Dancing for Tess
A benefit dance concert for Tess Mueller, former star Vashon Center for Dance student and a principal ballerina in many VCD productions, will take place at 1 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 19, at Vashon Center for the Arts.
Mueller was recently diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. According to island friends who have launched a Go Fund Me fundraising campaign, Mueller’s full recovery is expected, but the unexpected costs of the illness are high.
VCA’s concert will include selections ranging from classical ballet, original works and dances in “The Nutcracker” — a holiday staple that Mueller appeared in many times on the VCA stage, including a performance in 2015 as the Sugar Plum Fairy. There is a $20 suggested donation for the event.
Transgender troops onscreen
“Transmilitary,” the latest offering of the In and Out Queer Film Series presented by Vashon Heritage Museum, Vashon Senior Center and vashonpride.com, will be shown at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 21, at Vashon Theatre. Special guest Capt. El Cook will speak to the audience after the film, which takes on the subject of more than 15,000 transgender U.S. troops who are currently defending America’s freedom while simultaneously fighting for their own. For more information, visit vashonheritagemuseum.org or vashontheatre.com.
Speed-demon theater returns
The 14/48 Theater Festival’s “Vashon Edition” will have performances at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Jan. 24 and 25, at Open Space for Arts & Community. The festival, a madcap whirlwind of theatrical creation, last took place on Vashon in 2018.
At the performances, audiences can see 14 new 10-minute plays, created in 48 hours by almost a dozen intrepid playwrights, working (very quickly) with a 40-member ensemble of directors, actors and designers. Theater artists involved in the 2018 Vashon edition included Mik Kulhman, Chris Boscia, Anthony Winkler, David Godsey, Angela Gist, Tom Pruiksma, Maria Glanz, Cyra Jane and many more.
The Seattle-based 14/48 Projects was founded in 1997 and has grown to offer multiple editions held annually in the United States and Europe. Tickets to the Vashon show are on sale at Vashon Bookshop, openspacevashon.com and at the door. Tickets cost $10 for students, $15 in advance and $18 at the door. The show on Friday night will be completely different from the show on Saturday, as writers will create new plays for each of the evenings.
Poets take wing in a talk
The popular Talks on the Rock lecture series will continue with a talk by Brian Reed, “Birds, Song and Poetry,” at 7 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 26, at Vashon Center for the Arts.
As a professor of English with a specialty in modern poetry, Reed is intrigued by the way poets across cultures and ages have written about birds. Reed, the divisional dean of the humanities at the University of Washington, will take attendees on a visual and auditory exploration of this deep and fascinating topic. Reed is the author of books on Hart Crane, avant-garde poetics, and essays on modern and contemporary poetics. Advance tickets, $10 for adults and $5 for youth, are on sale at vashoncenterforthearts.org. All tickets at the door cost will cost $15 for adults.
Storytelling festival time
The free, all-ages Annual Storytelling Festival, presented by Vashon Wilderness Program, will return to Vashon Theatre on Sunday, Jan. 26. The event, now in its thirteenth year, offers nature-based stories — personal, mythic, and ancestral — told by VWP’s seasoned staff and audience members alike. Audience members of all ages are invited to bring a prepared five-minute story, or spin a tale in the one-minute “storython,” or join in interactive group storytelling improv games.
The festival is best suited for ages four and older. Guests are encouraged to arrive early to purchase snacks and sign up for a tellers’ spot. The nonprofit VWP provides nature immersion programs for people of all ages, including mentoring programs, camps, workshops, and trainings. For more information, visit vashonwilderness.org.
Caspar Babypants rocks the house
Grammy-nominated “kindie rock” phenom Caspar Babypants, known as “the children’s musician that adults love too,” will play a free show at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 29, at Chautauqua Elementary’s multipurpose room. All ages are welcome to the high-octane, free performance, with donations accepted to support Vashon Youth & Family Services’ scholarship program for Vashon Kids and Family Place. Sample the music and performer at babypantsmusic.com.