Playwright Stephanie Timm decided to address the disintegrating relationship between a mother and daughter after hearing that 40 percent of Americans dont believe in evolution. Its a sideways approach to what Timm calls a metaphor for a teenager becoming a different species. She hopes, too, that On the Nature of Dust, her official debut as company playwright for Seattles award-winning New Century Theatre Company (they premiered big last season with The Adding Machine and Orange Flower Water), respects the particular nature of Midwesterners. One thing thats very important to me, says Timm, a native of now-fabled Fargo, North Dakota, is the stoicism that comes with their suffering and anger. Theyre very pleasant, but underneath there are always dark waters. You could say the same of Timms work, which meshes ingratiating quirk with hurt in equal measure: Her puppet show Frankenocchio told the fractured fairy tale of a decapitated head searching for its wandering torso; Big Fish, Small Pond imagined the travails of a brother-and-sister punk bluegrass band whose hits include Kicking the Dog I Named After You. Dust also represents Timms first work since returning to Seattle with her new MFA in playwriting from UC San Diego. It should be worth a look to see how much shes evolved. STEVE WIECKING [See Kevin Phinney's review.] Ends May 30.
Wednesdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m. Starts: May 5. Continues through May 30, 2010