Now Playing

The Who & the What

Sep 07 – Oct 01 2017

From left to right: Alaji (Mahwish) and Monika Jolly (Zarina). Photo credit: Michael Brunk.

By Ayad Akhtar

Brilliant Pakistani-American writer Zarina is focused on finishing her novel about women and Islam when she meets Eli, a young convert who bridges the gulf between her modern life and her traditional heritage. But when her conservative father and sister discover her controversial manuscript, they are all forced to confront the beliefs that define them. From Ayad Akhtar, the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer of Disgraced, THE WHO AND THE WHAT is a thrillingly fierce and funny new play about identity, religion and the contradictions that make us who we are.


“THE WHO & THE WHAT explores intergenerational and interfaith conflicts with fluid eloquence and intelligence. Mr. Akhtar writes dialogue that, while often funny and always natural, crackles with ideas and continually reveals undercurrents of tension that ratchet up the emotional stakes.”—The New York Times.


“THE WHO & THE WHAT is to be commended for tackling themes too rarely addressed in contemporary dramas…Akhtar is definitely a playwright whose work merits significant attention.” —The Hollywood Reporter. 

Run time is approximately 90 minutes with a 15 minute intermission.


Adults – $38

Seniors – $33 – 65+

Students – $17 – with valid school ID


Seating notes

This production of The Who & The What has an upstage seating section to create the feeling of theatre in the round. These are full, cushioned theatre seats and not folding chairs. This seating area is not reserved, but general admission/festival style seating. See the chart below for an illustration of the seating arrangement for The Who & The What.

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Coming Soon


Oct 26 – Nov 19 2017

October 26 – November 19, 2017

By Douglas Carter Beane

Set in the beating heart of the naughty, raucous world of 1930s burlesque, THE NANCE brings to life an American era when it was easy to play gay and dangerous to be gay. Chauncey Miles performs as a “nance”, a popular comedy act packed with double entendre and camp parodies of gay men. While most “nance” actors are straight, Chauncey is not, and – at a time when gay communities were subject to police raids and moral outrage – Chauncey is left with no choice but to hide his identity while he mocks it onstage.

“A heartfelt period piece about coded and censored gay life in 1930s New York…this is Beane’s finest straight (well, straight-acting) play since THE LITTLE DOG LAUGHED.” —Time Out (New York)



Have you ever wondered how a Scenic Designer plans a stage? What cast members do to prepare for their roles? How the whole thing – costumes, casting, lighting, and more – all come together to make a production at ArtsWest? FIRST LOOK events are your (free!) opportunity to engage directly with the creative minds behind each ArtsWest production. 

Get free tickets to FIRST LOOK: The Nance – October 10, 2017 at 7:30pm

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Dec 01 – Dec 23 2017

December 1 – December 23, 2017

Ring in the holidays with a dazzling night of merriment, song, and a heaping dash of the unexpected. At the Holiday Cast Party, celebrated Seattle performers take the stage one by one to wow the crowd, each with their unique brand of unplanned, unscripted and wildly talented merriment. With each night brimming with a wealth of surprises, you might just want to come back for a second helping.


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