About The 5th

Our Mission

To nurture, advance and preserve all aspects of America’s great indigenous art-form: The Musical.  We achieve this by creating extraordinary theatrical experiences that enrich, entertain, and inspire current and future audiences everywhere.

Our Vision

To be the pre-eminent musical theater company in the world - achieving the highest levels of artistic achievement, production quality, audience engagement, and community impact.

Our Values

We are committed to the preservation of the historic and irreplaceable 5th Avenue Theatre as a cultural center for the region.

We are dedicated to achieving consistently high standards of excellence by showcasing world-class performers and creative artists, utilizing full live orchestras, and staging exceptional and imaginative productions. 

We place special emphasis on the employment of our outstanding regional community of performers, technicians, and theater professionals.

Each season, we program a vibrant and dynamic mix of productions that attract, delight, and retain a large and diverse audience and reflect the broad scope and cultural significance of the American Musical - past, present, and future

We ensure our future by serving as a creative incubator for the production of New Works, by engaging our community through Educational programming of the highest caliber, and by maintaining exceptional standards of fiscal responsibility.


The 5th Avenue Theatre Today

The non-profit 5th Avenue Theatre is the nation's premier incubator for new musical theater. Since 2001, the Seattle-based company has produced 17 new musicals. To date, nine (including the sensational hit Disney’s Aladdin) have moved on to Broadway premieres, earning a combined 15 Tony Awards®, including two for Best Musical (Hairspray and Memphis). The 5th Avenue Theatre is also known for its world class, critically acclaimed productions of musicals chosen from both the contemporary canon and the Golden Age of Broadway.

Unique in its Chinese-inspired design, this exquisite theater opened in 1926 as a venue for vaudeville and film. Today, under the leadership of Executive Producer and Artistic Director David Armstrong, Managing Director Bernadine C. Griffin and Producing Artistic Director Bill Berry, this non-profit theater company attracts an annual attendance of more than 300,000, including over 25,000 subscribers—one of the largest theater subscriptions in North America.

In addition to its main stage productions, The 5th Avenue Theatre is also committed to encouraging the next generation of theatergoers through its extensive educational outreach programs. For more information about The 5th Avenue Theatre, its season and its programs, please visit www.5thavenue.org.

Meet The 5th Avenue Theatre's Executive team.


Saving the Building & Founding the Company

When The 5th Avenue Theatre was forced to close its doors in 1978, 43 local companies and community leaders joined forces to save the glorious, historical building. In 1979, this visionary group formed the non-profit 5th Avenue Theatre Association, and raised $2.6 million for renovations.

Following a spectacular $2.6-million renovation, the theatre re-opened in 1980, more beautiful than ever and emerged as Seattle’s premier home for touring Broadway shows

In 1989, with the generous assistance of company sponsors, The 5th Avenue Musical Theatre Company was established. The new non-profit company expanded its mission to include not only presenting touring shows but producing top quality musical theater productions of its own.

The 5th Avenue Founders

We offer our gratitude and heartfelt thanks for the commitment and vision of our founders who were responsible for the 1979 renovation and who made saving The 5th Avenue Theatre a reality:

  • Airborne Freight Corporation
  • ALPAC - Pepsi-Cola /Seven-Up
  • Morris and Joan Alhadeff
  • Longacres Race Track
  • American Building Maintenance Industries
  • The Boeing Company
  • Burlington Northern, Inc.
  • Crescent Foods
  • James R. Ellis
  • First Interstate Bank of Washington
  • John Fluke Manufacturing Company, Inc.
  • Frederick and Nelson
  • Item House
  • Dr. Solomon Katz
  • King Broadcasting Company
  • KIRO Radio and TV
  • KOMO Radio and Television
  • Nordstrom, Inc.
  • Old National Bank of Washington
  • Overall Laundry Services, Inc.
  • PACCAR Foundation
  • Pacific Northwest Bank of Washington
  • Pacific Northwest Bell
  • Pay ’N Save Drugstores
  • Peoples National Bank of Washington
  • Physio-Control Corporation
  • Rainier National Bank of Washington
  • SAFECO Corporation
  • Faye and Herman Sarkowsky
  • Schoenfeld Industries, Inc.
  • Shuck’s Auto Supply, Inc.
  • Seattle-First National Bank
  • The Seattle Times
  • Simpson Timber Company
  • Skinner Corporation
  • UNICO Properties, Inc.
  • Unigard Insurance Group
  • United Airlines
  • Western International Hotels
  • Univar Corporation
  • Urban Investment & Development Co. /Four Seasons Hotels
  • Washington Energy Company
  • Washington Mutual Savings Bank Foundation
  • Weisfield’s, Inc.
  • Weyerhaeuser Company Foundation

Musical Theatre Company Sponsors

We also offer our sincere appreciation to the following company sponsors who were responsible for the 1989 establishment of the Musical Theatre Company:

  • American Building Maintenance Company
  • The Boeing Company
  • First Interstate Bank of Washington N.A.
  • Fisher Communications
  • John Fluke Mfg. Co., Inc.
  • Joshua Green Foundation
  • KIRO, Inc.
  • Nordstrom, Inc.
  • Puget Sound Bancorp
  • Faye and Herman Sarkowsky
  • Seafirst Bank
  • The Seattle Times and Seattle Post-Intelligencer
  • Security Pacific Bank Washington
  • Skinner Corporation
  • Samuel and Althea Stroum
  • UNICO Properties
  • Univar/VWR Foundation
  • US West
  • Washington Energy Company
  • Weyerhaeuser Company Foundation

Historic Theatre District

The Seattle Downtown Historic Theatre District is one of the premier collections of operating, historic theatres’ in the United States with over 1,000 live performances every year.  The 5th Avenue Theatre is one of five theatres that was constructed between 1907 and 1928. Through the years, all have served as important cultural landmarks and venues for artistic expression. They have hosted entertainers and dignitaries from around the world and today serve as one the most premiere collections of fully operating, historic theaters in the United States.  To learn more, please click HERE


The 5th Avenue Theatre Association Board of Directors

Stephen P. Reynolds, Chairman

              Community Leader

Bonnie Towne, President

            Community Leader

Margaret C. Inouye, Secretary

             K & L Gates

Sterling Wilson, Treasurer


Wanda J. Herndon, Immediate Past Chairman

             W Communications

Kenny Alhadeff

              Elttaes Enterprises

Ann Ardizzone

               Alaska Airlines

Clodagh Ash

             Community Leader

Les Biller

             Biller Family Foundation

Sharon Gantz Bloome

             Community Leader

Robert R. Braun, Jr.

             Braun Consulting Group

Debbie Brown

             Four Seasons

Margaret Clapp

             Community Leader

Barbara L. Crowe

             Community Leader 

Larry Estrada

             Goldman Sachs

Cyrus Habib

               State of Washington

Randy Hodgins

              University of Washington

Patrick F. Kennedy

              Hawthorn Retirement

SaSa Kirkpatrick

              Community Leader

Elizabeth Lund


Richard Meadows


John Oppenheimer

              Columbia Hospitality

David Quinn

             Edmonds-Woodway High School

Ann Ramsay-Jenkins

             College Success Foundation

Anthony Repanich

             Pacific Century Holdings

Norman B. Rice

             Community Leader

Heather Sullivan McKay

             Community Leader

Emory Thomas, Jr.

             Puget Sound Business Journal

Bonnie Towne

            Community Leader

Eric Trott

              Premera Blue Cross

Marka Waechter

              Seattle Hospitality Group

Tom Walsh

             Community Leader

Tracy Wellens

             Gnosis Research

Eileen Glasser Wesley

             Community Leader

Kenneth Willman

             Russell Investments


Current Season

2017/18 Season – Mainstage

Something Rotten! – Sept 12-Oct 1, 2017

Ragtime – Oct 13-Nov 5, 2017

Irving Berlin's Holiday Inn – Nov 24-Dec 31, 2017

Mamma Mia! – Feb 2-25, 2018

Ride the Cyclone – Mar 10-May 20, 2018 * A Co-Production performed at ACT Theatre

Kiss Me, Kate – April 6-29, 2018 *Produced as part of the Seattle Celebrates Shakespeare citywide festival

The Hunchback of Notre Dame – June 1-24, 2018 


Previous Season Listings