After a year and a half of mostly movie screenings, online events and outdoor performances, the Whidbey Island Center for the Arts is planning a fall and winter season chock-full of indoor, in-person events.
At the same time, the theater is instating a stricter COVID-19 policy that all staff members, vendors, performers and attendees will be required to follow.
The theme for WICA’s new season may be “Gather,” which Executive Director Verna Everitt said is certainly the goal, but it’s also about revolutions and revolutionaries.
Talent from the Seattle area and Whidbey locals will be joining the cast for “The Revolutionists,” WICA’s fall play that runs Oct. 8-23. Written by Lauren Gunderson, the play features four real women from the time of the French Revolution — including Marie Antoinette — and a healthy dose of girl power.
The Whidbey Island Film Festival, scheduled for Jan. 14-23, also has a theme of “Revolution.” The annual film festival was started by Everitt and is now in its fourth year. Over the years, it has grown from a two-day event to an eight-day affair.
Films that will be screened during the festival include those that were considered controversial during their time, such as “Lawrence of Arabia,” “Dr. Strangelove,” “Lolita” and “The Graduate.”
Many of the films chosen were released during the 1960s, which Everitt said the South Whidbey demographic will be able to relate to.
As always, there are a series of popular events that will be returning to the WICA stage. DjangoFest Northwest will be running Sept. 22-26 in all its stringed instrument glory. Because the event is so popular, additional seating will be added to the theater. It may be a smaller festival than usual this year, but it still runs the same number of nights.
Beloved librarian Nancy Pearl will be sharing her top favorite books with audience members Nov. 11. The live event is free of charge and in partnership with the Sno-Isle Libraries.
A favorite among the young men from the North End — as Everitt joked — the Atomic Bombshells will be coming to the stage with a spooky burlesque performance Oct. 30.
Starting Oct. 7, WICA is requiring that anyone entering the theater — performers and staff members included — must either show a photo ID and proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test. The organization’s board of directors voted unanimously at a special meeting Aug. 19 to adopt the new policy for indoor activities.
“We will continue to be diligent about monitoring news and developments surrounding public health and safety and our COVID plans will continue to evolve in step with government recommendations,” the Aug. 27 announcement from the board chairperson read.