Four strangers are invited to participate in a focus group where they are asked to watch a trailer about an infamous hidden-camera prankster. Despite being told “Your opinion matters!” they suddenly begin to wonder if they themselves are the subject of a sick joke or a life threatening disaster.

Written by Jesse Calixto & Directed by Catherine Blake Smith


Thursday, March 14 – Pay What You Can (PWYC) Preview @ 7:30 pm*
Friday, March 15 – Opening Night @ 7:30 pm*
Saturday, March 16 – Performance @ 7:30 pm*
Sunday, March 17 – Sensory-friendly Matinee @ 3:00 pm* Cancelled
Monday, March 18 – Industry Night @ 7:30 pm*
Thursday, March 21 – PWYC Performance @ 7:30 pm
Friday, March 22 – Performance @ 7:30 pm
Saturday, March 23 – Closing Night @ 7:30 pm*

*Indicates livestream performance online.

This performance contains haze and strobe lights.

Content Warnings

Domestic terrorism, racism & bigotry, explosions, gunshots, blackouts, fire alarms, organized religion, childhood abandonment & domestic disputes, harsh language, the United States National Anthem, themes of death, urination, and alcoholism. 


Yolanda Suarez – James, Walter Diaz, others
Rachel Taggart – Rebecca, Anjelica, Gracie & Cheryl
Dan Ruiz Salvatura – Nick, Winston, Ricky & Makeup Artist
M. Keala Milles, Jr. – Phil, Jason, Producer ! Josh
Pat Haines-Ainsworth – Anita, Candy Burnside & Kim


Erin Lammie – Stage Manager
Adam Zopfi-Hulse – Scenic Designer
Carolina Johnson – Lighting Designer
Ed Littlefield – Sound Designer
Mike Van Fleet – Video Designer & Editor
Luna McMeen – Costume Designer
Ben Laurance – Videographer, Vision Mixer
Laura Johnston – Photographer

“Late for Dinner” written by Jesse Calixto, arranged by Ed Littlefield


Playwright – Jesse Calixto

Jesse Calixto (He/Him) is a Latinx actor, musician and playwright who graduated from the University of Idaho with a BFA in Theatre Performance. THE PARTICIPANTS! is his first full length play to be produced and he is grateful to Annex Theatre for the opportunity.  Companies Jesse has worked with as an actor include: The Seattle Rep, Seattle Shakespeare Company, Intiman, Book-it, Reboot, Greenstage, Island Shakespeare Festival, Short Order Theatre, and Burien Actors Theatre. He was also a member of the cast of Deers (Annex Theatre) which won The People’s Choice Gregory Award for Best Ensemble in 2017.

Director – Catherine Blake Smith

Catherine Blake Smith is a Seattle-based theatre artist, and previously Artistic Director of Annex Theatre from 2016 to 2019 and Curator of Spin the Bottle from 2015 to 2020. Directing at Annex Theatre: The Neverborn (Kelleen Conway Blanchard), Row Yr Boat (Achievement Unlocked) (Wesley K. Andrews), The Zig Zag Festival (L. Nicol Cabe), and Eat Cake (Nelle Tankus). Curating at Annex Theatre: HOLIDAZEResearch & Development Wing, Flinch Punch, and The Zig Zag Festival. Other credits: Script Coordinator for Script Tease (Unexpected Productions) and playwright for The Zig Zag Festival and Centrifuge 2023 and 2024 (Infinity Box Theatre). Catherine holds a BA in Theatre Arts and History from Illinois Wesleyan University.

James – Yolanda Suarez

Yolanda has her M.F.A. in Performance from the University of Idaho and her Bachelors in Theatre Arts from the University of Oregon. Her favorite roles include Lady MacBeth from MacBeth and Liz Morden from Our Country’s Good. She was most recently seen in ArtsWest’s ALMA and understudied the role for Patricia in The Ensemble’s Dream Hou$e. She is involved with Bandit Theater and directs their house team “Mad Science.” She is also a failed stand up comic, a charismatic storyteller and karaoke addict. She wants to thank her partner, Rich, for all his support while she is going through a mid-life crisis!

Nick – Dan Ruiz Salvatura

Dan Ruiz Salvatura just wants you to know that he is absolutely nothing like his character, so please don’t hold it against him if he seems suspiciously convincing as an asshole with anger issues (don’t ask his husband, please). It’s Dan’s first show at the Annex, and this place is pretty cool, so he hopes to be back here sometime soon. Recent work Dan loved doing: Lord Astor, Peter and the Starcatcher, Reboot Theatre; Doll Tearsheet, Henry IV Part 2, Greenstage; Peter Shaw, Silent Sky, Driftwood Players.

Rebecca – Rachel Taggart, she/her

After a 12-year hiatus from acting, Rachel returned to the stage and screen in 2019. Interesting credits include: Dolores in Tinsel (one-woman show – Bristol Old Vic Theatre & tour), State of Bewilderment (Trestle TC tour inc. Sydney Opera House), Olivia in Twelfth Night, Prospero in The Tempest (GreenStage) & numerous locally made films. In 2023 Rachel started her own film production company Blue Egg Films and is currently co-writing a feature film based on her award winning short Circosis.

Anita – Patricia Haines-Ainsworth

has been busy working in both the visual and performing arts for the past forty years. Most recently she’s been directing plays with young actors, but over the past several years has performed at Village Theatre, ArtsWest, Twelfth Night Productions, Second Story Rep. and other local theatres. Pat is a producer with Last Leaf Productions and a playwright whose musicals for young audiences have been performed across the country and are featured on the podcast Winking Kat Tales. Pat is delighted to be a part of this original production.

Phil – M. Keala Milles, Jr.

Local stage credits include Tacoma Little Theatre, Intiman, Cafe Nordo, and Marxiano Productions. Other credits: The Old Globe, SD Repertory, Diversionary Theatre. Favorite roles: Rock of Ages (Lonnie), Two Mile Hollow (Joshua), The Woolgatherer (Cliff), Heathers: the Musical (JD), and The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity (VP). Thanks to all of you for spending the evening with us. We cannot do this silly thing we love so madly without you.