A celebration of the longest night | Sea Stars back for concert

Step into the Sea View Theatre for a visual feast that will touch all your senses.

The Sea Stars are presenting their second annual concert that bids farewell to the darkness of winter and welcomes the light of a new season.

“Collectively we’re dealing with a lot nationally and worldwide,” said Katie Gray, who started the Sea Stars in 2008 with her fiancé Kurt Baumann. “Sometimes we have to carve out the occasion for the community to come together and have a sacred experience.”

The winter solstice marks the day with the shortest period of daylight and the longest night of the year.

“The Return of the Sun” will be held at The Seaview Theatre on Wednesday, Dec. 20 and Thursday, Dec. 21 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $25 at www.brownpapertickets.com or at the door.

The night is centered around the ethereal music of Gray and Baumann, who will be joined by Bridget Law, a violinist from Elephant Revival, Joe Pusateri, a Los Angeles drummer and bass player Kevin Colomby. The show also incorporates live projection by Seattle artist Everett Keithcart and dance choreographed by Tiffany Loney. Jake Perrine is directing, creating the set and overseeing the lights and sound.

Last year the concert was held at Orcas Center, where it was sold out. This year’s venue, the Sea View Theatre, will be completely transformed. There will also be an opportunity for audience members to bring something to “let go” as a way to welcome the new year.

The glistening, giant crows will again grace the stage and Loney has added aerial silk routines. Local dancers are Hailey Averna, Garth Simpson, Kara O’Toole, Seffa Halabisky, Soliana Halabisky, Asifa Welch-Pasin, Katie Zwilling and Colleen Smith Armstrong.

“The intention is to reflect moving from darkness to light,” said Loney, who is also performing as a crow. “The visual component is something that puts the music in a time and place but doesn’t keep it there … Many of us love the solstice so why not celebrate it together?”

The visual theatrics of the show will be integrated into the musical performances, and every song is considered its own scene.

“The show is abstract and doesn’t have a direct storyline. It’s out of our natural comfort zone and stretches the brain,” said Gray.

She said last year an islander saw “Return of the Sun” and was so moved by its message of hope that it carried her through the gloomy winter months.

“People are hungry in our time for new rituals that have significance for them,” said Perrine. “As a culture, we turn back from the darkness but we’re stirring those emotions around so we can release them.”

Added Baumann: “It’s also a fun event that brings the community together to see some really cool art.”