Sunday, September 27, 2020

The Driftwood Bridge streaming free online

Thomas Hitoshi Pruiksma and David Mielke

Courtesy Photo

Not even a worldwide pandemic can stop theater people from doing their thing, as demonstrated by such events as Harlequin Productions’ ongoing radio web series of theatrical shows and Pug Bujeaud’s Zoom performance of her drama The Culling. And now comes The Driftwood Bridge - An Offering of Story and Song by David Mielke and his husband Thomas Hitoshi Pruiksma.

This cabaret-style musical can now be seen free of charge online.

The show started as something the couple wrote and performed for their wedding guests in 2018 at Open Space for Arts and Community on Vashon Island. It quickly evolved into a full professional theatrical production that was staged in November of 2019 in the Kay White Hall at the Vashon Center for the Arts. At the time it was called Gaybaret.

It was scheduled for a five week-run in Seattle at the 12th Avenue Arts Studio Theater but had to be rescheduled because of the pandemic.

“Due to heartfelt requests from previous audience members who want to share the show with their friends, we've decided to make The Driftwood Bridge available to theatre audiences free on-demand online by streaming the production we filmed in November,” Mielke says. “Since it touches on themes that have become even more relevant in these challenging times, we wanted to make it available in people’s homes.”

Mielke explains: “The Driftwood Bridge is a two-person theatrical and musical memoir about taking experiences that wash up on the existential beaches of our lives and using them to build a bridge to carry us forward. The show explores life after loss, intergenerational forgiveness, and the ways mentors and friends help us feel ready to say yes to love—gay, straight, or otherwise.”

With Pruiksma on piano, each performer alternately tells their own story and sings songs—about letting go of old shame, learning to trust, and acknowledging the mystery of life. As with many rituals honoring what is known but unseen, the show bows to the joyful play of what seems to be serendipity.

“There’s a thread running through the show about openness to wonder, to the poetry of lived life,” Pruiksma says. “Our experiences may appear to be chaotic and random, but often there is some more mysterious pattern we can see or help to create that leads to unexpected gifts.”

The show continues until December 31, on, where Mielke and Pruiksma are also showcasing another Covid-coping endeavor, a video series they've produced called Broadway in the Yurt, recently featured in the "Modern Love" column of the New York Times.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Tacoma Little Theatre’s ‘Page to Screen’ Presents the Final Assignment

Tacoma Little Theatre's Page to Screen program presents an exciting virtual drama: James A. Gilletti’s, The Final Assignment, directed by pug Bujeaud, stage managed by Nena Curley and featuring some of the Pacific Northwest’s finer actors. It is a one-night-only staged reading, and it is free and online.

This is Gilletti's first off-the-shelf production with TLT. When he isn't busy writing, Gilletti can be found baking, infusing booze, or selling real estate. “But not simultaneously, thank goodness,” he quips. He lives with his wife, two dogs, and tortoise in Lakewood.

The Final Assignment follows a young college graduate on the last day of his internship with a radio station. On a fateful day, Nov. 22, 1963, when a fellow reporter no-shows at the last minute, the intern gets tapped for a mobile news unit post at the corner of Elm and Houston Street just as President Kennedy's motorcade passes the Texas Schoolbook Depository. What follows is a sequence of events that will push this young man's capabilities to their limits, force him to confront his greatest fear, and change his life irreversibly. 

Gilletti describes The Final Assignment as an historical drama that tells the story of Sam Patterson, a young man who dreams of working in radio and finally gets his big break just as . . . well, you read the previous paragraph.

The Final Assignment features the talents of: Joel Thomas, Mason Quinn, W. Scott Pinkston, Randy Clark, Steve Tarry, Ronnie Allen, Gretchen Boyt, Frank Roberts, Paul Richter, Jess Allan,

Tacoma Little Theatre’s Page to Screen welcomes local playwrights an opportunity to have their scripts performed in a virtual staged reading.  Pieces range in length from scenes, one acts, or full length plays and musicals. To submit your script for consideration, please visit

The Final Assignment is free, Oct. 3, 2020 at 7 p.m. with donations gladly accepted.  To watch the performance you may join by visiting, or by following the link to YouTube (  For questions or more information, call (253) 272-2281.



Monday, September 7, 2020

Harlequin Announces Free Radio Series


Along with other live events across the nation, Harlequin Productions’ 2020 Season was halted in March 2020. To complete this year’s season, the theater announces a six-week online radio series, to run September 20 – October 31, 2020. Productions will run for one week each, premiering Sundays at 7:30 pm PST, with a run proceeding Tuesday – Saturday of that week at 7:30 pm PST. Local and regionally known directors will helm each work. All performances are free to the public; space is limited for each performance. To reserve a free ticket or for more information, visit or

 Sept 20 – Sept 26: The Highest Tide directed by Aaron Lamb

A sensory experience emanates from the pages of local author Jim Lynch’s bestselling novel, which instantly transports us beneath the waters of a marine world teeming with infinite life and exquisite possibility.

 Sept 27 – Oct 3: For Peter Pan on Her 70th Birthday directed by Kathryn Dorgan

The refusal to grow up confronts the inevitability of growing old in Pulitzer Prize-nominated playwright Sarah Ruhl’s lyric comedy.

 Oct 4 – Oct 10: A Bright Room Called Day directed by Aaron Lamb

From the Pulitzer-winning playwright behind Angels in America comes a dramatic parable for our time. This early Tony Kushner work follows a group of artists and political activists struggling to preserve themselves in 1930s Berlin as the Weimar Republic surrenders to the seduction of fascism. 

 Oct 11 – Oct 17: This Flat Earth directed by Lauren Love

Stuck at home in a state of shocked limbo after a horrific school tragedy, Julie and Zander, two twelve-year-olds, try to make sense of what they witnessed, their awkward crushes, and an infinitely more complicated future — but the grown-ups are no help at all. An urgent response to our times by playwright Lindsey Ferrentino.

 Oct 18 – Oct 24: Snow in Midsummer directed by Desdemona Chiang

In a contemporary re-imagining of one of China’s most famous classical dramas, a young widow curses those who executed her for a crime she did not commit. Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig’s new interpretation of the Guan Hanqing original was first produced as part of the “Chinese Translations Project” at the Royal Shakespeare Company. A second production was received in 2018 at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

 Oct 25 – Oct 31: Halloween Surprise directed by Corey McDaniel

For our last offering in the series, join us for a gripping radio drama in the best Harlequin tradition of chills and thrills, just in time for All Hallow's Eve. 

WHAT: Harlequin Productions presents a free six-week online radio series, completing the 2020 season.

 WHEN: September 20 – October 31, 2020, at 7:30 pm (Mondays are dark)


 TICKETS: Space is limited for each performance; audiences should reserve their free tickets online at

 All casts to be announced