Plays & Events Season 13: Breakdown



I think breaking down is one of the most important things we can do as artists. We break down walls. We break down emotionally. We break down expectations, social norms. We break down history. We break down to our core. We break down, and break down again.

Season 13 is about embracing the notion and the importance of breakdowns. We will run head first into the messy, the emotional, and the historically complex, understanding that great art is made through a tearing down of what we thought we knew.

This season you will experience a feminist discourse on language, sex politics and what it means to be a modern woman, a disorienting odyssey about trauma and recovery, and a deconstruction of one of theatre’s most beloved and classic texts as told by a Stranger Genius Award Winner. There will be strong-willed women, there will be clowns, there will be female drag, there will be sex, dancing, and torture. There will be funhouse mirrors, there will be a takedown of the patriarchal systems of oppression, there will be jokes, there will be mascara running, there will be children on stage, and if we do our job right, you will not know whether you are coming or going.

Season 13 encompasses exactly what I love about theater: its ability to allure and distress, to confuse and amaze, and to split you wide open and sew you back up again.

I ask that you join us. Break down. Break down. And break down again.

Samie Spring Detzer
Artistic Director

Purchase Tickets


Revolt. She said. Revolt again. (September 23 - October 10, 2016)


{West Coast Premiere}

By Alice Birch
Directed by Bobbin Ramsey

Revolutionize. Transform. Revolt. You are not to do as you are told. Revolt. She said. Revolt again. A wicked and frank education in contemporary feminism, language, and gender politics, Alice Birch’s patriarchy-smashing absurdist play is anything but well behaved and like nothing you’ve ever seen onstage. Intersecting and interconnected vignettes turn the dominant male paradigm on its head.

Running time: approximately 70 minutes with no intermission

Alyssa Bostwick
Anna Kasabyan
Arjun Pande
Ayo Tushinde
Joe Cummings
Samie Spring Detzer

Every Five Minutes (January 13 - 30, 2017)


{Seattle Premiere}

By Linda McLean
Directed by Ryan Purcell

Mo is finally home! But his memories haven’t quite caught up with him. In a brutally disorienting and circular world of trauma and recovery, Mo is pulled from one moment to the next in a fun house filled with hallucinations, cruelty, and enigmas, all while trying to enjoy his homecoming party. Wild and deranged, Every Five Minutes examines the effects of torture and the absurdity of living.

Tim Gouran
James Weidman
Shaudi Bianca Vahdat
Jonelle Jordan
Nick Edwards
Tré Calhoun
Jesica Avellone
Rebecca Love

Cherdonna's Doll's House (April 28 - May 15, 2017)


{A Sort-Of World Premiere}

By Henrik Ibsen
Adapted by Ali Mohamed el-Gasseir and Jody Kuehner
Directed by Ali Mohamed el-Gasseir

In this darIn what is easily one of this year’s most in-your-face collaborations, The Ensemble has partnered with 2015 Stranger Genius Award winner and 2010 Spotlight Award winner Jody Kuehner aka Cherdonna Shinatra to retell Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House. Part bio drag queen, part contemporary dancer, and part performance artist, Cherdonna will Masterpiece Theatre the shit out of this classic play, which follows the story of Nora, a married woman and mother who struggles to discover her true self or lack thereof. In her own doll’s house, Cherdonna will celebrate, dissect, and illuminate this text through her own unique feminist lens, scouring Ibsen, Nora, Torvald, and the whole gang for contemporary meaning.



13th Annual Cruel Hearts Gala and Auction (March 18, 2017)


Your favorite sacrilegious and snarky theatre company wants you to join them in breaking down at the best party of the year! Food, drinks, auction items, and a chance to boogie with your secret crush await. Bathroom tantrums and smeared mascara not required, but highly encouraged.



Six Pack Series
October 4, 2016
May 9, 2017


Get stupid smart at Six Pack! Come hang with the cool kids! At our Six Pack Series, we invite artists of all kinds to share their most outrageous work, all with a beer in hand. Why? Because getting drunk and laughing together is fun. Art doesn’t have to be sterile or hold an audience off at arm’s length. Loosen up a little, have a beer, and get stupid smart at one of the wildest literary readings in Seattle.


More information about upcoming Six Packs can be found on our Facebook.

October 13-14, 2016
February 2-3, 2017
May 18-19, 2017


Choreographers and dancers don’t often have opportunities to utilize complex or fully-realized sets. With this in mind, The Ensemble provides opportunities for dancers to make pieces on its elaborate theatrical sets. Curated by Mark Haim, Babette Pendleton, Ali Mohamed el-Gasseir, and Alice Gosti, The Ensemble will continue this program in tandem with its future 12th Avenue Arts mainstage productions.