"Island Stage Left provides top quality professional theatre - free of charge - to all islanders and island visitors, no matter what their financial or social status."
Stage Left is a non-profit theatre company founded by Daniel Mayes and Helen Machin-Smith to provide free professional quality theatre to the residents of the San Juan Islands and to its visitors. Each summer in July and August, Stage Left, in a stunning outdoor setting, presents another production in its continuing series "Shakespeare under the Stars". In the fall, winter and spring the company produces a wide range of plays both old and new written by playwrights at the top of their profession. We continually strive to attain an artistic vision that illuminates and questions the human condition.Funding is entirely from voluntary contributions. Production design elements are kept deliberately simple and the concentration is on acting and interpretation. In this way the company is able to focus on the art rather than the administration, and on serving the island community of which it is a part.
After many years earning their living in professional theatre, Island Stage Left co-founders Helen Machin-Smith and Daniel Mayes moved to San Juan Island to fulfill their dream of creating their own theatre company, and bringing the performing arts to a small, closeknit community in a beautiful place.
Bringing More Than Ten Years of Theatre to the San Juan Islands.
Island Stage Left's inaugural 1999 performance was Shakespeare's 'The Tempest.' Since then, the company has produced many Shakespearean and non-Shakespearean works ranging from classic to the contemporary. From James Goldman's 'The Lion in Winter' to John Patrick Shanley's 'Doubt', Island Stage Left has taken on works that move, works that speak of the human spirit, and works that challenge. The company has taken many of these productions to islands throughout the archipelago, including San Juan, Lopez, Orcas, Waldron, and Shaw, and played in a range of venues.
Ever resourceful, Island Stage Left has always kept its expenses low, particularly its' overhead. With no physical building to maintain, the company manages to keep costs down, focusing instead on quality acting and production. The company has played in converted lumber yards, in warehouses, on beaches, in private living rooms, and on multiple outdoor stages.
This ingenuity and determination has, for more than ten years, allowed Island Stage Left to fulfill its mission, to give the experience of great theatre to all islanders and visitors, regardless of their income or social status.