The Cornish Playhouse at Seattle Center is a vibrant theatrical and educational facility and a landmark of modern architecture, comprising a 432-seat main auditorium, a flexible black-box theater and a generous forecourt and lobby. Built for the World’s Fair of 1962 and now operated by Cornish College of the Arts as its highest-profile venue, the Playhouse presents a full range of performing arts events open to the public. Between the work created by Cornish students and the visiting professional productions from a wide range of community partners, the Cornish Playhouse offers rich experiences not only in theater but also in dance, music and the visual arts. As part of its public benefits, the Cornish Playhouse’s Artist Incubator Residencies offer free space for artists to create and test new work.
Playhouse Rental Venues
MAIN AUDITORIUM / CORNISH PLAYHOUSE
The main auditorium at Cornish Playhouse is a flexible performance space that can seat as many as 432 people. It can be used for dance performances, theater productions, screenings, meetings and more.
PLAYHOUSE | GRAND LOBBY & COURTYARD | MODERN VENUE
Built in 1962 for the Seattle World’s Fair, the Cornish Playhouse Grand Lobby and Courtyard are wonders of Modern architecture, featuring an illuminated bronze fountain sculpture by James Fitzgerald, 8 Gallery Walls, 2 floors with built-in bars, a Speakeasy room and space for up to 500 guests.
PLAYHOUSE | FOUNDERS ROOM
Reflecting the elegant mid-century architecture of the Cornish Playhouse at Seattle Center, the Founder’s Room is ideal for special events, receptions, meetings and conferences and can accommodate up to 70 people.
ALHADEFF STUDIO THEATER | SEATTLE CENTER
This climate-controlled studio space is suitable for auditions, rehearsals, readings, intimate performances and private parties with a maximum occupancy of 150. The space is equipped with a piano, lights and sound system and can accommodate a seated audience of up to 110. This venue can also comfortably host corporate events such as meetings, product launches and cocktail receptions as well as weddings and birthday parties.
The Cornish Playhouse and the Alhadeff Studio are located on north end of the Seattle Center grounds.. The address is 201 Mercer Street.
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There are various open and covered paid parking lots adjacent to Seattle Center, as well as metered street parking.
The Cornish Playhouse is easily accessible via multiple bus routes. To access the most up-to-date schedule and route information, try the King County Metro Transit Trip Planner.
Seattle Center Monorail can whisk you between Seattle Center and Westlake Center in the heart of downtown Seattle. The Monorail departs every 10 minutes from Westlake Center, located at Fifth and Pine Street and every 10 minutes from the station at Seattle Center, located near the base of the Space Needle. Please note that the Monorail does not run during late night or early morning hours. Check their website for current open and close times.
Cornish College of the Arts is committed to ensuring that its performance venues are accessible to all patrons. The closest access point for the Cornish Playhouse and Alhadeff Studio is the accessible drop-off area on Mercer Street between the Playhouse and the Seattle Rep Theater.
In addition to the handicapped parking spots in Mercer Garage, there are four on-street parking spaces on the east side of Warren Avenue North just south of Mercer Street which are designated for exclusive 24-hour use by those with Washington State disability placards.
Patrons requiring assistance may enter the Cornish Playhouse using the ADA-accessible door on the west side of the building, just south of the west side courtyard entrance. Please ring the doorbell and a staff member will come to assist you. For the Alhadeff Studio, please follow the instructions on the outside elevator located at the rear of the Cornish Playhouse.
Purchasing Tickets In Advance
Tickets for all performances can be purchased in advance as follows:
- Cornish College of the Arts Events — Tickets for Cornish College of the Arts’ student productions and events produced by the College may be purchased in advance through Brown Paper Tickets. More details for individual events can be found on Cornish’s event calendar.
- Other Events and Activities — Other organizations also use Cornish Playhouse for their events. Please contact the organization sponsoring the event directly for specific details about purchasing tickets. For example, tickets for Seattle Shakespeare Company productions performed at the Cornish Playhouse can be purchased through the Seattle Shakespeare Company’s website.
Cornish Playhouse Box Office
Whenever there is a public event taking place, the Cornish Playhouse box office opens one hour prior to curtain. If your tickets are being held at Will Call, please plan on picking them up at least 15 minutes prior to show time.
Volunteer with Cornish
Cornish Playhouse invites you to become a part of our community of Volunteer Ushers, without whom we could not bring art to our stage. We are always looking for dedicated, gracious individuals to assist our patrons with seating, programs, and overall customer service. Most importantly, you can see the show for free! For more information regarding becoming a volunteer usher, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to seeing you at the Playhouse!