By Alia Sinclair
On the Market is a one act play by Jason Odell Williams that follows a middle-aged singer turned realtor, Charlotte (Karin Rogers) in her struggle to find new love after the death of her husband, James (Jalyn Green).
With the help of her best friend and boss, Diane (Amy Anderson) and her co-worker of ten years, Frank (John Dugaw), Charlotte navigates the rocky terrain of the modern dating scene, ready to give up, when she finds a note mysteriously left by her dead husband urging her to move on.
Directed by Rochelle Flynn and Maggie Larrick, On the Market is the Burien Actors Theatre’s (BAT) first live show since March 2020 and the first ever at their new venue, Kennedy Catholic High School. The intimate setting kept the audience immersed in the world of the simple sponge-painted set made to look like a real estate office.
Rogers never missed a beat in her portrayal of the optimistic though struggling Charlotte, playing the ebbs and flows of Charlotte’s emotional reality with authenticity, courage, and heart.
Anderson was the very picture of the supportive best friend, bringing Diane to life with warmth and enthusiasm, at times overstepping in her love of Charlotte, but nevertheless always being there for her.
Anderson, Dugaw, and Green had the daunting task of playing 5-8 characters apiece, differentiating the characters with costume changes and accents. The latter perhaps being the largest struggle for Dugaw and Green in particular, their characters at times seeming to slip between Brooklyn, British, Australian, Southern and back again between sentences.
Globe-trotting accents notwithstanding, both Green and Dugaw were believable as the multiple characters they were asked to play, some done masterfully well, such as Green switching between the loud, devil-may-care Long Island delivery guy and the soulful, tender voice of Charlotte’s deceased husband, James.
Dugaw’s principal role is that of Charlotte’s long-time co-worker and secret admirer, Frank. Sometimes over-acted, at times the character of Frank lacked a depth that left the audience feeling more as if they were reading along with the script as opposed to seeing an independent character come to life. Dugaw seemed far more comfortable in roles that required less vulnerability, such as his final role in the show of “Nice Husband.” Able to hide behind an accent and without the need to show as much vulnerability, Dugaw seemed more comfortable, able to let loose in the moment and have fun with his character.
Green was the chameleon of the cast, playing each character so distinctly well you weren’t at all sure if he was indeed the same actor. From Charlotte’s grief counselor, to a very excited German homebuyer, and the aforementioned home delivery guy, Green really lived each of his characters uniquely and skillfully.
Although light and sound cues were often abrupt, loud, and late, all four actors remained unfazed, staying in character, rolling with whatever came. Visibly nervous with first-night jitters in the opening scene, each actor nevertheless eased into their respective characters and carried the story gracefully.
At its heart, On the Market is a beautifully written script, a truly human story about grief, love, loss, and home. Several audience members found it impossible to remain stoic during the play’s climax and the resolution of Charlotte’s journey, wiping tears caused by the authentically sincere representation of what it looks like to love, lose, and build your life again.
Cast & Crew
- Amy Anderson – Diane, plus Eccentric Wife, Rustic Wife, Excited Girlfriend, and Nice Wife. Amy is so excited to be back on stage after a five-year break. She is thankful to BAT for providing this opportunity to work with such funny and supportive people. Some of her favorite roles have been of the musical theatre sort (Miss Adelaide in Guys and Dolls, Ms. Shields in A Christmas Story, Amazing Maisie in Seussical) so you will understand if Diane breaks out in song. She can’t control it! Amy has the best family and especially gives thanks for the most encouraging husband ever.
- John Dugaw – Frank, plus Date #2, Date #4, Eccentric Husband, Chatty Husband 1, Rustic Husband, and Nice Husband. When John is not on stage he often talks to himself in a small padded room (voice acting), or, writing and designing software. His recent stage credits include OSLC Mustard Seed’s Hello Dolly (Horace), Children’s Ballet Theatre’s Nutcracker (Drosselmeier), Edmonds Driftwood Players’ Holmes and Watson (understudy all male characters), and choking on dust during the Washington Midsummer Renaissance Festival playing a German mercenary. John thanks the directors, producers, his fellow cast mates, and everyone involved in making this show a reality, for the love, support, and opportunity to pursue a dream made real, acting. Making art makes magic. Loving and supporting communities gives artists the JUICE needed to make art. A glance at any newspaper should let us all know we need more magic in the world. GO MAKE IT!
- Jalyn Green – James, plus Grief Counselor, Date #1, Date #3, Mark, Chatty Husband 2, Excited Boyfriend, and Delivery Guy. Jalyn is returning to BAT for the first time since playing Igor in Young Frankenstein. Jalyn is an Aries/Taurus cusp, who studied at Centralia College and at the UW, and whose work has been seen up and down the I-5 Corridor. His most recent credits as an actor include The Foreigner (As If Theatre), God of Carnage (Phoenix Theatre), 12 Angry Jurors and Frost/Nixon (Secondstory Rep), Midsummer Night’s Dream (Greenstage), Accomplice (Renton Civic Theatre), Clue (Olympia Little Theatre), and as Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird (Driftwood Theatre). As a director, his most recent credits include Around the World in 80 Days (Secondstory Rep) and It’s a Wonderful Life, a Radio Play (Bainbridge Performing Arts). By day you can catch him down the street working at Umpqua Bank. It’s good to be back! Enjoy the show!
- Karin Rogers – Charlotte. Karin is thrilled to be making her professional debut with Burien Actors Theatre. Karin grew up acting in Portland, Oregon. She went on to study acting and perform in productions at Skidmore College (including Execution of Justice, Waiting for Lefty, and The Trial) and Stanford University (including Twelfth Night, The Sphinx, and Fen). After moving to Seattle, she continued her studies at Freehold Theatre before taking a long pause to pursue other dreams. She ended that pause a few years ago, returning to study at Freehold, where she has been fortunate to learn from an amazing group of teachers, mentors, and new friends. Thanks and love to her endlessly supportive and encouraging family, friends, and teachers; to her new BAT family; to Aimee for helping her find her voice; and to Dennis, the Greatest Guy in the World.
- Maggie Larrick (Co-Director, Co-Production Manager, Set Designer, Costume Designer) was initially sucked into the vortex of theater to paint sets for a high school play, which led to acting, directing, design and more. Maggie has worn many hats at BAT since 2005 and previously with small Seattle-area theaters such as Triad Ensemble and Theatre Schmeater. She has directed 13 productions at BAT with her insightful and gifted colleague Rochelle Flynn, four of them by Jason Odell Williams. Recent costume design includes Native Gardens, Hay Fever and The Play’s the Thing. Recent set design includes BAT’s Playwrights Festivals and outdoor parks shows. Maggie is grateful to the show cast, production team, volunteers, and supporters for an amazing show and experience. And much appreciation to the audience for being an indispensable part of the BAT family!
- Rochelle H. Flynn (Co-Director) is very happy to be back at BAT for the return of live indoor theatre! She is delighted to be co-directing this charming, upbeat play with the supremely talented, Maggie Larrick, for their thirteenth show together. Previous collaborations include Jason Odell Williams’ Church And State, Handle With Care, and Destroying David. She has directed and/or acted in over 30 BAT productions. Rochelle has been an actress, director and teacher for most of her life. She was a founding member of Brass Ring Theatre and has worked with a variety of theatres in the greater Puget Sound area, including Latino Theatre Projects, Centerstage Theatre, and Tacoma Little Theatre. She has taught classes for King County ARC, Bellevue Parks and Recreation, North Seattle Community College and Burien Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services.
- Heather Bernadette (Stage Manager, Costume Designer) is excited to be working on another show with BAT. She has stage-managed for BAT since Church & State in 2018. Heather has been stage-managing for over a decade, working at theaters such as Seattle Musical Theatre, Centerstage, Annex, Latino Theatre Projects, Broadway Bound, and Pacific Play Company. By daytime she is education coordinator, production manager, and teaching artist. Thanks to a wonderful team here at BAT. Luvs to David. Enjoy the show!
- Jason Odell Williams (Playwright) – An Emmy Award nominee, Jason’s plays have been produced all over the country and include CHURCH & STATE and HANDLE WITH CARE (which both ran Off-Broadway for over 100 performances and are published by DPS), AMERICA IN ONE ROOM (published by TRW Plays), DESTROYING DAVID, ON THE MARKET, SOMEONE ELSE, DIVISION STREET, BALTIMORE IN BLACK & WHITE, and a new farce called MAKE ‘EM LAUGH! which will premiere at high schools in Iowa, South Carolina and New York this year. He’s currently writing a musical called THE SOUND (Semi-Finalist, 2023 National Music Theater Conference at the O’Neill Theatre Festival) with his wife and collaborator, Charlotte Cohn, and composer Christian Douglas. On television, Jason’s work as a writer and producer has been seen on National Geographic, the History Channel, Discovery, and Netflix. Jason lives in New York City with his wife and their 17 year old daughter – a budding artist, naturally.
Below are photos of the play, courtesy Michael Brunk:
On the Market runs Friday through Sundays through March 5 at Kennedy Catholic High School’s Little Theater (map below); look for signage and/or volunteers for directions from the school’s main parking lot.
*Masks are required in the theater. If you do not have a mask, one will be provided at the door.
Kennedy Catholic High School is located at 140 S 140th Street, Burien, WA 98168:
Alia Sinclair is a writer residing in SeaTac. She is passionate about the arts and connecting people through the written word. She is the founder and editor-in-chief of Patchwork Mosaic, a magazine for creatives.