Mae West Festival
Original Theatre by Original Women



The Fest sprang from the need to have more women's work onstage in Seattle. In 1996 founders Heidi Heimarck & Elena Hartwell were discussing the upcoming season for a small Seattle fringe company and realized that they had a pile of scripts by written by women, about 10 seasons worth! So from July 31 to August 3, 1997, Seattle got its first glimpse at the festival filled with a lot of female artistic power!  In 2002, we came back bigger and better than ever. We moved away from the limitations in venue size and availability on Capitol Hill and trucked the entire fest on over to the Fremont neighborhood. Utilizing a new-forged relationship with the Empty Space Theatre and the Fremont Unconventional Centre we were able to bring more performers and performance to more people. Fremont (also known as the Center of the Universe) has a motto that states "Freedom to be peculiar." We knew Mae would approve a festival that bears her name in a locale where individuality is celebrated.
Since the early years, we expanded our horizons even further. We performed at Consolidated Works, a multi-media arts and performance warehouse, which allowed us to place the entire festival under one roof. We also added a visual art show,titled "Making Scenes", curated by Jess Von Nostrand. We have utilized Capitol Hill Arts Center, a new and exciting space housing not only 2 theaters but a wonderful restaurant and active art gallery in the lower level. We also accomplished our mission to include film, curated by Associate Artistic Director Stacey Plum. We wanted to bring our mission to an audience 'just over the West Seattle bridge', so forged yet another new partership with the Youngstown Cultural Center. Finally done several full-runs of full-length plays, bringing to fruition the goal of expanding our mission to include full support of new work as well as festival opportunities.

The years ahead . . .
After consulting with numerous non-profit administration experts, we have been putting effort into re-structuring our organization. It is imperative that we grow in a healthy manner, especially in these tough economic times for arts organizations. Our goals include:
• Re-formation of an active, enthusiastic, diverse and properly functioning
Board of Directors
• Board Members we are seeking include lawyers, accountants, business
management professionals, and others interested in the arts, who have
enthusiasm for our mission and a network of associates from whom they might
draw active participation or expertise.
• If you have suggestions, please contact Heidi.
• Formation of an Advisory Board
• The Advisory Board is intended to consist of working artists and
professionals who add a bit of " weight" to our presentations; people on
whom we can call to consult regarding specific issues, ideas, and/or those
who will extend our ability to collaborate in other areas of the world. (example: Lisa Voss, affiliated with Woolly Mammoth Theater in Washington, D.C., has agreed to be on the panel to advise re: reading series, development of plays, and possible artist exchange)
• Creation of committees

We have discovered that our limited staff simply cannot fulfill the needs
each of the areas our festival requires. Using the "Committee" format of 14/48 (a local and successful 10-minute play festival of new works), we are striving to create committees to serve:
Board Selection
Volunteer Coordination
Office Assistance
Fundraising & Special Event
Hospitality (for visiting artists)
Craft services for festival technicians and artists

Thanks so much for your interest. If you have ideas or would like to
provide input, please feel free to let us know your thoughts.

Submissions ? Rules and Deadlines? ~click HERE ~