Hark, The Best of Bumbershoot 2016’s Non-Musical Programming

Posted on September 02, 2016, 9:29 am
6 mins


Bumbershoot 2016 has descended on Seattle Center this weekend. Not just for music, the giant festival also features spoken word, dance, comedy, theater and everything in between.

If it’s music you’re after, you’ll want to start with our out-of-the-box recommendations in 7 Hidden Gems at Bumbershoot 2016. When it comes to all the non-music festivities, there’s a whole lot of quality entertainment to sort out. Here are my personal picks, broken down by each day of the festival for easy planning.

Friday, September 2

Hugo House Presents: The Oracle

Center Theater, 7:30-8:30


Seattle’s literary scene hangs its hat at Hugo House. Now they’re bringing their monthly event to the Bumbershoot community with Ask The Oracle. “Will you get that job you’re gunning for? Should you tell her you love her? Do you dare disturb the universe?” These are but a few examples you can put forward to the oracle, as told by Ijeoma Oluo,
Kristiana Kahakauwila 
and Garth Stein. Attendees are encouraged to tweet their questions beforehand to @hugohouse using #Oracle for a chance to have your burning questions answered.

SIFF Presents: 1 Reel Film Festival

SIFF Film Center, September 2-4

onereelThe 2016 Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) from earlier this summer brought with it so many mind blowing films that it’s hard to keep track of them all. Conveniently, SIFF has curated the best of the shorts for a full day’s worth of programming. The schedule is the same for Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Starting at 2pm, check out 51 minutes of kid friendly programming in Films4Families. At 3pm, See some of the best filmmakers the PNW has to offer in Northwestern Stories. At 4pm, we’ve got Best of SIFF 2016 – Audience Award Winners. Finally, at 5:30pm, the experts weigh in at Best of SIFF 2016 – Jury Award Winners.

Fans of movies rarely get a chance to see short films throughout the year. 1 Reel Film Festival offers a great opportunity to discover new filmmakers and keep up on innovations in the medium.

Saturday, September 3

Stand Up for Yourself with Amy Miller

SIFF, 7:45-8:45pm

This West Coast comedian was a semi-finalist on Last Comic Standing. Since then, she’s been a guest on Doug Loves Movies Podcast and is a regular in the Portland comedy scene. Her comedy strikes me as self deprecating, but in a fun, not-sad way, and her delivery feels warm, casual and conversational. Go see her show and you may leave with the mistaken impression that you’re close friends with the performer.

Other comedians you’ll want to check out include the very funny Morgan Murphy, Ron Funches, Nick Thune and Barbara Holm. Most of them have multiple sets throughout the weekend.

Maximum Velocity Dance

Ex Hall, September 3-4, 3-4pm


Seattle’s own Velocity Dance Center returns to Bumbershoot this year with two days of dance performances. “This showcase offers audiences a vibrant snapshot of the fastest rising stars of Seattle’s nationally celebrated dance scene: Alice Gosti, Kim Lusk, Stephanie Liapis, Randy Ford with dancer Fausto Rivera (Spectrum), and Mary Sheldon Scott with dancer Jim Kent (Whim W’him) and original music by Jarrad Powell.

When was the last time you saw a live dance performance? What better time than this weekend to seize the opportunity.


Sunday, September 4

Theatre Puget Sound Presents: Are You There, God? It’s Me, Karen Carpenter

Center Theater, 3:45-5pm


Who could forget the 1970s-era Judy Blume classic about a young girl named Margaret and her period. And what about the music of The Carpenters? Here, writer Dan Whitlock combines the two for his unlikely production, Are You There, God? It’s Me, Karen Carpenter. Organizers say: “STAGEright is celebrating the absolute innocence of this era of American history in full RCA color on stage. Will Margaret become a “Superstar”? Will she end up on “Top of the World”? Only time will tell for this diversely cast musical going up on “Rainy Days and Mondays” at Bumbershoot!”


Seattle Center, September 2-4, 2:30-9:30pm


Surely you’re hungry by now! Luckily, this year’s program has your food needs met with the all new local food program, “B-Eats.” The event’s brought to us by local restaurateur Dan Bugge, who got his start throwing fish around at Pike Place Market before going on to open his own restaurants. You can find food from participating local restaurants in its own tent in Seattle Center for every day of the festival. Local participating restaurants include: Matt’s in the Market, Radiator Whiskey, Gracis, Bock a Bok Korean Fried Chicken, Little Uncle and Pike Place Fish Guys.

Passes are still available for both single day and all access passes. Visit the official Bumbershoot website for tickets, maps and a full line-up. And be sure to check back to VANGUARD all weekend long for our extensive, up-to-the-minute coverage of Bumbershoot 2016.

Molly Laich is a writer and media fan. You can find her at mollylaich.com and doghatesfilm.com and on twitter @MollyL