The Productions at Issaquah’s Village Theatre are a Tough Act to Follow

In the heart of Issaquah’s Creative District, sitting well-lit by window panes and a grand marquis on Front Street, is the Village Theatre. Founded in the late 1970s, the theater serves as more than just a community treasure; it is a premiere destination for musical stage productions and a creative powerhouse setting trends and standards for the future of the performing arts.

Spotlight on the Stage

 The history of the beloved Village Theatre is told in two parts: the first is the building, and the second is the production company. What was initially known as the First Stage Theater was erected in 1914 during the early days of Issaquah’s settlement, and while it was always a house of performance, it wasn’t originally used for live stage productions. Instead, it was a movie theater showing popular fan favorites from the silent film era. Built with convertible seating, the theater also became a community events space for dances, graduation ceremonies, and more.

The Village Theatre raised the curtain on their first production, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, in 1979. Since then, its wildly talented casts and contributors have spent nearly 50 years launching memorable shows and filling its legendary Mainstage lineup with song and dance. As the productions grew in popularity, so did the need for space — the Village Theatre purchased its first historic home, the First Stage Theater (now the Hunt Family Theatre), in 1981. A second venue, the Francis J. Gaudette Theatre, opened across the street from the original site in 1994, taking center stage for the theater’s main productions and leaving the original building for extended, specialized offerings. The Village Theatre rang in the 1998-1999 season by expanding its performance dates to the nearby Everett Performing Arts Center and later renovated and restored the Hunt Family Theatre in 2010.

Issaquah’s Opening Nights

In a roster containing hundreds of launched performances throughout the years, it takes work to narrow down a taste of what a ticket to a Village Theatre production might get you. Here are some highlights from their extensive catalog of past hits:

1984-1985 Fiddler on the Roof

Starting off strong in an early season, the Village Theatre performed a warmhearted rendition of this classic family tale. This production gets a revival every so often, so if you weren’t visiting back in the day, you might get another chance to check it out!

1998-1999 – My Fair Lady

The quintessential story about turning an everyday gal into a high-class lady charmed audiences at the Village Theatre in the late 90s and comes back to make the rounds and do it again every so often.

2007-2008 – Million Dollar Quartet

Inviting viewers behind the scenes and into the Memphis studio with four musical titans, this production launched at the Village Theatre before moving on to Broadway and eventually receiving a Tony nomination.

2022-2023 – Hello, Dolly!

Another musical comedy staple, Hello, Dolly!, took the audience back in time to New York City’s high society in the late 1800s.

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A Community That’s Breaking Legs

Issaquah’s Village Theatre is not only an exceptional place to take in a Broadway show but also a great place to join one! Part of the theater’s mission is partnering closely with performers and creative minds in the local community, forging career paths, and stoking passions for musical theater both behind the curtain and in the audience.

Kids Stage Village Theatre Freaky Friday pc Village Theatre

KIDSTAGE, photo credit Village Theatre

At the theater, Mainstage is for the traditional productions, and KIDSTAGE is for the littlest performers among us. Camps and classes in this program are lovingly taught by experts in the field, showing kiddos how to sing, dance, and act like the pros you see on stage, building their confidence and inspiring a love of the arts that will last a lifetime.

If you’re a playwright, a composer, or someone interested in making themselves at home in the spotlight, Village Originals is a comprehensive program with just what you need. Performing artists at any skill level will find everything from expert feedback to residencies to assistance with getting full productions launched. If you’re looking for a place to begin your career journey, look no further than the Village Theatre.