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Letters Aloud

Before They Were Famous – letters on the way up

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Sat Oct 28, 2023
7:30 pm PDT


The Wyncote NW Forum
1119 8th Ave (Entrance off Seneca St.)
Seattle, 98101 United States
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Arts & Culture

Have you ever dreamed of being famous? Imagined what it would be like to have all your dreams come true? Recognition, adoration, basking in the limelight. Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? But dig a little deeper and you’ll find that “The Road To Fame” is a prickly path, filled with twists & turns, backstabbing & betrayals.

Experience a captivating journey into fame as the performers of Letters Aloud bring to life personal and illuminating letters from renowned figures like Stephen King, Dorothy Parker, Vincent Van Gogh, Emily Dickinson, Bruce Lee, Oprah Winfrey, and Tom Hanks, and explore the steep cost and evolving nature of what it means to be “famous” from those who have traversed its path.

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A riotously funny, movingly poignant, and thought-provoking experience brought to life by a gifted ensemble of professional actors, with live musical accompaniment, and a dynamic slide show, “Before They Were Famous” is a show that leaves audiences with smiles on their faces and much to discuss on their drive home.

Letters Aloud is a performing arts company that brings to life intimate, thought-provoking, and often humorous stories hidden within private letters of the past.

Their performances are a unique combination of literature, theatre, and live music that celebrates the beauty of the written word and the human experience. (If you take NPR’s Selected Shorts, cross it with The Moth podcast and add just a pinch of the old A Prairie Home Companion, you pretty much have their show…except, of course, with letters.)

They believe that letters are more than just pieces of paper; they are windows into the past, bridges between people, and tools for empathy and connection. Reading them aloud in front of an audience makes for a truly unique and powerful collective experience.

Whether you’re a fan of literature, history, or simply good storytelling, we invite you to join us on a journey through the written word. Letters Aloud is a celebration of the human spirit and we look forward to sharing it with you.

About the Performers:


Paul is the creator and curator of Letters Aloud and a co-founder (and former Co-Artistic Director) of Seattle’s multi-award-winning New Century Theatre Company. A well-known Seattle actor, Paul has appeared on numerous local stages over the past 20 years, including ACT Theatre, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Village Theatre, Seattle Children’s Theatre, Intiman Theatre, and Empty Space Theatre, as well as numerous regional theatres across the country. He holds a BA in English Literature at Cal State Northridge and an MFA in Theatre Arts from Penn State University.


Basil Harris is a Seattle actor and musician who has worked extensively on stage and in film and media. As a voice actor, he’s a regular contributor to the audio dramas of Jim French’s Imagination Theater. He also plays in the alt-pop band “Awesome”, which will be appearing here at Town Hall in December. More at basilharris.com


Claudine is an actor out of Seattle, Washington, and a core company member of the prestigious ACT Theatre where she has appeared in numerous plays and is a two-time Gregory Award Winner for her work on stage. Film/TV credits include Everything Sucks!, Raising Dion, and Outside In (Netflix); Three Busy Debras on HBO Max and Grimm on NBC. Up next: directing Stew by Nora Howard at ACT Theatre, March 15-31.


Ray Tagavilla is a UW Drama Program graduate and a recipient of the 2012, 2014 Gregory Award for Best Supporting Actor for Jesus Hopped the A Train and A Small Fire and 2016 for Lead Actor for The Last Days of Judas Iscariot. His most recent theater credits were Two Mile Hollow at Intiman Theater, Titanish at Seattle Public, and recent film credits were Three Busy Debras with Adult Swim/HBO Max.


Alexandra Tavares is one of Seattle’s most treasured theatre actors. She most recently portrayed Caliban in Seattle Rep’s The Tempest, as well as The Winter’s TaleThe OdysseyConstellations (nominated for Outstanding Actress), Three Tall Women, and The Great Moment at Seattle Rep. She is a co-founder of The Seagull Project and has performed with them as Nina in The Seagull, Masha (nominated Outstanding Actress) in The Three Sisters, and Yelena in Uncle Vanya. She holds an M.F.A. in acting from the University of Washington.


Jamie is a musician, music director, educator and ambassador of the accordion. She is co-founder of the Brazilian bands Foleada, En Canto, and the accordion duo Creosote. She has been heard with the Pueblo Symphony, Seattle Symphony, and Seattle Philharmonic. Jamie has also played the role of Nelly Friedman in Paula Vogel’s award-winning play, Indecent, twice.

Presented by Town Hall Seattle.

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