Original new play, ‘The King in Yellow’ performs this month

By Darlanne Cruz

Theater Artists Olympia (TAO) is running an original new play, ‘The King in Yellow’, written by Xander Layden and directed by pug Bujeaud.

The play is an adaptation of Robert W. Chambers’ collection of short stories that combines horror fiction with gothic, mythology, fantasy, science fiction, and romance elements.

The play starts as a Victorian comedy complete with love triangles, witty banter, and cross-dressing, then takes a dark turn with the introduction of a cursed play, leading to a thrilling and bloody climax.

Layden, a long-time collaborator with TAO, found inspiration for the play in his teenage years upon reading Chambers’ stories.

Layden described the original material as, “Short stories only provide the barest sketches of what The King in Yellow might be about, with only a few snippets of dialogue and some vague impressions of its content to go on. It’s just suggestive enough to get your imagination going as you read the book, and naturally it’s an inspiring source material for a play.”

The idea of this play blossomed during a viewing of ‘Bunbury’ at Olympia Little Theater, also directed by Bujeaud, to which a good friend has jokingly made a remark about “King in Yellow adaptation that started off in the same manner as a Bunbury or an Earnest, but flipped on a dime with a scene of terrible violence.”

Bujeaud, a veteran of the South Sound theater scene, brings her extensive experience to the production.

Known for her versatile directing style, Bujeaud has a track record of critically acclaimed shows such as Reservoir Dogs, Silent Sky, and The House on Pooh Corner, among others.

The cast features Olympia’s most talented artists such as Paige Doyle, Rodman Boleck, Victoria Austin, and Kate Ayers.

‘The King in Yellow’ will be performed at Oly Theater, located inside Capital Mall, on May 17, 18 and 25 at 7:30 p.m., and on May 12, 19 and 26 at 2:00 p.m.

Tickets are priced at $20 and can be purchased at the Oly Theater website or at the door.

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