Monday, April 16, 2018

SIFF Press Accreditation 2018

Media Accreditation!

Calling all Seattle area press. If you'd like to cover SIFF for the 2018 festival, make sure to get your media accreditation submitted by April 20th (that's this Friday).

See the Seattle International Film Festival and get access to events unavailable to the public.

Fill out as much as you can, links are fine if you don't have files available to share. We do need a photo, so pick a favorite picture and get yourself accredited.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Is Seattle's Theatre scene oversaturated?

Living in Seattle and being a theatre fan can be dizzying. The vast array of productions available on a single weekend can leave an arts fan overwhelmed. How can this many companies survive in such a relatively small city? The question facing the theatrical community is: is Seattle's theatre scene oversaturated?

It's an embarrassment of riches, but is it too much of a good thing? As established and up and coming groups struggle to draw crowds it begins to appear that supply has overtaken demand. Small companies with limited budgets are trying to make a mark, and while the scene is certainly not completely dominated by multimillion dollar companies, it can be hard for producers with modest budgets to gain traction. Where does a mid-sized or small institution find audiences who aren't already burned out or committed to other shows?

Take the case of the “little company that could” - Sound Theatre Company. Sound Theatre Company has an annual budget of under $100,000, but critically they are often on par with the bigger companies like The Seattle Repertory Theatre, ACT Theatre, and Book-It Repertory to name a few. Sound Theatre is doing things right artistically, producing excellent plays and musicals with quality talent; they produce works that include diverse casting and take on important social issues. Sound Theatre Company has already won The Gregory Award for Best Theatre Company in the face of companies that have multimillion dollar budgets, and this year Sound is nominated for 8 Gregory Awards including Outstanding Production and Best Theatre (The Gregory Awards is the Seattle equivalent of The Tony Awards and is named after Gregory A. Falls - A Seattle Theatrical Pioneer and the founder of ACT - A Contemporary Theatre).

Sound has to compete with the likes of ACT Theatre, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Cafe Nordo, Seattle Public Theatre, Washington Ensemble Theatre, New Century Theatre Company, The 5th Avenue, Seattle Immersive Theatre, and scores of small and medium sized theatre companies that don't have venues of their own. The mission seems even more foolhardy when you factor in the dozens of other performing arts options that draw big crowds in Seattle like Dance, Ballet, Opera, Burlesque, Cabaret, and live music that fill every available stage every weekend. 

Is this an impossible task for a small company that wants to start drawing bigger audiences? A city that has around a hundred shows on a Friday night is bound to have a lot of empty seats and half filled halls. While the Census Bureau lists Seattle as the 22nd largest city in the U.S. it’s definitely in the top 10 or even top 5 nationally for artistic institutions and performance options. (Non scientific, but after New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago, it's hard to imagine many other cities that have the artistic reputation Seattle has).

So for a company like Sound, is it worth it? Such a risky and expensive endeavor as producing live theatre yields a meager reward fiscally. And secondly, what is the formula for filling every seat in the theatre. Is it even worth it? 

The answer is a resounding yes! If the muse strikes, if the passion is there, and if the desire and inspiration gets the artist jumping out of bed in the morning, then yes - it is absolutely worth it. And If the show is quality, one would hope that it's enough to bring the people in, but that is rarely the case. How do you grab that big audience though? What's the secret? 

What's the magical ingredient to draw a crowd in a city awash with amazing theatre? Is the key social media, is it advertising, is it beautiful high quality print material, is it video marketing, is it good photography, is it word of mouth, is it hand-to-hand marketing, is it a publicity stunt, is it immersive events, is it community outreach, is it Instagram, is it is it clever uses of new technology, is it mobile friendly material, is it a press worthy story, is the show buzz-worthy, is it diverse, is it relevant, is it the kind of thing that makes you write to your family and say "hey Mom, see this show”??? The answer is both simple and extremely difficult, it's all of the above, and then some. 

What matters is the hustle and the passion and the experience. Assess what worked and what didn’t, then with a little more wisdom and a modicum of experience, you try again, even harder than the day before. So, with every resource you can muster, you do what you can, in the place that you are, with the time that you have, and hope that it’s enough.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Studio 54 Experience

The Studio 54 Experience Fri May 29 | Neptune Theatre Go beyond watching a film and be part of the magic. For one night only, the Neptune Theatre becomes Club Studio 54: complete with disco atmosphere, dance lessons, classic music videos, and live performances by actor-comedian-dancer Mark Siano (“Seattle Vice,” “Modern Luv,” “The Soft Rock Kid”). This is SIFF like you've never experienced it before!

Sunday, March 04, 2012

MODERN LUV - The new musical by Mark Siano 2012 at The Triple Door

Music & Lyrics: Mark Siano & Opal Peachey, Book: Jeanne Lee

Mark Siano & friends are returning to the Triple Door with an original musical comedy...then off to New York City to debut in Manhattan.

In a world where texting, emailing, Facebooking, and “liking” have usurped traditional romance, two modern lovers go in search of something real. Through the internet, Mark Siano, who fancies himself Seattle's god of soft rock (dancing around in an 80s sparkletard), strikes up an unlikely long distance relationship with east-
coast hard rocker Opal Peachey. Despite their obvious differences, technology helps them find they're not so different after all. Problem is, no one is who they pretend to be online.

CAST: Mark Siano, Opal Peachy, Hillary Gault, Kimmie Durham, David Swidler, Madison Greenlund, Luke Thayer, Jeremy Adams

THE BAND: "The Enablers" John Kranz (keys), Kathy Moore (guitar), Troy Lund (drums), Lawrence Leggett (bass), Brian Kinyon (backing vox), Steven Dever (backing vox)


PRODUCERS: Mark Siano & Donna Stewart


WHO: Mark Siano's original musical Modern Luv
WHERE: Triple Door - 215 Union St. Seattle
WHEN: March 15th, 16th, and 17th
Thur. 7:30, Fri. 7:30 & 10:30, Sat. 7:30 & 10:30
(7:30 shows are all ages, 10:30 shows 21+)
TICKETS: 206-838-4333 or

Friday, October 21, 2011

To Savor Tomorrow - Opens Oct 28th with Cafe Nordo

Set aboard a Pan Am 707 headed for the Seattle World's Fair of 1962, this spy comedy will delight audiences with it's fanciful flight of cocktails, delicious artisan dishes, and hilarious performances from some of Seattle's top talent. for tix

Friday, August 19, 2011

THE HABIT Sept 9- 19 Seattle Public Theatre at Greenlake Bathhouse

Descending upon Greenlake like a thundering herd of Valkyrie, THE HABIT look to destroy their hometown once more with an all new show of Sketch Comedy, their first in Seattle in a decade.

Seattle, WA – August 16, 2011 –Returning to Seattle after performing in New York, Montreal, Los Angeles, and Chicago, THE HABIT are back to prove they can still tear down the house with laughter wielding their unique brand of fast paced Sketch Comedy. An audience favorite and critical darling, THE HABIT amassed a devout following and a scrap book of rave reviews that would make a grandmother weep tears of joy. Their all new show finds delicious nuggets of comedy in between the cushions of pop culture on the absurd couch of modern life.

Bathhouse Theatre on Greenlake
September 9-17 - Fridays at 8pm, Saturdays at 8pm and 10:30
Tickets: 1-800-838-3006

The Bathhouse Theatre on Greenlake
7312 W Green Lake Dr N
Seattle, WA 98103-4816

Written and Performed by: The Habit
The Habit: John Osebold, Mark Siano, David Swidler, Luke Thayer, Jeff
Schell, Ryan Dobosh, Austin Elston
Producer: Mark Siano (Marxiano Productions)
Stage Manager: Austin Elston
Designer: Jeff Schell
Contributing Writer: Tommy Smith
Photography: John Cornicello
2nd Photographer/Backstage: Ryan Dobosh

“Really f**king funny… Go. You won’t regret it.”
-The Stranger

"The boys of The Habit have a reputation for hitting comic home runs."
-The Seattle Weekly

"One of the liveliest sketch-comedy teams to emerge from Seattle"
-Seattle Times

“One of the Emerald City’s top comedy troupes.”
-Time Out New York

“A+…As good as anything on television.”
-Uptown Winnipeg

THE HABIT does there first Seattle show in 10 years


Sunday, February 06, 2011

MODERN LUV at The Triple Door

MODERN LUV…it's complicated

Mark Siano & friends are about to get all up in your inbox with their new Triple Door show MODERN LUV

Seattle, WA – February 1, 2011 –Seattle comedian and cabaret crooner Mark Siano presents his new song and dance spectacular MODERN LUV, a comedy that aims its satirical arrow at romance in the facebook-texting-email era. After consistently selling out the Triple Door with his critically acclaimed Soft Rock shows, Siano and friends return with a hilarious show that everyone will "like" be able to "follow" and totally relate 2 while they lol and lmao. Featuring a great cast of dancers, comedians, and Siano's 7 piece backing band The Enablers, this show will be a can't miss event.

Siano joins forces with his co-star Opal Peachey (from Cafe Nordo's sell-out hit Sauced) as the two try to find true love in the middle of today's tangled web of technology. Featuring original music by Siano including I'm Not The Girl I Am Online, along with crowd favorites Up In Your Inbox and Leave Your Phone Alone; Mark Siano and The Enablers are sure to rock the house as they welcome old favorites Joanna Hardie and Rick Miller to get on the mic and tear the roof off the Triple Door. Assembling a sexy cast of some of Seattle's top dance talent, Siano calls on the Modern Luv Dancers to do the only thing you can when times get rough- dance your ass off in a Sparkletard! Mark's buddies from The Habit (David Swidler, Luke Thayer, and Seattle favorite Ray Tagavilla) will be there as well to lay down the funny with searing parodies and sketch comedy mocking anything and everything about MODERN LUV. With a proven track record of critically acclaimed and sell out crowd favorites, Siano and friends are on a roll, and this is their funniest show to date.

Feb 18, 19 Friday and Saturday 7:30 (all ages) and 10:30 (21+)
Ticket Office 206-838-4333

The Triple Door
215 Union St
Seattle WA 98101

Director / Producer: Mark Siano
Musical Director: John Kranz
Assistant Director: Jeanne Lee
Special Guests: Opal Peachey, Rick Miller, David Swidler, Luke Thayer, Joanna Hardie, Ray Tagavilla
Written by: Mark Siano and Jeanne Lee with contributions from the cast.
Original Music: Mark Siano
The Enablers: John Kranz (keys), Kathy Moore (guitar), Troy Lund (drums), Lawrence Leggett (bass), Eric Padget (horns), Skinny Lynn Cook (horns), Brian Kinyon (backing vocals), Ariel Glassman (backing vox), Lindsay Corbett (backing vox), Amanda Lee Williams (backing vox), Steven Dever (backing vox)
The Modern Luv Dancers: Hailey Hays, Hillary Mencke, Gabriella Cook, Kimberly Durham, Andrew Murray, and Thaddeus Wilson
Photography: Stephen Vest, Victoria VanBruinisse

Mark Siano Productions is an Associate Program of Shunpike

High-Res images available upon request or available for download on Facebook

Media Contact:
Mark Siano
206-898-3644 Triple Door Link Facebook Page Link

Monday, January 24, 2011

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Shaken Not Stirred- Featuring Mark Siano

My latest is in The Pampas Room at El Gaucho, opens March 27th

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Seattle Times write up of Mark Siano and the Freedom Dancers

Mark Siano's '80s music-and-dance homage at ACT

Seattle's Mark Siano and the Freedom Dancers rock softly for the last time.

Mark Siano and his troupe serve up a tongue-in-cheek '80s homage.

'The Soft Rock Kid'

Break out the roller skates, bring on the Freddie Mercury unitard and get ready for some song-and-dance mayhem best described as Cheez-Whizardry.

Mark Siano, with the energetic assistance of the Freedom Dancers ("five beautiful women and one buff gay dude"), are back for one last gig before Siano tests the waters with a new dinner-theater show at El Gaucho starting in late March.

In the meantime he's serving up a greatest-hits show, "The Soft Rock Kid." This "Karate Kid" parody tells the story of how Siano and his Gang of Six "went from zeroes to heroes in three short years."

Expect old Siano classics like "Lady Heart" ("I've got to touch your lady heart / Before I touch your lady parts"), along with some new tunes and a perfectly sincere Patrick Swayze/"Dirty Dancing" tribute.

Siano & Co. will perform with a live band. 8 p.m. Fridays, 8 and 10:30 p.m. Saturdays through Feb. 27, ACT's Falls Theatre, 700 Union St., Seattle; $20 (206-292-7676 or

Michael Upchurch, Seattle Times arts writer

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Shunpike- Donate to Mark Siano Productions


If you'd like to make a tax deductible donation, it'll buy some really cool costumes!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

My Patrick Swayze Article for Sun Break

The temptation to make jokes about Patrick Swayze's passing is strong. I understand this instinct, his legacy is burned into the minds of generations of moviegoers. I will pass on these silly puns about "corners" and "the wind," because although his association with iconic ironic '80s nostalgia and cheesy one-liners may damn him to good-hearted ridicule, we all know that he was something greater--Swayze was the most talented movie star of our lifetime and a man who forever transformed our culture.

Not since Gene Kelly has one man destroyed a nation with charisma and charm, but also with a gift for song and a unwavering devotion to dance. There aren't many men in the movie star stratosphere who can claim the triple threat title, sure there was always John Travolta, a terrifically multi-talented performer. But forgive me Mr. Travolta, you are no Swayze.

Gene Kelly believed that the only hope for the American Movie Musical was Swayze. Late in his life he passed the baton on to a Swayze in hopes that he could revive the dying American art form. Swayze was never successful in resurrecting the Rodgers-and-Hammerstein-style musical, it was a bygone era that had as much hope in returning to prominence as the Western. Swayze's success in cinema achieved an even higher goal, and what he did for American culture as a whole far surpasses what Gene Kelly had intended. He handed us a gift so great, that it lives on today and for decades to come.

Swayze made it cool to dance again.

Sure people were still bopping and grinding around dance floors. But I'm talking about dancing . Grab your partner, spin her around, lift her up, hold her close and don't you dare let her go, especially if she's above your head eight feet in the air. Swayze brought back an art that had nearly vanished and introduced a whole generation to couples dancing.

He did it by achieving what had seemed impossible in a culture of naysayers--he made dancing look masculine. The art of dance for men had lost its luster, men were chided for dancing for being "girly" or "gay." Women and gay men have always been comfortable with learning to dance, but straight men couldn't seem to come to terms with it. Somehow Swayze could pull off a step-ball-change-high-kick-back-step-triple-pirouette and still look like he was about to kick your ass after brushing the beautiful hair from his face.

Siano displays his Swazye-inspired moves with fellow dancer Laura DiMarco (photo by Victoria VanBruinisse)

Without Swayze you wouldn't see the massive return of ballroom dancing that we enjoy today. And male performers aren't afraid to show off some serious dance moves from fear of being labeled a ninny. Justin Timberlake is a rock-star-sex-god when he dances , Hugh Jackman's dance moves are turning him into a modern day Casanova, and huge droves of young men are packing dance halls and classrooms all in an attempt to prove they are strong, stylish, and masculine.

Now, every girl likes a boy who can dance. Especially if he looks like he might be a bit of a bad-ass underneath with a heart of gold. Dancing is cool again, everyone! Now pay homage to the man who made it possible. Thank you Swayze, the world is a better place having known you. I'm off to work on my triple pirouette.

Mark Siano performs his new comedy cabaret "Back to the Soft Rock" October 9 and 10 at The Triple Door (info/tix). Should you wish to see Swayze's on-screen magic, Central Cinema is presenting Dirty Dancing (though tonight) and Roadhouse (through Thursday). Here's their schedule.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Rock Softly Carry a Big Shtick

Seattle Times arts writer

"You guys ready to rock ... softly?"

That question came from singer-dancer-comedian Mark Siano at a jampacked gig at Seattle's Triple Door nightclub in January.

And the answer, apparently, is: Yes, Seattle is ready.

Siano and his six accomplices, the Freedom Dancers ("five beautiful women and one buff gay dude"), have acquired a feverish cult following around town over the past two years with their cheesy dance routines, their even cheesier costume changes and Siano's mocking yet impassioned interpretations of AM radio hits of the 1980s and '90s.

The troupe also has two Bollywood numbers in its repertoire ("the soft rock of the East"), along with several Siano originals: the Kama Sutra-inspired "We Did It Like This, We Did It Like That," the keyboard ballad "Lady Heart" ("I've got to touch your lady heart / Before I touch your lady parts") and a glorious paean to the complications of media-age romantic communication, "Up in Your Inbox."

The 32-year-old Siano is, in short, a very funny guy who, with a little help from his friends, has been reducing Seattle to giggles since the mid-1990s.

Some locals will know him from The Habit, a sketch-comedy troupe as sharp and gifted as they come. Others may have encountered his one-man show, "Pinko Holiday," about his trip to the Beijing Olympics, where he managed to display a political protest sign in the women's basketball arena.

Lately, Siano has curated and hosted a series of Seattle cabarets. The latest, "The Clandestine Cabaret," happens next Friday and Saturday at The Little Theater on Capitol Hill. In the meantime Siano and the Freedom Dancers are working up a big show, with more original tunes by Siano, for The Triple Door in October.

During a recent interview at his studio apartment on Capitol Hill, Siano talked about The Habit, soft rock and other vital matters.

The habit of laughing

Siano was born in Chicago but considers Seattle his hometown. He attended the University of Washington and by age 19 had formed The Habit with fellow students Ryan Dobosh, John Osebold (now of the band/performance outfit "Awesome"), Jeff Schell, Tommy Smith, David Swidler and Luke Thayer. The original name of the troupe paid homage to scientist Humphry Davy, inventor of nitrous oxide (laughing gas). Legend has it that Davy once inhaled himself into a coma — from which he emerged a few days later, still laughing.

"We loved that story so much, we called ourselves Humphry's Habit — the habit of getting together and laughing."

In 1998, they shortened it to The Habit. After a greatest-hits show at Seattle's Bathhouse Theater in 2002, they headed for Los Angeles, hoping to get their own TV series. That didn't happen, and by 2006 a downcast Siano was back in Seattle.

"I was going to stop performing in theater and comedy," he recalls. "I was convinced that I was through with it."

He took a day job in a medical clinic where, unlikely as it sounds, the seeds of his future soft-rock "spectaculars" were planted.

"The music that you can listen to — you only get one choice, really. And that's soft rock. It's Warm 106.9 or nothing."

Siano, ever the "jokester," started parodying the clinic's bland musical fare and got "a lot of laughs" from his co-workers. Then he tried out the same routine at some comedy-club open mikes and elicited a similar response.

"So that," he recalls," became my thing: Hey, I'm a soft-rock guy. Different guys, they like hard rock, or they like rap, or they're hip-hop. I'm kind of a soft-rock guy."

What started as a joke became a serious urge to get back onstage. "I caught the bug all over again," he says. "I wanted to sing. I wanted to make people laugh."

No more "wild" shows

Siano's big soft-rock break came when he got a call from local nightclub Re-Bar, asking if he could put together a show in three weeks: "At first I was freaked out. Then I thought: You know, if I cobble together all my old material, grab a bunch of my friends, start a little dance troupe — yeah, I can put on a show in three weeks!"

From there, Siano's new act took off.

The dance routines — class them under the Hectic Calisthenics School of Pop Choreography — are collaborations between Siano and his fellow dancers. Their inspirations include a lot of 1980s videos and repeated viewings of "Flashdance" and "Dirty Dancing." Siano admits that none of them are formally trained dancers. But, he says, they're stage naturals who "can really shake it."

The performer's vocal background consists of doing musicals in high-school and college. Shortly after graduating from the UW, he got gigs at the Village Theatre in Issaquah, but he worries that he may have gotten "too wild" there: "The last show I did, they didn't give me any direction. They just said, 'Just sing the song and get a few laughs.' I got a little too creative. I went out into the audience. I scared the people in the music pit. Once I left the building entirely and came back in through a different entrance. I hope one day they'll have me back. I think I have to convince them that I've grown up since."

As for his new show's song selections, they're more than just a joke to him.

"I know to a lot of people who come to see it, they enjoy it because they think that music is funny. I enjoy it because I really love that kind of music. I enjoy people who sing full voice," he says, "and aren't afraid to say a few cheesy things. Because love can be 'cheesy' — it's OK."

Soft-rock, he notes, with its "soaring" melodies also gives you a chance to show off: "It's not so much about being clever as it is about just being as beautiful as you can."

Still, he's not unaware of certain insidious aspects of the genre.

When I mention recently hearing Jefferson Airplane's "Somebody To Love" — a raw slice of psychedelia when it hit the airwaves in 1967 — being played in the hallways of a medical-dental office as though it were off some E-Z listening compilation, Siano pronounces in oracular tones: "Soft rock is a black hole. Anything that isn't deliberately metal will eventually get sucked into soft rock."

Michael Upchurch:

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Seattle Times Mark Siano Interview and Feature

"Siano is, in short, a very funny guy who, with a little help from his friends, has been reducing Seattle to giggles since the mid-1990s."