Village Theatre 


Village Theatre has been recognized as a 501c3 nonprofit since September 1979. In its 36 years of providing musical theatre entertainment and theatre arts educational opportunities in our region. Today, Village Theatre is the largest fully producing theatre in the Pacific Northwest, with more than 19,400 subscribers; and youth education programs that serve more than 55,000 young people and their families annually. The Mainstage Season, which consists of five shows with a total of 243 performances occurring over 184 days out of the year, runs from September through July, with 34 weeks of production in Issaquah and 20 weeks in Everett.

Mission Statement

To be a regionally recognized and nationally influential center of excellence in family theatre:

  • To promote a season of top quality productions
  • To commission and produce new musicals that achieve national exposure
  • To train young people in theatre skills for career opportunities and enriched lives
  • To develop a broad based appreciation for live theatre
  • To promote positive values through art
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Village Theatre
Francis J. Gaudette Theatre 
(425) 392-1942 

Robb Hunt 
Executive Director 


Village Theatre Programs

Village Theatre's Mainstage season runs from September through July with 34 weeks of production in Issaquah, WA and 20 weeks of production in Everett, WA. With a loyal subscriber base of 19,400. (25% have subscribed for 10 years or longer); 100,000 single ticket holders; nearly 200,000 annual patron visits, the season includes musicals from the American musical theatre canon, a new musical, and one play. All the productions at Village Theatre are built from the ground up by regionally and nationally-recognized designers and directors.

Village Originals is a nationally-recognized program of new musical development is a year-round program that has worked on over 150 new musicals to date, through every step of musical development, from first table reading to full-scale premier Mainstage productions. Several of Village Theatre's Village Originals productions have been produced in New York, while others have been produced throughout the country and Asia. Several of the new musicals that Village Theatre has developed have been licensed and are significant additions to the musical theatre canon.

Youth Education programs serve over 55,000 young people annually and spring from the belief that a lifetime of theatre going and an enduring appreciation for live theatre must begins in the formative years. With "Skills For Life; Skills For Theatre" KIDSTAGE, based in both Issaquah and Everett, offers classes and productions for kids ages 3-20. Pied Piper brings live theatre to children through public and school performances throughout Puget Sound. Many productions are based on children's literature, which "Brings Literature to Life."

Recent Successes and Current Challenges

Village Theatre's financial position is strong, thanks to effective marketing strategies, comprehensive fundraising campaigns, long-term subscribers, engaged donors, a hard-working staff, and diligent Board members. Our current operating budget is just over $11.6 million, and we also have $10.5 million (Property & Equipment net of accumulated depreciation) in fixed assets as a result of owning our buildings: the Francis J. Gaudette Theatre, the 1913 First Stage Theatre, and the Craig and Joan Watjen Technical Studios, all in Issaquah. In August 2015, Village Theatre's Board authorized the potential purchase of property (contingent on securing financing) to create a new production storage facility in the vacant lot adjacent to the Craig and Joan Watjen Technical Studios in Issaquah.

Village Theatre's Strategic Planning calls for special initiatives and endowment drives. This past year, Village Theatre established a planned giving program; the first annual Village Guardians dinner was held in April 2015. In 2015, we will conclude a successful, two-phase $7,143,883 capital campaign, Building for the Future. Phase I built the new Technical Studios, and Phase II rebuilt/renovated the First Stage Theatre as well as the Cope Gillette Theatre (formerly called Second Stage), the youth education center in Everett. Village Theatre is committed to significantly reducing the long-term mortgage and creating a cash reserve for fiscal stability. In 2017, we will launch the quiet phase of a $14 million endowment drive to help fund operations, Youth Education, and Village Originals. The Board's Fundraising Committee will work with the entire board and staff to develop strategies. Ongoing plans for capital improvements include on going backstage and front of house refurbishing, remodeling the Francis J. Gaudette old stage-left shop into additional production office spaces, and expansion of the costume shop; as well as planning for regular repairs and maintenance at the now 21-year-old Francis J. Gaudette Theatre; as well as First Stage Theatre and the Craig & Joan Watjen Technical Studios.

To achieve efficient operations, Village Theatre has, since 1998, collaborated with the City of Everett to both manage and serve as the resident performing company at the Everett Performing Arts Center and the Cope Gillette Theatre (formerly called Second Stage). This two-city (Issaquah and Everett) business model has proved very successful for Village Theatre artistically and economically. For example, this successful two-city business model has produced a 40% budget growth and 61% increase in subscriptions in just 10 years.

In 2015, Village Theatre's Board approved a "2020 Development Plan" to chart a course for Village Theatre’s fundraising with the goal of increasing contributed income to $3,000,000 by the end of 2020-2021 fiscal year, along with a calendar of events, campaigns, and deadlines. This Plan sets ambitious goals and develops creative strategies for the successful cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of individuals, corporations, and foundations.

Village Theatre continues to work tirelessly to ensure funding to help secure the continued growth and dynamism of the American musical for the benefit of all its audiences.


Village Theatre, a leading producer of musical theatre in the Pacific Northwest, is currently celebrating its 30th Anniversary season.

Proven Success
Village Theatre has a strong reputation nationally and is one of the few companies still developing original musical theatre productions which are not only contributing to the repertoire locally but across the country—including Broadway—and as far away as London and Singapore. Every artistic season includes two Village Originals.

It is an effective incubator of new acting and playwriting talent. This was evidenced in 2009 when “Next to Normal” won three of the 11 Tony Awards for which it was nominated. As a youth, the playwright had participated in Village Theatre’s KIDSTAGE program and later he developed and produced the musical at First Stage by Village Theatre.

Best Practices
Each production taken to area schools—through their Pied Piper education program—meets the Washington State Essential Academic Learning Requirements (EALRs) for several subjects, including: arts, communication and reading. Free pre- and post-performance materials are provided to each teacher along with in-school workshops and residencies to connect each production to required classroom curriculum.

Accessibility and Cultural Competency
Ensuring access to the arts for underserved youth is a core value. The theatre served 53 King County schools representing 5,170 students and 200 teachers during the 2008 – 2009 season; of which, 474 students demonstrated financial need (based on WA’s free and reduced lunch guidelines). Schools that benefited from Village Theatre’s scholarship program included those in Highline and Federal Way School Districts as well as rural school districts such as Snoqualmie Valley and Tahoma. Village Theatre also provides scholarships to low-income youth for its KIDSTAGE program.

Village Theatre is balancing artistic risks with fiscal responsibility. The staff and Board leadership are committed to the long-term sustainability of Village Theatre while continuing to achieve their mission. On the continuum of performing arts, musical theatre is one of the most expensive. The Theatre has remained stable during the recession.

Grant History with The Seattle Foundation:

Grants Awarded through The Seattle Foundation Grantmaking Program:

9/10/2013 $10,000.00support general operating expenses.
9/10/2012 $10,000.00support general operating expenses.
3/10/2010 $25,000.00support general operating expenses.
3/10/2008 $30,000.00support general operating expenses.


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