(Seattle, WA)—Seattle Children’s Theatre (SCT) takes you on a fantastical journey to a long ago land where dragons still roam. This world premiere adaptation by Seattle playwright Bret Fetzer is based on the well-known book by Jay Williams. Directed by SCT Artistic Associate Rita Giomi with wonderful puppets created by designer Tristan M.T. Dalley, this exciting new work poses the question, “Would you know a dragon if you saw one?” Everyone Knows What a Dragon Looks Like opens March 23 and runs through May 12, 2007 in the Eve Alvord Theatre.

Through the inspired art of puppetry, we visit the ancient Chinese city of Wu as the young orphan boy, Han, longs for a different life - sweeping the gates of the city was not what he desired. When the marauding Wild Horsemen come to attack the city, the bumbling Mandarin decrees that all inhabitants should pray to the Great Cloud Dragon for help. After a hermit is ridiculed for announcing herself the dragon, Han shows generosity that touches the hermit’s heart and allows her to reveal her true Dragon form.

“This wonderful tale of a little boy who helps a city has a delightful touch of Chinese culture and a fabulously funny flair,” said SCT’s Artistic Director Linda Hartzell. “The use of puppetry allows us to keep the grand scale of the story while allowing your imaginations to soar with the Dragon.”

The world premiere production of Everyone Knows What a Dragon Looks Like opens Friday, March 23 and runs through Saturday, May 12, 2007. Public performances run Fridays at 7 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays at 2 and 5:30 p.m. at Seattle Children’s Theatre, located at 201 Thomas Street in Seattle. Tickets range in price from $16 to $32 and may be purchased by calling the SCT ticket office at (206) 441-3322 or by visiting Everyone Knows What a Dragon Looks Like is recommended for ages 5 and older.

Playwright Bret Fetzer’s plays—including The Three Policemen, Planet Janet, The Story of the Bull, and Passport—have been produced by small theaters around the U.S. His adaptation of Beauty & the Beast was produced by Youth Theatre Northwest and the Honolulu Theater for Youth. He is also a company member of Annex Theatre, a Principal Playwright with Seattle Dramatists, and a board member of Rain City Projects.

Director Rita Giomi has over 25 years of experience in professional theatre. Her recent local credits include Proof at Tacoma Actors Guild; Lobby Hero for Seattle Public Theatre; Much Ado About Nothing for Seattle Shakespeare Company; and Jason and the Golden Fleece, Sleeping Beauty, and The Devil and Daniel Webster for SCT. Also at SCT: The Secret Garden, The Shape of a Girl, The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, The Shakespeare Stealer, Johnny Tremain, Animal Farm, The Tempest, Invisible Friends, Charlotte's Web, Rip Van Winkle/Sleepy Hollow, and Mother Hicks. Her other Seattle-area credits include work with Seattle Rep, ACT, The Empty Space, Theater Schmeater, Center Stage, Unexpected Productions, and Stark/Raving Theatre. Ms. Giomi is the Artistic Associate at SCT and since 1993 she has served as the Artistic Director of SCT’s Young Actor Institute.


Long ago and far away, the orphan boy Han was all alone in the world, all alone except for his pet pig, Ping. The only thing poor Han wanted was a place to belong. His job, sweeping the gates of the ancient Chinese city of Wu, wasn’t the kind of future he was looking forward to. On one average afternoon, Han was yelled at by a surly Hermit, tricked out of all his possessions (even Ping!) by a wily Merchant, and ridiculed by the Army Captain. When a Monk came bearing news of the Wild Horsemen on their way to attack Wu, Han rushed him to the palace. This marauding tribe was bent on forcing the entire citizenry to eat beetles and worms. Disgusting!

The bumbling Mandarin, ruler of Wu, decreed that all the people should pray to the Great Cloud Dragon for help. When the Hermit announced that she was, in fact, the Dragon herself, she was met with disbelief and ridicule. The Mandarin didn’t have time for a silly lady’s rantings. Han, always one to be polite, invited the Hermit back to his ramshackle hut to weather the attack. Han gave the Hermit all his meager food and water, which touched her heart. Due to Han’s, and Ping’s, generosity of spirit, the Hermit saved the city from the Wild Horsemen and revealed her true Dragon form. And then Han knew the future he wanted for himself—being a dragon.

Through the fantastical world of puppetry, we take a delightful journey to ancient China where two people who have been cast aside find each other and save the day.


The cast for Everyone Knows What a Dragon Looks Like includes Khanh Doan as Han with Sarah Harlett as Hermit/Servant, Timothy Hyland as Merchant/Wild Horseman and Don Darryl Rivera as Army Captain/Mandarin.

The production features directing by Rita Giomi, Scenic and puppet design by Tristan M.T. Dalley, costume design by Lee Dombroski, lighting design by Michael Wellborn, and sound design by Chris Walker. Puppet coach is Douglas N. Paasch.

A limited amount of $10 rush tickets will be available Friday nights (except for opening night) at SCT’s ticket office, located at 201 Thomas Street in Seattle. There will be an American Sign Language interpreted performance of Everyone Knows What a Dragon Looks Like for deaf and hard-of-hearing patrons on Saturday, March 31 at 2 p.m. For tickets, call (206) 441-3322, voice, or (206) 443-6938, TTY.

The Target Family Matinee will be held on Saturday, March 31 at 2 p.m. These Target-sponsored matinees include post-show discussions with the artists, free give-aways from Target and discounted ticket prices.

Seattle Children’s Theatre would like to thank season sponsors Microsoft and Boeing for their generous support. Show sponsors are Puget Sound Energy, Davis Wright Tremaine and Wizards of the Coast.

Seattle Children’s Theatre, celebrating its 32nd season, performs September through June in the Charlotte Martin and Eve Alvord Theatres at Seattle Center. Since its inception, SCT has gained acclaim as a leading producer of theatre, educational programs and new scripts for young people. SCT has presented 184 plays, 92 of which have been world premieres, and entertained over 4 million children.

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