New black box theater debuts at Northwest School’s ‘vertical campus’


Students perform during a dress rehearsal at the new space (Photo: The Northwest School)

Capitol Hill’s The Northwest School will raise the curtain tonight on its new state-of-the-art theater with a sold-out play performed by and composed by students from the school. The House of the Spirits/La casa de los espíritus, a bilingual play originally adapted for Seattle’s Book-it Repertory Theatre, will feature 27 performers and original music. Tickets are also sold-out for the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday shows, but a few tickets will be available at the door on a first-come, first-served basis.

CHS previously reported on the schools stunning $19 million new facility at E Pike and Bellevue, which includes a full gymnasium, a cafeteria and a rooftop turf field. The building has been described as a “vertical campus.”

Here’s the school’s press release with more details on the theater and this week’s performance.

The Northwest School Opens New Black Box Theatre on Capitol Hill

Opening Night festivities include reception, red carpet photos, and premier play performance

Seattle, WA – The Northwest School, Seattle’s only college preparatory school with an international co- ed boarding program, today announced the opening of its new 175-seat Black Box Theater at 401 East Pike Street on Thursday, Feb 6, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. Twenty-seven students will perform “The House of the Spirits/ La casa de los espíritus.”

The play, originally adapted by Myra Platt for Seattle’s Book-it Repertory Theatre, has been further adapted and directed by NWS theatre teacher Laura Ferri , and includes many passages from the novel in the original Spanish. The play’s original music has been composed by two Northwest School students.

“Our new Black Box theatre has allowed us to be extremely creative with this first production,” says Ferri, who is also a professional actor and director with Book-it. “We’re doing things we wouldn’t be able to in traditional proscenium theatres, such as staging with an alley design. Part of the stage is a corridor running down the middle of the room with the audience is seated on either side. It makes for a very intimate experience.”


In addition to Thursday’s Opening Night, the play will be performed on Friday and Saturday, February 7 & 8, at 7:00 p.m., and Sunday, February 9, at 2:00 p.m. The opening night and Saturday evening performances are sold out.

Aside from Ferri, several professionals are involved in this premier production. NWS stage craft teacher David Baldwin is scenic carpenter at Seattle Children’s Theatre, and the play’s sound designer, Johanna Melamed, is a professional sound designer in the Seattle area.

The theatre, housed in the school’s new 38,600 square foot multi-purpose facility, has many outstanding features:

  • State-of-the-art lighting and quadrophonic sound systems
  • A green room adjacent to the theatre (acoustically wired so players can hear their cues)
  • A fully-equipped scene-building shop
  • Flexible staging and seating capabilities
  • Capacity for players to enter and exit from all four corners of the room
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