Village Theatre

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Village Theatre is a major regional theatre located in the Seattle Metropolitan Area. It is a member of Theatre Puget Sound and the National Alliance for Musical Theatre.[1] The theatre was founded in Issaquah, Washington, in 1979 and built a second location in Issaquah in 1994.[2] Village Theatre was contracted by the City of Everett, Washington in 1998 to be the resident performing and management company of the Everett Performing Arts Center.[3]

Programming includes a five-show Mainstage season (performed in Issaquah and at the Everett Performing Arts Center), Village Originals (a program of musicals in-progress presented in collaboration with authors and composers), KIDSTAGE (a year-round youth education program), and Pied Piper (an arts-presenting program with performances in Everett, Bellevue, and Issaquah).[4]


According to Village Theatre's Executive Producer, Robb Hunt, the theatre's roots run all the way to Montana, where actor and director Carl Darchuk ran a small theatre. When a member of that theatre's board of directors, Jon Wheeler, moved to Issaquah in the late 70s, he encouraged Darchuk to come out and take a look. Issaquah had an old movie house that was standing empty, and a burgeoning population of young families looking for entertainment. Village Theatre debuted How to Succeed In Business Without Really Trying on April 20, 1979. In that year Village also elected six members to the original board of directors, with Darchuk as the founding Artistic Director.[5]

Village, which now has 20,000 subscribers in Issaquah and Everett, is one of only ten companies in the National Alliance for Musical Theatre reporting such high attendance figures.[6] Their Mainstage productions have included beloved classics such as Annie Get Your Gun, The Full Monty, Show Boat, and Jesus Christ Superstar. Additionally, the theatre's youth education program serves over 57,000 young people, families and schools annually.[7]

Village Theatre has been under the guidance of Executive Director Robb Hunt and Artistic Director Jerry Dixon since 1979 and 2018, respectively.[8][9] Dixon succeeded original artistic director Steve Tomkins, who retired in the spring of 2018 at the conclusion of his 25th season at the helm. Dixon, a New York director and actor known for his Broadway and off-Broadway credits, has directed Village's productions of Show Boat, The Full Monty, A Proper Place,[10] and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.[11] Dixon, whose career has largely focused on new work, plans an expansion of Village's commitment to it.[12]

Production History[edit]

Village Theatre's production history reaches back to 1979.

New Musicals[edit]

The theatre's Village Originals program has launched over 160 new musical productions[7] since its inception in 1995 (when it was called the First Stage New Musicals Series). The program presents readings and workshops of nascent shows during the annual Festival of New Musicals, and full-fledged trial productions as part of its Beta Series.[13] Notable musicals that had their debuts as part of the Village Originals program include:


Village Theatre was founded in 1979 in a historic theater building. This building, now known as the First Stage Theatre, was built in 1913 by Mr. Rufus H. Glenn as a silent-film theater. The theater has a flat floor and originally had removable seats to make room for other activities held in the building. Village Theatre then constructed the Francis J. Gaudette Theatre — down the street from the First Stage Theatre — in November 1994.[2] Village Theatre holds its Mainstage productions in the Francis J. Gaudette Theatre and its Issaquah KIDSTAGE and Village Originals programs in the First Stage Theatre.[19] In 1998, Village Theatre was contracted by the City of Everett to be the resident performing and management company of the Everett Performing Arts Center.[20] Village Theatre began leasing the adjacent property, a bank building built in 1962, from the City of Everett in 2010.[21] Village Theatre renovated the building, now the Cope-Gillette Theatre, in 2015 to house their Everett KIDSTAGE and youth education programs.


  1. ^ National Alliance for Musical Theatre, Member Directory, Retrieved June 8, 2017.
  2. ^ a b Issaquah History Museums. "Issaquah Theater (Village Theatre First Stage)." Published December 9, 2015. Retrieved June 8, 2017.
  3. ^ Everett, Washington, Explore Everett, Retrieved June 8, 2017.
  4. ^ Theatre Puget Sound, TPS Member Directory Retrieved June 8, 2017.
  5. ^ Issaquah Museums. "From an old Issaquah movie house to Broadway’s bright lights." The Issaquah and Sammamish Reporter. Published July 1, 2010. Retrieved June 8, 2017.
  6. ^ Fiege, Gale. "Village Theatre’s 2017-18 lineup includes new musical ‘String’." The Daily Herald. Published March 3, 2017. Retrieved June 8, 2017.
  7. ^ a b "Village Theatre". Encore Spotlight. 2019-02-13. Retrieved August 2, 2020.
  8. ^ a b Duff, Deanna. Most Influential: Robb Hunt and Steve Tomkins, Seattle Magazine, Published November 2010, Retrieved June 8, 2017.
  9. ^ Tu, Janet (2017-10-12). "Village Theatre names new artistic director". The Seattle Times. Retrieved August 2, 2020.
  10. ^ BWW News Desk. "A PROPER PLACE by Broadway's Leslie Becker Gets World Premiere Production". Retrieved August 2, 2020.
  11. ^ Berson, Misha (2019-03-06). "At Village Theatre, new artistic head Jerry Dixon aims to wrap his audience in a 'blanket of joy'". The Seattle Times. Retrieved August 2, 2020.
  12. ^ Somers, Dusty. At Village Theatre, Artistic Director Steve Tomkins leaving a legacy, while Jerry Dixon looks ahead, The Seattle Times, Published November 3, 2017. Retrieved June 5, 2018.
  13. ^ Somers, Dusty. Spotlight on: Brandon Ivie, director of ‘String’ at Village Theatre, is on a quest to find the best new musicals, The Seattle Times, Published March 22, 2018. Retrieved June 5, 2018.
  14. ^ a b Internet Broadway Database, Village Theatre - Producer, Presenter,Retrieved June 8, 2017.
  15. ^ BWW News Desk (4 May 2010). "Village Theatre Developed MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET Receives 3 Tony Nods". Retrieved August 2, 2020.
  16. ^ Jones, Kenneth (14 June 2010). "Just the Winners: 2010 Tony Awards List". Playbill. Retrieved August 2, 2020.
  17. ^ Berson, Misha. At Village Theatre’s new musicals fest, hope springs for Broadway, The Seattle Times, Published August 13, 2010. Retrieved June 8, 2017.
  18. ^ Hetrick, Adam (22 February 2012). "Cast Announced for Village Theatre's It Shoulda Been You". Playbill. Retrieved August 2, 2020.
  19. ^ "Plan Your Visit: Issaquah". Village Theatre. Retrieved August 2, 2020.
  20. ^ Snohomish County Tourism Bureau, Everett Performing Arts Center, Retrieved June 8, 2017.
  21. ^ "Cope-Gillette Theater - Village Theater". Architect Magazine. 16 May 2016. Retrieved August 2, 2020.