Summer 2021 Newsletter

This past month we've had a lot to celebrate! Our 30th anniversary gala with Freehold community members new and old, bluer skies, and opportunities to come together colored our spring and set the stage for what comes next. With summer officially underway, Freehold has more excitement on the horizon, including the Engaged Theatre production of Auntie Val, returning faculty and new classes this quarter, and opportunities to support space improvements at Freehold. Keep reading to learn more!


Community Spotlight

30th Anniversary Gala: A Retrospective

From 1991 to 2021, Freehold has brought so many people together in the pursuit of art and truth. Last month, we celebrated 30 years at our annual gala. We heard from faculty, staff, Engaged Theatre participants, alum, and more as we reflected on the performances we've cultivated and the community we've built. To hear some of what people shared with and about us, check out the video here!  


The Visual, Cosmic, and Ancestral in Auntie Val

Our past is inseparable from our present. Only through an examination and acknowledgement of those before us can we truly understand ourselves and the communities we inhabit. In Auntie Val, a play written by longtime Artistic Partner and Freehold faculty member Daemond Arrindell for Freehold’s Engaged Theatre Tour, this entanglement of time and history permeates all aspects of production, from costuming to music to acting. The story revolves around the titular Auntie Val, a woman who prioritizes her own sense of control and those in her inner circle but must undergo a transformation to let go and accept the power of her community. The play uses a live score and is inspired by and incorporates elements of Conscious Hip Hop Artists like Killer Mike, Blue Scholars, and A Tribe Called Quest throughout.

To further understand the visual and physical aspects of the play and how they portray the themes of ancestry and community, we sat down with costume designer Ricky German and actor/fight choreographer Treavor Lovelle...... read more

Auntie Val Rehearsals

The cast and crew of Auntie Val have begun rehearsals after a year's postponement due to the pandemic. Over the next few weeks, they will continue to gather to tell a story of ancestry, music, and community — stay tuned for a streamed recording of the production later this summer! To take a sneak peek of the show, click here!


Freehold Class Spotlight

Summer quarter is just beginning; there are still spaces available in some of our classes! If you'd like to attend, check out our course catalog. Please email for any questions about classes or discounted tuition.


Exploring Solo Performance with Marc Kenison - By Elizabeth Dorn

I consider myself a translator of others’ works, a person who likes to render people’s ideas. I have taken Steps I through III, Improv, Rehearsal and Performance, and even the super duper challenging Clown at Freehold.

At the now defunct “Solo Performance Festival” at the Theatre Off Jackson, I saw some of the most innovative, playful and profound theater in “Solo Performance” -- and that stuck in my imagination for years. I hadn’t known theater could have such varied and unique modes of expression. 

When Freehold offered a class in Solo Performance I thought I’d try my hand, despite deeming myself a translator and not a creator. Would I generate anything work working on, let alone worth performing or watching?


Tell the T!: Bringing Truth to Writing and Performance with Gin Hammond

“If I could go back in time and give myself a message, it would be to reiterate that my value as an artist doesn’t come from how much I create. I think that mindset is yoked to capitalism. Being an artist is about how and why you touch people’s lives, even if it’s one person, even if that’s yourself, in the process of art-making.” - Amanda Gorman

Hello Freehold Family! I’ve been invited to share news of my upcoming projects and classes, so here we go. It starts with an intensive directing class I’m taking with Karen Kohlhaas of the Atlantic Theater Company. This directing class has been taught only in NYC, so I’m lucky to be able to take it online and “meet” six other directors from as far north as Toronto and as far south as Sydney, and work with actors who are equally spread throughout the globe. I plan to put these new skills to work this summer when directing a sci-fi audio play with Book-It Repertory Theater entitled Zen and the Art of an Android Beatdown.


TRANSFORM YOUR CRAFT... learning to "live truthfully under imaginary circumstances."

Freehold’s Meisner Progression (based on the work of Constantin Stanislavski, Joseph Chaikin & Sanford Meisner) is a must-take for anyone interested in building a solid foundation as an actor and an artist — it will transform your craft in ways both large and small!

Building on skills acquired in Steps I-III (prerequisites for Meisner), the Foundation, Instrument and Text progression of this 9-month series will introduce students to a toolbox of new and accessible skills that build on and complement each other, culminating in an invited showcase of final scenes at the end of the third quarter.

If you would like to schedule an interview with Robin Lynn Smith to explore the possibility of admission into the program, please email Interviews will be scheduled in 15-minute intervals. Once you schedule an interview, please plan on bringing a resume detailing your theatrical, performance and educational experience and be prepared to speak about why you are interested in participating in the Meisner Progression.


Opportunities to Support Freehold


Take Part in Accessibility Conversations

As part of a broad effort to improve the experience of Freehold's students, guests, and collaborators, we will be holding a community listening session this summer facilitated by accessibility consultants, Studio Pacifica. We would love to hear about your experience to understand the existing barriers and opportunities for making Freehold a more accessible center for the practice of theatre. If you're interested in participating or know someone who should be a part of this conversation, please email


Volunteer at Freehold This Summer!

We're seeking volunteers for various projects at Freehold's home in Chinatown/International District! Later this summer we'll have some (small) work parties doing painting, library organizing, and similar tasks to get our space back in shape for more in-person classes this fall. As a small staff, we rely on volunteers for all kinds of tasks including brochure distribution, stuffing envelopes for mailings, IT knowledge, and event support and these opportunities will continue to arise as reopening expands. Get on the list to learn more by emailing


Upcoming Events

Spoken Word Invited Performance

Thursday, June 24th, 6:30pm, online

Join us on Thursday, June 24th, for a series of poems developed by our Spring 2021 Spoken Word students! Led by the incredible Daemond Arrindell, students have explored the illumination of beauty and joy amidst tragedy while finding, developing, and refining their own voices. Register here.


Open Mic

Friday, June 25th, 7PM, online

Have a 5 minute performance you'd like to share? Bring your best short scene, song, stand-up routine, story, or other performance piece for our monthly open mic hosted by the inimitable Matt Smith! Register here.

PLEASE NOTE: Freehold Theatre is committed to social justice, equity, diversity and inclusion, and material presented at our events should reflect those values. Racist, misogynistic and transphobic content will not be tolerated.


Happy Pride!

Throughout the month of June, we've been highlighting members of the LGBTQ+ community who have found their home and voices in theatre. Check them out on our Instagram! If you're looking for Pride activities in the city for the next two weeks or organizations to learn more about, check out Virtual Pride this weekend, the Trans Women of Color Solidarity Network, and more.



Freehold Theatre Lab/Studio
517 Maynard Ave S  | Seattle, Washington 98104
2063237499 |

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