Mission + Vision
The WSSR is a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation
The West Side Show Room makes room for everyone to participate in the transformative art of theater.
We envision a future where experiencing the arts inspires everyone in our community toward greatness.
We want everyone in our community to have the opportunity to experience and participate in high quality live performance, regardless of age, race, ethnicity, country of origin, nationality, religion, functional ability, sex, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, body type, economic status, or education level.
We strive to continually and transparently improve our productions and programs to ensure artistic, operational, and fiscal quality.
We believe engaging and educating the public are critical to transforming our community and the world.
We sustain our mission by fostering long-term relationships with artists and community organizations that share our goal of removing barriers to audience and artist participation in the performing arts.
In works where identifying characteristics are not specified or central to the artist’s intent, any actor (regardless of age, race, ethnicity, gender identity, physical ability, or body type) should be able to play any role. Whenever appropriate, we seek to cast outside the norm in order to challenge traditional notions of who can be involved in theater.
We present plays that are wildly entertaining, but never allow the audience to withdraw into complacency. Whether the work is old/new, dramatic/comedic, realistic/absurd, our performances are up-close, immersive, risky, confrontational, and challenge the audience to expand their view of the world.
Space = Power
Maintaining our own black box performance space gives us the freedom to present any artistic work, in any configuration, without limit or fear of censorship.
The West Side Show Room's first sets were made out of cardboard as both a way to save money, and as an aesthetic choice. We hold cardboard up as an emblem symbolic of creative constraint: the concept that artists make the strongest choices when their options are limited.