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.

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 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.

    WATCH
  • 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.

    WATCH
  • 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).

    WATCH
  • 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.

    WATCH
  • 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.

    WATCH
  • 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.

    WATCH
  • 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.

    Watch
  • Artwork for "An Amazing Journey"

    "An Amazing Journey"

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

    Watch
  • 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).

    Watch

Partners

  • 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.

    Visit Website
  • Artwork for Byrd Barr Place

    Byrd Barr Place

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

    Visit Website
  • 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.

    Visit Website
  • 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.

    Visit Website
  • 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.

    Visit Website
  • Artwork for ReWA

    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.

    Visit Website
  • 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.

    Visit Website
  • 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.

    Visit Website
Image for Meet the Public Works Community

Meet the Public Works Community

Get to know the people behind Seattle Rep's Public Works and our incredible team of Teaching Artists.

#MeetThePWFam

Get to know our Public Works family through our monthly #MeetThePWFam series! Keep an eye on our social media platforms and check back here each month to meet one of our Public Works participants.

Meet Jennyfer Purswell

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  • Hometown: I was born in Urbana, Illinois. Iowa City, Iowa was where I had my first memories so that is what I consider my true home. Seattle, WA has been my physical hometown for the past 40 years.
  • Favorite Snack: Healthy: Green Grapes; Unhealthy: Nacho Cheese Doritos
  • Cat or dog?: My family is mainly a dog family. In future or previous life I am a cat.
  • If your life was a movie, what would it be called?: "In the Shadows of Corners"
  • My Current Project: Writing a theatrical autobiography called Petit Mort. Preparing to enter the NYU Graduate School for dual degree in Theater Education/Teacher Certification in Secondary Education.
  • My Long-Term Goal: To teach LGBTQ/High School students in both the Language Arts and Theater Arts in rural communities.

Meet more members of #ThePWFam here.

Get Involved

Support Seattle Rep's Public Works through making a donation to the program, learning more about volunteer opportunities, or contacting us for additional information.

Stay up to date on Seattle Rep's Public Works by signing up for our Public Works e-newsletter.