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Bellingham’s Very Own, 48-Hour Theater Festival

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Carina McDonald
A backstage image of the entire cast!

With music, mischief, and magic, iDiOM Theater held their 58th 48-hour Theater Festival on Saturday, February 3rd. To mark their opening night, the event was held at iDiOM Theater’s new space, 1417 Cornwall Avenue in Downtown Bellingham, tucked in a hidden set just above a staircase beside Bellingham Frameworks. For entry, iDiOM Theater sold tickets for 16$ at the door, but tickets were also sold days ahead of time on their official website. An entry fee never bothered the theater’s supporters, however, visible in the great numbers of the audience. Accompanied by a full house of about 70-80 people, six stories were showcased, all falling under the theme chosen the night prior of, “GOD’S NOT HERE, BUT I AM.” The same night, day two’s theme was chosen with a roaring crowd supporting the open-ended topic of, “CONSIDER THIS MY RESIGNATION.”  As Saturday’s shows came to a close, six new acts were produced for the shows the following day, making Sunday another success.

A photo of resident musician, Ivan Sandomire, performing his song “God isn’t here, but I am.” (Carina McDonald )

The event started on Saturday at 7:30 P.M., with a ten-minute interval between its scheduled starting time and the first act. During this ten-minute period, resident musician and sound director, Ivan Sandomire, kicked off the event with a performance of his song, “God’s not here, but I am!” which he had only written the night before. Each play lasted for about ten minutes, with a whole new cast of members for each act. On the first night, the sequence of plays went as follows:

#1. A NOVEL SANDWICH IN THE AFTERLIFE

Written and directed by Glenn Hergenhanh-Zhao

Performed by Glenn Hergenhanh and Bradley Dillon

A look at the play, “A Novel Sandwich in the Afterlife.” (Carina McDonald )

#2. GOD’S NOT DEAD: THE 2ND COMING OF MECHA-JESUS

Written and directed by Matthew Balem

Performed by Gillain Myers, Monty Meeds, and Trent Browning

Taken during, “God’s Not Dead: The 2nd Coming of Mecha-Jesus.” (Carina McDonald)

#3. THE QUEST

Written by Linnaea Groh and Melanie Strickland

Directed by Dawn Hunter

Performed by Joan Prinz, Jennie Falco, and Brynna Sweeney

A hero, a villain, and a sidekick who takes all in, “The Quest.” (Carina McDonald)

#4. BAD REPUTATION

Written by Dante (Anita “The Rock” Zvezda)

Directed by Aubrey Farrington

Performed by Aubrey Farrington, Eric Newell, and Sandy Brewer

“Do I look like a ghoul to you?”
The infamous Shrek makes a comeback in “Bad Reputation.” (Carina McDonald )

#5. INFINITE KNOWLEDGE OF AN EMPTY UNIVERSE

Written by Ky Weeks

Directed by Shu-Ling Hergenhanh-Zhao

Performed by Calvin Blasser, Javez Richard, Selene Nelson, and Shu-Ling Hergenhanh-Zhao

Favors coming at a cost, in “Infinite Knowledge of an Empty Universe.”(Carina McDonald)

#6. MONSTER SQUAD

Written by Krissa Woiwod

Directed by Bill Cantrell

Performed by Suzie Clark, Lorraine Wilde, Bradley Dillon, and Will Hormel

“We have each other.”
Apart of the final play, “Monster Squad”. (Carina McDonald )

With numerous acts all following the same theme, yet each so unique, the opening night for the 48-hour Theater Festival came to an end for the audience, but not for the actors! Preparing for the popular subject, “CONSIDER THIS MY RESIGNATION,” six new plays were written, and props, like foil for the armor for Mecha-Jesus, came to life. Though there was no guest appearance by musician Ivan Sandomire for the second night, the talents of the actors and playwriters proved to be more than enough. Kicking off their second day at 7:30 PM, like the day previous, the list of plays showcased consisted of:

 

#1. THE JOHNNY CREDIT-CARD SURPRISE FARWELL, SPONSORED BY SIERRA MIST

Written by Dante Zvezda

Directed by Shu-Ling Hergenhanh-Zhao

Performed by Eric Newell, Dante Zvezda, and Will Hormel

 

#2. HARRY AND NIKO

Written by Linnaea Groh and Melanie Strickland

Performed by Suzie Clark and Joan Prinz

 

#3. THE FINAL RESIGNATION

Written by Ky Weeks

Directed by Dawn Hunter

Performed by Bradley Dillon, Audrey Farrington, and Sandy Brewer

 

#4. SHIP OF DREAMS

Written by Krissa Woiwod

Directed by Lorainne Wilde

Performed by Monty Meeds, Jennie Falco, and Sandy Brynna Sweeney

 

#5. THE FAILED PRESIDENTIAL BID OF WESLEY WHISTLE OR, TO PRUSSIA, WITH LOVE

Written and directed by Matthew Balem

Performed by Matthew Balem, Calvin, Blaser and Jabez Richard

 

#6. THE DUSTY STREETS OF HAVANA

Written and directed by Glenn Hergenhanh-Zhao

Performed by Glenn Hergenhanh-Zhao and Bradley Dillon

 

Though the 48-hour Theater Festival wrapped up events of those alike for the season, iDiOM Theater continues to ignite inspiration in young artists, striking Whatcom County’s theatric scene alive through a variety of plays, shorts events, and even offers of opportunities for writers and actors with their winter classes in acting and playwriting, which begin on February 10th and 11th.

The community’s beloved founder of iDiOM Theater, Glenn Hergenhanh-Zhao, advocated the goal of the 48-hour Theater Festivals by saying, “The 48s have been our best way to connect with new writers, directors, and actors, and they’re the best way for artists to cut their teeth on new work – which is the focus of our company. Beyond that, the shows that come out of 48 offer something to the community that doesn’t exist anywhere else in Whatcom County. It’s a place to see new work, risky work, silly and irreverent plays that are imperfect and created under the gun.” His statements were proven true through the hearty laughs of the audience on Saturday night, partnered with a list of eager audience members awaiting the performances. Founder Glenn Hergenhanh-Zhao’s final words on the event were, “Out of all that, comes some great moments and great theater.”

Big things are happening in Bellingham in terms of the theater scene, with iDiOM Theater showing with their 48-hour Theater Festival that they are the ones preserving the art of theatrics. Whether you’re interested in theater, searching for new opportunities, or just want a good laugh and to feel connected with what you’re watching, then make sure to check out iDiOM Theater’s Instagram and official website for more updates, and ways to utilize your talent!

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