Annex Theatre is a democratic collective of theatre artists dedicated to creating bold new work in an environment of improbability, resourcefulness, and risk.
Annex annually produces 5 world-premiere plays by living playwrights and helmed by local directors, ranging from radical reinterpretations of classic scripts and ensemble-generated devised spectacles to dynamic solo performances and evocatively relevant plays. All productions are chosen by the Annex company through a process of proposals, interviews, frenzied argument, and final consensus. Annex also produces a monthly late-night variety show, Spin the Bottle (started in 1997) and co-produces Weird & Awesome with Emmett Montgomery monthly.
Annex incorporated on Bainbridge Island in 1986, and took residence in 1988 in a former dance studio on 4th Avenue in downtown Seattle. Since then the theatre has produced hundreds of world and Pacific Northwest premieres, including new plays by Stranger Genius Award winners Chris Jeffries and Paul Mullin; dozens of local playwrights including Elizabeth Heffron, Kelleen Conway Blanchard, Scotto Moore, Keri Healey, Scot Augustson, John Kaufmann, Heidi Heimarck, Bret Fetzer, Holly Arsenault, Courtney Meaker, Keiko Green, Brandon J. Simmons, Amy Escobar, and Seayoung Yim; and nationally recognized playwrights such as Erik Ehn, Naomi Iizuka, Glen Berger, Anne Washburn, Jeffrey Jones, Nicky Silver, Madeline George, and Benjamin Benne.
Former Annex company members can be found throughout the Seattle arts community, including Allison Narver, former Artistic Director of the Empty Space; Weir Harman, Executive Director of Town Hall; and Gillian Jorgensen, Seattle Children’s Theatre Teaching Artist; also nationally including Josef Krebs, former Director of Development at Actors Theatre of Louisville (home of the Humana Festival of New American Plays); as well as in the local and national film industry, such as directors SJ Chiro, Garrett Bennett, and Mike Shapiro, and actors Jillian Armenante and Paul Giamatti. We believe that Annex’s distinctive collective working model–which cultivates a combination of initiative, diligence, and the ability to play well with others–is responsible for this remarkable track record of producing leaders in the arts.
Annex has produced upwards of 300 individual performances during its nearly 30 year history. A complete listing of performances from 1982 through 2010 — created by Annex Historian Ed Hawkins — is available as a PDF document: Annex Production History; this web site catalogs our seasons from 2008 through the present in more detail.
“It is no small thing that Annex does, night after night lighting a fire in the middle of a forest of neon signs.” – Nathaniel Boggess
Annex Theatre Artistic Directors
- Edgar Sargent–1987-1988 (might have started 1986)
- Allison Narver–1989-1995
- Andrea Allen–1996-1997
- SJ Chiro–1998-2000
- Bret Fetzer–2001-2004
- Gillian Jorgensen–2004-2006
- Bret Fetzer–2006-2009
- Pamala Mijatov–2009-2016
- Catherine Blake Smith–2016-present