P.S. Don’t forget: Subscribers get $7 off additional regularly priced single tickets to Jewell Mainstage productions!

Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass face-off in the West Coast Premiere of Necessary Sacrifices

Five words were meant to change a young country divided by civil war when abolitionist and Union recruiter Frederick Douglass challenged President Abraham Lincoln to act on the statement that “all men are created equal.” As these two brilliant Americans wage a battle for the future of the Union, their arguments affect not only their sons but the nation we live in today.

Originally commissioned for Washington, DC’s Ford’s Theatre, Taproot Theatre is producing the West Coast Premiere of Richard Hellesen’s drama. Necessary Sacrifices is based on documented meetings, public speeches and personal writings.

“Audiences will be stunned to learn of the heartaches, considerations and challenges surrounding some of the decisions Lincoln made,” said director Karen Lund. “But Frederick Douglass is the real gift. His vision, sacrifices and ideas resulted in an honest and heartfelt debate that left both men different.”

Lund’s previous Taproot directing credits include A Civil War Christmas, Bright Star, Always… Patsy Cline, Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley, Sweet Land, Persuasion and Godspell.

The cast includes Lamar Legend (Strawberry Theatre Workshop’s Take Me Out) as Frederick Douglass, Andrew Litzky (Taproot Theatre’s The Explorers Club) as George Stearns and Ted Rooney (Gilmore Girls, Boardwalk Empire) as Abraham Lincoln.

The production team includes Pete Rush, costume design; Brian Engel, lighting design; Mark Lund, scenic and sound design; Mario Gomez, dramaturg and Laura Karavitis, Stage Manager.

ACTOR SPOTLIGHT: Practicing Contentment with actor Lamar Legend

You’ve performed all over the world — Italy, Czech Republic, Mexico — what have been some of your favorite places that you’ve travelled to?
Tuscany and Rome.

What is unique about living and performing in Seattle?
Regardless of the recent population boom, Seattle is still a very small town.

What characters are on your bucket list to play?
I’d like to play Shakespeare’s Cleopatra when I’m older.

What was your approach to playing Frederick Douglass?
Get my hands on as many resources and media as I can; including biographies, autobiographies, Civil War documentaries, images and film adaptations.

Were there things you learned about Frederick Douglass and/or Abraham Lincoln that surprised or fascinated you?
Many things. It surprised me that Douglass was a self-taught violinist, that he was the most photographed person of his generation and that he was very fastidious about his clothing and appearance.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received, theatrical or otherwise?
That changes every year. Currently, it’s “If you are not practicing contentment where you are, then you’re not going to be content when you get what you want.” Actor Tony Hale


Douglass was the most photographed American of the 19th century, sitting for more portraits than even Abraham Lincoln. Douglass intentionally sought out the cameras, believing that photography was an important tool for achieving civil rights because it offered a way to portray African Americans fairly and accurately.

Frederick Douglass chose his name from a poem. Douglass was born with the name Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey. After he successfully escaped slavery in 1838, he and his wife adopted the name Douglass from a narrative poem by Sir Walter Scott, The Lady of the Lake, at the suggestion of a friend.

During the Civil War, Douglass passionately helped enlist free black men to fight in the Union Army. He wrote persuasive articles in his weekly newspaper, and when President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 allowing African Americans to serve, two of Douglass’ sons were among the first to enlist.

Douglass was the first African American to receive a vote for President at a major political party convention. The vote came from the Kentucky delegation during the Republican National Convention of 1888.

More interesting facts about Frederick Douglass can be found at:

Pictured above: Lamar Legend as Frederick Douglass and Ted Rooney as Abraham Lincoln in Necessary Sacrifices at Taproot Theatre. Photo by Robert Wade.

Next on the Jewell Mainstage: The Bishop’s Wife: A Live Radio Play

Playing on the Jewell Mainstage November 27 – December 28, 2019

The beloved holiday film comes to life as a live radio broadcast with you as the in-studio audience! Dudley is an angel and the answer to Bishop Brougham’s prayer to build a new cathedral. But when the angel turns his attention to the bishop’s friends and family, Dudley’s minor miracles require divine intervention. Join us this Christmas season for a story of love, family and blessings in disguise.

Tickets are on sale now! Learn more here →

Next in the Isaac Studio: SportsBall

Playing in the Isaac Studio October 11, 12, 18 & 19 at 7:30 PM

Aaaaand we’re back! If you’re just joining us, we’re improvising the glory days of an underdog team thrown together by your unlikeliest suggestions. Will they beat their rivals to win the championship? Or will their extreme personalities get the best of them? Stick with us for a hilarious look at these athletes before they were famous. Over to you, Jim.

Tickets are on sale now! Learn more here →

PRODUCTION SPOTLIGHT: Dressing History with Pete Rush, Costume Designer

What’s it like to recreate two of the most iconic figures in American history?
These characters are famous, important and revolutionary. Being able to bring them to life so that others can consider their words and deeds is a great opportunity as a designer. I’m thrilled to contribute to the production, and look forward to seeing what conversations arise from folks who have seen it.

Is it easier or harder to design for well-known characters?
As a designer, one always must research the period and characters portrayed. In the case of Necessary Sacrifices, that process was easy in that there are scores of photographs available of the three men portrayed. We know what they wore, can deduce a sense of their style from images and can point to historical research that backs us up. The challenge comes in doing so in a way that looks authentic. Obviously one cannot acquire actual garments from that era, so the challenge is in sourcing clothes that are a close approximation to the real thing. Since audiences are so familiar with these gentlemen, getting the look right is important. There is not room to fake it here.

Tell us about the hair pieces. How were they created?
The hair and beards of these men are iconic. We are lucky to work with one of the best wigmasters in the city, Joyce Degenfelder. She has both manipulated stock wigs and hand-crafted from scratch original hair pieces so that our characters look exactly like Douglass and Lincoln. In a space as intimate as Taproot, we wanted to make sure the hair reads as real. Because of that, Joyce has chosen to use human-hair wigs in this production, lending a truly authentic feel. In some cases, we have been able to utilize the actor’s own facial hair. But for the most part all hair and beards in the production have been created from scratch.

In addition to being a great designer, you also served as the Program Manager for the TeenTix program here in Seattle. Can you tell us a little bit about that program and why it’s important?
TeenTix is very near and dear to my heart, having served as a manager of the program, a donor and as President of their Advisory Council. The organization’s mission to increase arts access for young people is truly revolutionary. Teens aged 13-19 receive $5 day-of-event admission to arts events at over 70 organizations in the greater Puget Sound region. We are helping to shape the next generation of arts-goers, and that, in my opinion, is extraordinarily important work. Plus, engaging with youth as they discover their power, their voices and their tastes is quite exciting.

Why should a teenager come to see Necessary Sacrifices?
This play, while looking backwards at history, really is forward-looking in the conversations it evokes centered on race, reparations, equality and equity. We live in a country that currently feels divided: there is a big schism between the old leadership and the rising young energy that is poised to take the reins. As such, young people must see this production so that they can take up those reins in an informed fashion, and hopefully help lead us to a better, more inclusive future. I think this play will introduce teenagers to an historical perspective that might shock them. I hope it emboldens them to counter the systemic racism inherent in this country.


New subscriptions go on sale October 1. Haven’t renewed? It’s not too late, but seating for 5 Play subscribers is not guaranteed.

BOOM! Drum fires another shot into the magnolia trees giving Ouiser’s dog a nervous breakdown. Truvy’s salon is buzzing as gossip and zingers fly between baby’s breath and bouffants. Annelle is new and nervous which means things are getting a little poofy. Welcome to Chinquapin, Louisiana. Hold on to your rollers and grab your tissues for this hilariously heartwarming American comedy.

Crossing thousands of miles in search of asylum, Babette finds safety across the fjords in a tiny mountain village. But petty squabbles and personal slights render the pious villagers as frigid and unforgiving as their surroundings. In one radical act of generosity, Babette prepares a feast so lavish it awakens grace and transforms brittle hearts.

All Penelope wants is an evening out; surely even vicars’ wives can have an innocent night on the town with an old friend. But between a buzzed busy-body in the closet, a volley of vicars galloping across the lawn and a Soviet spy on the loose, this night is racing toward insanity. Precocious and preposterous, this comedy is quintessentially English!

Percy is fresh out of prison and searching for a new life when she arrives in Gilead and meets Hannah, who is ready to leave The Spitfire Grill behind. After Percy convinces Hannah to run a contest and raffle off the grill, entries start pouring in from around the country and rumors and secrets swirl through the once picture-perfect town. In this soul-stirring musical, forgiveness and a spirit of hope go a long way in pointing the way home.

The moon is waning and the Old Man must refill it. A melody sparks a memory and the Old Woman must follow it. In a quest to find his wife, the Old Man abandons his duties to face civil wars, monsters of the deep, zeppelins, meddling ghosts and a past he can’t remember. This fantastical, sea-fairing and song-filled tale leads you on an epic adventure into lands uncharted!


American Dance InstituteNEW THIS YEAR!
8001 Greenwood Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103
Discount: $40 registration fee will be waived when you show your Subscriber Rewards Card at any of their three locations in Greenwood, Magnolia and Shoreline.

The Cookie Counter
7415 Greenwood Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103
Discount: 2-for-1 single scoop when using your Subscriber Rewards Card.

Flying Bike Cooperative Brewery
8570 Greenwood Ave N, Seattle, Wa 98103
Discount: $1 off your first beer when you show your rewards card and a ticket stub from a recent show at Taproot Theatre!

Greenwood Vision
122 N 85th St, Seattle, WA 98103
Discount: 10% off on glasses or contacts when you mention code TPG019

Hounds Tooth Public House
8551 Greenwood Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103
Discount: 10% off all purchases when using your Subscriber Rewards Card. Cannot combine with other discounts.

Ladywell’s Vitality Spa & Sauna
8538 1st Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98177
Discount: 10% off entry when you present your Subscriber Rewards Card.

Luna Azul Latin CuisineNEW THIS YEAR!
8552 1/2 Greenwood Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103
Discount: 10% off when you use your Subscriber Rewards Card.

Luso Food and Wine
8218 Greenwood Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103
lusoseattle.com | 206.694.3524
Discount: $1 off Portuguese Wine and small plates. $3 off large plates.
Luso Special: $5 off Happy Hour Food Menu, wine or beer from 3 PM – 6 PM, Wednesday to Saturday.

Modern Japanese Cuisine
6108 Phinney Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103
modern-seattle.com | 206.420.4088
Discount: 10% off of the total when you present your Subscriber Rewards Card.

The Olive and Grape
8516 Greenwood Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103
theoliveandgrape.com | 206.724.0272
Discount: 10% discount off your bill when you present your Subscriber Rewards Card.

Seatown Veterinary Care
8542 1st Ave NW, Seattle, Wa 98117
Discount: Show your Subscriber Rewards Card and receive 10% off on all professional services (does not include lab work or prescriptions/OTC products).

Truffle QueenNEW THIS YEAR!
1524 Pike Place, Seattle, WA 98101
Discount: $8 wine tasting and $5 pours (normally $10 each).