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Now approaching its 20th year, Theatre Puget Sound helps performing artists and organizations from around the regions create and sustain their art. Each year thousands of artists and hundreds of theatres join TPS to create an alliance for arts advocacy, cooperative purchasing/marketing, subsidized rehearsal and performance spaces, program development, and vital services delivery that is stronger than any individual or organization could achieve alone. We connect artists with audiences, with each other, and with opportunity. We produce the annual Gregory Awards recognizing outstanding work; curate TPS stage at Bumbershoot introducing members to new audiences; offer a year-long social justice program to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion systemically in our region's theatres; and produce the state's only unified general auditions to promote the casting of area artists both locally and nationally. TPS also provides artists with subsidized tickets and workshops opportunities to stay on top of their craft.
About This Cause
When TPS was founded in 1997, the region's large and active theatre community was disconnected and desperately needed a professional association to understand and advocate for its needs, provide shared services to benefit all, and help them leverage their voice and economic power. Now approaching its 20th anniversary, TPS is achieving that vision as a vital hub unifying thousands of theatre and performing artists across the Puget Sound to leverage an alliance stronger than any individual or organization acting alone. An arts service and advocacy organization, we help connect artists with audiences, with each other, and with opportunity. TPS strives for the broadest diversity of artists and performing arts opportunities, re-imagining ways to give arts back to audience and investing in the creativity and vitality of local communities.
Our priority needs for 2017 include preparations for our 20th anniversary campaign, repair and maintenance funds for our 10 aging pianos, and fiscal gap support for Leadership for Social Change: our year-long, cohort-model diversity, inclusion, and equity program that seeks to impact inclusion not only in the audience or on stage but also systemically within the arts organizations and for artists. We commissioned nationally renowned arts equity consultant Carmen Morgan to develop our year-long curriculum, and she also leads our cohort of 24 artists and arts administrators as they identify where they are on the exclusivity/inclusivity spectrum and helps them develop individualized strategies to advance towards greater inclusion.
Theatre Puget Sound is also fiscal sponsor of the Seattle Fringe Festival. Once the oldest fringe festival in the country, the organization defaulted in 2003 and closed. In 2012, a completely new group formed to rebuild this vital program. An annual extravaganza showcasing more than 30 productions during two jam-packed weekends, it is an non-juried festival that allows the area's most exciting artists to take big risks on their passion projects in a low-to-them risk environment.
We currently manage and 10 rehearsal studios, a 75-seat black box performance space and a 99-seat black box performance space, as well as the 197-seat Center Theatre. In partnership with the City of Seattle, we offer our venues to all performing artists (regardless of membership status in TPS) at deeply subsidized rates, making their work possible and sustainable. Our current venues all are centrally located in the Seattle Center Armory. As we look to our next 20 years, we hope to expand the number of spaces (especially performance) which we can sustain for area artists.