You know an arts scene is thriving when a small town has multiple options to view the performing arts from multiple groups, as well as dance and theater troupes in training. Edmonds’ performing arts scene is happening!
Occupying a 1939 Art Deco high school building, the Edmonds Center for the Arts (ECA) is center stage for the performing arts here. A 700-stage theater, loaded with a line-up of national acts on the regular, the ECA curates a performing arts and concert series of approximately 30 artists each season.
Since this community’s commitment to art is in its blood and soul, the ECA also provides arts education and outreach programs for children and seniors. The acts that cross their stage delight with comedy, poetry and Spoken Word, and theatrical productions.
The state-of-the-art facility also provides a home for more than 130 events produced by local and regional performing arts organizations and community partners. Olympic Ballet Theater and School is among them. Providing challenging choreography and exceptional sets, the ballet company is a non-profit that boasts estimated audiences of 15,000 annually, including 4,000 school children.
In its 36th season, the ballet company works with established Artistic Directors Mara Vinson and Oleg Gorboulev, former Pacific Northwest Ballet principal and soloist, respectively.
Particularly fun is their annual “Festival of Shorts,” where the audience chooses a winner at each performance from among eight finalists. These eight shows have been selected from submissions from around the globe, and have never before been produced for an audience. Some become full-length, award-winning plays.
The Driftwood Players perform at the Wade James Theater on upper Main Street.
Edmonds is blessed with two theatrical groups! The Phoenix Theatre group’s mission is to bring joy to the community, and that they do! Holiday entertainment and “Summer Shorts” always get fabulous reviews, as do all their plays, chosen for humor and noted as the most poignant, thought-provoking around, from first-run world premiers to long-forgotten knee-slappers. Their Firdale Village theater sets the stage. In the 2020 pandemic, they switched it up to delight their audience with a free holiday radio program, “The Meanest Man in the World.”
Not to be forgotten is the historic Edmonds Theater, a 1923 structure built with 250 seats. They continue to run film, old and new, and host many free showings, including the Diversity Film Series and holiday movies and cartoons. Come on the weekends (Fri.-Sun., 1 p.m.-6 p.m.) to score popcorn to-go for a screaming deal: regular, caramel, chocolate, and a mix.