Washington Ensemble Theatre Programs
World and Regional Premiere Work
The Washington Ensemble Theatre almost exclusively presents world and regional premiere plays. Last season, in 2013-2014, the Ensemble presented three regional premieres and one world premiere.
Six Pack Series
In addition to a fully produced season of work, the Ensemble hosts a quarterly community event called the Six Pack Series. In this popular series, in which six writers produce new work around a specific theme which is then read by 6 different actors. In order to be financially accessible to as many people as possible, the entry fee for the event is often experiential in nature (for example: a recent entry “fee” was for audience members post a photo of themselves on the facebook event page in front of their favorite Capitol Hill landmark). Local poets, long form fiction writers, and playwrights have all participated in past Six Pack Series, and we look forward to continuing the program.
One Coast Collaboration and Construction Zone
Each year the Washington Ensemble Theatre and founding member Michael Place bridge the coasts and bring MFA playwrights from Yale and other east-coast hubs to Seattle to workshop with various Seattle based Ensemble Theatres. The hope of this project is to connect Seattle with the epicenter of American Theatre in the north-east, and to continue to create opportunities for World Premiere work of the highest caliber to be done in Seattle.
Additionally, the Ensemble has teamed up with ACT to run the Construction Zone Literary Series which workshops new plays with local and national playwrights, continuing Seattle's growth as a leader in the contemporary theatre community.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
The Ensemble has been chosen by Capitol Hill Housing to be one of three resident companies of the new 12th Avenue Arts Theatre Space on Capitol Hill, which we were happy to open in January of 2015 with the first show of Season 11, the world premiere of longtime Ensemble collaborator Joshua Conkel's Sprawl. We eagerly anticipate our collaboration as stewards of the space with the acclaimed New Century Theatre Company and Strawberry Theatre Workshop this year and beyond.
With the gift of this new, larger space, the Ensemble also faces the opportunities and challenges associated with growth. For example, our playwright commission program, which includes intensive collaboration with a playwright for one full season, including script development and workshop readings of a work they write specifically for the Ensemble, requires funds to be sustained. This year, we had a highly successful collaboration with our resident playwright Michael Mitnick, and we look forward to continuing the program. The Ensemble believes that putting relationships with playwrights at the center of what we do and striving to continually expand these relationships to include typically underrepresented voices helps us to bring the highest quality theatre to our community.
This season: 2014-2015
By Josh Conkel
Directed by Ali el-Gasseir
January 16 – February 2, 2015
The Tall Girls
(West Coast Premiere)
By Meg Miroshnik
Directed by Kelly Kitchens
May 1 – 18, 2015
R.A.F.T. (Rabbits Afloat From Thuringia)
Created and Performed by Jonah Von Spreecken & Ali Mohamed el-Gasseir
(Co-Presented with ACT's ACTLab)
By Andrew Hinderacker
Directed by Michael Place
June 12 – July 6, 2015