Meet the Factory: Hines, Gladys and Prez

As we ramp up to the sexy, steamy production of The Pajama Game, we’re taking this opportunity to introduce you to the members of our fantastic cast. Or, as we’ve come to know them, the workers at the Sleep-Tite Pajama Factory.

Stay tuned over the coming weeks to learn more about each worker in our factory.

pg_greg-allen-webGreg McCormick Allen (Hines)

Portraying tap dancing, Time Study company man Hines is Greg McCormick Allen. Most recently, you saw him tapping away in Singin’ in the Rain and Billy Elliotat Village Theatre. Most recently at The 5th, Greg was part of the numerous cast members who graced our stage in last season’s How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. His favorite shows include White Christmas (Phil), Mary Poppins (Bert), Billy Elliot (Mr. Braithwaite) and Cinderella (Lionel, the Herald). His upcoming projects include Fire Station 7 at Seattle Children’s Theatre.

pg_sarah-rose-davis-webSarah Rose Davis (Gladys)

Sarah is no stranger to The 5th: she starred last season as Rosemary Pilkington in, you guessed it, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying! This is her 22nd show with The 5th, and some of her favorite credits include: Paint Your Wagon (Lotta), A Chorus Line (Maggie), Grease (Frenchy), RENT (Mark’s Mom), A Christmas Story (Mrs. Schwartz), CarouselJasper in Deadland (Hel) and many more! She also starred as Fanny Brice in Village Theatre’s production of Funny Girl. For more information about Sarah, visit her website.

pg_kyle-robert-carter-webKyle Robert Carter (Prez)

Kyle is stepping into the shoes of union president “Prez.” Rounding out the trifecta, Kyle was also in our production of How to Succeed… last season. Or perhaps you saw him even later last season in our revisal production of Paint Your Wagon as Wesley. Other 5th Avenue credits include Grease (Teen Angel) and Jasper in Deadland. Kyle played Benny in the National Tour of In the Heights, as well as playing the role regionally. Other regional credits include Cubamor (Renato) and Sister Act (Eddie Souther). Off-Broadway, Kyle portrayed Butch “Cobra” Brown” in Storyville. Find out more about Kyle at his website.

The Pajama Game is directed by our own Producing Artistic Director Bill Berry, and runs February 10 through March 5. To find out more and to purchase tickets, click here.

Behind the Curtain: Q & A With Pajama Game Costume Designer Rose Pederson

Rose Pederson is back at The 5th for The Pajama Game. She made her debut last season with another workplace musical comedy: How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. Rose’s designs have been seen in other local theatres, including 47 shows at Seattle Repertory, 28 shows at ACT Theatre, and productions at Intiman Theatre, New Century Theatre and Seattle Children’s Theatre. She has also worked extensively in regional theaters across the nation, including the Broadway production of Largely New York, the Kennedy Center, Arizona Theatre Company, Idaho Shakespeare Festival, Portland Center Stage, Artists Repertory Theatre, Playmakers Repertory Company and The Merc Playhouse.

She took some time to answer a few questions about the costumes for The Pajama Game.

Tell us a bit about your vision for the costumes in The Pajama Game.

I originally talked with Bill Berry about the show and how we saw the “look.” We decided it would be real clothes, based on research of the period. I found many pictures of women working in factories in the Midwest in 1954. I also was able to use the Public Library picture file which has a collection of magazine articles, calendars, news articles, etc. from the period. Sometimes there are treasures there that can’t be found on the internet. My favorite finds were from the category of picnics.

picnic-girls picnic-guys





I chose a palette from car colors of 1954. They had such strong colorful and distinctive combinations. There are basically three looks for the show: The Factory, The Picnic and Hernando’s Hideaway.

Costume design research for Factory Men costumes.
Costume design research board for Hernando’s Hideaway costumes.








Did you have any particular inspirations or influences?

My parents were both from the Midwest, so I actually attended many family reunions in parks there and have the photographs from those events during the same time period. I also have a collection of patterns that were my mother’s that we were able to use.

You also costume designed last season for How to Succeed…What are the challenges in finding and building period/retro costumes? What are the benefits?

With both shows, I was able to do vintage shopping in LA and also shop the LA fabric district, visiting stores like MOOD for vintage fabrics.

PC Mark Kitaoka of Mark and Tracy Photography
PC Tracy Martin of Mark and Tracy Photography
PC Mark Kitaoka of Mark and Tracy Photography
PC Mark Kitaoka of Mark and Tracy Photography








The beauty is that we can still find original and sometimes brand new period pieces. The challenge is to mix modern clothes with the touches of the vintage clothes, such as the men’s cuffs or the shape of a skirt. Plus figuring out how the dancers can perform extreme dance moves in a period-looking piece that doesn’t have the stretch and flexibility of modern clothes.

Check out Rose’s phenomenal designs in The Pajama Game at The 5th Avenue Theatre from February 10 to March 5. Click here for more info and to buy tickets.

Meet the Director: David Armstrong – The Secret Garden

David 7265

David Armstrong will be directing our spring production of The Secret Garden, which is a co-production with D.C.’s Shakespeare Theatre Company being performed there this fall. He recently directed our revisal production of Lerner & Loewe’s Paint Your Wagon.

What has been your favorite directorial experience?
Every show is my favorite when I am doing it but looking back I would say that our 5th Avenue production of Candide was one of my favorite experiences. The musicals that are very open to interpretation are usually the most rewarding.

Why this show? What is intriguing or interesting about it to you?
There are very few plays or musicals that I have directed more than once over the course of my career, but this will be my fourth time directing The Secret Garden (although I have not directed it since 1999). Everything about this show draws me in—the moving story, the incredible music and lyrics and most important the effect it has on the audience. To make people both laugh and cry in the same show is very satisfying. The musical expands several of the narrative threads and minor characters, and amplifies the Gothic mystery aspects of the novel. Like most stories, in that genre, our heroine Mary Lennox is brought to a big, dark, gloomy mansion—where secrets hide behind every door—and is thrust into a complicated relationship with a moody, tortured, romantic hero. Continue reading “Meet the Director: David Armstrong – The Secret Garden

The 5th Avenue Theatre by the Numbers: A Record-Breaking 2015/16 Season

The 5th Avenue Theatre wraps up another season of spectacular musical theater with successes on and off the stage. Over 300,000 guests attended one of the 219 performances at the historic theater during the 2015/16 season, generating more than $20M in earned revenue for the organization. Special thanks to 2015/16 season sponsors ArtsFund, U.S. Bank, media sponsor The Seattle Times and official airline Delta Air Lines for their support.

Check out our 2015/16 highlights, including new data on the economic impact of The 5th, a shattered box office record, a new festival of new musicals, a successful gala, a landmark renovation began, and national acclaim for 5th Ave education programs.

economic-infographic Continue reading “The 5th Avenue Theatre by the Numbers: A Record-Breaking 2015/16 Season”

By the Numbers: Wrap Up of the 2015/16 Season for the Education Department

Thank you to the generous corporations, foundations, government agencies, board members, and countless individual donors who supported our education programs this season. With your help we reached over 83,000 students across the Pacific Northwest region, increased our service by 14% and kept our thriving programs accessible to all students.

Here’s a closer look….
Continue reading “By the Numbers: Wrap Up of the 2015/16 Season for the Education Department”

Darko Tresnjak: Director of Gentleman’s Guide

Sit down with Darko Tresnjak, director of Gentleman’s Guide, playing July 12-31 at The 5th Avenue Theatre. 

Well, I thoroughly enjoyed the show and I think it’s quite safe to say that a great deal of the success of the show is in the staging and just the absolute fun of it.  Why don’t we start with what your response was to Steven Lutvak and Robert Freedman’s material; how you got involved with Gentleman’s Guide, in the first place.

DT: Well, in the beginning, several friends and agents told me about it; people seemed to think I was the right person for the show. And then Robert came to see my production of The Women at the Old Globe. He loved that and I think he thought that I would be a good match, because that’s another wicked comedy. That seems to be my specialty, you know?  I like naughty things!  I like things that are both appealing and a little bit subversive.  So, we all met up and when I dug into this musical, about a charming young man who lies and kills eight of his relatives and prospers in the banking industry and his punishment is that he ends up in a three-way with two gorgeous women, I said: “Okay!  Sign me on!”  Continue reading “Darko Tresnjak: Director of Gentleman’s Guide”

An Interview with the Writers of A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder

Go behind the curtain with Steven Lutvak and Robert Freedman, creators of A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder, playing July 12-31, 2016 at The 5th Avenue Theatre.

I wanted to talk to you about the whole process of putting Gentleman’s Guide up on Broadway and winning the Tony Award.  As they say in Sound of Music, let’s start at the very beginning.  How did you two get involved with this piece?  And how long ago was it?  It was a while.

RF: Well, we met in the graduate musical theater writing program at NYU [in 1981].  We became friendly and we had threatened to work together for a long time.  We were looking for something and we worked on another show for a while and then, Steve had seen this movie, Kind Hearts and Coronets, on TV… Continue reading “An Interview with the Writers of A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder”

Paint Your Wagon Pioneers

The 5th has a tremendous history of nurturing writers and composers that in turn leads to new musicals on both our stage and on Broadway. With the leadership support of the following donors, The 5th can continue investing in the next generation of writers and further our commitment to producing new works.

Thank you to our Paint Your Wagon Pioneers!


Rushing for Gold: The Shiny Siren and the American Dream

Inspired by the real-life Gold Rush of the late 1840s, Lerner and Loewe’s Paint Your Wagon explores the lives of prospectors who traveled thousands of miles and spent hundreds of dollars attempting to strike it rich. The would-be miners came from all over the world and all walks of life. The stories of gold lying on the ground just waiting to be picked up were irresistible, though of course not at all a reflection of what most prospectors actually experienced. Still the lure of instant wealth was enough to bring thousands of people to the new state of California, though very few found the wealth they thought they would and many returned home penniless and disillusioned.

Continue reading “Rushing for Gold: The Shiny Siren and the American Dream”

Meet the Pioneers

Our final trio of pioneers join the wagon train today: Pearl (Brenna Wagner), and a special treat: our two Swings, Nicholas Tarabini and Carolyn Willems van Dijk! Pearl joins Timberline, Lotta and Mary as an entertainer in the area, as well as playing the character of Elisa. Swings act as understudies to basically all of the ensemble roles, which is no mean feat for Nicholas and Carolyn with such a well-rounded ensemble! (Read this great article from Playbill about the importance of a swing to any show.)

Brenna Wagner Web

We are thrilled to have Brenna here for her debut at The 5th with Paint Your Wagon! Although this is her first show here, Seattle audiences may have seen her recently in ArtsWest’s production of Violet as Violet or in Village’s productions of Mary Poppins and My Fair Lady.




Nicholas is stepping in as our male swing. You may have seen him earlier this season in our production of The Sound of Music. He’s also been seen regionally in American Idiot at ArtsWest and Next to Normal at Second Story Rep.


Carolyn Willems Van Dijk Web


Carolyn is stepping in as our female swing. She’s no stranger to this particular challenge – she was also the swing for Cinderella and ELF, as well as being seen regularly onstage in Oklahoma! and The Sound of Music.



Don’t miss Brenna, Nicholas, Carolyn, and the other gold diggers in our ‘revisal’ production of Lerner & Loewe’s Paint Your Wagon. The show runs June 2 through June 25. Visit our website for more information and to purchase tickets.