This week we are celebrating Seattle Rep’s 60th birthday with a series of posts reflecting on important aspects of our artistic and civic impact over the past six decades. Read on for a Seattle Rep-rospective on a few standout examples of our expert artisanry.
Over the years, Seattle Rep’s in-house shops have produced some of the most spectacular work seen on stage in our region and, dare we say it, in the nation. Seattle Rep artisans put in weeks if not months of work on each show and continue to set the standard for craftspeople throughout the theater community. We are excited to go down memory lane and share a few highlights from this last decade of astonishing art as we celebrate the first 60 years of Seattle Rep’s legacy.
Overlooking half of The Robert Scales Stage Shop from the Production Office at Seattle Rep
Many theaters don’t have their scenic, costume, props, wigs, etc. shops in-house. What does “in-house” mean? This means Seattle Rep has one building, housing our lobby and theaters, administrative and production offices, and production shops under one roof. This connection allows artisans and staff to build community, share meetings and face-to-face time with each other and with artists, and see the process of creating theater unfold together.
Check out what the shops are building for Little Women, on the Bagley Wright stage now!
Our Current #BuiltBySeattleRep Project
Cheers to 60 years! This week's birthday celebration events include the opening of Little Women, adapted by Kate Hamill from the beloved classic by Louisa May Alcott. Built in-house by our talented artisans, watch the March household come to life with Beth's piano, fireplace, and hand-painted walls inspired by paintings in Louisa May Alcott's childhood home, Orchard House in Concord, MA.
Handmade props and scenic design items for Little Women.
The Johnny Mc Tour
Go on a 2018 guided tour of Seattle Rep’s backstage spaces, led by former long-time Operations Director John McNamara. Learn about Seattle Rep’s beginnings, get the scoop on some backstage shenanigans, and hear stories, where “75% of the information dispensed is true, and the other 25%...could be true.”
Costumes from The Tempest (2023) on the Leo K. stage.
Did You Know?
- The Bagley Wright Theater stage has a pit that goes 12 feet deep. When we have a musical on the stage, the orchestra and musicians play in there. When a non-musical show is playing, this space is used for scenic storage. Look back at a 2016 tour of this space and more with former Associate Technical Director Wiley here!
- In 2008, scene shop artisans built a 16-foot-high giant volcano, designed by Blythe Quinlan for The Cure at Troy.
“Our shops take pride in every design they fulfill, costume sewn, props made, and set pieces constructed and painted in house. If the last 60 years are any indication, Seattle Rep will continue to lead the evolution of artistic vitality and imagination with our shop staff at the forefront of making art a reality.” —Aaron Alonso, Assistant Director of Production
The plaque naming The Robert Scales Stage Shop.
The Robert Scales Stage Shop
Near the stairs connecting the production office to the scene shop is a wall of memorabilia surrounding a plaque dedicated to Robert R. Scales, Ph.D., for his skill, imagination, and commitment from 1977 to 1987. Fun fact: Robert “helped build Seattle Rep – literally" (American Theatre).
Tour some favorite staff spots in Seattle Rep’s building, including the rest of the scenic, costume, and prop shops with some favorite staff spots!
A Few Staff Favorite Video Highlights:
#BuiltBySeattleRep: I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter (2023) – Beaded Curtain Mural
The Making of Here Lives Love (2017): The Build
Get the Behind-the-Scenes Scoop!
Stay up to date on all the magic on Inside Seattle Rep.
We can’t wait to celebrate another 60 years of incredible artistry with you! Experience the 2023/2024 Season and see our incredible artisans’ work in action. Here's to a future filled with extraordinary art at the Heart of Public Life!
If you love what you have seen on stage help our future shine brightly as we celebrate our Diamond Birthday with Little Women. More>>
Photos by Eliane Rodriguez, and Vida Alapour, and Sayed Alamy