On October 23, 2009, an arsonist turned Greenwood into his playground—setting 10 fires in a span of weeks, including one that caused debilitating damage to Taproot Theatre. Its box office and lobby were a mess, the costume shop drenched, and for days, a tarp covered a hole in its roof. Taproot managed to finish its run of Enchanted April (thanks to a temporary home at Seattle Children’s Theatre), but was forced to postpone its final act of the 2009 season, world premiere Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Christmas Carol.
A year has passed, and Taproot is thriving—newly restored, and (finally) set to debut Holmes by Seattle’s John Longenbaugh (head of PR for 5th Avenue Theatre). With the mystery of the Greenwood arson solved (a Seattle man is serving 30 years in prison for the fires) the play seems fitting tribute. But even Holmes couldn’t bring back Taproot’s next-door neighbors—Szechuan Bistro, C.C. Teriyaki and Pho Tic Tac—so a mural stands as a reminder of how far the neighborhood has come, and how much more work there is to do.
Help Taproot Theatre celebrate the holidays; tickets to Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Christmas Carol are on sale now.
Taproot’s 2011 season is also up on its website. More details to come, but as of now, the lineup is The Odyssey, The Beams are Creaking, Brownie Points, Something’s Afoot, and An Ideal Husband.