Accessibility at The 5th

Did you know that The 5th has sign language interpreted performances? How about Braille programs? Or large print programs, audio described performances, assistive listening devices, captioned performances, and wheelchair seats? All of these are true! At The 5th Avenue Theatre, we are committed to making our theater as accessible as possible for all of our guests. In pursuit of that goal, we are constantly expanding our offerings. Read below to find out more about each of these services, and to be directed to more information.

American Sign Language-Interpreted Performances

We have an ASL-interpreted performance for each production that we present, usually the last Sunday evening of the production run. Ticket prices for ASL performances vary based on seating location close to the ASL interpreters. Click here to find out more and learn how to purchase tickets.

Audio Described Performances

We also have an audio described performances for each production, usually the last Saturday matinee of the production run. Click here to find a schedule and learn more.

Open Captioning Performances

Our open captioned performances feature a text display located to one side of the stage on which dialogue and lyrics scroll in synchronicity with the actual performance. Click here to find a schedule and learn more.

Wheelchair Seating

Wheelchair seating is available on the orchestra level (main floor) of the auditorium. There are reserved areas for wheelchair seats, and if no wheelchair seats are available, you can contact our Guest Services team by phone or email and they will do everything they can to accommodate you during the performance of your choice. Click here to learn more.

Braille and Large Print Programs

Both Braille and large print programs are available, free of charge, from Coat Check. Guests may check these programs out with a valid ID, and we ask that they please be returned at the end of the performance. These programs are subject to availability.

Elevator Access Inside the Theater

If you are seated on the balcony level and stairs present a challenge, we can provide you with elevator assistance. However, please note that all seating in the balcony will involve negotiating some stairs. You can proceed directly to the lobby of the Skinner Building for elevator assistance, or you can request assistance when you arrive. Click here for more information about elevator access inside the theater and wheelchair-accessible parking nearby.

Click here, call 206-625-1900, or email guestservices@5thavenue.org to find out more about any of our accessibility offerings. We’d also love to hear from you if there is an accessibility service that you think our guests would benefit from which we do not currently offer.

Rising Star Project Orientation: Students From Across the State Gather!

In early December, the 2016/17 Rising Star Project cohort came together for the first time. This orientation was a chance for the teens to meet and to begin learning what it takes to put up a musical at The 5th. This year’s cohort will include over 90 students who will be mentored by 5th Avenue staff and who will also mount an all-teen production of The Pajama Game on our stage in March 2017 (after the professional production closes).

This year’s Rising Star Project brings students together from as far away as Yakima and Marysville and as near as Rainier Valley and West Seattle.

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Orientation included a tour of the historic venue where the students will be working and learning in the coming months.

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In addition to helping the students create theater, the Rising Star Project also aims to create future leaders and a stronger theater community.  The students spent most of the day learning about each other.  Post-Its became a primary vehicle for dialogue and collaboration!

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In a cohort of close to a hundred students, participants also found opportunities to connect in smaller teams. Each team had some fun creating their own team identities and brainstorming ways to support each other and the rest of their peers in the coming months.


Since 2012, the Rising Star Project has used the resources and professional knowledge that exist at The 5th Avenue Theatre to help young people achieve a fulfilling career, a stronger sense of self and confidence in their ability to inspire positive change in the world.  With one-on-one mentorship, local teens take on all the roles of putting on a full scale musical production—from director to technical crew to hair and wardrobe, to cast and orchestra. This year’s program will culminate in four performances of The Pajama Game on March 16-18.

Rising Star Project also encompasses in-class residencies, leadership workshops, and this season, introduced the 10-Minute Musicals Project and the Empowering Young Artists Initiative, intensive musical theater training for emerging performers.

Rising Star Project is made possible by a generous grant from The Sheri and Les Biller Family Foundation and with additional support from The Herman and Faye Sarkowsky Charitable Foundation, Susie and Phil Stoller, The Boeing Company, Washington State Arts Commission, National Endowment for the Arts, GM Nameplate, Jean K. Lafromboise Foundation, Seattle Rotary Service Foundation, DCG One (in-kind) and Promotion Arts (in-kind).


Click here for more information about Rising Star Project, and our other Education programs.

Spotlight on Hattie Andres: 2016/17 Directing and Artistic Leadership Fellow

When you ask Hattie Andres to describe the best part of being the first recipient of The 5th’s Directing and Artistic Leadership Fellowship, she responds with a cliché that is telling of a young disciple of musical theater:

“The best part is being ‘in the room where it happens.’ I grew up seeing so many productions on this stage and now all of a sudden I’m seeing it all come together—from the ground up.”

However, it hasn’t taken long for Andres to confirm that her fellowship entails a bit more than just being in the room. The fellowship, currently a pilot program at The 5th, seeks to provide an early-career creative artist with a unique growth opportunity while specifically addressing the inequities in access and representation. Andres’s first role this season in line with that fellowship was to serve as assistant director for Man of La Mancha.

“Allison [the Man of La Mancha director] had to step out of the room at one point to speak to someone. And the stage manager looked at me and asked what I wanted to do with rehearsal. I thought, “Whoa—this is me.” That was a thrilling, terrifying, awesome moment. So much of being an assistant director is sitting quietly and getting to know every single detail of the show—and writing down everything the director says so that you have it as a point of reference. But in that first moment— when you need to take all of that and actually lead the room—it’s very exciting.”

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The arts have always played an important role in Andres’s life.

“I started playing piano and violin and participating in choir when I was five. I had my first formal theater class when I was seven. And that’s just testament to having parents who are amazing supporters of the arts. My dad is a musician—it was always like, ‘Of course you’re going to sing, of course you’re going to play music.’ Now I think they regret it, because all of their children are going into the arts.” 

Andres lets a mischievous laugh interrupt her sentimental origin story. An interminable twinkle in her eye suggests that she is the kind of person who pursues her goals with passion and grace, but also humor. She discovered an interest in being a theater director by way of being a theater producer. By her junior year of high school in 2008, Andres had founded a theater company which is still producing and run entirely by young people between the ages of 14 and 21.

“Shout out to Young Americans’ Theatre Company!” By her senior year, she had self-produced a musical at her high school—a lesser known pop-influenced show called Zanna, Don’t which she championed in an effort to address issues that she cared about.

“When I was in high school, the majority of the student body still equated heternormativity and masculinity to ‘cool.’ I wanted to flip that upside down for people.”

When she speaks about her path toward artistic leadership and her aspirations of being a theater director, it is clear she is driven by an understanding of the potential impact that musical theater can have on today’s society.

“In The Age of Technology, or The Digital Age or whatever we’re calling it, musical theater has been able to retain its epic storytelling. We are constantly giving and taking things at face value. But I think musicals ask us to step beyond that, let that go and engage in a world that is real. I have a physical, visceral response to watching musicals up on stage. We can tell stories about real, pertinent things, but in a way that is different than just, ‘Here, this is what happened—and now you know it.’ Great musicals invite us to digest for ourselves and interpret for ourselves.”

Her faith in theater and musicals points her toward a horizon beyond her term with The 5th and into a future that she can contribute to in a meaningful way.

“My hope for musical theater is that we continue to be inventive in how we tell stories. And we continue to give more opportunities for all voices to be represented on the stage—voices that aren’t represented in mainstream Hollywood and haven’t been represented in theater in the past. I think that you can tell the same story from many different viewpoints and I hope that we continue to find the overlooked viewpoints—because that is how we better understand each other—and how we better understand the world around us, not just our position in it.”

Behind the Curtain: Sneak Peek at the Set Model for The Pajama Game

Check out these awesome set models for our upcoming production of The Pajama Game! We’re thrilled to have Carol Wolfe Clay in her scenic design debut at The 5th.

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Don’t miss The Pajama Game this spring at The 5th Avenue Theatre. Find out more information and purchase tickets at https://www.5thavenue.org/show/The-Pajama-Game.

Behind the Scenes of Disney’s The Little Mermaid

We couldn’t be more excited for Disney’s The Little Mermaid at The 5th Avenue Theatre! Check out some of these behind-the-scenes shots from the cast of the show!

Special thanks to members of the cast for their peek behind-the-scenes. Follow them on Instagram!

Diana Huey
Matthew Kacergis
Brenna Wagner
Momoko Sugai
Brandon Roach

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