Theaters in Seattle – a mostly comprehensive list

When I moved to Seattle, I struggled to identify medium and small theaters other than the big civic theater companies. The only lists of theater companies that I could find were wildly out of date or highlighted individual productions rather than standing companies. Having now done the legwork out of necessity, I’m now paying it forward so you don’t have to repeat the process.

In order to be included:

  • The theater venue or company must stage mostly narrative works, whether scripted or improv. That means concerts, revues, cabarets, stand-up comedy, and non-narrative dance don’t count. They’re totally awesome art forms, but they’re not what I’m trying to capture.
  • The company must be active within the last 2 years.
  • The venue must be close enough to Seattle that a person could drive there, see a show, and go home to Seattle without absolutely hating themselves afterwards for the terrible decisions that led to driving back 50+ miles at rush hour from a matinee, or getting home 3am from an evening show.

Some theaters don’t have their own venues, and some venues don’t have permanent companies. I’ve tried to label this as best I can, but sometimes it’s fuzzy or hard to tell.

Corrections? Additions? Broken links? Contact me with the details.

STAGES MOSTLY PLAYS:

12th Ave Arts

  • Capitol Hill
  • Mostly new works
  • Also houses other theater groups without their own home theaters

ACT Theatre

  • Downtown

Annex Theatre

  • Capitol Hill
  • Exclusively new works by resident company
  • Available for rentals/hosted productions

Arts West

  • West Seattle
  • About one musical a year

Book-It Repertory

  • Usually Center Theater (Seattle Center)
  • All plays based on books

Burien Actors Theatre

  • Burien

Center Stage Theatre

  • Federal Way
  • Mostly plays, some musicals

Dukesbay Productions

  • Tacoma

Edmonds Driftwood Players

  • Edmonds
  • Mix of plays and musicals

Fern Shakespeare Company

  • SoDo – Slate Theater
  • All Shakespeare and Shakespeare-inspired works

Greenstage (Shakespeare in the Park)

  • Various parks in King County
  • Free Shakespeare in the Park all summer!

The Horse in Motion

  • Various theatre and non-theatre venues in Seattle
  • Experimental and site-specific works

Infinity Box Theatre

  • Various venues, mostly in north Seattle
  • Science and technology-related theatre, often in conjunction with science orgs or scientists

Intiman Theatre

  • Various venues, especially around Seattle Center

Lakewood Playhouse

  • Lakewood (south of Tacoma)

Latino Theatre Projects

  • Various venues
  • Shows by Latinx writers

Macha Theater Works

  • Various venues, including 12th Ave Arts
  • Shows by and about women

On the Boards

  • Lower Queen Anne
  • Mostly new works

ReAct Theatre

  • Various venues

Red Curtain Foundation

  • Marysville (north of Everett)
  • Plays and musicals
  • Lots of classes, including classes for adults

Renton Civic Theatre

  • Renton
  • Mostly plays, some musicals

Seattle Experimental Theatre

  • Various venues
  • Experimental works and improv comedy

Seattle Immersive Theatre

  • Various venues, depending on the story
  • Experimental, immersive, site-specific works

Seattle Public Theater

  • Green Lake

Seattle Repertory Theatre

  • Seattle Center
  • Mostly plays, some musicals
  • Lots of new works

Seattle Shakesbeerience

  • Various bars in Seattle
  • Drunk Shakespeare

Seattle Shakespeare Company

  • Various venues, including Seattle Rep, Center Theater (Seattle Center), and parks in and around Seattle in the summer
  • Also free Shakespeare in the Park all summer!

Second Story Repertory

  • Redmond
  • Mostly plays, some musicals

Sound Theatre Company

  • Various theatre and non-theatre venues, including Center Theatre (Seattle Center) and Discovery Park

Strawberry Theatre Workshop

  • Usually 12th Ave Arts

Tacoma Little Theatre

  • Tacoma
  • Mostly plays, some musicals

Taproot Theatre

  • Greenwood

Thalia’s Umbrella

  • Often 12th Ave Arts
  • Usually one production a year

Theater Schmeater

  • Belltown
  • Also summer shows in the parks

upstart crow collective

  • Various venues
  • Stages classic works with all-female casts

Washington Ensemble Theater

  • 12th Avenue Arts in Capitol Hill
  • Mostly new works

West of Lenin

  • Fremont (west of Lenin, literally)
  • Available for rentals

Woodinville Repertory

  • Woodinville
  • Performs in a slab and tile warehouse!

STAGES MOSTLY MUSICALS:

5th Avenue

  • Downtown
  • Mostly touring shows and original works testing before Broadway

Cafe Nordo

  • Pioneer Square
  • Dinner theater!

Ovation Performing Arts

  • Bainbridge Island

Pacific Northwest Ballet

  • Seattle Center
  • Ballets are technically a kind of musical with very little talking, right?

Paramount Theatre

  • Downtown
  • Mostly touring shows

Seattle Gilbert and Sullivan Society

  • Various venues, including Seattle Rep and 12th Ave Arts
  • Mostly but not entirely G&S, all musicals

Seattle Musical Theatre

  • Sand Point

Seattle Opera

  • Seattle Center (mainstage) or South Lake Union (second stage)
  • Operas are sort of a musical, right? (Opera people would probably say musicals are sort of an opera.)

Showtunes Theatre

  • Various venues in Seattle
  • Concert (i.e., minimalist) versions of rarely staged musicals

Twelfth Night Productions

  • West Seattle
  • Mostly musicals, some plays

Village Theater

  • Issaquah and Everett
  • All shows run at both locations
  • Strong kids’ program

STAGES MOSTLY COMEDY:

Ghost Light Theatricals at the Ballard Underground

  • Ballard
  • Available for rentals
  • Scripted

Pocket Theater

  • Greenwood
  • Only a venue – all productions by outside artists
    • Including me (Proof)
  • Mostly semi-scripted improv and standup
  • RIP as of December 2019, we will miss you, Pocket!

Pork Filled Players

  • Various venues in Seattle
  • Scripted sketch comedy and plays
  • Works by Asian and Asian-American artists

Theatre Off Jackson

  • International District
  • Available for rentals/co-productions
  • Scripted, themed improv, and improv

Unexpected Productions at the Market Theater

  • Downtown/Pike Place Market
  • Improv and themed improv

STAGES MOSTLY SHOWS BY AND/OR FOR CHILDREN:

Broadway Bound

  • University District

Seattle Children’s Theatre

  • Seattle Center

Seattle Historical Arts for Kids

  • Various venues in and around Wallingford
  • Historical music and theater classes for kids only

Stone Soup Theatre

  • Wallingford/Fremont border

Thistle Theatre

  • Various venues in and around Seattle
  • Puppet theatre

COLLEGE THEATER:

Bellevue College

  • Bellevue

Cornish College of the Arts

  • Cornish Playhouse at Seattle Center
  • Theatre and dance

Edmonds Community College

  • Edmonds

Seattle Central College

  • Capitol Hill
  • Also rentals

Seattle Pacific University

  • Queen Anne

Shoreline Community College

  • Shoreline

University of Washington

OTHER:

Freehold Theater

  • SoDo
  • Classes for adults, workshopping resources for new plays
  • Not a performance space

NW Puppet Center

  • Maple Leaf
  • Mostly a museum of puppets and puppet history, some performances