Seattle Public Theater Programs
SPT's Mainstage season features professional productions of regional premieres and revisited classics. The Mainstage season consists of six plays presented at the Bathhouse, from September through June each year. Our 2013-14 season includes: the regional premiere of Nathan Louis Jackson’s Broke-ology; two holiday shows, David Sedaris’ The SantaLand Diaries and Barbara Robinson’s The Best Christmas Pageant Ever; the regional premiere of Lisa Dillman’s American Wee-Pie; the regional premiere of Johnna Adams’ Gidion’s Knot; and the classic Arcadia by Tom Stoppard.
Our Youth Program runs year-round. SPT serves students from elementary through high school ages during the academic year, expanding to include preschool creative drama classes during the summer months. Students in our classes have opportunities to act, design, and work backstage learning technical theatre skills. Most classes culminate in public productions that are free to the public. Our youth shows attract area sponsors eager to support quality arts education in Seattle. Recent and upcoming Youth Program shows include: Alice in Wonderland; East of the Sun, West of the Moon; Bluebeard’s Wife; an original commissioned play by Wayne Rawley, Maggie’s Diner; an original film-noir-style play by Jennifer Dice for our youngest elementary-age students, The Criminal Element; and a high-school ensemble production of Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
Artistically, our 2013 productions earned us accolades including Seattle Times’ 2013 Footlight Awards “Top Mainstage Productions” for Broke-ology and The Language Archive; Theatre Puget Sound’s Gregory Award nominations for Theatre of the Year and Best Actor (Mike Dooly, The Understudy); Seattle Theatre Writers’ Gypsy Rose Lee Awards for Excellence in Production of a Play, Performance as an Ensemble, and Performance as a Lead Actor (Jose Abaoag) for Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them, and eight other nominations; and Seattle Gay News’ “Top 12 Shows of 2013” for Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them. Our youth program earned rave reviews from participants and their parents, and our classes and camps sold out within hours of opening registration.
Seattle Public Theater’s work is familiar to many residents of the neighborhoods immediately surrounding Green Lake, but we continue to create new community partnerships, and diversify our marketing and publicity approaches, to attract new audience members from across the region to our productions. Our Youth Program is bursting at the seams, and each session’s classes routinely fill within one day of opening registration. Our two biggest challenges in the coming year are increasing attendance for our Mainstage productions, and increasing our youth program capacity to better match our demand. The board planning committee will focus on these issues in creating the strategic plan for 2015 and beyond, now in process.