Mission and History


ACT is a contemporary theatre where artistic ambition and civic engagement unite.


ACT envisions a world where the power of theatre expands our collective understanding of community and our own humanity.


About ACT


ACT is where artistic ambition and civic engagement unite. We envision a world where the power of theatre expands our collective understanding of community and our own humanity. 

One of the great benefits of having a contemporary theatre in our community is that we ensure all artists shaping our culture have a voice in driving the theatre of tomorrow. Over the last 55 years, ACT has supported these voices as they sharpen and grow and has honed its mission around nurturing the theatre makers of the next generation. 

Our renewed commitment to New Works by local playwrights leads our theatre back to life during this extraordinary time of transition bringing Seattle’s voice beyond our stage into the national conversation. ACT’s dedication to producing bold, relevant, works on contemporary themes sparks an authentic curiosity about the human condition matched by an audacious spirit fueled by groundbreaking work.

ACT has produced more than 300 plays and musicals including 47 World Premieres and is dedicated to producing dynamic and provocative works supporting local excellence reflective of a collective community spirit.

What’s on stage now? Click here for our calendar.

There are over 300 plays in our rich Mainstage history including many World Premieres. Our Mainstage selections epitomize ACT’s reputation for presenting innovative, challenging, entertaining and relevant work. We are a contemporary theatre because of our contributions to new works and because of the relevant, contemporary themes we explore in classic material. Our 2017 Season premiered Moby Pomerance’s play Alex & Aris, a play that was commissioned by ACT, developed, workshopped and then produced. Likewise, King of the Yees by Lauren Yee, began in the ACTLab in 2015, went on to a World Premiere at the Goodman Theatre and returned to ACT for our 2017 Season. Yussef El Guindi’s fifth World Premiere at ACT, Hotter Than Egypt premiered on our stage during the 2022 season

The Core Company is a group of artistic collaborators who support the mission of building community at ACT. The Core Company’s original purpose was to encourage an environment of artistic excellence, while creating a home for local artists to experiment and grow. In 2020, the Core Company redefined itself as an integral part of the reimagining of ACT’s ethical mission. Members serve as an artistic advisory council that helps to guide ACT on its path to making meaningful, contemporary art.

In 1976, ACT inaugurated an annual Seattle holiday tradition with Gregory Falls’s own adaptation of A Christmas Carol, the classic script by Charles Dickens and has continued every holiday season since. This classic favorite has become a holiday tradition for many in Seattle.