That’s probably the only front yard in West Seattle with not one, but two pirate ships (and our photo doesn’t even show the BIGGER one). It’s the scene of the third annual edition of the 36th/Hanford Halloween hit Skeleton Theatre; the final stages of construction were going fast and furious when we stopped by last night to check in with its creators, and what they’re assembling sounds more Hollywood than ever. The skeletons themselves were still in semi-hiding; more on them in a moment. During our visit, Chris Walker, wife Maia Low and a continually growing cast of friends, neighbors, and family members (meet some of them here) were toiling away to finish transforming the front yard into the stage for the free show that is bound to delight visitors Friday and Saturday nights – video clips just ahead, starting with the skeletons themselves (and the explanation of one skeleton’s mysterious origins):
Steps from the Skeleton Theatre indoor and outdoor work zones, Maia introduced us to the skeletons – the only parts of the show that are returning for this year, which has a totally different plot, costumes, and style from last year (WSB video coverage here):
If you can’t tell from the ship photo and the skeletons’ costumes, this year’s Skeleton Theatre is all about pirates, (a)vastly scarier than the Seafair variety. This year, Chris — who is a sound designer by trade — hired professional voice actors to record the script he’s been working on since January, which the skeletons will lip, er, bone-synch. During our visit, he gave us a sneak audio peek – click the pic below to play it (that screen is the monitor from his home studio’s audio board):
Last year, the second year of Skeleton Theatre, they counted about 3,000 spectators over the course of two nights; if you were among them, you know it was a tight squeeze up in the front yard. So this year, for that reason and others, everyone will watch from the sidewalk and parking strip around the corner lot’s front yard – in this clip, Chris explains why, and what they’ll see:
He later mentioned you’ll see a 3-foot wave machine around the base of the big pirate ship on the east side of the yard. Another difference from last year – instead of various vignettes over the course of a half-hour, this is one 20-minute show, with a significant “reset” time, so they’ll likely do it several times between 6 and 9 on Friday and Saturday nights. Here’s a map to 36th/Hanford; you can read lots more about Skeleton Theatre at the official website.