Magpie Artists' Ensemble
Magpie Artists’ Ensemble is a collective of Queer artists who are passionate about collaboration, representation, accessibility, and creative storytelling.
join us for Fable!
Cross the mystical border to the land of FABLE - “a world not unlike our own,” where magic and mystery await.
FABLE is a 6 hour immersive worldbuilding experience, performing January 13th at Theatre Off Jackson.
Rose is the age-old story of a fairytale Princess banished by an evil Queen, with a twist: the “Princess” is actually Briar, a young trans man just discovering his identity.Now available to stream after our June 2023 run at Theatre Off Jackson.
Magpie Artists’ Ensemble is a collective of Queer artists who are passionate about collaboration, representation, accessibility, and creative storytelling.Mission: Our artistic mission is to push the boundaries of print and performance mediums, bringing diverse stories to life in exciting and accessible ways.Vision: Magpie will create a community of intersectional Queer artists and audiences, connecting them across all barriers. We will give Queer stories a voice, and give visibility to those who have not seen themselves represented before.Magpie is proudly Powered by Shunpike. Make a tax-deductible donation today to support our boundary-breaking work!
James T. Washburn (he/him) is a gay, trans, and disabled Storyteller-Activist based in Seattle. His work is deeply inspired by his community and experiences at the intersection of marginalized identities.Washburn is a multi-hyphenate artist, with works spanning from the immersive epistolary novella Sealed with Honey to Achilles + Patroclus, a chamber opera commissioned by the Seattle Opera. He takes inspiration from folklore, mythology, and queer history; his work focuses on discovering queerness in traditional stories and reimagining familiar tropes and archetypes through a queer lens.
Washburn is resident director and playwright at Magpie, and currently serves as Founding Artistic Director.
Jae Kinsman (they/them) is a Seattle-based jack-of-all-trades. Graduating from Cornish College of the Arts in 2020 with a BFA in musical theatre, they helped found Magpie Artists' Ensemble amidst the artistic chaos of the pandemic. Their work at Magpie and with other collaborators has found them onstage, on both sides of the camera, and folding and shipping hundreds of Victorian-style handwritten letters every month.Jae is a Founding Core Company Member, fulfillment coordinator, and resident DP at Magpie.
Alexandra Angelova (she/her) is a Bulgarian American stage manager and event coordinator based in Seattle. She has been stage managing James' crazy ideas since 2016, when she co-founded their first company, Bellevue Teen Productions. Favorite projects include the NYE festivities at the Space Needle and Magpie's Briar
Rose.Alexandra is a Founding Member and resident stage manager at Magpie.
Michelle Marais Goodwin (she/her) is a Native American (Ojibwe) actor, painter, and costume designer. Originally from the rural Midwest, she studied theater and visual art at the Perpich Center for Arts Education in Golden Valley, MN, graduating in 2016. In 2020, Michelle received her BFA in Theater from Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, WA, where she presently resides.Michelle is a Founding Core Company Member, resident costumer designer, and visual artist at Magpie.
Rowan Gallagher (he/they) is a graduate of Cornish College of the Arts where he majored in Original Works with a focus on Directing. He wears many hats in the Seattle theatre community as an actor, dramaturg, fight choreographer, dialect coach, writer, and director.His recent projects include dialect coaching for The Whickhams at Taptroot Theatre, assistant directing for Born Yesterday at Theatre 9/12, Dramaturgy for Hello Girls at Taproot Theatre, and most recently acting in Monstrous Regiment at Latitude Theatre as a part of their inaugural production.
Rowan has been involved with Magpie since before its official formation, as he participated in several generative theatre projects which would help lay the groundwork for what Magpie would become. Rowan is overjoyed to be an official member of Magpie Artists’ Ensemble and looks forward to creating amazing art with exceptional people moving forward with the company.
RUST is a tense, claustrophobic exploration of the cycles of patriarchal violence and what happens when tradition and a mythologized past cloud our understanding of the present. Hamlet and Macbeth meet Gormenghast and The Woman in Black (+ homoerotic swordfights) in this haunting supernatural revenge thriller.
Join Magpie Artists' Ensemble for a unique and magical "musical in concert-style" spin on a staged reading. Recommended for ages 13+Audience members are invited to share their thoughts on the show with the playwright in-person after the performance, or via a form that will be shared in the lobby.Performing November 12th at 18th+Union.
Cast & Crew
The Myth Cycle
In this powerful series of retellings of the Greek canon, the Magpie ensemble takes on the roles of Gods and mortals, heroes and villains, as they explore themes of identity, belonging, and Pride - or hubris.
One of two world premier Ensemble-generated works. Icarus Falls is a heartwrenching love story that explores generational tensions and the complicated grey area between Pride and Hubris.MEDUSA'S BLESSING
The second world premier Ensemble-generated piece. Medusa's Blessing reimagines Medusa's origin story to become one of empowerment and connection between queer women in the face of patriarchal violence.PHOENIX RISING
A fresh addition to the Greek canon, Phoenix Rising follows a "forgotten" child of Zeus as he dares to defy his father and live as the man he knows himself to be. Drawing inspiration from other mistreated mythological figures, he finds the strength to rise again in the face of adversity.BONUS: ACHILLES + PATROCLUS [Workshop Documentary Performance]
An intimate retelling of Achilles & Patroclus’ relationship from childhood to the Iliad, exploring the nonlinear nature of relationships & memory. Achilles + Patroclus deals with themes of fate and choice, and the intersections of loyalty, grief, and sacrifice.
Streaming available on-demand through Ko-fi.
RUST: A Ghost Story is a tense, claustrophobic exploration of the cycles of patriarchal violence and what happens when tradition and a mythologized past cloud our understanding of the present. Hamlet and Macbeth meet Gormenghast and The Fall of the House of Usher (+ homoerotic swordfights) in this haunting supernatural revenge thriller.
Magpie Artists' Ensemble produced RUST as a unique and magical "musical in concert-style" spin on a staged reading on November 12th, 2023 at 18th&Union.
Sealed With Honey (2021-2022)
If you’ve ever spent your days gazing wistfully out the window, awaiting the evening post (or you’ve wished you were expecting a letter so you could); if you love to imagine yourself in the kinds of stories the Brontes and Jane Austen wrote; if you love queer romances written by queer people, then Sealed with Honey is for you.
Sealed with Honey is a queer epistolary* romance novel set in Victorian times, but it’s also much more than that. Instead of a traditional book, you get to experience each event along with the characters, at the same pace they do - every two weeks, one of their letters will be delivered to you in the mail.*Epistolary - adjective | (of a literary work) in the form of letters. "an epistolary novel"
Phoenix Rising Zine (2020)
Phoenix Rising is the epic story of a forgotten trans child of Zeus, dealing with themes of identity, intersectionality, and resistance. The ten-minute play was first workshopped for O!Fest 2019 at Cornish College of the Arts, and was featured in Third Citizen Theatre Company’s Digital Dionysia in December 2020.
The Phoenix Rising zine included a fully illustrated copy of the script, along with three brand-new illustrated short stories about the mythological figures Phoenix is inspired by: Echo, Prometheus, and Hephaestus. Backers also had the option to order additional prints and stickers designed by the contributing artists.
tales from another world
Cross the mystical border to the land of FABLE - “a world not unlike our own,” where magic and mystery await.Guests are invited to explore the world of FABLE at their own pace, moving through spaces inhabited by storytellers, gods, and beings less easy to define - all orbiting the endless, cosmic love story of the Sun and Moon as it plays out across time.While FABLE is rooted in our own world (featuring tales and figures drawing on Filipino, Slavic, Celtic, and Ojibwe traditions, among others), it exists in a unique time and space, with its own rules and mythologies to discover. Listen to the legends and creation myths of the world as told by its inhabitants in the Storytelling Room, consult with the Diviner to learn untold secrets, or pass a milenia watching the Sun and Moon chase each other across the cosmos.