Arts & Culture

Summer drama from indie groups at two Tacoma theaters

Cassie Jo Fastabend, left, as Sara and Emily Cohen as Callie in “Stop Kiss,” by Found Space Productions at Tacoma Little Theatre.
Cassie Jo Fastabend, left, as Sara and Emily Cohen as Callie in “Stop Kiss,” by Found Space Productions at Tacoma Little Theatre. Courtesy

Two local indie theater groups present new plays at Tacoma theaters this week and next, including a first girl-girl kiss and a comedy about a goldfish. Friday (Aug. 19) and Saturday Found Space Productions performs “Stop Kiss” by Diana Son at Tacoma Little Theatre.

At Tacoma Musical Playhouse, the annual Summerplay festival by Changing Scene Theater Northwest will offer 10 new short plays over the next two weekends.

“Stop Kiss” follows two girls whose first kiss provokes a violent attack that changes everything. Directed by Suzy Wilhoft after a successful reading last April at the University of Puget Sound, the play features local actors Emily Cohen, Chevi Chung, Cassie Jo Fastabend and Nick Spencer, and tells the story in 23 scenes that jump back and forth in time.

“I saw Stop Kiss in 2002 at Seattle Rep and was blown away by its seamless but unusual structure, its powerful but subtle message, and mix of humor, heartbreak and hope,” says Wilhoft, who took another 14 years to find the right venue and time to produce the show. “I find it compelling as to the transformative nature of love, even under attack.”

Meanwhile at Tacoma Musical Playhouse, the 14th annual Summerplay festival from Kitsap fringe company Changing Scene Theatre Northwest is bringing 10 completely new plays to Tacoma. Running for two weekends, the festival premieres works submitted by playwrights from across the country.

This year the plays are “The Birthday Present” by Suzanne Bailie, the comedy “Wallaroo, the Goldfish” by Nancy Gall-Clayton, “Meanwhile, in the Backseat” by Scott Gibson, “It Never Happened” by Darren Hembd, “Waiting for the Witch” by David Brendan Hopes, “Our Ten” by Mark Harvey Levine, “Pop Star” by David MacGregor, “Goat” by Scott Mullen, “Friendship Kiss” by D. Richard Tucker and “Hold Me Tonight” by Michael Weems.

Rosemary Ponnekanti: 253-597-8568, @rose_ponnekanti

Stop Kiss

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday (Aug. 19) and Saturday.

Where: Tacoma Little Theatre, 210 N. I St., Tacoma.

Tickets: $10.

Note: Recommended for ages 13 and up.

Information: 253-272-2281,

Summerplay 2016: A Festival of New Works

When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday and Aug. 27; 2 p.m. Sunday and Aug. 28.

Where: Tacoma Musical Playhouse, 7116 Sixth Ave., Tacoma.

Tickets: $18.

Information: 253-565-6867,