Parley connects audiences with local playwrights as they hone & show their work, through intimate short-run productions & staged readings.
Artistic leadership: Rebecca Tourino Collinsworth (Artistic Director)
Primary venue: Nomadic
The below information is provided by the theatre company. (All material is condensed & edited for clarity.)
Overview: Mission / Vision
Parley is a collective of Seattle playwrights committed to the long-term development of one another’s work. It provides a protected space in which to welcome the unguarded, authentic expression of differences on the stage.
In addition to developing new plays, Parley serves as a playwrights group that offers commitment and support of its playwrights, focusing on developing playwrights over the long haul. Through workshops, staged readings, and short-run productions, the company has premiered more than 50 new plays in the last five years.
Outside of the playwrights group, Salvo exists as a parallel organization that offers playwriting classes for several levels, and performs staged readings of advanced level writers’ finished works.
Parley was created in 2014 by Rebecca Tourino Collinsworth. Benjamin Benne, Caitlin Coey, Ryan Nole Fields, and Susan McNally were founding members.
The company is a founding member of the University Heights Theatre Alliance, and will be performing regularly in the U-Heights auditorium.
Parley has premiered new works at venues all over Seattle, including the Center House Theatre, the Rendezvous Jewelbox Theater, 18th & Union, The Pocket Theater, Fremont Abbey, and most often at West of Lenin.
The company also co-produces at least once a year, and has done so with Lungfish, Bitter Single Guy Productions, Trial & Error Productions, Forward Flux, and most recently with eSe Teatro, ReAct Theatre, and participating companies in Represent! A Multicultural Playwrights Festival for two consecutive years.
Recent and upcoming shows include Gills! Gills! Gills! (full-run co-production with ReAct Theatre); cherubin and Death in the Digital Age (short-run productions); Two Big Black Bags (staged reading at the Represent! festival, and workshop co-production with eSe Teatro at ACT Theatre); and workshops of All Purpose Hole, Familiar Kill, Light Delay, Superpowers, and Water Over My Head, with more consistently added.
Statement of centering underrepresented voices & stories
Parley exists to provide platforms for underrepresented voices and stories. (The group does not currently have a straight cisgender White male playwright as a member playwright, although it is not opposed to including one every now and then.)
Each Parley playwight contributes ideas, opinions, and new work on a weekly basis, year-round. They also play rotating roles in all aspects of production, including lighting and sound design, props, costumes, marketing, production coordination, and front of house. They are involved in every aspect of the process, from generating material to casting, rehearsal, revision, production, and beyond.
Parley draws audiences from vastly different communities, depending on which playwright’s work is being featured and what the dominant themes of the play are.
Statement of financial accessibility
All performances at U-Heights are pay-what-you-can. For other performances, Parley usually offers at least 10 seats free of charge on a first-come, first-served basis, beginning an hour before curtain.
Parley has cultivated an unusually strong community, in which playwrights, actors, associate artists, and loyal (and growing) audiences convene around a dedication to new work. That community and its productions balance a commitment to excellence with a supportive, exchange-oriented environment. Work frequently engages modern, thought-provoking topics.