Theatre Archives


Jun 07 – Jul 08 2018

CLOSING WEEKEND! Two productions in rotating repertory:

Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill and Hedwig and the Angry Inch

LADY DAY AT emerson’s bar and grill

by Lanie Robertson

Directed by Valerie Curtis-Newton

Lanie Robertson’s Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill paints a stirring portrait of jazz legend Billie Holiday as she performs one of her last solo concerts, four months before her death. Packed with the music that made her both a legend – “What a Little Moonlight Can Do”, “God Bless the Child” – and a cultural flashpoint – “Strange Fruit” – Lady Day tells an intimate story of a complex woman through reminisces, confessions, and unforgettable music.

Thursdays & Saturdays at 7:30pm | GET TICKETS

Note: this production features the use of water-based haze.

Hedwig and the Angry Inch

Book by John Cameron Mitchell

Music & Lyrics by Stephen Trask

Directed by Mathew Wright

The off-Broadway smash-hit Hedwig and the Angry Inch tells the electrifying story of Hedwig, a German emigrant who suffered a botched sex-change operation, as she travels the country in hopeless romantic pursuit of her former lover. First a hit on stage and again on screen, John Cameron Mitchell’s hard-rock tale of transformation has earned critical acclaim and a legion of fans across the world.

Fridays at 7:30pm and Sundays at 3pm  / GET TICKETS

Note: this production features the use of water-based haze and strobe effects.


ArtsWest has been transformed for Hedwig and Lady Day! With 10 Cabaret Tables on the floor and backed barstools on houses right and left, you can be truly transported into the world of Lady Day‘s 1950s nightclub or Hedwig’s modern-day rock hideout. 

The backed barstools on houses right and left are separated by a cozy table – for patrons coming to the show as a pair, pick seats on either side of the table (represented on the seating chart as a blocked seat) and you’re all set for an unforgettable evening.

Practical Questions of Wholeness

Both Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill and Hedwig and the Angry Inchare powerful, penetrating portraits of performers as they grapple with their identity through music. The title of the repertory pairing – Practical Questions of Wholeness, a line from Hedwig  – speaks to the search both artists undertake to trace the fault lines, and find the missing pieces, to their fractured senses of self.  

Presented in rotating repertory

Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill will be performed Thursdays and Saturdays at 7:30pm; Hedwig and the Angry Inch will be performed Fridays at 7:30pm and Sundays at 3pm. In this rotating repertory arrangement, performances happen on alternating days on the same set, giving audiences the opportunity to see first-hand how performance and storytelling completely transform a space.


Note: this production features the use of water-based haze.

Co-sponsor: The Hansberry Project

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Apr 19 – May 13 2018

Lamar Legend. Photo by John McLellan. 

April 19 – May 13

By Branden Jacobs-Jenkins

Directed by Brandon J. Simmons

In 1859, the handsome George arrives as heir apparent to Terrabonne, his late uncle’s slave plantation. There he quickly falls in love with Zoe, a beautiful “octoroon” – someone who is one-eighth Black – but the evil overseer M’Closky has other plans for both Terrebonne and Zoe. Nothing is sacred in this genre-bending work: race, identity and time are bent by the whims of AN OCTOROON’s audacious storytelling. Racial stereotypes both past and present are shattered in Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ bold, imaginative re-envisioning of a 19th century antebellum drama as an urgent message for today.

Winner – 2014 OBIE Award for Best New American Play

“Super oxygenating—despite moments of palpable fear and disquiet, we leave feeling somehow healthier, as though the theater has given us a violent shake and a pep talk.” —Time Out (New York)

*Content note: this production features strong and racially charged language, depictions of violence, suggestive content, sudden and very loud noises, water-based haze, and strobe effects.


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Feb 28 – Mar 25 2018

Evan Barrett (Isaac), Charles Leggett (Arnold), and Gretchen Krich (Paige). Photo by John McLellan.

February 28 – March 25

By Taylor Mac

Co-produced with Intiman Theatre

Directed by Jennifer Zeyl

Somewhere in the suburbs, Isaac has returned from the wars to help take care of his disabled father, only to enter a different warzone: a household in revolt. His mother, liberated from an abusive marriage – with Isaac’s newly out transgender sibling as her ally – is on a crusade to dismantle the patriarchy. But in Taylor Mac’s sly, subversive comedy HIR, annihilating the past doesn’t always free you from it.

“…sensational—in all senses of the word…[an] audacious and uproarious black comedy…Mac has his own gloriously skewed vision of the toxins fouling the American family from within, and in its avowedly loopy way HIR reflects current concerns about the decline of the middle class, as well as the trauma war veterans endure…brilliant writing…” —New York Times

*Note: Hir features the use of strong language, violent content, loud noises and pulsating lights.


Runtime is approximately 2 hours 10 minutes with a 15 minute intermission.


All Talkbacks are free for ticket holders to that evening’s performance of HIR, and take place in the theatre after the performance. 

Friday, March 9 – Patriarchy & Toxic Masulinity

Friday, March 16 – Domestic violence

Friday, March 23 – Military service & PTSD


Co-produced with

Visit Intiman Theatre’s website

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Jan 18 – Feb 11 2018

Corinne Magin (M) and Maile Wong (L). Photo by John McLellan.

January 18 – February 11, 2018

By Jiehae Park

Directed by Sara Porkalob


Asian-American twin sisters M and L will do whatever it takes to win the one coveted affirmative action spot at “The College.” But when the thick acceptance envelope falls into the hands of D, a white male colleague who is 1/16th Native American, the sisters will stop at nothing to take back what is rightfully theirs – and eliminate anyone who stands in their way. Jiehae Park’s clever and incisive adaptation of Macbeth explores how the drive to succeed can become an all-consuming – and deadly – obsession.

“Though you’ll guess what will happen, you won’t guess how, and the manifold shocks—both the twists of the plot and the provocation of the subject matter—are exhilarating.” – Seattle Magazine

Peerless is…a propulsive, immensely entertaining production directed by Sara Porkalob. This is a carefully honed play, internalizing its inspiration’s thoughts on power grabs and fated ends, and leavening them with a darkly comic perspective on privilege, race and societal expectations.” – Seattle Times


Content note: Characters in this play make active use of offensive and derogatory language toward each other and other marginalized groups.

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