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A Short History of Mirror Stage

Founding Artistic Director Suzanne M. Cohen started Looking Glass Theatre in Los Angeles in 1991 as a fringe theatre company, and moved to Seattle in 1992. LGT’s hit production of Mississippi Nude by John Reaves for the 1994 Seattle Fringe Theatre Festival was hailed as "one of the best the Festival has to offer." The West Coast premiere of Moe's Lucky 7 by Marlane Meyer played the 1996 Seattle Fringe Theatre Festival, and had a three week extension run. Unsure when they might produce again, Ms. Cohen and Producing Director Mona Al-Haddad decided to dissolve the corporation after a two year hiatus following Moe's Lucky 7.

In 2001, LGT re-incorporated as a professional theatre company with six board members, and Ms. Cohen became the Managing Artistic Director, responsible for all artistic, administrative and business development activities. The company received its 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status in March 2002, and in June 2002, started doing business as Mirror Stage Company. The corporate name changed to Mirror Stage in February 2006.

In October 2002, Mirror Stage kicked off its Season of Premieres with the West Coast premiere of The Knee Desires the Dirt by Julie Hébert. In February 2003, Mirror Stage presented the Northwest Premiere of Far East by A.R. Gurney. The Season of Premieres concluded in November 2003 with the Northwest Premiere of Abstract Expression by Theresa Rebeck.

The Feed Your Mind staged reading series was developed as a less expensive way to continue engaging the community. A vehicle for stimulating civic dialogue, Feed Your Mind examines topical issues from different perspectives. The plays are presented simply, with no sets or costumes—just the actors and the text. Following every performance, a discussion with the audience and artists further explores the issues raised in more depth.

Mirror Stage launched Feed Your Mind in May 2004 with Hiding Hannah by local Seattle playwright Joy McCullough-Carranza. In January 2007, Mirror Stage partnered with the Central District Forum for Arts & Ideas on The Road to the Nobel Peace Prize: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. presented to more than 1,650 people across Seattle.

During FY 09-10, Mirror Stage put all artistic programming on hold, while embarking upon an intensive planning process. Both patrons and artists consistently praised the choice of scripts and high quality of Mirror Stage productions, and the planning committee unanimously agreed to proceed.

In February 2011, Mirror Stage re-launched Feed Your Mind with Tree by Julie Hébert at the Ethnic Cultural Theatre—which attracted the largest Feed Your Mind audience since November 2005—and began recording post-play discussions to increase access. The 10|40 Celebration on October 15, 2011 marked 10 years of Mirror Stage and 40 Feed Your Mind presentations. A stellar cast of 13 presented a selection of scenes from the Top 10 Feed Your Minds.

Mirror Stage returned to fully staged productions with the West Coast premiere of Odin's Horse by Robert Koon, at the Ethnic Cultural Theatre, October 24 through November 11, 2012. Odin's Horse, named "one of the best productions of 2012" by Seattle Gay News, was Mirror Stage's first fully-staged production since 2003. Odin's Horse was nominated for two Gypsy Rose Lee Awards: for Excellence in Direction of a Play (Small Budget) and Excellence in Sound Design (Small Budget).

The Feed Your Mind series continued in 2013 with the West Coast premiere of In the Book Of... by John Walch in February, the West Coast premiere of Impenetrable by Mia McCullough in March, and Race by David Mamet in September.

For a list of Past Productions, click here.

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