For the last two years the Broadway Center has organized a weekend-long festival of free events to kick off their season in fall. This year, however, the Free for All is both condensing and expanding, going from one packed weekend into free events every month throughout the performing year. To access the free entry, register for a wristband through the Broadway Centers website, broadwaycenter.org; on the day of the event attendees can just show up and tickets will be on a first-come, first-served basis.
We were investing a tremendous amount of resources into just one weekend, said Broadway director David Fischer, of the change. And we realized that if people couldnt make it that weekend they were missing out. So we spread it all through the year to give people lots of chances to experience great shows for free. I think its goind to be fun, theres a nice variety of things.
Opening Free for All this Friday is Linda Tillery with the Cultural Heritage Choir, opened by Kenyan singer-songwriter Naomi Wachira. Grammy-nominated Tillery is a vocalist, producer, arranger, speaker and self-taught ethnomusicologist whose career centers on the African-American oral song tradition. Along with the Cultural Heritage Choir she sings the story of slavery from the point of view of slaves, who could only express themselves in music. Raised in Kijabe, Kenya, Wachira blends African rhythm with American folk and soul, inspired by artists like Tracy Chapman and Miriam Makeba, to tell the story of an African women living in the diaspora.
7:30 p.m. Sept. 27. Free with wristband. Rialto Theater, 310 S. 9th St., Tacoma. 253-591-5894, broadwaycenter.org
Continuing this weekends Free for All is the annual Double Shot Theater Festival, organized by the Northwest Playwrights Alliance. Named after the two shots of espresso thats the minimum requirement to write a play overnight, the Double Shot pairs playwrights (who stay up all night writing) with directors and actors (who frantically rehearse all the next day) to create an evening of completely new, often hilarious short plays in just 24 hours.
Shows repeat 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. Sept. 28. Free with wristband. Studio III (up the silver elevator from the street), 915 Broadway, Tacoma. 253-591-5894, broadwaycenter.org
Upcoming for Free for All:
Think and Drink: a program bringing thinkers and experts to pubs to create community conversation. Oct. 10 sees technology expert Alex Alben, UPS professor Amy Fisher and KPLU reporter Ashley Gross as moderator in a discussion about how advances in digital technology are affecting our community and culture. 7:30 p.m. Oct. 10 and Dec. 4. Pantages Theater lobby, 901 Broadway, Tacoma.
New Play Readings: Beginning with Reginald Edmunds Southbridge, about a small town murder in 1881, this series is co-produced with the Northwest Playwrights Alliance, with post-show Q&A. 7:30 p.m. Oct. 18, Jan. 17 and May 9. Studio II, 915 Broadway, Tacoma.
Drunken Telegraph: A night of storytelling around a theme or topic announced at the start of the evening. All welcome! 7:30 p.m. Nov. 15 and April 11. Studio III, 915 Broadway, Tacoma.
MuhGrog Zoo: Long-form improv theatre, which goes beyond comedy improv to create spontaneous, meaningful short plays. 7:30 p.m. Feb. 21, March 14 and June 6. Studio III, 915 Broadway, Tacoma.
For more information or to register for wristband, visit broadwaycenter.org
Rosemary Ponnekanti: 253-597-8568 firstname.lastname@example.org