What is it like to work at annex?
Annex Theatre is an all-volunteer theatre company dedicated to creating bold new work in an environment of improbability, resourcefulness, and risk. Located up two flights of stairs in the heart of Capitol Hill, Seattle, we produce relevant plays for modern audiences. The volunteers at Annex work tirelessly to:
- provide an artistic home that fosters community, collaboration, experimentation, and artistic growth.
- offer artists ownership of the entire process of creating theater, as opposed to a bureaucratic structure they can work within but cannot control.
- produce challenging and original works in intimate settings.
- produce theater that is broad in scope but economical in cost—Big Cheap Theater.
- attract patrons who might not be drawn to live theater. We keep our prices low and focus on marketing to alternative audiences.
- offer artists payment in a different kind of coin: Ownership, artistic freedom, and deepening experience supplement small stipends.
- strengthen ties with other arts organizations in Seattle and foster cross-pollination.
- be part of the “research and development” wing of American theater and to generate respect for that role in American culture.
For 32 years, we have continually chosen new and bold plays by artists who challenge the status quo of theatre in Seattle. Through our evolution we have produced award-winning plays about alternate realities and dystopian futures, superheroes and circus performers, and socio-political and economic issues with female, LGBTQ+, and POC protagonists. We primarily work with young and emerging female, LGBTQ+, and POC playwrights and directors, most of whom are producing for the first time ever.
At Annex, artists have unparalleled opportunity to experiment with production roles, subject matter, and form. In order to offer this kind of freedom, Annex has continuously run on volunteer labor. Artists dedicate their time and energy to making exciting and daring work for free because of the chances they get to take. A majority of artists who work with Annex move on to produce at other established theatres, win awards, and establish long and productive careers. But they all had to get their start somewhere.
What kind of plays does ANnex produce?
World Premiere & Local
Annex Theatre produces world premiere plays with local artists. Unfortunately, we cannot afford to house any out of town artists. We prefer the playwright to be local unless the director is closely tied to the playwright (we've worked with a remote playwright who was childhood friends with the director, for example). A play we select can have had readings/workshops or been partially produced, but otherwise it should be brand new to Seattle.
All of our plays and projects are about topics relevant to the Annex company, guest artists, or our audiences. We choose topics that we are collectively passionate about. We are constantly asking "why this play now?" with every show pitched.
Most of the artists we work with may not get a chance anywhere else. We take a lot of risks, which is the scariest and most exciting thing about working with Annex. We work with a lot of unknowns, so if the artist who is pitching to us is also pitching the exact same project to 3 other theatres, we're less likely to want to work with them. We want to know Why Annex? What makes our potential partnership special?
How does annex produce?
If your play is selected for the mainstage season, we invite you to participate in our production process. We'll read the script and provide feedback (or connect you with the right people), help you cast and bring on designers, and we coordinate the marketing, tech, and front of house. It's an intense partnership that is (ideally) rewarding for both sides.
Annex Theatre provides artists with a substantial "grant"—around $12,000 in volunteer labor and resources ranging from rehearsal space and poster printing to snacks at tech—to allow artists to produce their art with little to no personal or financial risk. We provide a small stipend at the end of the process, a token of our gratitude and something to potentially recoup some costs you may incur during the process, like a parking ticket. But we know you're doing it for more than a stipend or even name recognition. You're doing it for love, just like we are. That's why we choose plays that our artists are passionate about and need to be done at Annex.
If your project is selected for Mind the Set, our staff is a little more hands off and you're not stipended as an artist. But you'll have more agency in how your project turns out and we make an arrangement with the box office that enables you to take home a little bit of ticket sales earned to share with your artists or fund your next experimental venture.