Seattle Culture

Spring Into Seattle’s Art Scene

A season of premieres, performances, and pioneering art

By Chris S. Nishiwaki March 15, 2024

Classical musicians performing in a string quartet on stage during the Seattle art scene's spring showcase.

This spring, Seattle’s arts scene is your playground. Choose from a mix of music, dance, theater, and visual arts. Catch the Seattle Symphony’s latest world premieres, get lost in cutting-edge gallery exhibits, and performances that bring the city’s cultural landscape to life.


The Seattle Symphony performs the world premiere of Janice Giteck’s Potlatch Symphony 2020, featuring Redmond resident and Saanich First Nations flutist Paul Chiyokten Wagner and conductor Sunny Xia at the S. Mark Taper Auditorium at Benaroya Hall on April 19.

Potlatch Symphony 2020 unites the Seattle Symphony with Puget Sound’s First Nations artists in a celebration of the region’s land and ancestral heritage.


Vocalist Capathia Jenkins will reprise pop songs from artists such as Whitney Houston, Gladys Knight, Chaka Khan, and Adele backed by the Seattle Symphony, May 31-June 2, also at the S. Mark Taper Auditorium.


British Columbia native Crystal Pite’s complex yet seamless choreography is set to a modern adaptation of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons in The Seasons’ Canon at Pacific Northwest Ballet running April 12-21. The program also includes Twyla Tharp’s Sweet Fields, and Jessica Lang’s The Calling.

‘The Seasons’ Canon’ will run in April at Pacific Northwest Ballet.

Photo courtesy of Pacific Northwest Ballet


Seattle Chamber Music Society Artistic Director James Ehnes brings his quartet to Town Hall for one concert only on May 5 at 2 pm. The quartet, which also includes Amy Schwartz Moretti, Che-Yen Chen, and Edward Arron, will perform the three Razumovsky String Quartets, Opus 59 by Ludwig van Beethoven and add their experimental accents to the classical composition.


Comedian and former Daily Show host Trevor Noah is returning to Seattle for a six-night run at The Paramount, March 19-24. The eight-time Tony-nominated musical Beetlejuice, based on the Tim Burton film, makes its first Seattle touring stop ever from April 2-7, also at The Paramount.

Trevor Noah’s ‘Off the Record’ tour is set for a six-night stint in Seattle.


Bikini Kill and Le Tigre frontwoman, and riot grrrl movement seminal musician Kathleen Hanna will speak and read from her memoir, Rebel Girl: My Life as a Feminist Punk on May 22 at Town Hall Seattle as part of the Seattle Arts & Lecture “SAL Presents” series.


Seattle Children’s Theatre opened Luchadora! in February. It runs through March 17 at the Charlotte Martin Theatre at Children’s Theatre. The show, written by Mexican American playwright Alvaro Saar Rios, is directed by Mexican American SCT Associate Artistic Director Johamy Morales.

‘Luchadora!’ runs through March 17 at Seattle Children’s Theatre.

Photo courtesy of Seattle's Children Theatre

Taproot Theatre in Greenwood presents Margaret Raether’s Sherlock Holmes and The Precarious Position May 15-June 15. Four actors playing multiple roles weave a fascinating theatrical whodunit.


Intiman Theatre, celebrating its 50th season, mounts the world premiere of The Lion Tells His Tale, bringing Delbert Richardson’s award-winning museum to life, May 1-5 at the Broadway Performance Hall. Longtime and now retired Seattle Center Festál Director Steve Sneed will direct this show, which combines music, dance and spoken word.


Seattle Shakespeare Co. performs the classic romantic tragedy Romeo & Juliet. Prolific theater director and choreographer Sheila Daniels (who doubles as faculty at Cornish and Lakeside School) directs this epic play. It runs from April 24-May 12 at Seattle Center Theatre.


Village Theatre revives one of lyricist and librettist Tom Collins Jones’ earliest works, The Fantasticks, at the Francis J. Gaudette Theatre in Issaquah March 21-April 12, and at the Everett Performing Arts Center April 27-May 19. The play, made famous by late actor Jerry Orbach, became the longest playing musical in the world by the time it closed in 2002.


The hilarious musical satire poking fun at the whodunit genre, in particular Agatha Christie novels, Something’s Afoot will run at the 5th Avenue Theatre from March 1-24. Local favorites Anne Allgood and Allen Fitzpatrick star.


The Lehman Trilogy, an ambitious and epic production that tracks the rise and fall of financial giant Lehman Brothers, closes the mainstage season at ACT Theatre, April 26-May 12. The original Broadway production won five Tony Awards in 2022, including Best Play.


Timothy McCuen Piggee, who also chairs the Musical Theater Department at Cornish, will be directing the Pulitzer Prize-winning and Tony Award-nominated production of Fat Ham, written by James Ijames at the Seattle Rep’s Bagley Wright Theater Apr il 12-May 12.


The Meany Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Washington closes the 2023-24 season with French choreographer Hervé Koubi’s The Barbarian Nights May 9-11. The visually stunning performance combines classic ballet, break dancing, athletic gymnastics, and graceful choreography.

In the critically acclaimed ‘The Barbarian Nights,’ Koubi delves into the Mediterranean’s history to uncover the reality beyond the stereotypes associated with those once labeled “barbarians.”

Photo courtesy of Meany Center For the Performing Arts


The modern dance company Whim W’him, which recently moved into new headquarters on Queen Anne Hill, will premiere a dynamic trio of choreographies with an international flavor. Acclaimed Spanish choreographer Gustavo Ramirez Sansano, Great Britainborn and Switzerland-based Ihsan Rustem, and Belgian Whim W’him founder and Artistic Director Olivier Wevers will feature new works on May 10-18 at the Cornish Playhouse at the Seattle Center.

On The Boards presents ‘Our Country,’ based on Antigone, from March 21-23.


Our Country combines deft choreography, sleight of hand, and poignant storytelling to weave the intimate and riveting chasms of sibling relationships based on the Athenian tragedy Antigone by Sophocles, March 21-23 at On The Boards.


SIFF celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Seattle International Film Festival, featuring films from more than 70 countries, some of which will be screened in the United States exclusively during the festival, May 9-19 at SIFF’s four locations (SIFF Cinema Downtown, SIFF Cinema Uptown, The Egyptian, and The Film Center), as well as locations around the Seattle area.


Langston Seattle hosts the Seattle Black Film Festival, April 24-28.

Promotional poster for the Seattle Black Film Festival, April 25-28, celebrating spring in Seattle’s art scene.


The Stroum Jewish Community Center presents the 29th annual Jewish Film Festival, one of the largest Jewish film festivals in the country, March 2-17.


The Northwest Film Forum hosts the Seventh Annual Cadence Video Poetry Festival April 25–28, in time for National Poetry Month.

Hidden Worlds: The Films of LAIKA runs all spring and through the summer at MoPOP.


Jessica Jackson Hutchins’ Wrecked and Righteous at the Frye Art Museum is perhaps the most complete collection by the Portland, Ore.-based artist ever presented. The show, through May 5, showcases Jackson Hutchins’ provocative sculptures that combine everyday household items, found objects, and fine art techniques.

Jessica Jackson Hutchins: Wrecked and Righteous includes works created — and at times reconfigured — since the late 1990s.

Photo courtesy of Frye Art Museum


The Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra performs Oliver Nelson’s seminal 1961 album Blues and the Abstract Truth. The first show is 7:30 p.m. April 20 at Benaroya Hall’s Nordstrom Recital Hall. It reprises the performance at 2 p.m. April 21 at the Kirkland Performance Center.


Towers of Tomorrow with LEGO Bricks at the Museum of History and Industry in South Lake Union presents iconic structures from around the world built with LEGOs. The exhibit for guests of all ages is open May 25-September 2. A team of LEGO builders led by Ryan McNaught, one of only 21 LEGO-certified professionals in the world, took more than half-a-million LEGO bricks and more than 2,400 hours to build the structures.

MOHAI hosts an exhibit featuring LEGO structures built around the world starting on May 25.


The Wing Luke Museum closes two provocative exhibits this spring: Nobody Lives Here (a show curated by Tessa Hulls about the homes and people who were displaced when the I-5 freeway was built through the Chinatown International District in the 1960s) closes March 17. Woven Together: Stories of Burma/Myanmar closes May 19.


Multimedia artist Kelly Akashi’s Encounters closes May 5 at the Henry Art Gallery at the University of Washington. The Henry will also host the annual University of Washington’s MFA and MDes Thesis Exhibition in May, showcasing the work of University of Washington Fine Arts graduate students.


The Bellevue Arts Museum brings the millennium-old Japanese tradition of “Washi” (literally translates to Japanese paper) and obsession and craftsmanship of textiles, textures, and ultra-fine paper in Washi Transformed through April 26.


Wa Na Wari features work by Marin Burnett, DK, Christopher Iduma, and Brandon Donahue-Shipp through April 20 at its Central District headquarters.


Cornish showcases the work of design, illustration, and interior architecture bachelor students at its Ninth Avenue Gallery in South Lake Union, April 27-May 5.


Calder: In Motion at the Seattle Art Museum, perhaps the most comprehensive public exhibit of mobiles and stabiles by prolific 20th-century American artist Alexander Calder, runs through Aug. 4. Calder’s The Eagle has been part of SAM’s Olympic Sculpture Park collection since 2000.

Alexander Calder set modern art in motion.

Photo courtesy of Seattle Art Museum


Kirkland Performance Center brings back two icons of 1980s pop culture: Tiffany on March 15 and former Saturday Night Live cast member Kevin Nealon.

Kevin Nealon will perform at Kirkland Performance Center on April 4.

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