WINTER 2020 Newsletter
January - March | Winter 2020
The Big Dark (winter) has arrived - a wonderful indoor activity while it rains and (yikes) snows (!!!) and is generally gloomy outside is to come inside and spend time inside a dusty black box.

Studio Series is resurrected the weekend of January 23-26, if you want to be in a black box as an audience member with some intriguing pieces, and Freehold's classes are always inspiring and uplifting: we have several just getting started over these next weeks!

Now is the perfect time to brush up on your skills for the many events and auditions coming up this year - TPS general auditions are in March, On the Boards is always looking for short pieces for their quarterly performance series as well as Northwest New Works Festival, and tons of other opportunities around town and close by in the coming months...not to mention Studio Series 2021...Winter is a great time to prepare!

Below, get a little more in-depth information on Solo Performance and Personal Clown classes with articles from Paul Budraitis and Mik Kuhlman, respectively, as well as articles on the Engaged Theatre program at Washington Corrections Center for Women in Gig Harbor and Studio Series.

Happy reading, and let's create wonderful things in 2020!
Solo Performance and Presentation with Paul Budraitis
Top Ten Reasons YOU Should Take Solo Performance with Paul Budraitis:

1.) You have a story you’ve always wanted to tell on stage.

2.) You want to develop your confidence as a public speaker.

3.) You’re curious about the pragmatic differences between solo performance and traditional theatre.

4.) You’d like to develop your writing skills.

5.) You’d like to experience what it’s like to be the lead artist driving a creative process.

6.) You want to develop your storytelling skills, even in an improvisational setting.

7.) You want to cultivate your physical stage presence.

8.) You want to develop your observational and listening skills.

9.) You want to experience an intimate connection with an audience and learn how to turn an audience into your partner.

10.) You want to create theatre without waiting for permission from someone else telling you that you can!

Paul Budraitis's Solo Performance & Presentation class runs Thursdays, Jan 9-Feb 27, 7-10pm. Register by phone: 206.323-7499 or email:
Personal Clown with Mik Kuhlman
Top 5 Tips Audition Tips
Mik Kuhlman on teaching clown…
Le Jeu . The game. It’s the first foundational cornerstone in the world of clown and in my approach to teaching performance. As actors we must always remember we are in the world of play. From Shakespeare’s tragedies to sketch comedy, it’s all play. Clown is unrelenting in finding ‘game’ with an unbridled desire to entertain, to make us laugh. Always to entertain. Always in relation. Always. And although firmly rooted in the idea of laughter, it is not necessarily the clown’s job to make us laugh, but rather to stir the soul. The clown does not exist without an audience.
Physicality is what delineates the clown from the comedian. And truth is what delineates a good clown from a bad clown. Both physicality and truth are absolutely essential when playing clown. Especially in the world of theatre. And then…there’s timing. It’s all about timing…
Clown is not a noun. To say “my clown” is to say  Me . It is to be human. To reinforce human intelligence, in the age of emerging artificial intelligence, is now a necessary component of the actor’s tool chest. We work in the performing arts. Whether working in the small frame of a camera or a large outdoor stage, the actor must be courageous and maneuver inside a world of possibilities. Clown teaches us how to fail but not have failure, to risk in order to delight, to be the most raw (honest and vulnerable) and to be in full relationship to the audience. Clown embraces what it means to be human.... And actors? We have to play a lot of humans!
I believe in nurturing individuality through positive reinforcement. It is our quirks that are actually our strengths. I teach students to embrace their fool and own the whole of themselves. We learn about tension and status, escalation and suspension, seeing and being seen, listening and responding, comic timing and most importantly, we learn to be comfortable being uncomfortable. 
As a teacher I not only strive to train actors - I strive to transform them into artists. I believe in the power of the actor’s individuality and diversity as necessary engines in the ecosystem of theatre. I teach with love and tenacity. I guide my students to fall in love with each other, with themselves and the delicious fools that live within each of us. 
The class I offer at Freehold is to train the actor. To remind us to play and to find truth in our connections. We are dream-makers. The audience is the dreamer. We must always develop and cultivate our presence, our physicality, our joy and our pure ability to play.

Mik Kuhlman teaches Movement and Personal Clown at Freehold. Clown Class runs Mondays, Jan 13-Mar 23, 6-10pm Register by phone: 206.323-7499 or email: - there are still a few slots available!
It Begins: To Prison We Go! by Carolynne Wilcox
To Prison We Go!
As (still relatively new) Marketing Coordinator for Freehold who has a fairly long history with this organization, I had only experienced Engaged Theatre from the outside, as an audience member who has seen some of the Shakespeare productions at local venues, but hasn't yet seen a prison show. I felt like I needed to know more about the whole process, so I decided to throw my hat in the ring as one of the facilitators this season. This was not without some fear (and lots of misconceptions). There was a training at Purdy back in early November which didn't necessarily do a lot to dispel these fears, since of course, they have to cover every possible scenario during the training! And of course the added work load while also rehearsing and producing a show of my own outside Freehold or Engaged Theatre.

A small group of us met at a cafe to structure the first session and discuss exercises before driving out to the prison the following Sunday in December. They don't let you bring a lot into WCCW, and the dress code is fairly strict (no cargo pants or dresses/skirts without leggings, etc...). We arrived with paper, pens and ideas. After checking in and going through security at the main entrance, there is an additional series of locked gates/areas to go through before getting to Freehold's playing area next to the gym. We had about 20 minutes to set up the room and talk over our plan and the other newbie looked at each other nervously.

In dribs and drabs the inmates started to pour in - there were only about 7 of them. And we started. Each of us facilitators took turns facilitating ice-breaker exercises. Everyone, incarcerated and facilitators alike, participated in all the exercises, which included "getting to know you" games as well as physical and writing exercises, culminating in creating a composition from some visuals we were able to bring in. The two hours went by very quickly as we learned some interesting and intense things about each other. Most of the women were extremely willing to open up and put it all out there.

As we facilitators made our way out through the various checkpoints, I felt foolish for having had any trepidation - through all the sharing exercises and writings, it was very evident the inmates are just people, like everyone else, whose circumstances and choices had put them in this situation, doing their best with it - and most gave the impression of being very reflective about those choices and circumstances. It was really great to unpack all this on the ride home from Gig Harbor with the other facilitators.

With the new year, we begin to create the actual show, and now the fear is gone, I'm very excited to help shape all these intense and profound stories into a show!

Carolynne Wilcox is the marketing coordinator at Freehold Theatre, and can be contacted here with questions or comments.
Kirsten McCory on Her Studio Series Piece!
!Vi va La Studio Series!
The first time I participated in the Studio Series: I think 2006. It took place in Rhino, the beloved black box theater on the second floor of the Oddfellows Hall on Capitol Hill. Up the tall staircase that in another time I would practice character work for Portia of The Merchant of Venice , walking down that staircase with head held high, NOT LOOKING DOWN, in heels, confident. I had been immersed in the ETI program and some classmates got together to practice what we’d been working on. We performed a scene from “scene from a play” (I don’t remember the title: There was an abortion, betrayal, a Christian roommate.) We worked with George Lewis as our mentor, he who had most recently inspiring and terrorizing our class with Meyerhold, Russian phrases and Clown. Our cast had a great time spreading wreckage all over the stage and working alongside other local performers. 
The second time: another “scene from a play” but I was co-writing this one. New Amerikan Theater wanted to stage an original production of this work. It was called Stings Like Acid and to come along it incorporated Butoh and Greek Mythology. We had been working on it for awhile and needed a Studio Series to come along as the perfect venue to workshop our ideas before mounting a full production. This round: performed at the Belltown Freehold which lived above (the now relocated pinball Bar) Shorty’s. 
My offering for the third generation, (of MY Studio Series experience, there were years that I did not participate) was an attempt at horror onstage, a piece of silent movement in which a woman in old fashioned garb is actively haunted by her dead sister, tormented by a spirit. It was called In the Pipes , and our specific challenge was limited lighting. We were rewarded though, by the experience of having an audience’s participation in our creative process. 
My fourth time was a staged reading of a script in process, called One Night at the Ranch, a corporatized brothel in Nevada is run by women who “just want to get to Moscow”, dissatisfied with their lives and willing to murder for fame. (It was funny!) We worked with Matt Smith as our mentor that year. All we used for props were music stands and folding chairs. That year was at the Belltown studio as well, and the green room was that big yellowish studio. 
Now my upcoming 5th foray into Studio Series! A monologue inspired by a photograph by Diane Arbus, “A Brooklyn family on a Sunday outing NYC 1966”. I’m writing and performing it, and as I’m writing this I’m trying to learn my lines. I’m scared to be on the stage alone! But I am committed to the idea of strengthening my skills, refining my creative voice, playing, experimenting . Also the chance to experience what others in the artistic community have been thinking about as you work along side them to produce this show. When you do this show you help run the show. While it’s a pretty bare bones series in terms of tech and prop storage, (you can always use the tall black flats, the acting blocks, and the pseudo victorian couch! Vintage Freehold.) it’s part of the challenge. Sharing your art while working on your craft is, I think, one of the best things about being alive. And it’s PWYC.

Kirsten McCory is a local actor, playwright, artist's model and long-time Freehold student/alumna.
Fall Quarter Announcements
Work/Study At Freehold
Freehold is always looking for folks to help out with various theatre and office tasks - become one of our work/study students and take classes for a greatly-reduced rate! To find out more, contact the registrar at
Upcoming Events
Open Mic Night
Is Tomorrow from 7:00-9:30
In the Black Box!
Sign Up Here for a performance Slot
Studio Series admission is by donation at the door - reserve a seat on BPT here.

Freehold has three studios and a mezzanine space available to rent for rehearsals, readings, meetings, photo/film shoots and even tech-lite performances
(and soon to be outfitted for more tech-heavy performances).

Reasonable rates for all; discounted rates for students.
Our entire facility is equipped with WiFi and Air Conditioning. 

Reservations can be made by phone (206.323-7499) or in person during office hours (10-6 M-Th). 

Reservation requests may also be made via  email .

 More info on cost, specs and availability here .