Theatre Archives


Oct 26 – Nov 19 2017

Richard Gray as Chauncey Miles in The Nance. Photo by John McLellan.

October 26 – November 19, 2017



By Douglas Carter Beane

Directed by Mathew Wright

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.

Reviews of ArtsWest’s production of The Nance

“Director Mathew Wright has done it again! He’s establishing a record of hit after hit at ArtsWest. This one is an especially powerful show that captures all our emotions. Funny? Oh indeed, it’s full of laughs and gaiety, but you may also find yourself wiping away a tear or two.” – Arts Stage – Seattle Rage

“THE NANCE is a definite must-see production…a magical mix of theatre, hilarious comedy show, and burlesque all rolled into one unforgettable experience.” – Seattle Gay News

Run time is approx. 2.5 hours with an intermission.

* Content advisory: this play features full nudity.


Cabaret Seats

10 Cabaret Tables for Two are available for each performance of The Nance, staged as shown in the diagram below. Cabaret Tables, available for only $125, seat two and include a complimentary bottle of wine.

Diagram of THE NANCE seating: 10 Cabaret Tables distributed around the stage

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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

CAST TALK BACK: Thursday, 9/28 – Get tickets

POST-SHOW PANEL DISCUSSION: Friday, 9/29 – Get tickets


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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Aug 10 – Aug 20 2017

Book, Music & Lyrics by Kevin Murphy & Lawrence O’Keefe

Based on the film by Daniel Waters

Heathers The Musical (High School Edition) is the darkly delicious story of Veronica Sawyer, a brainy, beautiful teenage misfit who hustles her way into the most powerful and ruthless clique at Westerberg High: the Heathers. But before she can get comfortable atop the high school food chain, Veronica falls in love with the dangerously handsome new kid J.D. When Heather Chandler, the Almighty, kicks her out of the group, Veronica decides to bite the bullet and kiss Heather’s aerobicized butt… but J.D. has another plan for that bullet.

Brought to you by the award-winning creative team of Kevin Murphy (Reefer Madness, Desperate Housewives), Laurence O’Keefe (Bat Boy, Legally Blonde) and director Andy Fickman (Reefer Madness, She’s the Man), Heathers The Musical (High School Edition) is a hilarious, heartfelt and homicidal new show based on the greatest teen comedy of all time. 

Presented and performed by ArtsWest Musical Theater Students

Directed by Jay O’Leary

Tickets (General admission): $10

*Please note that this play includes mature themes and content, and the firing of prop guns.





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After Hours: Sondheim

Jul 17 – Jul 31 2017

Monday, July 17 at 7:30pm – Eric Ankrim

Monday, July 24 at 7:30pm – Jessica Skerritt

Monday, July 31 at 7:30pm – Justin Huertas with Rheanna Atendido

The Summer Cabaret series is back!

The music of Stephen Sondheim is incredibly varied, deeply textured, rich with meaning, and – of course – legendary. For three Mondays in July, renowned Seattle artists Eric Ankrim, Jessica Skerritt, and Justin Huertas (with Rheanna Atendido) will each take a turn with their own selections from Sondheim’s storied work.

ArtsWest Cabarets can be enjoyed from our Playhouse seats or an intimate Table for Two. Single tickets and subscriptions are available. With the Table for Two (both as single tickets and subscriptions) patrons will enjoy a complimentary bottle of wine and nibbles to accompany the performance.

All Cabarets begin at 7:30pm. All are 90 minutes with no intermission.

Single Tickets

General – $30

Table for Two – $80

Subscription (admission to all 3 performances)

General – $75

Table for Two – $210



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