Actors on stage during Sage Theatre's production of King Kirby
King Kirby | Photo: Jeff McDonald, McDonald Photography

Sage 20th Birthday Celebration

Join the party and check out four plays in four nights

Amy Jo Espetveidt

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For the past two decades, Sage Theatre has been exploring deep into characters and sharing stories that look into what it means to be alive today. Join in the celebrations and check out four plays in four nights!

Returning to the stage this October are a few beloved scripts from Sage’s past—a tribute to some of the company’s high moments that explores stories that are as relevant now as they were when first mounted.

Of course, 20 years is a long time and Sage Theatre has grown over the years while staying true to its core values.

“In many ways, what Sage Theatre has been searching for has never changed—stories to examine what it means to be human now. Stories that introduce you to characters and situations that you’d otherwise be unlikely to meet. Stories that help build a greater sense of empathy and understanding with the world around you,” explains Sage Theatre’s Artistic Director Jason Mehmel.

“Also, clearly, we have changed. When we started, we weren’t doing the IGNITE! Festival yet. Also, I think we’ve grown from the initial core of folks who formed the company, and the fabulous team that took us through our middle years. We’ve grown into a place where established artists come to us to try something a little different, and where emerging artists build a bridge into their profession.”

From its past productions, join Sage Theatre for Slavs! by Tony Kushner, a witty and theatrical comedy parodying the fall of the Soviet Union, Scorched by Wajdi Mouwad, a family driven story about two Canadian twins uncovering their own history, and King Kirby by Fred Van Lente and Crystal Skillman, a play about the genius behind Captain America, The Hulk, and The Avengers.

Finally, continuing its mission of fostering new work, you can catch A.I. AM on the fourth and final night, a developing project with Bruce Barton and Vertical City.

Each show runs for one night only and features local actors. It’s quite the way to celebrate two decades of work!

“This wasn’t an easy choice,” continues Mehmel. “We’ve done great plays every year since we started. This list was chosen not just because they were good, but because they still have something to say to us today.”

And this four-day run is just the start of an exciting season with The Orange Dot by Sean Dixon coming up in April and the popular IGNITE! Festival returning in June.

“From working as an IGNITE! emerging director in 2006 to today, I’ve been excited to see what the newest members of our community have to say,” says Mehmel. “And I’ve been lucky enough recently to help them make that happen.”

As for the future, Sage Theatre is committed to continue to tell stories about the world we’re living in.

“What’s exciting about doing this work is that the method—telling stories—doesn’t change, but the world does. Which changes the nature of the stories we tell and how we tell them. So, I hope that we never stop being part of that dynamic,” concludes Mehmel. “Working this way means that we’re always challenging ourselves in terms of the work we’re making and the style of performance that we’re using. That’s another thing I hope we keep doing—challenging ourselves and our local artists to create powerful stories.”

The celebration runs October 16 to 19, 2019 at the Pumphouse Theatre (2140 Pumphouse Ave. SW). Tickets are $20 per play and the whole schedule can be found at