Photo by Michael Brunk / nwlens.com At center, Reinhard Heydrich of the SS (Christopher Rodriguez) faces off with Dr. Wilhelm Stuckart (Jim Rogers) at far left in “Dr. Kritzinger’s 12 O’Clock,” written by Jim Snowden and playing at Burien Actors Theatre, about the Wannsee meeting in 1942 Germany in which the final solution for the Jews was decided. Looking on are Dr. Josef Buhler (Byron Patten) next to Stuckart and to the right of Heydrich, Adolf Eichmann of the SS (Tim Takechi) and Dr. Rudolf Lange of the SS (Leah Reynolds). The play is being performed May 15-24 as part of the Bill & Peggy Hunt Playwrights Festival of new works at BAT. Information: www.burienactorstheatre.org, 206-242-5180. Tickets just $10. Photo by Michael Brunk / nwlens.com[/caption] [caption id="attachment_86177" align="aligncenter" width="490"]Photo by Michael Brunk / nwlens.com The Seeker (Jane Martin) is thrilled to enter Heaven in the comedy “Four Gone Conclusions: Some Brief Field Trips into the Absurd,” written by Kevin Boze, at Burien Actors Theatre. The play is an absurdist look at life, the afterlife, whales, aliens and more and is being performed May 15-24 as part of the Bill & Peggy Hunt Playwrights Festival of new works at BAT. Information: www.burienactorstheatre.org, 206-242-5180. Tickets just $10. Photo by Michael Brunk / nwlens.com[/caption] [caption id="attachment_86178" align="aligncenter" width="490"]Photo by Michael Brunk / nwlens.com From left to right, German officials Dr. Erich Neumann (Greg Miskin) and Dr. Wilhelm Stuckart (Jim Rogers) talk in “Dr. Kritzinger’s 12 O’Clock,” written by Jim Snowden and playing, at Burien Actors Theatre about the Wannsee meeting in 1942 Germany in which the final solution for the Jews was decided. The play is being performed May 15-24 as part of the Bill & Peggy Hunt Playwrights Festival of new works at BAT. Information: www.burienactorstheatre.org, 206-242-5180. Tickets just $10. Photo by Michael Brunk / nwlens.com[/caption] Review by Alexandra Novotny Photos by Michael Brunk My excitement is heightened when I hear of a theatre producing new works. I have found myself many a time sitting in a seat, waiting for the lights to go down and for something magical to grab me within the first few seconds. I am eager to be entertained, learn something new or purely witness the collaboration of an actor, director, playwright and technical virtuosos. Kudos to Burien Actors Theatre for keeping the spirit of creative cooperation alive by hosting the Bill and Peggy Hunt Playwrights Festival for the past 16 years. “The mission of the Bill and Peggy Hunt Playwrights Festival is twofold: to encourage Washington State playwrights to pursue their craft and to showcase previously unproduced plays written by Washingtonians. Playwrights are invited to submit their scripts, which are evaluated by a panel of judges who select the winners. Burien Actors Theatre (BAT) produces the winning plays in the festival. Top winners in the one-act and full-length script categories are produced as fully staged performances on BAT’s main stage.” The Festival was named to honor Bill and Peggy Hunt’s dedicated service to theater and their devotion to and involvement with BAT. Peggy Hunt joined Burien’s theater scene in 1960. Over the next 35 years both Bill and Peggy appeared in and directed plays, designed and built sets, served on BAT’s Board of Directors, and were involved in some aspect of every theater project. BAT officially launched the Bill and Peggy Hunt Playwrights Festival in 1999. This year, BAT has chosen four playwrights to be honored with awards. In the final two weeks of the four week festival, you will have the opportunity to watch two thought-provoking world premieres. Beginning May 15 and ending May 24, witness the one-act Dr.Kritzinger’s 12 O’Clock, written by Jim Snowden, and the full-length Four Gone Conclusions: Some Brief Field Trips into the Absurd by Kevin Boze. Upon entering the theatre you are greeted with the sounds of German music…not the typical drinking anthems, but that of patriotic German songs that will have you marching down the aisles. Jim Snowden’s Dr.Kritzinger’s 12 O’Clock opens to a crowd of suited dignitaries and two large tables adorned with name tents. At the first “Heil Hitler!” you are jolted into the realization that this is no ordinary meeting. You are transported to January 20, 1942 and the Wannsee Conference containing a dozen of Nazi Germany’s highest-ranking officials. The topic of discussion is an extreme problem, also branded as the “Jewish Question.” What is the problem or question, you contemplate? If you asked the Third Reich at the time, the answer was: the Jewish race and the five million Jews absorbed into the German-occupied Empire. Wilhelm Stuckart (Jim Rogers) enters the scene with sincerity until it is revealed he is the co-author of the Nuremberg Laws from 1935. These laws were devised to protect German blood by banning marriage or fornication between Jews and Germans. Stuckart also favors sterilization of “mixed bloods” in order to have a Jew- free society. The pompous arrogance of the Nazi party is clearly evident with Christopher Rodriguez’ portrayal of Reinhard Heydrich, the chair of the conference and mastermind behind the “Final Solution to the Jewish Question.” Amidst the heartlessness displayed by the majority, there is a sense of compassion in the title character. Dr. Friedrich Wilhelm Kritzinger (Eileen McCann) lends a sympathetic reprieve to the unsettling depiction of a day wrought with decisions to eradicate human life. Notwithstanding the incoherent direction by Gavin McLean, the playwright depicts a subject that is grossly unspeakable to the rational mind, yet authentic in its deliberate message which will leave you questioning anything and everything. In the full-length play Four Gone Conclusions: Some Brief Field Trips into the Absurd by Kevin Boze, you are elevated to a surreal state. Four vignettes endeavor to paint a landscape of hilarity on the evening’s theme of racism, directed by veteran BAT actor Nathaniel Jones and played out by five actors in various roles. In the first scene, an Asian woman (Aimee Decker) walks into the Knights of the White Superior Brotherhood. You can only imagine what ensues. Decker is strong in her petite stature and stands up to Jeff Rowden’s quirky conviction of why she would not fit into their organization. And now for something completely different…Have you ever wondered what God was thinking when woman was created? On Day 6 in the Dawn of Creation, you witness a round table discussion and projected slides of the “ideal” woman evolving from an aquatic mammal. God (Jane Martin), dressed in a crisp white suit and referred to as “Chief”, heads the meeting, eagerly anticipating the 7th Day of Rest. In Coming Out Day, you will think you know where the story is going but are in for a real shocker! Mom (Jane Martin) and Dad (Clayton Michael) have witty chemistry in their misinterpreted calamities with their son (Jeff Rowden). To bookend the evening, see what happens when death comes to the Lobby of the Afterlife in a sequence of eccentric individuals from all walks of their former lives! Kali Greenberg’s cheerful greeting of “Hello and Welcome!” is a delight! Her exuberant energy is palpable and an ideal way to end the evening’s performances. After the shows, you are invited to participate in a talk-back. Please, stay and ask the playwrights and directors questions. Give your honest feedback. This is the perfect platform to discuss these new works, stimulate discussion and honor differing perspectives. Performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m., located at Burien Actors Theatre, 14501 4th Ave. SW, Burien. Tickets are just $10 at the door and include TWO plays. Tickets are available online: www.burienactorstheatre.org – and don’t forget our special $3 off coupon: [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="490"]REVIEW: BAT's Playwrights Fest's final two shows continue through May 24 1 Click image to print coupon.[/caption] The shows are recommended for those aged 13 years and older due to language or mature subject matter. During intermission, check out the concessions/bar and enjoy two show themed cocktails. Dinner and a Show Package: This package includes a two-course meal at the Mark Restaurant & Bar plus a ticket to the show; cost is $25 per person. Contact the Mark at 206-241-6275. Burien Actors Theatre is a nonprofit 501(c) 3 and operates on revenue from ticket sales, donations, grants, sponsorships and volunteers. Visit the website or chat with any volunteer staff member to see how you can help by donating your time or monetary gifts! Festival sponsors include the Mark Restaurant & Bar, 4Culture King County Lodging Tax and the City of Burien.]]>