Leo Kreielsheimer Theater
The Leo Kreielsheimer Theater ("Leo K.") opened in December 1996 as the second stage for the Seattle Repertory Theater company. The Leo K. Theater showcases the Rep's theatrical productions in a 282-seat venue. It is adjacent to the larger Bagley Wright Theater, the Rep's main stage which features classical and traditional works, as well as contemporary plays. The Seattle Rep was founded in 1963, and it won a Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theater in 1990.
Leo Kreielsheimer Theater ("Leo K."), one of three stages for the Seattle Rep
Shakespeare's "Comedy of Errors" performed at the Seattle Rep's Leo K. Theater
Leo K. Theater, interior
Seattle Repertory Theater company
Backstory and Context
The Seattle Repertory Theater ("The Rep") was founded in 1963. Its first home was the Seattle Playhouse (now the Cornish Playhouse), which was built for the 1962 World's Fair in Seattle. The World's Fair was held at the Old Fair Grounds, today the site of the Seattle Center Campus.
Following the performance at the Seattle Playhouse during the 1962 World's Fair, leaders in the theater community such as Hal Holbrook and philanthropists such as Bagley Wright decided that the city of Seattle needed a professional theater company to rival those in New York City. The Seattle Repertory Theater was established the following year.
In 1963, the city of Seattle leased the Seattle Playhouse building to the newly-founded Seattle Rep, which continued to perform at the playhouse from 1963 - 1983, until another venue was built. Upon the Rep's establishment as a regional theater company in 1963, is first performance was William Shakespeare's King Lear.
Today, the Rep performs at three separate stages. The 856-seat Bagley Wright Theater, which was completed in 1983, is its largest venue and main stage for classical and contemporary works. Adjacent to this is the Rep's second stage, the Leo Kreielsheimer Theater, which opened in 1997 and is nicknamed the Leo K. It offers 282 seats, where the distance between the stage and the back row is no more than 25 feet. In 1997, the first performance at the Leo K was a production of The Cider House Rules. The Rep also performs at a third venue, an intimate black-box theater. In 1990, the Rep won a Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theater.
1963 - 1973 | Seattle Rep, Seattle Rep. Accessed June 27th 2021. https://www.seattlerep.org/about-us/who-we-are/timeline/1963-2/.
Blecha, Peter . Seattle Repertory Theater, History Link. December 14th 2009. Accessed June 24th 2021. https://www.historylink.org/file/9225.
Leo K. Theater, Seattle Performs. Accessed June 24th 2021. https://seattleperforms.com/venue/detail/129/Leo_K_Theatre_at_Seattle_Repertory_Theatre.
Seattle Center, PCAD. Accessed June 24th 2021. http://pcad.lib.washington.edu/building/20872/.