AKA: A Contemporary Theatre (ACT), Theatre #1, Queen Anne, Seattle, WA; On the Boards (OtB), Behnke Center for Contemporary Performance, Queen Anne, Seattle, WA

Structure Type: built works - public buildings - assembly halls

Designers: Pederson, Hans, Building Contractor (firm); Hans Pederson Sr. (building contractor)

Dates: [unspecified]

3 stories, total floor area: 34,976 sq. ft.

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100 West Roy Street
Queen Anne, Seattle, WA 98119

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This three-floor multi-purpose building, originally known as "Redding Hall" opened in 1912. It contained storefronts on its first floor with a theatre and variously-sized rooms for offices on the second and third. It became known popularly as "Queen Anne Hall" by the 1930s.

Building History

This assembly hall was first known as "Redding Hall," opening in 1912. The designer builder was Hans Pederson. Initially, Redding Hall hosted dances and other activities hosted by fraternal organizations, clubs and other groups. It became known as "Queen Anne Hall" by the 1930s. Seattle's Boiler Makers Union utilized the Queen Anne Hall for its offices and as an assemby space. According to the City of Seattle, "In 1962, the owner, J.R. Kennedy, used the first floor as a temporary dormitory during the Century 21 Exposition. Shortly afterwards, in 1965 the building was acquired by one of Seattle's earliest major theater companies, A Contemporary Theater (ACT). (See Seattle Historical Sites Summary for 100 W Roy ST, City of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods.gov, accessed 11/26/2018.)

In 1965, the newly founded A Contemporary Theatre under the direction of Gregory A. Falls (1922–1997), head of the University of Washington's Theatre Department, staged its first production in the Queen Anne Hall on 07/09/1965, a production of Arthur Kopit's Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Mama's Hung You in the Closet and I'm Feeling So Sad.ACT focused on the works of contemporary playwrights dealing with relevant current topics. The schedule of performance occurred in summer, usually a lull in theatrical programming. ACT presented five performances its first year (1965), seven in 1966, seven in 1967, eight in 1968, and seven in 1969. Falls remained head of ACT until 1988. Falls was replaced by Jeff Steitzer, who led the company from 1988 until 1995. Peggy Shannon followed Steitzer, but did not last in the job, serving only two years, 1995-1997. Gordon Edelstein helmed ACT from 1997 until 2002, when Kurt Beattie was named director. Beattie held the position from 2002 until 2015, succeeded by John Langs.

The company became quite popular with Seattle audiences, prompting the need for a larger performance space by the mid-1990s. Following Shannon's tenure, subscriptions fell from a high of 11,400 in 1996, to about 7,500 in 2003. While ticket sales remained high in 1996, ACT decided to look for larger quarters, and found them in the former Eagle's Building. This proved difficult, as the move coincided with a downturn in subscriber revenue, but strong performances in the early 2000s under Edelstein, some using prominent stars like Jane Alexander, Julie Harris and Randy Newman, revived public support for ACT.

Folllowing ACT's move out of Queen Anne Hall in 1996, the theatrical company, On the Boards (OtB), moved into the facility in 1998. As noted on its web site in 2018, "OtB staged more than 40 shows over 100 performance nights each year in two theaters: our 300-seat Merrill Wright Mainstage Theater and our intimate 84-seat Studio Theater." (See On the Boards, "The Building," accessed 11/26/2018.)

Building Notes

Queen Anne Hall occupied a 23,520-square-foot (0.54-acre) lot in 2018. The facility contained 4,000 square feet of retail space, a 6,050-square-foot theatre, and 24,926 square feet of office space.


Under the ownership of the Boiler Maker's Union, "...some alterations were made, including adding exits." (See Seattle Historical Sites Summary for 100 W Roy ST, City of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods.gov, accessed 11/26/2018.)

ACT worked with Bogard and Hewitt and Hewitt / Daly Architects on design changes to the Queen Anne Hall. Bogard and Hewitt designed the 454-seat thrust stage installed in 1966. A thrust stage was a stage surrounded on three sides by seating.