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Theater Of, By, And For The People

Seattle Rep’s Public Works partners with community-based organizations to invite folks from all walks of life to take classes, attend performances and events, and join in the creation of ambitious works of participatory theater. Through this process strangers become neighbors, creating a region that is welcoming for all.

Our Public Works program is evolving. Rather than producing a stand-alone show in summer 2024, we will pilot a revised model for Public Works by incorporating a Community Ensemble and participatory theater practices into our regular-season production of The Skin of Our Teeth this fall—spotlighting the creativity of our community before a larger audience than ever before! 

Following that production, we will pause other ongoing Public Works activities for the remainder of the 2024/25 Season while Seattle Rep assesses all of our community programming and determines how we can carry out this work more sustainably moving forward.

How it Works

Seattle Rep's Public Works is rooted in the values of equity, imagination, and joy.

EQUITY. Listen fully and do your best to make sure everyone has what they need to show up, feel safe, and succeed.

IMAGINATION. Exercise your creativity not only in what we are making but in how we are making it.

JOY. Enjoy each other and the work. Plant, cultivate, and grow our collective joy.

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The program invites a stunning diversity of people to participate in workshops and classes, to attend performances, and to join in the creation of ambitious works of participatory theater.

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CLASSES. Communities participate in acting classes ranging from improv to spoken word to musical theater and Shakespeare.

CONVERSATION. Together we attend plays, discussions, and social events to deepen our connections.

COLLABORATION. In the summer, we all come together to create a large-scale production that puts our city center stage.

Public Works In Action

Watch behind-the-scenes videos featuring past Public Works productions, workshops, interviews with participants, and more.

  • Artwork for A Festival of Personal Stories

    A Festival of Personal Stories

    On March 19 and 20, Seattle Rep’s Public Works and Macha Theatre Works partnered on A Festival of Personal Stories. During this two-day event, 10 Public Works participants performed heartfelt, hilarious, and uplifting stories at West of Lenin. 

  • Artwork for The Winter's Tale Trailer

    The Winter's Tale Trailer

    Get a sneak peek at Seattle Rep's Public Works' filmed production of The Winter's Tale (Dec. 16-19, 2021).

  • Artwork for "I like to try new things"

    "I like to try new things"

    “It’s important for seniors to have an emphasis on lifelong learning.” Get a behind-the-scenes look at Seattle Rep's Public Works family through Ballard Senior Center participant Mary Webster’s journey in The Odyssey (2017).

  • Artwork for Finding Ways to Be Vulnerable and Creative

    Finding Ways to Be Vulnerable and Creative

    "It's been pretty spectacular." Watch a new interview following Public Works participant Sean Morrin’s experience in The Odyssey (2017) from rehearsal to performance.

  • Artwork for "Encompassing All People"

    "Encompassing All People"

    Go behind the scenes with Seattle Rep's Public Works and hear from participants about their experiences in the program.

  • Artwork for Get to Know the Public Works Community: Ken Parms

    Get to Know the Public Works Community: Ken Parms

    Hear from Seattle Rep's Public Works participant Ken Parms about his journey through Public Works, and his experience playing the Cyclops in The Odyssey (2017) from costume fittings to performance.

  • Artwork for The Seed Project Mural Reveal

    The Seed Project Mural Reveal

    The Public Works team collected creative community submissions to a shared prompt. Using these as inspiration, scenic artist Ruth Gilmore painted a stunning mural in our building. Watch how this community-inspired art came together.

  • Artwork for Twelfth Night Trailer

    Twelfth Night Trailer

    The Public Works family came together virtually in December 2020 to present selections of Kwame Kwei-Armah and Shaina Taub's musical adaptation of Twelfth Night. Relive the joy of the performance's teaser trailer.

  • Artwork for What is Public Works?

    What is Public Works?

    Follow the cast and creative team of As You Like It (2019) from rehearsals to performance, and hear from Public Works Director Angie Kamel about the Public Works program.

  • Artwork for "An Amazing Journey"

    "An Amazing Journey"

    Hear from members of the Public Works family about their favorite memories from the program.

  • Artwork for The Making of The Odyssey

    The Making of The Odyssey

    Take a look behind the curtain of our inaugural Public Works production, The Odyssey (2017).



  • Artwork for Boys & Girls Clubs of King County

    Boys & Girls Clubs of King County

    Enabling young people to reach their full potential by emphasizing academic success, good character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyle.

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  • Artwork for Byrd Barr Place

    Byrd Barr Place

    Providing older adults and adults with disabilities with vital resources to help them thrive.

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  • Artwork for Compass Housing Alliance

    Compass Housing Alliance

    Builds and provides supportive affordable housing and emergency services to people who are homeless or low-income from Southcenter to Shoreline.

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  • Artwork for Jubilee Women’s Center

    Jubilee Women’s Center

    Center supports women experiencing poverty by helping them to build stable and fulfilling futures, one extraordinary woman at a time.

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  • Artwork for Path with Art

    Path with Art

    Harnesses the power of creative engagement to support people recovering from homelessness, addiction, and trauma, and in turn, builds community and stability.

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  • Artwork for ReWA


    ReWA is a non-profit, multi-ethnic organization that promotes inclusion, independence, personal leadership, and strong communities by providing refugee and immigrant women and their families with culturally and linguistically appropriate services.

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  • Artwork for Seattle Central College

    Seattle Central College

    Advocates for social change, both on campus and in broader movements, offering short- and long-term certificates, associate and bachelor degrees.

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  • Artwork for Sound Generations / Ballard NW Senior Center

    Sound Generations / Ballard NW Senior Center

    Provides older adults and adults with disabilities with vital resources to help them thrive. Seattle Rep's Public Works has partnered with the Ballard NW Senior Center for an ongoing class focused on musical theater and performance.

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Institutional Support for Public Works Provided by 



The Knossos Foundation 

Marie Lamfrom Charitable Foundation     

Peach Foundation   |   Treeline Foundation

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City of Seattle Office of Arts & Culture   |   Pecado Bueno  

 Wyman Youth Trust   |   Tulalip Tribes Charitable Contributions   

  Pagliacci Pizza   |   TCG/Mellon Foundation


Italics denotes in-kind donations