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Originally published August 29, 2013 at 5:06 AM | Page modified August 29, 2013 at 6:35 AM

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Nuns, swordplay in theater offerings | Bumbershoot 2013

Bumbershoot 2013 has a variety of theater shows in store, including Matt Smith’s autobiographical monologue “My Last Year with the Nuns” and a variety show of stage combat.

Seattle Times theater critic

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This year, the theatrical offerings at Bumbershoot are considerably fewer than in 2012. So if you crave a break from the crowds, and are up for a comfy seat and a chance to see some talented local theater artists in action, check what’s happening in the Center House Theatre at the Armory (formerly called Center House).

Theatre Puget Sound is once again curating the stage shows, which include:

‘My Last Year with the Nuns’

Matt Smith’s humorous, but frank and at times shocking, chronicle focuses on Seattle racial tensions and homophobia in the mid-1960s. In ‘Nuns,” Smith recounts one year in his life as a Catholic schoolboy in the changing Capitol Hill neighborhood with both merciless candor and compassion. Smith has been performing his show since 1997; he’s working on a low-budget film based on the monologue, which uses locations around Capitol Hill.

The versatile Smith, an improv master teacher and performer, will play all the roles in his story. 2 p.m. Sunday.

‘A Swashbuckling Spectacular’

Stage combat has been an exciting theatrical staple for centuries — not just in Shakespeare, but in ancient slapstick romps, and modern dramas and comedies. The troupe Performers’ Forge will cover all those bases in this demonstration of skill and derring-do, employing their arsenal of stage weapons and talent for stylish fakery of violence. The object is to make those fights look dangerous, without endangering the swashbuckling performers who brandish the swords and rapiers. 5:15 p.m. Saturday.

‘Audrey & Nelson: A Sex Puppet Musical’

We know very little about this musical by Bret Fetzer (who, by the way, also directed “My Last Year with the Nuns”) and Peter Richards. It is described as a piece about sex, traffic lights, bad language, broken hearts and private parts, as enacted by a pair of racy puppets who look rather like very naughty Muppets — though the show is not, we take it, aimed at the “Sesame Street” demographic. 5:15 p.m. Sunday.

Also at Bumbershoot: The interactive, all-ages tale “Owl & Pussycat” by theater simple; improvisational comedy by the groups Nerdprov and Unexpected Productions; and “Weird and Awesome with Emmett Montgomery ,” a mélange of stand-up comedy, songs, stories, videos and more.

Misha Berson: mberson@seattletimes.com

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