Kling's biker play to debut

Seattle Repertory Theater has skedded one premiere for a.d. David Esbjornson’s third season: humorist Kevin Kling’s solo play about his motorcycle accident, “how? how? why? why?”

That work will be staged at the Rep’s smaller Leo K. Theater, as will Jeffrey Hatcher’s “Murderers.”Lineup for this venue also includes “By the Waters of Babylon,” a two-person drama by Seattle writer Robert Schenkkan, and Doug Wright’s “I Am My Own Wife.” Latter one-person show was originally scheduled as part of Empty Space Theater’s season before that outfit went belly-up last year. There’s no word yet on whether former Empty Space artistic director Allison Narver and popular local performer Nick Garrison (“Hedwig and the Angry Inch”) are still attached to that project.

On the mainstage of Seattle’s largest resident theater, audiences can expect “Twelfth Night”; “The Imaginary Invalid”; Seamus Heaney’s 1990 “The Cure at Troy”; “The Cook,” by Eduardo Machado; and Hurricane Katrina collage “The Breach,” by Catherine Filloux, Tarell McCraney and Joe Sutton.

Esbjornson’s tenure at the Rep got off to a shaky start in 2005, with some play choices that left critics — and a fair share of audience members — cold (“Purgatorio,” “King Stag”). But he came on strong this season, with “Doubt,” directed by Warner Shook, and Edward Albee’s rarely seen “The Lady From Dubuque,” which the a.d. himself staged.

Still to come this season are “My Name Is Rachel Corrie” and August Wilson’s “Gem of the Ocean.”

“Corrie,” bowing later this month, carries deep local significance given that the late political activist hailed from the Northwest; “Gem,” coming in April, will be directed by Phylicia Rashad.

The Rep has just over 13,000 subscribers and an annual budget of about $9 million. Those numbers were flat from last season, but theater spokeswoman Cynthia Fuhrman said the org is looking to increase subscriptions to 13,700 this year.

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