The GUSH Series

Each year as part of our mainstage season we bring a piece of theatrical work from outside Seattle to be performed on our stage. You’ll see vibrant new artists, fearless contemporary performance, form-breaking theatrical experiences once a year, as part of our season. We are thrilled to be able to expand our yearly offerings, invest in internationally acclaimed artists, and give Seattle audiences the change to experience new kinds of creative perspective.


At this time Washington Ensemble Theatre will be holding two final, limited capacity, performances of Raja Feather Kelly’s UGLY on Friday, March 13 and Saturday, March 14.

We will be following the King County Public Health guidelines and implementing extra cleaning measures, stricter social distancing requirements within the theater, and a dramatically reduced audience capacity in order to keep our patrons, artists, and volunteers safe

For those considering attending, we encourage the following populations to please stay home:

  • People 60 and older
  • People with underlying health conditions including heart disease, lung disease or diabetes
  • People who have weakened immune systems
  • People who are pregnant

It is also important that you stay at home if you are sick or feel unwell. 

If you are a ticket holder that is unable to attend or exchange into Friday or Saturday night’s performance, we’re happy to: 

  • Refund your ticket
  • Exchange your ticket for a credit for a future production  
  • Turn the price of your ticket into a donation to Washington Ensemble Theatre

If you have additional questions or concerns please contact Artistic Director, Samie Spring Detzer, at

Raja Feather Kelly’s UGLY

Written, Directed, and Performed by Raja Feather Kelly

West Coast Premiere

March 5 – 16, 2020

Internationally recognized choreographer Raja Feather Kelly will bring his show UGLY as the second installment of the GUSH Series. Part dance-theater and part pop-culture collage, Kelly’s dynamic solo is about the lack of black queer subjectivity in the mainstream. Anointed in mustard yellow from head to toe and contained inside a clear box, UGLY is unsettlingly intimate and shockingly beautiful. Don’t look away.

***Raja Feather Kelly’s UGLY  had its world premiere at the Bushwick Starr in 2018.

Run time is 60 mins with no intermission. 


With generous sponsorship from John C. Robinson. 


Choreographer/Director Raja Feather Kelly is the artistic director of New Brooklyn Theatre. In 2009, he founded the dance-theatre-media company the feath3r theory. The two companies merged in 2018. Raja is a Creative Associate at The Juilliard School, and has been awarded a Creative Capital Award (2019), a National Dance Project Production Grant (2019), a Breakout Award from the Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation (2018), Dance Magazine’s inaugural Harkness Promise Award (2018), the Solange MacArthur Award for New Choreography (2016), and is a three-time Princess Grace Award winner (2017, 2018, 2019). He was born in Fort Hood, Texas and holds a B.A. in Dance and English from Connecticut College.

Raja has been named as the 2019–2020 Randjelović/Stryker Resident Commissioned Artist at New York Live Arts and is an inaugural Jerome Hill Artist Fellow. Raja has also been awarded a New York Dance Performance “Bessie” Award, a Bessie Schonberg Fellowship at The Yard, a DanceWEB Scholarship, a New York Foundation for the Arts Choreography Fellowship, a HERE Arts Fellowship, 2018 Creator-in-Residence at Kickstarter, and a Choreography Fellowship at the Center for Ballet and the Arts at NYU.

Over the past decade he has created fifteen evening-length works with his company the feath3r theory to critical acclaim. Most recently, UGLY (Black Queer Zoo) at The Bushwick Starr, and We May Never Dance Again® at The Invisible Dog in Brooklyn.  Professionally, Raja has performed with Reggie Wilson/Fist and Heel Performance Group, David Dorfman Dance, Kyle Abraham|Abraham.In.Motion, and zoe | juniper. He has also managed a number of dance companies: Race Dance, Kyle Abraham/Abraham.In.Motion, zoe | juniper, and Reggie Wilson/Fist and Heel Performance Group.

Since 2016, Raja has choreographed extensively for Off-Broadway theatre in New York City, most notably for Signature Theatre, Soho Rep, and New York Theatre Workshop and Playwrights Horizons.  Kelly is the 2019 SDCF Joe Callaway Award Finalist for outstanding choreography of A Strange Loop (Playwrights Horizons) and Fairview (Soho Rep, Berkeley Rep, TFANA and winner of the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Drama). Frequent collaborators include: Lileana Blain-Cruz, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Sarah Benson, and Lila Neugebauer. Other theatre credits include choreography for Skittles Commercial: The Musical (Town Hall), The Chronicles of Cardigan and Khente (Soho Rep), Everyday Afroplay (JACK), GURLS (Princeton University, Yale Repertory Theatre), Electric Lucifer (The Kitchen), Lempicka (Williamstown Theatre Festival), The House That Will Not Stand (New York Theatre Workshop), Fireflies (Atlantic Theatre Company), If Pretty Hurts Ugly Must Be a Muhfucka (Playwrights Horizons, nominated for the 2019 Lucille Lortel Award and the 2019 Chita Rivera Award for Outstanding Choreography), The Good Swimmer (BAM), and Faust (Opera Omaha).