Seattle

The high-tech boom created an enthusiastic and philanthropic audience for Seattle's arts community, which continues to grow. The gorgeous Benaroya Hall is a national benchmark for acoustic design. Its main tenant is the Seattle Symphony. At the Seattle Center, the ethereal Marion Oliver McCaw Hall combines Northwest hues and hanging screens in colorful light shows accompanying performances by the Seattle Opera and the Pacific Northwest Ballet.

Although the city's music scene has lost some of its shine after Portland became the go-to city for indie rock, music is still a main form of entertainment here. This very literate city also supports a full calendar of readings, lectures, and writing workshops.

The Seattle International Film Festival gets a lot of attention, but the city also hosts numerous smaller festivals throughout the year. The most popular include STIFF (Seattle's True Independent Film Festival; www.trueindependent.org) in June; the Children's Film Festival (www.childrensfilmfestivalseattle.nwfilmforum.org/), held at the Northwest Film Forum in January; and the Seattle Lesbian and Gay Film Festival (www.threedollarbillcinema.org) in October.

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  • 1. A Contemporary Theatre

    Downtown | Theater

    Dedicated to launching exciting works by emerging dramatists, the Contemporary has four staging areas, including a theater-in-the-round and...Read More

  • 2. Benaroya Hall

    Music

    The acoustics are good from every one of the main hall's 2,500 seats—great news if you want to check out the Seattle Symphony, which is based...Read More

  • 3. Cornish Playhouse at Seattle Center

    Queen Anne | Theater

    This performance and education venue run by the Cornish College of the Arts hosts public music and theater programs, produced by students and...Read More

  • 4. Moore Theater

    Downtown | Arts Centers

    Built in 1907, Seattle's oldest theater still hosts off-Broadway performances and music events, including jazz concerts, instrumental duets...Read More

  • 5. Northwest Puppet Center

    University District | Theater

    Keeping its stories lively and brief (45 minutes), and encouraging kids to sprawl on the floor, this troupe uses marionettes to dramatize folktales...Read More

  • 6. Seattle Children's Theatre

    Lower Queen Anne | Theater

    Top-notch productions of new works join adaptations from classic children's literature here. After the show, actors come out to answer questions...Read More

  • 7. Seattle Repertory Theater

    Lower Queen Anne | Theater

    During its September-through-April season, the Seattle Repertory Theater brings new and classic plays to life. Adoring fans flock to new takes...Read More

  • 8. The 5th Avenue Theatre

    Downtown | Theater

    Even if you don't plan on seeing anything here, this Asian fantasia is worth a peek—it's one of the most beautiful venues in the world. The...Read More

  • 9. Theater Schmeater

    Belltown | Theater

    As if you couldn't tell by the name, Theater Schmeater is one of Seattle's zanier fringe theaters. Productions—live reenactments of Twilight...Read More

  • 10. Balagan Theatre

    Capitol Hill | Theater

    The small productions here are thought-provoking and intense: they've included a local playwright's passionate look at the world of roller derby...Read More

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