Catch a show at the Cornish Playhouse
The Cornish Playhouse at Seattle Center is a vibrant theatrical and educational facility and a landmark of modern architecture.
Built for the 1962 World’s Fair 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.
The Main Auditorium
The Main Auditorium is a flexible performance space that can seat as many as 434 people. It can be used for dance performances, theater productions, screenings, meetings, and more.
- 434 seat capacity including 6 ADA seats (with companion seats)
- Proscenium height: 23’9″
- Proscenium width: 42’9″
- Stage Width: 80′
- Stage Depth: 40′
- Total stage area: 3,110 SqFt
- Floor to grid height: 70′
- Dressing Rooms (two)
- Make-up counters (24 mirrors)
- Laundry Facilities
- Loading Dock (access through shop)
The Grand Lobby & Courtyard
Built in 1962 and wonders of modern architecture, featuring an illuminated bronze fountain sculpture by James Fitzgerald, eight Gallery Walls, two floors with built-in bars, a Speakeasy room, and space for up to 500 guests.
- Lobby 500 standing capacity (approx 220 seated)
- Soft seating and furniture
- 8 digital display monitors
- A/V capabilities and support
The Founder's Room
The Founder's Room reflects 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.
The Marleen and Kenny Alhadeff Studio Theater
This climate-controlled studio space is located at the Cornish Playhouse in the Seattle Center. It is suitable for auditions, rehearsals, readings, intimate performances, and private parties. Equipped with a piano, lights, and sound system.
- 75 seat capacity
- 108 standing capacity
- Piano, theatrical lights and sound system
- Flexible black box
At the Seattle Center
Location & Parking
The Cornish Playhouse and the Alhadeff Studio are located on north end of the Seattle Center grounds.
The address is 201 Mercer Street. There are various open and covered paid parking lots adjacent to Seattle Center, as well as metered street parking.
You can also view surrounding parking locations here.
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.
Tickets & 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 showtime.
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.
- 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 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.