- Address: 1632 116th Ave NE, Suite D, Bellevue, WA 98004
- Phone: (425) 208-6483
Who We Are:
Theatre33 is a bilingual 501(c)(3) non-profit community theater, the only independent theater in Bellevue, WA. We provide a unique platform for transplanted immigrants and next generation Americans to retain and maintain their connection to history, literature, and language. At the same time, we share our rich cultural heritage with non-Russian speakers. We also serve as a cultural hub that unites diverse cultures and ages through the love of dramatic arts. Our productions are either in Russian or English and are subtitled to allow mixed-language families, Russian language learners, and non-Russian speaking patrons to have a complete and quality experience.
The mission and vision of Theatre33 are to stimulate, promote and develop an interest in dramatic arts. We strive to provide quality live productions that speak to the hearts of the audience and evoke current social problems and eternal ethical questions.
How it all started:
We incorporated in 2013, playing in friends’ living rooms and venues around Seattle and the Eastside for the first few years. Our very first production, “Let’s talk about Love, Justice and Human Wit,” premiered at the Seattle Armory on October 25, 2013, which we fondly celebrate at the birthday of Theatre33. In 2016 we leased our own little black box 35-seater theater and have been gaining momentum ever since, establishing our patron base, growing our supporters and, most importantly, providing quality live theatrical entertainment and education to a broad and varied group of people.
What we do:
From contemporary plays to beloved classics we strive to develop high quality productions, challenging our volunteers and audience to tackle the complex matrix of human relationships. The 2019-2020 season was our first pre-announced full season. Since then, through challenges of the pandemic, we continued offering productions for audiences of all ages.
We offer new productions every month, with shows running almost every weekend between late September and early July. We cater to a wide range of viewers, both Russian and English speaking, as well as language learners for both languages. Our programming includes Little Plays for our youngest viewers (2-5-year-olds, 4 productions 22-25 shows), older kids (5–7-year-olds, 2 productions, 20-22 shows), themed theatrical quests for preteens (6-7 productions, 18-20 shows) and shows for general audiences (10-12 productions, 45-50 shows). In addition, our Youth Groups release 2-4 productions for their peers (15-20 shows). We offer discounted tickets to students and seniors. Several of the Youth Groups shows are free to the public, though we always welcome donations. We typically close off each season with a literary-musical original composition that pays tribute to a poet of the past. These season finales include adults and children, providing incredible opportunities for our volunteer actors to refine their skills and grow.
We love involving community in our projects. We offer yearly family favorites such as free Family Halloween events and Little Plays in the Park during summer events in the Russian-speaking communities. A new program integrating poetry and music will launch in the winter of 2022, highlighting the poets and composers of the past and present. This program will be open and free to all who would like to join us. Our Little Plays are loved by many Russian-speaking daycares in the greater Seattle/Bellevue areas, so we have “mobile” versions of each Little Play to delight youngsters outside of the theater.
In addition to shows, we offer youth (ages 9-19) and adult drama classes. We offer sibling discounts for our tuition-based classes. The youth theater draws American-born kids for whom Russian is a second or third language. The children are instructed in both languages to make sure that language is not a barrier. Among themselves, the children utilize both languages as well. Frequently, the children serve as mentors to each other - whether helping new immigrants with English skills or helping American-born kids with Russian. They also help each other with navigating social and school issues. Not only are the children willingly improving their language skills, but they are also learning about the cultural diversity of our region and gaining the confidence and skills to connect with their peers at a deeper level. Most parents marvel at the enthusiasm and eagerness their kids express toward learning the language, which is the complete opposite of the typical response to formal language education. Parents who have entered the US as children of refugees are also excited that they have found a nurturing platform to retain cultural and heritage ties to their birth country. There are numerous families where the parents and the children are volunteering in productions and frequently share the stage. The theater provides a social and emotional buffer for children and their parents, regardless of whether they are newly transplanted migrants, immigrants, refugees, or the next generation of Americans. We offer a safe and nurturing environment where children can interact and communicate with their peers and mentors while learning the skills that extend beyond the stage.