccoons – also begged the boy to stop. Yet, he continued to hack and slash at the tree’s branches until he had cut all of the apples from the branches. The boy offered the apples to the girl, who greedily snatched them all up. However, she did not eat them, but began to break them open, collecting the gold coins and tossing the remains aside. As she did so, her form began to change, and the boy, too late, realized she was not a young, hungry girl, but an evil greedy witch who had disguised herself in order to take advantage of the boy’s kindness. The boy demanded the return of the coins, but the witch, in a puff of smoke, vanished. As the boy turned back to apologize to the tree, he was horrified to see that the tree had begun to decay and rot. Within seconds, despite the boy’s pleadings, the tree had crumbled to dust, heartbroken at the boy’s betrayal of their deal.

The boy found himself again alone and friendless. Worse yet, when his grandfather returned home and realized what had happened, his kindness again vanished and he beat the boy mercilessly with his cane. The boy, still weak and never becoming as strong as his friend, the tree, lay helplessly, learning his lesson about trusting strangers from that day forward.

The End

Stay tuned for more original fairy tales from our cast members, backstage insights, and updates! Less than 2 weeks until you’ll be able to watch this cast creating new fairy tales live in “The Wolf and the Witch”. Shows run October 3 – 12; click here to buy advance tickets.

Our Fairy Tales #1 (The Wolf and the Witch)

The Wolf and the Witch, our world premiere improvised fairy tale show, runs October 3 – 12 at the Ballard Underground and tickets are onsale now ($12 advance purchase.) Click here to buy tickets at Brown Paper Tickets!

Rehearsals for our new production “The Wolf and the Witch” are in full swing, and to get the cast in the right frame of mind, director Tony Beeman asked the cast to interview tourists in the Pike Place Market and to write brand new fairy tales based on the inspiration the cast found there. As a fun look behind the scenes, our next series of posts will include some of these fairy tales penned by the cast themselves!

WolfWitch_AuroraSolo_TightCropFirst up: Cheryl Platz, a SET veteran who has appeared in Where No Man Has Gone Before, The Journal and Wedding Horror Stories. She had this to say about her inspiration:

“In the Market, Dan and I spoke with a nice older gentleman who shared a story from his past, of a beloved girl dog named Pooch, who was unloved by his father, and who ran away causing some heartbreak and a few surprises along the way. Eleven surprises, actually. I took some creative liberties, of course, but his love for Pooch shines through with a slightly happier ending.”

The Tale of Hubert & Pooch

by Cheryl Platz

Once upon a time, there was a young prince named Hubert. Hubert’s father, King Reginald, was a cold and unsympathetic man. When Hubert’s mother was still alive, she gave the little prince a puppy that he named Pooch.

While Hubert loved Pooch dearly, Hubert’s father hated Pooch because Pooch was not pureborn, as befits a royal prince. Sadly, when Hubert was 10, his mother passed away, and Pooch became his last living reminder of his mother’s love. So while King Reginald did not like Pooch, he did not force Hubert and Pooch to separate.

Each morning, Hubert and Pooch would wake up, eat breakfast, and head outdoors to play in the meadow. While in the meadow, the two would play fetch and tag. Pooch was very popular with other dogs passing through the meadow, too. To Hubert, this made sense – as a royal family, they always received gifts from visitors. Why not his dog, too?

But one sunny morning, Pooch’s breakfast went cold, and Hubert wept bitterly at the dining table. Where had Pooch gone? Surely this must be his father’s doing. Hubert knew how much the King disliked Pooch. When Hubert told his father about Pooch’s disappearance, he replied, “Surely Pooch has run away to spend more time with dogs and people suitable for a mutt. You must learn to live without her.”

Hubert was inconsolable. The meadow seemed a lonely place. And Hubert was sure his father must have had something to do with the disappearance. Pooch loved Hubert! He – wait, did the King call Pooch a she? That was odd.

King Reginald, while a generally cold man, did love his son and it made him sad to see Hubert so sad. A few days later, the King gave Hubert the shiny red wagon he had been asking for. But the King didn’t know that the wagon was supposed to be for Pooch to ride in, and it only made Hubert sadder for a time.

Weeks went by and Hubert reluctantly began to believe what his father told him – despite what his heart told Hubert, Pooch must have left him for good. One afternoon, Hubert moped about the back gardens of the castle when he heard a strange whimpering noise. He looked all around, but he was the only one in the backyard. What could that sound be? Invaders? He grabbed his toy wooden sword and advanced on the source of the sound.

He eventually tracked the sound down to a crevice underneath the back stairs. Hubert got on his knees, sword clutched, to see what was there – it was a small wriggling thing, no, three, four – seven – eleven small wriggling things! Good thing he had learned to count. Eleven small wriggling things and… Hubert’s heart burst with joy when he realized the small wriggling things were climbing upon his very own Pooch!

After the joy cleared, there were a few moments of confusion while Hubert came to terms with the fact that Pooch was a girl – and a mommy of eleven adorable puppies.

Needless to say, King Reginald was nonplussed to hear of Pooch’s recovery. He insisted that feeding eleven puppies would drive the kingdom into bankruptcy. Hubert had never heard of bankruptcy, but it had many syllables so he assumed it was something very bad, like insubordination. His father used that word a lot too.

But Hubert wasn’t going to let down Pooch in her hour of need. He loaded Pooch and her puppies into the red wagon and marched all the way down to the village. There, he introduced the villagers to Pooch and collected food scraps to feed Pooch and her puppies. After a long day, Pooch looked happy and her puppies slept with full tummies.

The next morning, King Reginald awoke to a stack of letters from villagers impressed with the kingdom’s new puppies. It seems that Hubert’s little visit did not go unnoticed. In particular, a visiting duke in disguise was so enamored with Pooch that he offered to adopt Pooch and all of her puppies in exchange for his daughter’s future hand in marriage.

Relieved, King Reginald decided to send Pooch away for the good of the kingdom. But Hubert was allowed to visit. After all, he was engaged to Pooch’s new Princess! In a few years, Hubert and the princess were married – and their combined kingdoms were wealthy enough to provide for Pooch’s puppies and her grandpuppies. And so it was that Hubert learned to trust his heart, and one little mutt brought two big kingdoms together.

The End

Stay tuned for more original fairy tales from our cast members, backstage insights, and updates! Less than 2 weeks until you’ll be able to watch this cast creating new fairy tales live in “The Wolf and the Witch”. Shows run October 3 – 12; click here to buy advance tickets.