Abraham also directs “Ibsen in Chicago,” which opens Feb. 2 in Seattle.

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ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
Braden Abraham

What do you do? I’m the artistic director at Seattle Repertory Theatre.

How did you get started in that field? I started directing plays in college, and in my early 20s, moved into producing my own low-budget productions. I would direct and sometimes act in the play, find the space, build the set, hang the lights, write the press release, etc. As I started to become more aware of professional theaters, I realized that this was an actual job.

What’s a typical day like? We produce eight new productions a year, a major community initiative called Public Works Seattle and a new play lab called The Other Season. So every day is different and there’s always a lot going on at once. On a typical day, I could have various meetings about programming, fundraising, and marketing in the morning, a rehearsal or auditions in the afternoon, a preshow event in the evening, followed by a preview performance of a show that’s about to open.

What’s the best part of the job? Getting new ideas. They come from everywhere and the best ones usually hit you when you least expect it. I also work with the best staff in the American theater — they are all creative, driven, curious people. Collaboration is key to what we do.

Braden Abraham at a recent rehearsal of “Ibsen in Chicago,” which opens Feb. 2 at Seattle Rep. (Courtesy of Angela Nickerson)
Braden Abraham at a recent rehearsal of “Ibsen in Chicago,” which opens Feb. 2 at Seattle Rep. (Courtesy of Angela Nickerson)

What surprises people about what you do? The degree to which I’m involved in every aspect of the operation, not just deciding what’s on the stage. We are always working to find the holistic approach to what we do and expand the ways in which we make theater for our community.

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