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Theatre Spaces

Theatre can be performed anywhere — outdoor amphitheatres, specially designed and well-equipped performance spaces, church sanctuaries, gymnasiums, classrooms, even grassy patches. Our Theatre Department generally holds its productions in one of three performance spaces — the E.E. Bach Mainstage Theatre, the McKinley Studio Theatre, and our Backstage Theatre. The diversity of these spaces offers you exposure to both formal and informal theatre, for audiences large and small.

We attach no value to the artistic distinctions between the presentations in the different venues or the size of the audience. In other words, whether you are participating in a Studio production for an audience of 50 or a Mainstage production for an audience of 250, the artistic value and the demands on your creativity and discipline are equal.

We invite you to visit SPU and tour these performance spaces, attend our performances, or both.

E.E. Bach Mainstage Theatre


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Our Mainstage Theatre, located in McKinley Hall, is one of Seattle’s finest small theatres. With the 1,000-square-foot James Chapman stage and a seating capacity of more than 250, E.E. Bach is large enough to host sizeable productions, with every seat having an excellent view of the stage. 

Mainstage presentations make full use of E.E. Bach’s design capabilities and equipment, with an interesting blend of proscenium and thrust staging.

McKinley Studio Theatre


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The SPU Theatre season each year includes a selection of student-directed one-act plays. This event provides opportunities for student actors, stage managers, and designers. 

Since the seating capacity (90) is considerably smaller than that of E.E. Bach Mainstage, you will be performing literally within reach of your audience. These smaller productions sometimes include smaller or lesser-known scripts.

Backstage Theatre


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Each spring, the Theatre Department produces a short show, often aimed at audiences of children, in what we call our “Backstage Theatre.” 

This theatre space in McKinley Hall is created by setting up 90 chairs on risers in a thrust configuration behind the proscenium stage. These “backstage” productions sometimes include children’s operas or musicals, and regularly feature the work of our student designers.

Don Yanik Set

“Don’t Start With the Walls”

“I tell my students in my scene design class, you start with what you need. If you need a table, that’s where you start. You don’t start with the walls.”

Don Yanik, Professor of Theatre; Producing Artistic Director

Why Study Theatre?

Why Study Theatre?

Studying theatre, performing theatre, and otherwise engaging in the world and work of theatre will enrich your life and offer you many career and life opportunities.

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