Christina Vega and Jonah Barrett

The Return of the Celebratory Center Salon

“I’ve been doing salons for about 20 years through the Northwest Playwrights Alliance,” playwright Bryan Willis explains. “I really love the format.” Happily for Willis, executive director Jill Barnes was eager to host a salon in The Washington Center’s black box theater, a utilitarian space adjacent to its main auditorium. It returns this May after a three-year hiatus.

Ensemble Mik Nawooj: A Contemporary Renaissance

As rap music continues to evolve and diversify, it only makes sense that talented artists raised on hip hop and armed with music degrees seek to sample from the greatest discoveries of every musical era. That’s absolutely the case with Ensemble Mik Nawooj, the hip-hop orchestra coming soon to The Washington Center for the Performing Arts.

Ballet Northwest's The Nutcracker, 2021

The Land of Sweets Is Back at The Washington Center

This year marks The Nutcracker’s jubilant return to The Washington Center, with Josie and Ken Johnson at the helm. Guest artist Lucas Horns will dance the role of the Sugar Plum Fairy’s Cavalier alongside a cast of over 150.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller

The Mueller Report at Washington Center

By CHRISTIAN CARVAJAL On April 18, 2019, after almost four weeks in the hands of Attorney General William Barr, Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s findings on the subject of foreign involvement in the election of President Donald J. Trump were released to Congress and the public — albeit heavily redacted — by the Department of Justice. …

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Los Lobos: Yes, They Can!

Celebrated band Los Lobos (Spanish for “The Wolves”) is coming to Olympia for a concert that’s sure to sell out.

The Washington Center Gala 2018

By JONAH BARRETT for OLY ARTS   Get dressed up and get fancy for the third-annual Center Stage Awards and Gala at The Washington Center for the Performing Arts this July. “This year’s gala will have a Midsummer Night’s Dream feel,” said executive director Jill Barnes. “Think fairies, fireflies and outdoor gardens.” The gala is …

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God Is a Scottish Drag Queen

by Jonah Barrett for OLY ARTS Not today, Satan! God is coming to Olympia, and she is looking fabulous. In early March, the Washington Center will host Mike Delamont’s award-winning, one-queen show, God Is a Scottish Drag Queen. “I’m very excited for the show to play in Olympia,” said Delamont. “Sometimes the title scares folks …

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Get Your Pitch On: Harmony Sweepstakes at the Washington Center

by Jonah Barrett for OLY ARTS   Prepare yourself for Pitch Perfect, West Coast Style. The Harmony Sweepstakes acapella competition is coming back to the Washington Center this March, hosted by the Masterworks Choral Ensemble. “Acapella is pure, it’s just voices in a microphone,” said Masterworks leader and show director Gary Witley. “You don’t have …

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A Really Big Shoe 12: Folk Music of America Benefits Homeless Kids

by Karen Lunde for OLY ARTS Each year for the past 11, members of the Olympia musical group Entertainment Explosion have put on a show to benefit homeless children in Thurston and Mason counties. This year, the show features a guest artist, The Brothers Four. The group’s musical career spans 50 years and includes sing-along …

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Olympia Symphony Orchestra: Closing Remarks

by Karen Lunde for OLY ARTS When an orchestra covers a beloved composer, it must take care to play his music with precision. “No piece of music is easy,” said Huw Edwards, Music Director and Conductor of the Olympia Symphony Orchestra, “but Mozart is famous for being so exposed — any blemish on [the performance’s] …

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