Kaleidoscope Contest Brings Far-Flung Theatre Companies to a Tacoma Stage

A bi-annual contest of community theatre companies throughout the state heads to Tacoma Little Theatre this weekend, with five companies performing over two days. All are in the hunt for slots in regional and national competitions. 


It’s a contest, first and foremost, determining which companies from all over the state will represent Washington in the four-state regional community theatre competition (and, from there, the nationals).

But for audience members, Washington State Community Theatre Association’s Kaleidoscope Theatre Festival is an easy way to see some companies you’ve likely never seen perform before. The Russian bilingual Theatre33 in Bellevue is the only Seattle metro-area company. From there, it’s out to Poulsbo (Jewel Box Theatre), Ocean Shores (Stage West), Bellingham (Bellingham Theatre Guild), and Spokane (Stage Left). This weekend, they’re all performing on a single stage at Tacoma Little Theatre, one of the longest-running community theatres in the country, which hosts this year’s festival.

Performances are Friday and Saturday, with after-parties on both nights and an awards brunch and ceremony on Sunday (2/12). Companies will each perform shortened (up to 60 minutes) versions of their selected plays. All are open to the public; see ticket info and link below.

Show descriptions are provided by the theatre companies (with slight edits). 



Theatre33 – Bellevue 

Performs Friday @ 7pm (Block 1) 

Mind Games by Paul Elliott
Never delve into another person’s mind unless you’re ready to face the consequences of what you uncover. A well-known psychiatrist treats a patient who believes that he is the creator of the universe and in control of everything, convincing even the doctor of this power.

Also of note: Theatre33’s Youth Group is one of five troupes from all over the country selected to perform in the upcoming American Association of Community Theatres YouthFest 2023 (held in June in Louisville, KY). Congratulations to the youth of Theatre33! 

A bilingual theatre company emphasizing teaching and cultural connections through the arts. See info and upcoming shows (many presented in Russian) here


Jewel Box Theatre – Poulsbo 

Performs Friday @ 7pm (Block 1) 

Skin Deep by Jon Lonoff 
Lonely-heart Maureen gives romance one last shot on a blind-date with the awkward, amiable Joe. She uses wisecracks to cover her feelings; and he can’t contain his eagerness, which leaves him clumsy in speech and manner. But they are perfect for each other, even if they won’t admit it.

A theatre producing a full and varied season near Hood Canal. See upcoming shows here


Stage West Community Theatre – Ocean Shores   

Performs Saturday @ 2pm (Block 2) 

12 Incompetent Jurors by Ian McWethy
This parody of 12 Angry Jurors is a showcase of personalities you might find in a jury room anywhere in the nation. Witness the way one seed of doubt might topple a mountain of evidence in this fun approach to jurisprudence.

Theatre on the coast. See upcoming shows here


Bellingham Theatre Guild – Bellingham  

Performs Saturday @ 7pm (Block 3) 

When Jack Met Jill by Adam Szymkowicz 
Follows the mostly-post-bucket lives of the famous couple throughout time and the ages as they struggle with the definitions of their relationship to each other. This goofy adult travail, like most of Szymkowicz’s work, mixes light and dark with a contemporary wariness of either.

A long-running theatre; see upcoming shows here


Stage Left Theater – Spokane

Performs Saturday @ 7pm (Block 3) 

Pass Over by Antoinette Chinonye Nwandu 
Moses and Kitch talk smack and pass time, hoping that each day will be new and different. Is a stranger’s visit a shake-up, or a shake-down? Profanities, poems, and riffs take the audience on a journey of heartbreak, hope, and humanity.

A progressive theatre using performance for interpersonal, intellectual, and political interaction and engagement. See info and upcoming full season here.


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Festival presented by Washington State Community Theatre Association, a member of American Association of Community Theatre, and hosted by Tacoma Little Theatre. Performance block tickets ($8-$15) and full-weekend passes ($30) available here

Venue accessibility notes: restrooms are gendered and multi-stall; there is one single-stall, gender-neutral, accessible restroom next to them, near the concession stand. Theatre and common areas are wheelchair accessible. 


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Chase D. Anderson is Editor & Producer of NWTheatre.org.