Friday, July 25, 2014

Personal Log: Kris Hambrick (Kirk/producer)

Kris Hambrick is delighted to be able to appear in her fourth episode with Outdoor Trek. She swears she did not cast herself as Kirk, but she's pretty darned glad about it anyway. The only thing she has in common with William Shatner is that Spock gets all the attention, but who can blame anyone for that? She thanks everyone who's let her play in this sandbox. 


What do you think of Outdoor Trek so far, and what are you looking forward to about the upcoming production?
Okay I've been really busy so this production is no longer "upcoming." However! I've been really excited to tackle one of the iconic episodes of The Original Series. While we've done some really awesome episodes, we haven't taken on the ones that most people have strong feelings about or associations with. So I'm excited to see how people respond to an episode that has so much weight in pop culture done by other people. Also, Spock in a beard is priceless.

As for what I think of Outdoor Trek so far, well, I'm still here five years later and I'm not done yet.

What cool things do you do in your life outside of Outdoor Trek?
I shoot lasers. I command the stars. Basically, I could take over the entire universe if we had the equipment. Actually I do planetarium shows at Pacific Science Center and am a sometime laser artist there and I think both of those things are pretty cool. Also I talk way too much about Star Trek and comics. (Obviously cool.) I don't actually have a life outside Outdoor Trek for about half the year because I'm producing/acting/costuming/etc so you should ask me this question in a few months and maybe I'll have something.

I also like really old movies and going to the zoo and thinking every animal is the cutest. I live with a good cat, an evil cat, and the sweetest dog in the universe.

What history do you have with theatrical productions?
I've wanted to be an actor ever since about fifth grade. I'm not even sure why. When I was a kid, I put on shows for my parents based on Doctor Who or Sherlock Holmes. I was always the Doctor or Holmes. This basically makes everything else in my life make sense.

Anyway, here in Seattle I've played a surfer chick with MPD, Puck, the ghost of Christmas Future, and a few teenage boys. It's a niche, but at least there is one for people like me!

What history do you have with Star Trek?
I watched TNG, growing up. I was 8 when it came out, and I loved it. I wasn't able to get past the beginnings of the subsequent shows, and I have very distinct memories of seeing "A Piece of the Action" when I was 7 and wondering why people in the 60s were so stupid and easy to entertain. (I was a lot more serious, as a child. I also thought the Adam West Batman was dumb. Boy was I blind!)

Fast forward to 2005, and Shatner's album "Has Been." Specifically the song, "It Hasn't Happened Yet." I fell in love. With this weird version of humanity as typified by Mr. Shatner. I decided I needed to understand him better, so I started watching ST: TOS. This is the sort of thing which, apparently, leads to forming theater companies. I can't really explain it.

What excites you about the future of mankind?
The future as envisioned by Roddenberry et al is not realistic. They showed us something to strive for, without having to explain how we'd get there. I think that's okay, because right now? I can't imagine living at any other time. We have tremendous problems to solve. And yet, I cannot think of anyone who'd be better off in a previous life. The world is rife with problems, but also with opportunity. We live in a world where minorities have it better than ever before. Our work is not done, nor will it ever be. What's beautiful is that so many people realize that, and keep working.

Also I'm really excited for the time when everything looks like it's from the early 60s. That's gonna be awesome.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Personal Log: Sam Henly (Guard/Henchman)


Sam Henly is a graduate student from Minnesota. His favorite color is red, and his spirit animal is a black and white cat named Penelope. Sam enjoys game theory, doing the dishes, and reciting fake poems. Is that even possible? Maybe he just enjoys extemporaneous doggerel.   


What do you think of Outdoor Trek so far, and what are you looking forward to about the upcoming production?
Outdoor Trek is the best thing that's ever happened to me. Acting in an Outdoor Trek production taught me how to love again. That accomplished, I'm looking forward to playing a thug and menacing the audience during one of Kirk's monologues. Many villains in Star Trek are at least composed or dignified and so playing a malevolent, unhinged mook is a particular treat.

What cool things do you do in your life outside of Outdoor Trek?
I'm writing a thesis on the economics of sex work. That's... pretty much my life. Grad school: major downer. Parents, tell your children.

What history do you have with theatrical productions?
Before playing Spock's love interest in Outdoor Trek's second season I had not acted on stage since Holy Family Elementary School's sixth grade Christmas pageant in 1996.  I played Joseph, had a huge crush on Mary, and nearly died when she put makeup on my face in the coat room before the show.

What history do you have with Star Trek?
After my childhood city was utterly destroyed I lived in my grandparents' basement for several months, and watched The Next Generation on syndication. Episodes at 9pm and 10pm every weeknight! This was the high point of my day, the low point being turning the teevee off after the second episode and trying to sleep in a haunted, witch-ridden basement.

What excites you about the future of mankind?
We can't really lose right? Either we get a lush Star Trek-esque utopia, or a post-apocalyptic hellscape, or a cyberpunk distopia. Sure I would prefer to live in the first, but you have to admit there are some great stories in the latter outcomes as well. Also! The Litter Robot II, if you have a cat and way too much money check it out!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Personal Log: Admiral Joy DeLyria (Producer/Director)


Joy DeLyria, 30, plays badminton on weekdays and takes her tea at four. She studied letters and then made them into words, and is now working on the paragraph thing. When not defying society by wearing breeches instead of the customary bustle, she supervises science, writes books, and loves her mother very much.  She also loves her father but it didn't sound as quaint, and she prefers to sound quaint whenever possible.


What do you think of Outdoor Trek so far, and what are you looking forward to about the upcoming production?
There are so many things I love about this production, but I'll stop at two.

First, I really enjoy making all of the elements of a production make sense thematically.  This is a trick Michael Bowers taught me--when you're tying to decide what phasers in Outdoor Trek look like, decide what message you want to convey, and act accordingly.  This seems simple, but it's very easy to be drawn toward what looks cool, or what I think might make more sense for the audience, or won't be jarring when compared to the original.  In this play, we thought a lot about what the mirror universe was, how it came to be, what these people were like.  That was what helped us make choices about costumes and set pieces.  It was an interesting challenge, and fun.

Secondly, I love the people involved.  Everybody is so smart and interesting, passionate about the production, willing to put in a helluva lot of work without monetary compensation, creative in problem-solving and contributing ideas.  While there are many things I love about Outdoor Trek, that is probably the number one thing I look forward to every year.  That and all the fame and fortune.  And Paul always gives me flowers, so that's cool.

What cool things do you do in your life outside of Outdoor Trek?
I wrote a book that got published once.  I write a lot of writings so maybe that will happen again someday.  I'm making a comic version of Hamlet with stick figures.  At work I do a variety of things, including handle boa constrictors, throw fireballs, freeze things with liquid nitrogen, paint planets, grow germs, write scripts, and develop trainings that include dragons.  I also made a spreadsheet about how you should watch Deep Space 9, if for some reason you're missing that in your life.

What history do you have with theatrical productions?
Wow.  No one's ever asked me that before.  When I was very young, Theater was that cool older dude who was only rarely available and somewhat expensive on dates.  I went all the way in highschool and college, if you know what I mean, but after that Theater just kind of dropped off my map.  I saw Theater occasionally and lusted from afar, but dates were just too expensive and difficult to schedule.

Eventually I learned that Theater had this mad, bad, dangerous-to-know mirror!twin, Community Theater, and I got very interested in becoming involved.  I didn't know how, though.  It wasn't until I saw Atomic Arts' production, Trek In The Park, that I realized I could do Theater.  I could do Theater anytime and anywhere.  I could do Theater in the back of my car; I could do Theater in my house, in my bed; I could do Theater in public parks; I could do Theater in hotels.  I could even do Theater in church (Fremont Baptist, to be specific).

I could do Theater and I did.  Now I have had four bastard children by Theater and I'm looking to have more.  I want to move in with Theater; I want to shack up more than once a year; I want to get more people involved and have orgies with Theater (we're not exclusive).

Theater, I don't know how to quit you.

What history do you have with Star Trek?
I grew up with Next Gen.  I didn't like it.  We called Worf "Peanutbutter Head" and hid behind the couch when he came on.  I was terrified that Geordi might take off his visor and I found Data's skin color repellent.  I didn't even remember Tasha Yar.  I did get super invested in that episode where the Enterprise kept blowing up, but who didn't.

In college my roommate would bribe me to watch Star Trek with her by ordering Domino's pizza.  We had Domino's every time we watched Star Trek when I was growing up.  When I hear the Next Gen theme song there is a Pavlovic response.  I liked pizza.  I still didn't care that much about Star Trek, though.

In 2009 a movie somewhat tangentially related to Star Trek came out.  It was called Star Trek.  I watched it and thought it was fun.  I also thought Kirk and Spock should hook up, and anyway it made me nostalgic for . . . you guessed it, Domino's pizza.  But then I started watching TOS and found love.  The End.

What excites you about the future of mankind?
Instead of saying something that I hope will happen in the future, I'm going to talk about now.  It excites me that we can so easily communicate across continents.  It excites me that voices are being heard that were once silenced; it excites me that gay marriage is legal in Washington, that we have an African American president, that Marvel announced Thor is going to be a woman.  It excites me that brains can be hacked to make prosthetic limbs more useful, and that Curiosity is on Mars, and that private spacecraft are going to ISS.  It excites me that there are stories, like many in the original series of Star Trek, that dream of warp speed and the idea that not only humans but all beings can work toward a goal of mutual respect and understanding.

The future of mankind excites me because despite all of the suffering and hardship, for many of us the present is the most magnificent time to be alive.  It can only get better from here.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Personal Log: Paul Unwin (Scotty)

Paul is thrilled to be part of Hello Earth's 2014 season, his fourth, having played Lt. (Captain) Kevin Thomas Riley in “The Naked Time,” Elias Sandoval in “This Side of Paradise,” and Vanderberg in “Devil in the Dark,” each one the hapless antagonist of their respective episodes. He's not really an engineer, but he plays one in real life.


What do you think of Outdoor Trek so far, and what are you looking forward to about the upcoming production?
I look forward to Outdoor Trek every year, and I count myself lucky to be involved with it. I enjoy innovative way the company adapts the scripts, and makes sense of sometimes strange writing. What I look forward to most, though, is making new friends and reinforcing old friendships. Every Hello Earth show I’ve been in has teamed me up with terrific people whom I’m proud to know.

What cool things do you do in your life outside of Outdoor Trek?
I am involved in improv theater and I play tabletop roleplaying games, two activities that have a lot of overlap. I have two kids, a big extended family, and a fantastic girlfriend all of whom keep me busy, happy, and balanced. Work is… work, but it involves keeping lighting from taking airplanes out of the sky, so it counts as cool.

What history do you have with theatrical productions?
I started out at a Lost Boy in Peter Pan in 4th grade and I’ve done maybe a dozen different shows in total. I had a long gap between college and Outdoor Trek, and I’m glad it’s over, since like Lt. Riley I clearly have the bug. Between Hello Earth shows, I’ve been adding to the improv theater I learned in college by taking classes through Unexpected Productions, and getting together with an amateur group to practice.

What history do you have with Star Trek?
I remember my dad watching the original series on Sundays when it was in syndication, and I enjoyed the animated series quite a bit. I remember being excited when Next Generation was announced, and my family got together to watch it for years. Thanks to Netflix, I’ve caught up with just about every episode of each of the series, and I’ve read a number of novelizations. The one thing I haven’t gotten into has been the fan-made projects. Playing Scott in Mirror, Mirror has put actual technobabble in my mouth for the first time in an Outdoor Trek show, and I have a new respect for the actors who had to spout it for years and years. Poor LeVar.

What excites you about the future of mankind?
I’m excited about increasing automation. I believe increasing automation will make our lives safer, most notably with self-driving cars, and free us up to engage in other activities, even if it’s just catching up on sleep.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Come early! Come often!

We've noticed our audiences showing up earlier and earlier. So this year, we're rewarding you with special treats! Arrive at least an hour early to take advantage of the pre-show entertainment.




On opening night, July 19th, Six Coins Japanese Food Truck will be serving their tasty menu of Japanese food items and beverages from 5:00 until show time. Come hungry!




And beginning at 7:00, enjoy the music of the lovely Apis Malifera, "lyrically driven acoustic music by a girl with 90s rock songs stuck in her head..lodged between clouds and oceanic scenes featuring heartbreak and songs about the weather." 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Personal Log: Stevie VanBronkhorst (Chief Graphic Artist)

©2013 David Rose Photography

Stevie VanBronkhorst is a graphic design and illustrator from Seattle. Though little, she is fierce, and considers the stoat to be an animal of significance in her life. She currently lives in Juneau and works at the newspaper. 


What do you think of Outdoor Trek so far, and what are you looking forward to about the upcoming production?
I am lucky to have been involved in Outdoor Trek from its very first mission in 2010, when I played Uhura. I'm not one for projecting on purpose, so I was very pleased to perform as a puppeteer for the role  of the Horta in "Devil in the Dark" in 2013, and am always very excited when I get to do the poster again. Outdoor Trek always brings together the sweetest and most decent community of actors, and attracts an audience who, like Rodenberry, have a profound respect for humanity and hope for its improvement and future.

What cool things do you do in your life outside of Outdoor Trek?
I pursue eudemonia by being there for my friends, volunteering, trying new things (such as food), and drawing comic books. I've taken an interest in songwriting and have joined the Juneau Pipes and Drums Band. Need a snare drummer in 2016?

What history do you have with theatrical productions?
As a longtime resident of Burien, WA I've worked with Burien Actors Theatre since 2007, with all manner of production and front-of-house tasks, including a great number of posters. It turns out I'm a better person when I go to bed early, so I haven't been up to much here in Juneau, though the theaters here are constantly putting out good shows and the sun never goes down.

What history do you have with Star Trek?
I was homeschooled, and was always home at 5-7 pm, when Star Trek: The Next Generation and Deep Space 9 would be broadcast. The intellectual and moral quandaries presented were heady stuff for a little kid, and the zapping phasers and weird space-judo always came in at the right time to even out the adventure. Star Trek struck me as a show with a strong moral ethos that kept all the derring-do from inanity.

What excites you about the future of mankind?
It's bracing to see more young people interested in making the world a more equitable place, a more nourishing place, and a more livable place. I believe that under the right circumstances, the average Joe has the capacity to be a magnificently kind being. Maybe someday we can maintain a baseline level of circumstances that allows the human race to become one of overwhelmingly benevolent and conscientious creatures. Things will need to change a lot, and hopefully we can get enough people on board at once to make it stick. Travel Earth, the people are really nice!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Personal Log: Helen Parson (Mr. Spock)


Helen Parson has portrayed Spock in every Hello Earth Outdoor Trek and she estimates that she is now approximately 37.02% Vulcan. When she is not applying spirit gum to her ears her logical life choices include making comics, writing music, and playing all the pretty guitars.


What do you think of Outdoor Trek so far, and what are you looking forward to about the upcoming production?
Outdoor Trek is like the magical summer camp in outer space I've always wanted to attend. It's been such a privilege to play Spock four times - I just love fighting with Captain Kirk in my emotional freakouts, getting squirted with bliss-inducing flower chemicals, mind-melding with sentient rock creatures, giving people the Vulcan neck pinch and saying insulting things about humans. I have also established a history of falling in love with fellow cast members and asking them to marry me (well, only one. It's a short history.)

If I've been having the time of my life playing Spock, the apex of my entire existence is going to be playing Evil Spock. The actual original Evil Spock! It's almost as good as playing Hamlet.

What cool things do you do in your life outside of Outdoor Trek?
I've been working for the past eleven years on hand-painting the pages of a post-apocalyptic graphic novel based on a dream I had (which seems fairly illogical actually, if you think about it) in and will probably still be working on it eleven years from now; I also make shorter comics as a means of procrastinating/maintaining my sanity. I am also in a band called Princess Seismograph.

What history do you have with theatrical productions?
I was a drama major at a specialized performing arts high school in Manhattan which had a very demanding regime of study, so I was lucky enough to do a ton of serious acting when I was a teenager as well as read a million plays. In college I was part of a lot of amazing productions, including Heiner Müller's Medeamaterial (in translation) a combination silent film/live theater production of Hamlet in which I played Ophelia. I was also part of Hard Bard Macbeth with Greenstage, playing four characters and being brutally stabbed to death on stage as two of them!

What history do you have with Star Trek?
I, weirdly enough, was first exposed to Star Trek in my childhood by a museum exhibit about the original series at, I think, the Haydn Planetarium. The exhibit had tons of behind-the-scenes as well as on-camera still photographs, set pieces, costumes, and props - I particularly remember the tribbles in a glass display case! I was really awed by the story of this show that no one liked and which was cancelled but then everyone actually loved because it reached toward universal dignity for the human species - I was deeply affected by the hero journey of the original series itself. Since then Star Trek has had a special place in my heart.

What excites you about the future of mankind?
Roads and sidewalks made of solar panels! And the thought of that bright day when it will sound just impossibly weird to say things like "the future of mankind" because we no longer hold the deep subconscious belief that humanity is a male-gendered species and that women are an awkward anomaly.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Personal Log: Aleksandr Robbins (Lt. Sulu)


Aleksandr is honored to be making his theatrical debut portraying Lieutenant Sulu in this year's production of Outdoor Trek. As a classically trained molecular biologist, he finds acting to be an exciting change of pace, if a bit perplexing. When Aleksandr's away from the phaser controls he's busy cooking, throwing shells in Mario Kart, or working to increase science literacy. 


What do you think of Outdoor Trek so far, and what are you looking forward to about the upcoming production?
Outdoor Trek is an absolute blast to be a part of. The cast and crew are an exceptionally delightful group of people. This is my first time acting, and everyone has been nothing but supportive. I'm excited to see how the crowd reacts to some of the more comical scenes, and the epic fights that occur.

What cool things do you do in your life outside of Outdoor Trek?
Cooking is one of the great loves of my life. I enjoy mixing things together to create a magical flavor concoction to shove into my face hole. During my day job I get to educate the public on various scientific topics from fossils to vaccinations, which is the coolest thing I've ever done. Yes, I get paid to talk about dinosaurs.

What history do you have with theatrical productions?
I have literally, yes literally, zero history with theatrical productions. Though I've always been a fan of theater, I wasn't drawn to participating in it. However, when this unique opportunity presented itself, I jumped at it. I've had a blast thus far, and am beginning to think my future may contain more work in theater.

What history do you have with Star Trek?
For some reason I never got into Star Trek. I've always been a huge fan of everything Sci-Fi or fantasy, and have a deep love for Star Wars. Star Trek just never came into my life. Though, I must say, my dad always had something against Star Trek. So I blame him.

What excites you about the future of mankind?
Mankind's unwavering ability to innovate and solve problems is what excites me most. I'm excited to see today's biggest issues tackled by the incredible innovations of the future. In other words, progress. Progress excites me.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Personal Log: Phil Duff (Ambassador/Miracle Worker)



What do you think of Outdoor Trek so far, and what are you looking forward to about the upcoming production?
I saw the ‘Outdoor Trek’ poster for ‘The Naked Time’ at Scarecrow Video in 2010 and thought “I need to go to that.” I had been to Spock’s Brain’ at the Irvine Improv in 2004 and loved it. Likewise, my first viewing of ‘Outdoor Trek’ blew me away. I came back the next day. It is amazing that television shows from 1966 or 1967 can come off fresh and surprising on stage. It is like seeing a new Star Trek. SPOILER ALERT! I’ve seen ‘em all a zillion times, but last summer, when the horta wrote “No Kill I” in charcoal, it brought a tear to my eye.

I can’t wait to see how this cast does with ‘Mirror, Mirror.’ I’ve been to one rehearsal and saw the opening sickbay seen where McCoy mentions spilling the acid, and it blew me away.

What cool things do you do in your life outside of Outdoor Trek?
Ummm, Star Trek related things. I like to travel. I’ve been to the Valley of Fire (Kirk’s death in Star Trek: Generations),the Donald C. Tillman Water Reclamation Plant (‘Justice’ and ‘The First Duty’ in TNG) and I got married in Yosemite (Star Trek V: The Final Frontier) plus lots of other locations too numerous to mention.

I am an architect, and I love what I do. Star Trek and architecture are related. I was thrilled when DS9 filmed at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Millard House, La Miniatura, in Pasadena (‘Blood Oath’). It had been a favorite house of mine for ages. In greater Los Angeles, I tour Frank Lloyd Wright’s houses whenever I get the chance. I toured the Storrer house in 1994, and the tour guide I had told me that he beams out with the TNG cast at the end of ‘All Good Things.” And when the episode aired a few months later, there he was.

While working as an architect on a healthcare project in Baltimore in 2012, I met a woman who had just filmed as an extra in Star Trek Into Darkness – she was sitting next to Spock when John Harrison flys up, blows up the room and kills Pike. Star Trek permeates everything, everywhere you go.

Beside that, I have 8 chickens in my backyard in Seattle, flush my first floor toilet with rainwater, love hanging out with my wife and daughter, and hope everyone tries to conserve resources.

What history do you have with theatrical productions?
I am a theater supporter, and have been on the board of Live Girls! Theater in Seattle since 2004. If you ever see ‘800 Words: The Transmigration of Philip K. Dick” advertised anywhere in the country, get tickets. Victoria Stewart did an amazing job on that play.

I was lucky enough to be a hoe-wielding colonist in the Outdoor Trek 2011 production of ‘This Side of Paradise’ and really enjoyed rallying the Outdoor Trek cast to do a reading of a brand new TOS script by James E. Brooks (story credit, TNG ‘Rightful Heir’) earlier this year.

What history do you have with Star Trek?
I watched my first episode at 10:15 Saturday night on KRCG in 1973. It was ‘Wolf in the Fold.’ I liked it. Three weeks later, I saw ‘Mirror, Mirror’ and have been hooked ever since.

What excites you about the future of mankind?
Elon Musk. Finally, someone is committed to getting us back into space.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Personal Log: Sierra McWilliams (Ensign Chekov)

Sierra is originally from Alaska, but has lived all over and is happy to have alighted in the Pacific Northwest. She recently finished graduate school and has no job, so is free to do things she enjoys, like act in Star Trek plays.


What do you think of Outdoor Trek so far, and what are you looking forward to about the upcoming production?
The best productions of this kind have good cast chemistry, and this one definitely does. I’m excited to see that come together with the props and audience energy.

What cool things do you do in your life outside of Outdoor Trek?
Harass my cats, run, work on a novel, study for the bar exam, go to wine-tastings on weekends and nod seriously, pretending to understand while people talk about tannins and oak barrels.

What history do you have with theatrical productions?
I was in a few college plays as (1) Woody Allen’s evil ex-wife, (2) an evil green M&M and (3) “Helper #1” to John Wesley, founder of the Methodist Church. In this play I am Evil Chekov, which makes 3 for 4 evil characters.

What history do you have with Star Trek?
I tried to begin the franchise at Star Trek Enterprise a few years ago, because I love to do things chronologically. This was a terrible mistake and I gave up and went back to my other sci-fi loves (Farscape, Battlestar Galactica, Firefly, Sliders, etc.) until I am ready to come back and try again.

What excites you about the future of mankind?
Spreading out across the galaxy and beyond. One good asteroid could wipe us out right now. Not to be a downer or anything.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Personal Log: Michael Bowers (Consulting Engineer)


Michael is a student at Seattle Central College studying web development. He has enjoyed all flavors of Star Trek since he was a kid, and he refused to grow up from there. His appreciation of science fiction and science likely fueled his 16 year career in informal science education.


What do you think of Outdoor Trek so far, and what are you looking forward to about the upcoming production?
I've been involved with Outdoor Trek since they began. I've had the honor of playing Scotty twice, which appealed to me both as an actor and as a nerdy tinkerer. While I'm not in it this year, I am very excited about this year's production. It is one of my favorite episodes, and goatees are funny.

What cool things do you do in your life outside of Outdoor Trek?
Outside of Outdoor Trek, I am a student, which takes up a lot of my time. I'm taking classes this summer, so as much as I enjoyed playing Scotty I was unable to do it this year. Joy and Kris are amazing, and I have appreciated working with them behind the scenes this year to promote this great show. When I do have free time, I enjoy 3-D printing. Often my interests in Star Trek and 3-D printing overlap. I recently completed a 3-D printable warp core that doubles as a table lamp.

What history do you have with theatrical productions?
While I have not acted in other theatrical productions, I did perform live science presentations and planetarium shows at Pacific Science Center for many years. That is where I found my love for the stage. I also took several classes on improvisation with Unexpected Productions and subsequently taught improv workshops for Pacific Science Center staff.

What history do you have with Star Trek?
I was introduced to Star Trek by my dad. Watching an original Trek episode back to back with a new Next Generation episode quickly became a family tradition on Saturday nights with my parents, brother, and neighbor, Hans, who lived down the street but wasn't allowed to have a television. (Too bad we corrupted him.) In college, going to see the latest Star Trek movie became a way for long-lost high school friends to stay in touch. So, Star Trek was always a social event that brought people together for me, rather than a lonely experience as it is sometimes portrayed.

What excites you about the future of mankind?
The future of mankind looks bright, if we can just get past all this bigotry and hate and intolerance. Star Trek has always said that, and I believe it. A deeper understanding of each other and the natural world through science can help us get there. Technology is already exceeding the expectations of Star Trek in many places. Sometimes it really feels like we're living in the future already, and I just love that. I have high hopes that we will use our technology and scientific understanding to have better relationships with each other and support a healthy planet.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Personal Log: Sarah Shay (The Redshirts)

credit: Lou D'Aprile

In addition to the vocal and percussive skills you'll see in the show, Sarah plays ukulele and writes songs that are usually nerdy and sometimes sad. She also plays washboard in the folk punk band The Mongrel Jews with her brother Aaron, who is Chief Musical Officer for the show. When not making music, she vlogs and writes short fiction.


What do you think of Outdoor Trek so far, and what are you looking forward to about the upcoming production?
I was in the second Hello Earth production, so I'm totally thrilled to be back. I can't wait to see what kind of musical shenanigans we can come up with for this new script!

What cool things do you do in your life outside of Outdoor Trek?
I play in The Mongrel Jews with my brother Aaron, and also play solo ukulele. I post videos of my solo songs along with vlogs on my YouTube channel, and I'm working on a collection of short fiction. I also spend a lot of time watching TV shows with my cat.

What history do you have with theatrical productions?
I was very involved in theater through middle and high school, but gave it up to focus on writing in college. Although I haven't acted since school (not counting my one line in "This Side of Paradise"), I still love the theater, and attend local productions as often as I can.

What history do you have with Star Trek?
I grew up watching The Next Generation every week with my family. Wil Wheaton was my first celebrity crush, and together my family watched TNG and most of DS9 and Voyager. Although I'd seen a few of the movies, it wasn't until I did my first Hello Earth show that I actually watched an episode of the original series!

What excites you about the future of mankind?
I'm looking forward to a computer really properly passing the Turing Test. None of this "convincing a third of the judges that it's a 13-year-old boy for five minutes" nonsense.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Personal Log: Lynne Marie Hardee (Dr. McCoy)

Lynne Marie Hardee (Doctor McCoy) is thrilled to finally be joining Hello Earth onstage. Some favorite past roles include Marian (Music Man), Hermia (Midsummer Night's Dream), and the title role of Peter Pan. Lynne is studying psychology and law and justice at Central Washington University.


What do you think of Outdoor Trek so far, and what are you looking forward to about the upcoming production? 
It is so awesome to get to work with smart actors who love nerdy stuff as much as I do. I love getting the chance to dissect these characters and this story with passionate, hilarious people. I am particularly looking forward to getting in the park, seeing the space, and adding in props like the transporters and phasers!

What cool things do you do in your life outside of Outdoor Trek?
Right now I'm studying psychology and law and justice at Central Washington University. I'm interested in the neuroscience of habits, intention, and motivation in particular. Health and fitness is also very important to me - I teach step and strength classes at my gym, and after running two half marathons, I'd like to try to run a full one this year. Of course, I do like chilling out, reading, knitting, and binge-watching Netflix as much as the next person.

What history do you have with theatrical productions?
I've been performing since I was nine years old. Throughout junior high and high school, I mainly did musical theatre (I'm a singer who acts), with a few straight plays and Shakespeare thrown in the mix. Favorite past roles include Marian (Music Man), Chiffon (Little Shop of Horrors), Hermia (Midsummer Night's Dream), Annie (Chicago), and the title role of Peter Pan. I studied for a year at Cornish College of the Arts as well. I also enjoy stage managing. Currently, I'm not interested in pursuing theatre as a career, which gives me the freedom to just do projects that are interesting and fun.

What history do you have with Star Trek?
Star Trek: The Next Generation was the only TV show my parents watched regularly, and my little brother and I watched it with them. I watched Voyager as it aired, one of the few shows I watched live all the way through, and I even made it through the first two seasons of Enterprise before I couldn't take it anymore. Voyager is my favorite series because I'm a sucker for strong female characters, terrible writing and inconsistent plot lines aside. I love the philosophy behind the whole universe of Star Trek because of its incredibly optimistic view of humanity.

What excites you about the future of mankind?
I think we are at a very interesting point in our history in that we've made huge breakthroughs in science and technology, but we haven't yet thought through or fully realized the implications of what we've begun. Star Trek provides a very positive example of how mankind could mature through this technological adolescence (to borrow a phrase from Carl Sagan). I'm interested in how we can use science and technology to help us make positive, healthy choices as individuals, and also in how we as a people choose to let science and technology control our lives. Being alive at this time causes me some anxiety about the future, but I also find it exhilarating and motivating.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Personal Log: Helen Tang (Lt. Uhura)

Helen Tang, who plays the role of Uhura, is proud to be joining the summer production of Outdoor Trek – Mirror Mirror, in two universes, no less. A longtime lover of amateur  theatre, Helen has lived in Seattle, the Bay Area and Beijing, where she was born. 



What do you think of Outdoor Trek so far, and what are you looking forward to about the upcoming production?
It’s been an amazing experience so far! I’ve always loved theatre, and have had a smattering of experiences here and there, but this is the first time I’m doing a production in Seattle. The cast is fabulous, each having his/her own talents and I can’t remember one single rehearsal where I haven’t cracked up laughing over some brilliant improv.

I’m really looking forward to everything coming together, rehearsing on set in Blanche Lavizzo Park, with props, costumes, music/the band, and of course to the living performances in front of our summer audience, hopefully with everyone having an uproariously good time!

What cool things do you do in your life outside of Outdoor Trek?
I tend to have varied interests. I geek out to scifi and fantasy books, movies, TV shows. I dabble quite a bit in photography. I enjoy pub trivia and any kind of card/board games. I’m a bit of a foodie, I will watch any and all cooking shows even though I can’t cook at all. And I love to travel, I’ve been to 24 countries so far and hope to cover a lot more.

Finally, I'm totally a wannabe fashionista. :P

What history do you have with theatrical productions?
I think I’ve always loved theatre, even from when I was a kid. I was told I could memorize all the lines from some Peking Opera production that was popular back then and I always organized story times to regale my friends with the latest fantasy novel I read by acting them out. I dabbled in theatre arts all the way through high school, and joined the Drama Club when I was in college. We had active productions all year around and even entered some collegiate acting competition where our skit won first prize and got a gig on TV for one brief shining moment. Since moving to the States, I’ve done a few things, most notably a local production of a Midsummer Night’s Dream in San Francisco, where I was cast as Titania.

What history do you have with Star Trek?
So when I first moved to Seattle, I barely knew anyone and just looked for random things to do every weekend. And that led me to a Star Trek gala at the Scifi Museum that featured George Takei, Nichelle Nichols and a whole bunch of singing Klingons! Not having been brought up in this country, that was actually my first encounter with Star Trek, even though I had read a lot of science fiction growing up, mostly Isaac Asimov.

Since then I’ve watched all the new Star Trek movies, all the pre-reboot movies, every episode of the original Star Trek, a few random episodes from The Next Generation and almost all of Voyager.

What excites you about the future of mankind?
I guess there are two schools of thought when it comes to our future, the dystopian vision that you often see in video games and the utopian alternative as exemplified by the original Star Trek series. Even though reality will likely fall somewhere in between, I choose to be an optimist and believe in the Star Trek future. I believe that technology will dramatically better the lives of human kind instead of destroying it; I believe abundant resources, prosperity and greater shared understanding across boundaries of race and religion will banish violent conflicts; I believe that the strength of a starship or human kind lay in its diversity -of cultures, ideas and opinions; I believe that long distance space travel will be possible in the (hopefully not too distant) future and humans will find other intelligent species who will broaden our horizons. Boundless opportunities for a better, richer life for all... and I can’t wait!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Personal Log: Matt Eaton (Lieutenant Kyle)


This is Matt’s first scripted theatrical performance in Seattle.  He has performed in a variety of theatrical and video projects since his teenaged years to now.  Matt enjoys performing as a student with Unexpected Productions’ improv school and is excited to be a part of Outdoor Trek.


What do you think of Outdoor Trek so far, and what are you looking forward to about the upcoming production?
I became familiar with Outdoor Trek last summer, when I attended a performance of the episode Devil in the Dark.  I was immediately struck by the use of found objects as props and the effectiveness of a non-humanoid character (the Horta) that was played by an actor, an umbrella, and a lot of tulle.  I’ve immensely enjoyed being a part of Outdoor Trek this year, and I’m excited to help share this widely beloved episode in the theatrical medium.  I’m most looking forward to seeing how the audience reacts to a few choice scenes, but I don’t want to spoil anything for you, so that’s all I’ll say.

What cool things do you do in your life outside of Outdoor Trek?
I’m a happy member of the staff at Pacific Science Center.  While it’s rewarding to be a part of an organization that values informal science learning, the best part of my job is working with so many wonderful people.  In my spare time, I enjoy playing board games with friends, and I’ve become a pretty avid Dungeons and Dragons player in the past year.

What history do you have with theatrical productions?
This will be my first scripted theatrical performance in Seattle.  I acted in numerous plays throughout high school, including roles in Cinderella and Barefoot in the Park.  During my time as a student at the University of Kansas, I wrote and performed in a fair amount of short video projects, and worked on the technical crew at the university’s performing arts center.  I’m a current student with Unexpected Productions’ improv school, and really enjoy performing without much idea of what’s going to happen next.

What history do you have with Star Trek?
You can say what you will about the current state of the Star Trek film franchise, but the 2009 film helped inspire me to become a fan of the series. I had seen a fair amount of Original Series and Next Generation episodes as a kid, however as a boy and teenager, I was always more of a fan of that other Star ____ franchise.  After watching the 2009 film though, I was inspired to give the various Star Trek series another look, and since then, I’ve become a big fan, especially of the Original Series.

What excites you about the future of mankind?
What I most love about Star Trek is the hopeful look at humankind it offers.  With so many world problems (climate change, hunger, and war being just a few), I am hopeful that the human race will unite and find solutions to these many issues.  We can achieve much when we work together.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Personal Log: Aaron J. Shay (Chief Musial Officer)

by Lou D'Aprile

Aaron J. Shay is excited to be returning to perform with the Red Shirts in this year's production of Outdoor Trek, having previously played banjo in 2011's "This Side of Paradise." He is also a member of the folk punk trio The Mongrel Jews, he writes and performs his own work as a solo project, and Aaron is also collaborating with the circus accordionist Strangely, with plans to tour together this fall. To find out more, check out aaronjshay.net!


What do you think of Outdoor Trek so far, and what are you looking forward to about the upcoming production?
I'm just going to embrace my own pretentiousness here and say that Outdoor Trek is a wonderful intersection of pop culture and folk culture. Once upon a time, there were a lot more folks involved in popular culture. The famous new stories were performed by community theaters. The big musical hits were played by local bands, otherwise nobody would hear it. That's all folk culture is: the music and stories and artwork enjoyed by most folks. All of that changed when someone started recording our songs and our stories, turning them into albums and movies and TV shows. The stories are just as influential as they've ever been, but the community has been cut out of the process. Projects like Outdoor Trek bring us back into it.

What cool things do you do in your life outside of Outdoor Trek?
I play in a band called The Mongrel Jews with my sister, Sarah, and our best friend Annie, both of whom are a part of the Red Shirts this year. When not working with the band, I also perform solo, and have recorded several solo EPs in my little house studio. This year, I've started performing and recording with my friend Strangely, who is a cabaret and circus performer from Bellingham. We're planning on traveling to Iceland together later this year to perform at the Airwaves music festival. When not doing any of these things, I hang out with my girlfriend Kelsi, and her pomeranian, Bruno.

What history do you have with theatrical productions?
Theater has been a part of my life since junior high, and I've mostly been involved as an actor and writer, which is exactly what I studied in college. Though in recent years I've been primarily focused on music, all of the theater training I have absorbed over the years strongly influences my current work. "A Director Prepares" by Anne Bogart is a book that has stayed with me beyond my acting classes because of its far-reaching ideas about creativity and art in general.

What history do you have with Star Trek?
My family would often gather around the TV in the evening and watch Star Trek, primarily The Next Generation series, Deep Space Nine, and some of Voyager. Those series taught me a lot about character development and plot structure, which would serve me in my brief stint as a playwright, while also giving me a firm foundation in the genre of science fiction. 

What excites you about the future of mankind?
Our adaptability to many different environments and situations, and hopefully our ability to survive the disasters of our own making.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Personal Log: Eric Cagle (Tharn/Lt. Farrel)



Playing two roles in “Mirror, Mirror,” Eric Cagle portrays the pacifist Tharn and the thuggish brute, Farrel. Eric is an actor that enjoys having his brain split between two opposing roles. It’s even more fun at cocktail parties.


What do you think of Outdoor Trek so far, and what are you looking forward to about the upcoming production?

I was cast and ready to do Outdoor Trek last year, but family issues came up and I had to bow out. I was excited then and I’m doubly excited now! I’m going to be playing two parts, neither of which are “canon” characters. This means I can play and have fun developing these characters without worrying that it’s not a carbon copy of what happened in the original show.

What cool things do you do in your life outside of Outdoor Trek?

I'm a game designer, writer, and maker of apps. I’m busy in the world of tabletop and roleplaying games. I do improv comedy from time to time, cook for my amazing sweetie, and spend most of my time wrangling a puppy that insists on doing EVERYTHING for 26 hours a day.

What history do you have with theatrical productions?

I came to theater from a sideways slant. Most of my work has been done reproducing historical, spiritual, and even ritual plays. I’ve portrayed several Greek and Celtic gods, gone to the Underworld (metaphorically, of course) and even got to play a singing Satyr in a recreation of Aleister Crowley’s metaphysical plays. Oh yeah, and I’ve done more than my share of Improv (Jet City Class of 2012!).

What history do you have with Star Trek?

I've always been a fan of the show and orking in the "geek culture" of gaming, I've constantly been surrounded by Sci-Fi in all its forms. It always cracks me up when people ask the inevitable "Star Trek or Star Wars" question. I’ve actually written several books for the Star Wars universe, but Star Trek has always held a special place in my heart.

What excites you about the future of mankind?

That even when things look bad, we somehow figure out a way to overcome. Oh, and humor. If we can keep poking fun at ourselves, we’ll do ok.

Starting July 19!

Behind the scenes shot of "Mirror, Mirror."

We're working hard to get ready to see you!


This season, to reward our loyal fans who have consistently shown up early for our performances, we have lined up several opening acts to appear one hour before our performances of Outdoor Trek. Stay tuned to this website to see who is appearing on the night you plan to see "Mirror, Mirror," as well as cast and crew bios!