For the Expand Upon series of staged readings, Mirror Stage commissions two local playwrights to each develop a short play responding to a community-selected theme, using the same multi- generational, multi-racial cast. For the fourth round of Expand Upon, the community selected the theme Homelessness, and Mirror Stage commissioned scripts by Holly Arsenault and Tré Calhoun. Directed by Suzanne M. Cohen, Expand Upon: HOMELESSNESS features Tee Dennard, Hazel Rose Gibson, Joe Ivy, Patrick Lennon, Marty Mukhalian, Meenakshi Rishi, Sofía Raquel Sanchéz, and Pratik Shah. There will be a moderated discussion following every performance.
In 2018, homelessness rose 0.3% across the US according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, while homelessness in Seattle rose 4%. People experiencing homelessness can be individuals, children or families. They may be living on the streets; in abandoned buildings or vehicles; in shelters, missions or transitional housing; in single room occupancy; or have moved 2+ times within 60 days. A wide range of reasons may be behind why someone is without a permanent dwelling and experiencing homelessness: individuals may be employed and still unable to find affordable housing; able to work but currently under- or unemployed due to a suffering economy or personal hardship; or not able to work without assistance. Counting people living outside (unsheltered) and in shelters, Seattle has the third largest homeless population of major US cities—12,112, in 2018.
Charlotte Sanders, UW Seattle, will present FREE pre-show lectures on Homelessness on Saturday, October 5 at 7:00pm, and Sunday, October 13 at 1:00pm. Charlotte Sanders joined the School of Social Work in December 2014 as a teaching associate, serving as the field lead for the School’s newly created Northwest Leaders in Behavioral Health Program. Sanders has been involved in social services for more than 22 years, primarily serving Seattle youth and young adults in different homeless service settings and capacities, ranging from direct service, program management and advocacy.
Most recently, she worked with Neighborcare Health’s Homeless Youth Clinic as the youth clinic manager and onsite social worker. She continues to work as an on-call intake social worker for Washington state’s Children’s Administration Central Intake Unit. Prior to moving to the Seattle area, she provided therapy and case management services to children through the Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic located in the same town in which she was raised. Sanders also co-chairs the UW interprofessional course on homelessness.
Mirror Stage gratefully acknowledges
the support of ArtsWA, City of Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Posner-Wallace Foundation.
Holly Arsenault was born in Montréal, Quebec and has lived in Seattle, Washington for 21 years. Her play Undo is the recipient of a Theatre Puget Sound Gregory Award for Outstanding New Play and a Seattle Theater Writers Gypsy Rose Lee Award for Excellence in Local Playwriting. Undo was nominated for the American Theatre Critics Association New Play Awards, and was a semi-finalist for the Princess Grace Award. Holly’s plays, which include Undo, 24 Pictures of a Pilot (Heideman Award finalist), The Cut, The Manor, Marvelous, and The Great Inconvenience, have been developed at Seattle Repertory Theatre and the National Winter Playwriting Retreat, and produced in Seattle, Boca Raton, Detroit, and Chicago. Her essays have been published in City Arts magazine and The Dramatist, and her short play Scattered Thoughts as I Prepare a Eulogy on the Occasion of the Tragic Death of the Royal Children will be published in Caffe Cino magazine this fall. Holly holds a BA from the University of Washington School of Drama. She is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America and an alumna of the Seattle Rep Writers Group.
Tré Calhoun is a theatre artist who has been making art in Seattle for roughly three years. He has appeared in Taproot Theatre’s A Civil War Christmas, Washington Ensemble Theater’s Every Five Minutes,” Forward Flux’s The Wedding Gift, and Book-It’s The Brothers K: Parts I & II. He produced The Black Eye Society: A Cycle (music, book, and lyrics) and Dirt + Dew (playwright, director) in the Seattle Fringe Festival. He co-wrote Pony World Theatre’s world-premiere production of American Archipelago, and his plays Superpowers and The Other Town were workshopped with Parley Productions. He is an Associate Playwright with Parley, and earned his BA at Cornell University.