Based in Issaquah, WA, with operations in Everett, WA, Village Theatre is a leading producer of musical theatre in the Pacific Northwest. Producing entertaining, quality productions since 1979, Village Theatre has grown into one of the region’s best-attended theatres, with just over 18,000 Mainstage season subscribers and 220,000 projected total attendance each season. Through its Village Originals program, Village Theatre is nationally recognized for its contribution to the development of new musicals, having supported the creation of over 175 new works to date. Village Theatre also takes pride in nurturing tomorrow’s audiences through its Youth Education programs, serving over 56,000 young people and their families annually.

Our Mission

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

 

Land Acknowledgment

We acknowledge that we are on the Indigenous Land of Coast Salish peoples who have reserved treaty rights to this land, in Issaquah specifically the Snoqualmie Indian Tribe (sdukʷalbixʷ) and in Everett including the Stillaguamish (stuləgʷabš), Snohomish (sduhubš), Tulalip Tribes (dxʷlilap) and Snoqualmie Indian Tribe (sdukʷalbixʷ). We thank these caretakers of this land who have lived, and continue to live, here since time immemorial.

Why we participate in this practice:

Dating back centuries, a land acknowledgement is a traditional practice among many Indigenous nations and communities where community leaders acknowledge the land they are occupying. Village Theatre has chosen to include this practice as part of our events, gatherings, rehearsals, and performances as an expression of respect, gratitude, and appreciation to those on whose traditional territory we reside. Acknowledgment is a simple first step towards resisting the erasure of Indigenous histories. As an organization, we seek to build mindfulness of our present participation in ongoing colonialism. The more we know of each other’s stories, the more we will understand and learn. In sharing this acknowledgement with our audiences, we hope to offer an opportunity to reflect on our region’s history and provide a point of access for those who wish to support or get involved with local Indigenous groups.

Indigenous Groups Whose Land We Occupy:

Find the tribal land that you inhabit at www.native-land.ca or www.washingtontribes.org.

To learn more, take action, or donate, these are just some of the organizations doing important work that you can support:
• Washington State Tribal Directory – https://goia.wa.gov/tribal-directory
• United Indians of All Tribes Foundation – https://www.unitedindians.org/
• Hibulb Cultural Center – https://www.hibulbculturalcenter.org/
• Red Eagle Soaring Native Youth Theatre – https://www.redeaglesoaring.org/
• Potlatch Fund – https://www.potlatchfund.org/
• Real Rent Duwamish – https://www.realrentduwamish.org/

Our History

1979-1985  THE EARLY YEARS

  • April 20, 1979: Village Theatre debuts its Mainstage season with How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, directed by Founding Artistic Director Carl Darchuk
  • 1980: Robb Hunt named Producing Director
  • 1980: Production of Carl Darchuk and David Maddux’s musical, Beanstalk. This represents the theatre’s first foray into new musicals
  • 1981: Purchase of the historic 1914 Theatre at 120 Front Street North
  • 1982: Creation of the first version of KIDSTAGE with a Student Summer Stock program at Issaquah High School
  • 1985: Carl Darchuk departs and Robb Hunt named Executive Producer
  • 1985: Official creation of KIDSTAGE, and first summer production: Bye Bye Birdie, created entirely by youths under 21

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Our History

1986-1993  GROWING AT FIRST STAGE

  • 1987: Commission and production of Eleanor, with New York writers Tom Tierney, Jonathan Bolt, and John Foster and leading lady Bijou Clinger, a New York actress
  • 1987: Steve Tomkins’ Village Theatre debut as choreographer of West Side Story
  • 1989: A production of Heidi features future Hollywood star Anna Faris in the title role
  • 1990: Book of James, a new musical developed by Village Theatre, taken to the NAMT Festival in New York, along with the original cast
  • 1990: After-school KIDSTAGE classes held for the first time
  • 1993: Jesus Christ Superstar becomes first Village Theatre show to use wireless body microphones
  • 1993: Steve Tomkins named Village Theatre’s Artistic Director

 

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Our History

1994-1997  A NEW THEATRE FOR A NEW TIME

  • 1994: New Francis J. Gaudette Theatre in Issaquah opens with a production of Babes in Toyland
  • 1995: First Stage New Musical series debuts at First Stage Theatre
  • 1996: Technical Theatre Production and Performance (TTP) program begins Technical Theatre classes at the First Stage Theatre
  • 1997: KIDSTAGE Company is formed to give young performers advanced training in Theatre Arts
  • 1997: Village Theatre ratifies formal agreement with Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States

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Our History

1998-2006  A BEGINNING IN EVERETT, AND MORE

  • 1998: Contract formed with the City of Everett to be the Resident Performing and Management Company at the Everett Performing Arts Center, bringing Youth Education Programs and Mainstage productions to Everett.
  • 2000: Pied Piper is added to Village Theatre’s Youth Education Program through a non-profit merger
  • 2000: Brian Yorkey is hired as Associate Artistic Director, focusing on new musical development where he continued on a part time basis until 2007
  • 2004: The KIDSTAGE Teen Apprentice Program (TAP) is formed, putting students alongside theatre professionals for training and mentorship
  • 2005: The Theatre is awarded the Eastside Destination Award by the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce, attesting to the theatre’s vibrancy, artistic excellence, service to the community, and economic impact to East King County

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Our History

2007-2010  REACHING NEW HEIGHTS

  • 2007: The Craig and Joan Watjen Technical Studios opens, with The King and I as the first production built in the new facility
  • 2007: Mainstage production of Million Dollar Quartet. The show was remounted with three of Village’s Quartet members in Chicago and on Broadway, and won the Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical for Village Theatre performer Levi Kreis as Jerry Lee Lewis
  • 2009: Whidbey Island Children’s Theatre produces Last Exit. This marks the first time a KIDSTAGE Company Original production is licensed for production elsewhere
  • 2009: New musical Next to Normal, which was supported and developed through Village Originals and Village Theatre’s own Brian Yorkey, opens on Broadway to rave reviews. It was later awarded the prestigious 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and three Tony Awards
  • 2010: Seattle Magazine names Executive Producer Robb Hunt and Artistic Director Steve Tomkins “Most Influential People in 2010,” noting that they have turned Village Theatre into “a nationally-renowned incubator of powerhouse productions”

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Our History

2011-2017  A TIME OF PROSPERITY

  • 2011: Reconstruction of the beloved 1914 First Stage Theatre in Issaquah is completed, creating a new home for KIDSTAGE and Village Originals programs
  • 2011: Village Theatre KIDSTAGE creates Institute, an intensive school-year program open by audition for students in grades 6-12 who are ready to study, train, and perform at an advanced level
  • 2011: Village Theatre leases a City of Everett building and renovates the facility into what is now known as the Cope Gillette Theatre, housing the KIDSTAGE program in Everett
  • 2014: Xanadu marks the Theatre’s first co-production, in collaboration with Arizona Theatre Company. After the show’s run in Issaquah and Everett, it traveled to Arizona and ran in both Tucson and Phoenix.
  • 2015: It Shoulda Been You, another Village Theatre original production (2012), opens on Broadway.
  • 2016: Brandon Ivie (a former KIDSTAGE student) hired as Village Theatre’s Associate Artistic Director to lead the Village Originals program
  • 2016: Village Theatre creates Beta Series, a program providing new musicals an opportunity for off-book, fully-staged performances, with audience feedback
  • 2017: Mainstage subscriber base grows to over 20,000 season subscribers

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Our History

2018-PRESENT  A NEW ERA

  • 2018: Steve Tomkins retires after 25 years as Artistic Director
  • 2018: Jerry Dixon becomes Village Theatre’s Second Artistic Director
  • 2018: Opening of The Anderson Family Artist Housing (aka The Anderson House), to provide lodging for visiting directors, writers, and actors
  • 2019: The Theatre celebrates it’s 40th Anniversary with a season of all-musicals, including the return of Million Dollar Quartet

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