Board Spotlight: Liisa Spink

You’ve met our staff, now it’s time to get to know the board! This week, we have the wonderful Liisa Spink, Affiliate Manager at Dress for Success.

  1. Who are you?
    Liisa Spink.

  2. How long have you been on the board of TPS?
    4 years. 
  3. In honor of our upcoming event TPS Turns 21 at Lagunitas, what is your favorite kind of beer?
    Jemima Nichols Ale from Wales. 
  4. What did you do for your 21st birthday?
    Went out in Westwood (I was going to UCLA) with friends, drank some things, ran home and ran into several lightposts on my way, and then locked everyone out of our shared apartment.
  5. Why should people come to our 21st Birthday Party?
    Because TPS has been an integral part of the interconnected theatre scene for the Puget Sound – providing accessible rehearsal room space, celebrating our community with the Gregory Awards, and providing training and services for its members. I am looking forward to raising a glass to celebrate TPS and its impact on the Puget Sound theatre community.
  6. Anything else you want to say to our membership?
    You are all awesome – thank you for the work that you do – thank you for the art that you create – and thank you for supporting TPS and by doing so supporting the wider theatre community. As a community – together we are stronger.
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TPS 21st Birthday Edition

Rex Carleton, TPS technical director and “Seattle Theatre Wikipedia” himself answers monthly questions in this regular feature of our Newsletter. 

Program Assistant Keiko Green sits down with the man.

K: In honor of TPS’s 21st Birthday Party coming up, let’s talk birthdays. What is your most memorable birthday?

Long silence.

REX: (thinking) Ahhhhhhh. 


K: Do you celebrate your birthday?

R: Not really. I mean kind of sometimes have a piece of cake or a pie or something to celebrate birthdays at home, you know. And it’s just become this thing where we all get together for about half an hour, sing happy birthday, blow out a candle, and then go on with our work… I’m trying to remember some specific thing that we did for my birthday, but… isn’t that awful?

K: It’s not awful. It just means you spend each day —

R: — I’ve had 70 of them, and I can’t remember a single thing I did on any one!


R: As a family, in my married family adult life, we don’t go out and — I remember one!

K: Okay!

R: What must have been 1998, my 50th, we were in tech for a show in what would become the last show the Group Theatre ever did, I think. I’m quite sure we were in tech for Keepers of the Dream, which was a self-created show with Jackie Moscou and several other local folk (read about that show here!) — it was a powerful exploration of what it’s like to be black in America, among other things. And we were in tech for that show. And when I’m in tech, my hair’s on fire. It’s just a given that Rex is a walking zombie. Because I’m such a stickler for detail that I never let anything go until a show opens. Right?

So we’re in the middle of tech. And all of a sudden, the whole world pulls this surprise birthday on me.


R: And I’m going, “Now, hold on. We’ve got work to do! We can’t have a moment of fun here!”

K: There’s no time!

R: There’s no time! And to make things even more aggravating for the perpetual workaholic, my family shows up! And the Group Theatre family as a whole — has purchased for us as a family — a dinner night out at one of those expensive, fancy, seafood-y kind of places in Ballard. Some place like Anthony’s. And they wouldn’t take no for an answer.

And I was out the door after putting on some nice clothes that my wife had brought, and my wife, my son, and I had a really nice dinner out in the middle of tech! And it was wonderful. It really was!

Of all the things you could give a guy who doesn’t know when to stop, the ability to stop and just breathe for a little bit — on a landmark like a 50th birthday — was cool. It was really fun.

And I was really glad to get back to tech.


E-mail Keiko at with the subject heading “ASK REX” to have your question featured in an upcoming newsletter!

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Volunteer Call: 2018 Bumbershoot


Theatre Puget Sound has a fantastic lineup of local theatre at the 2018 Bumbershoot Stage and we need your help wrangling it!  We need volunteers to help with seating, crowd management, and being a great representative of the local theatre scene.  

Please note: Your volunteer pass is good for grounds access on the entire day of your shift.  Does not include access to larger venues such as Key Arena and Memorial Stadium.

DATES: Friday August 31 through Sunday, September 2, 2018

The 2018 Bumbershoot Theatre Puget Sound Stage features a lineup of..

More details on Bumbershoot’s website!

TO APPLY: Fill out the form at the bottom of this page by August 15.  Any questions, please email

Priority will be given to Theatre Puget Sound members, those available for full day shifts, and previous volunteers.  Due to the high volume of requests not all will be used.  Thank you!

You will be notified of your participation status by Monday, August 20.

Bumbershoot 2018 Volunteer Form


FRIDAY 1pm - 3:30 pm & SUNDAY 7:00 - 9:30pm: You will help our technical team set up/clean up for the festival! Some heavy lifting may be required. You are free to enjoy the rest of Bumbershoot during the time not scheduled.
DAILY (2 pm - 7:30 pm): Assist setting up/cleaning the lobby, seating people in the Center Theatre, monitoring audience, and answering questions. You are free to enjoy the rest of Bumbershoot during time not scheduled, and breaks/lunches will be allowed during slower times.
AFTERNOON (1:45 pm - 4:45 pm): Assist with seating people in the Center Theatre, monitoring audience, and answering questions. You are free to enjoy the rest of Bumbershoot during time not scheduled.
EVENING (4:30 pm - 7:30 pm): Assist with seating people in the Center Theatre, monitoring audience, and answering questions. You are free to enjoy the rest of Bumbershoot during time not scheduled.
We will try to match you with your preferred shifts.


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Rex Carleton, TPS technical director and Seattle Theatre Wikipedia himself answers monthly questions in this regular feature of our Newsletter. 

Program Assistant Keiko Green sits down with the man himself.

(This is a continuation from last month’s conversation)

K: Have you ever had an apprentice?

REX: I tried it a couple of times. There was one period about 5 years ago or so — you know, my wife and I operate a horse farm on the side. That’s what I do when I’m not here.  So you know, I never stop working. Just because I’m not here, don’t think I’m not working.
But we had a large issue with drainage and water on our property that really had to be dealt with. So we got some support from the King County Conservation District to do some radical changes to the horse paddocks and stuff. So I took 3 months off and built fresh drain trenches, and while I was away, there was a young man who came here. And he shadowed me for a couple weeks, prior to me going off. Then kind of went on his own.
By his own admission, it was not always easy because — honestly, the two-week shadowing didn’t teach him much. But he got enough out of it, that he was able to carry on, and I was only a phone call away.

We keep trying to think of ways to share this institutional knowledge which I walk around with all the time, and we’re still working on that. It’s something that needs to be addressed, and we know that it needs to be addressed — because like I said, that bus is coming after me.


K: Why should people invest in the arts?

REX: Why not?
I mean, look — there are as many ways to feed the human spirit as there are humans. And no one of them is more important than the other. but I made a choice, 50 years ago now, to spend my life trying to build the human spirit this way. That was a conscious choice. I had options. And this is the one that when I was a 20 year old man, made sense to me. And I’ve never looked back. The unknown secret to my life, some people know this, one of the other options was — I was seriously considering going into the ministry.
I majored in the history of religion and philosophy in college. Partially because of my upbringing and a number of other things. But the ministry seemed to make a lot of sense. And that was kind of the path I was on, until I stumbled onto theatre for the first time when I was a junior in college. And it didn’t take long before I found myself sitting and making an argument to my parents that I could change the world from the pulpit or I could change the world from a stage. You know, when you’re 20 years old, you tend to make broad statements like that. But in a lot of ways, that was the choice I made. This became my pulpit.
So I’ve invested my life in it. And that’s as tangible and real as an investment as someone who donates $100,000 to cancer research.

Can you compare curing cancer to theatre? I don’t know. Maybe.

Which one has a deeper, more lasting effect on the collective human soul? Well, you can make the argument that the arts have done as much as any individual discipline or idea to uplift people and their perspectives on life. But this little tiny piece of the arts that we call TPS is trying very hard to do that on an ongoing basis. And I think that’s worth supporting.

E-mail Keiko at with the subject heading “ASK REX” to have your question featured in an upcoming newsletter!

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Headshot Days 2018 Info & Registration

July 15 & July 16!

Theatre Puget Sound is proud to announce some details for Headshot Days 2018, a chance for TPS members to have their headshots taken by industry professionals at a fraction of the cost!

2018-Headshot Days Registration Form

30-minute headshot sessions

Sunday, July 15th from 11am to 7pm in Theatre 4
Monday, July 16th from 11am to 8pm in Studio G

How Much:
$60 for members
$80 for non members

7/15, 5-7pm: Margaret Toomey (portfolio)
7/16, 12-4pm: Laura Dux (portfolio)
7/16, 4-8pm: Margaret Toomey


Times are given on a first-come, first-serve basis so reserve your spot now!  Fill out this form: 2018-Headshot Days Registration Form (also available below). Forms can be received via e-mail at, by mail (addresses below), or in person at our offices! Reservations are not confirmed until payment is received. 

This form must be returned to TPS by Wednesday July 11, 2018, to reserve your spot.

Payment can be made via:

  • Mail (check)
                      PO Box 19643
                      Seattle, WA 98109
  • In-person at the TPS office (check, cash, or credit card)
                      305 Harrison Street Ste. 401A
                      Seattle, WA 98109
  • Phone (credit card)

Any questions/comments? Contact us at or (206)770-0370.

Thank you to Seattle’s Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture for support this program! 

2018-Headshot Days Registration Form

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Board Spotlight: Tiffany Maltos

You’ve met our staff, now it’s time to get to know the board! First up, we have the wonderful Tiffany Maltos.

  1. What do you do? Tell us a bit about yourself.
    I am the Education Outreach Manager at Seattle Children’s Theatre. When teaching artists go into schools, museums and community organizations to teach theater workshops or residencies, I’m behind the scenes making sure everything is in place for all to be successful. It’s a lot of coordinating! My favorite part of this job is that I am able to create new Outreach programing for communities in need. Thanks to some generous donors, we’ve been able to have theatre programs at the Abused Deaf Women’s Advocacy Services (ADWAS), Child Haven, King Juvenile Detention Center, and Neighborhood House Community Centers to name a few. We are expanding Outreach every day, and I am so excited to be able to support that growth.

  2. How long have you been on the board of TPS?
    I’ve been on the Board of TPS for about 4 months.

  3. What do you love about our theatre community?
    I love that there is so much theatre here, it could make your head pop! I come from San Antonio, TX and, while there is some great theatre there, it doesn’t feel as copious as the opportunities I’ve experienced here. It feels like there is a theatre company on every block! I love that there are so many producing companies here, it warrants several arts spaces for just creating. What a wonderful way to connect with the community.
  1. What are you excited about as a board member?
    I’m excited to see TPS’ development. The whole TPS team has accomplished a lot! From establishing member meetings, to new types of events, affinity spaces, and fund raising goals, everyone works so hard to ensure that TPS is taking meaningful steps to nurturing the Puget Sound theatre community. WAY TO GO TPS TEAM!
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Starting Wednesday, June 27, TPS will provide space for two separate affinity groups.

People of Color and White Allies working in the arts are invited to gather as affinity groups in the TPS studios.

Anyone working in the arts are welcome. Join us from 5:00-6:30 on the 4th floor of the Armory as we gather in common interest and identify ways we can support one another.

TPS is committed to supporting other affinity groups should space be an issue. If you have ideas for how other affinity groups might be supported, please contact for more information.

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Rex Carleton, TPS technical director and Seattle Theatre Wikipedia himself answers monthly questions in this regular feature of our Newsletter. 

Program Assistant Keiko Green sits down with the man himself.

(This is a continuation from last month’s conversation)

What exactly do you do at TPS?

REX: If I could answer that question…


REX: No joke. Because —

KEIKO: You’re all over the place. You do so much.

REX: I’m not getting any younger and at some point, I’m going to have to walk away from here. And at some point, some other poor schlub is going to have to pick it up. And I’ve never really been good at documenting my life. I work so much from the gut. It’s not that I don’t write. I do. And have reams of documents that I’ve generated from the time I’ve been here, but none of it is particularly well organized or codified to the point where you could call it a manual to how to do my job.

That’s a problem. That proverbial bus. It’s going to be tough for someone. And in a nutshell, what do I do?
I’m responsible for maintaining the facility. Obviously that’s done in conjunction and coordination with Seattle Center. There’s a lot of just coordinating between TPS and Seattle Center. But I also do a LOT of smaller stuff on a daily basis. And that includes all of the — if you define “facility” as everything that’s actually attached to the building — lights or plumbing or whatever… It’s not like I’m very sensitive and careful not to step on the toes of Seattle Center. But they also understand and appreciate that I can cover an awful lot of stuff that really doesn’t require major mobilization on the part of Seattle Center. 

So I do all of that, and then of course there’s all the equipment, which really defines the space in a lot of ways. When I’m talking about equipment, I’m not just talking about the things you can pick up and carry, but all the installed infrastructure of the theater itself and the systems of the theater.

And of course, unfortunately, nobody knows that stuff like I do because I put it all there in the first place, right? So it’s a complex web of stuff, and a lot of it — honestly, as we all know — is aging. And requires constant maintenance and upkeep and replacement. I do all of that. And production support.

The two resident companies, Shakespeare and Book-It, have both been in this space now for a number of years. They know what they’re doing. I don’t have to sit and stand over them with my arms folded saying “tsk, tsk.” But I do monitor what they’re doing, and I make myself available should anything come up, if they have questions, or if they have a new person who needs an orientation to a system or whatever. I do a fair amount of that, and in the two smaller spaces (the Black Box and particularly Theatre4), I do a lot of training for new people coming in.

When I first got here, I made a conscious choice — and it was an organizational choice too — that I sold, essentially, to TPS. That is: I wanted to create, especially in the two smaller spaces, I wanted to create an environment where they didn’t have to pay a staff person to be there whenever they’re actively in the space. 
In fact, I wanted to avoid that at all cost. I wanted to create an environment where people were empowered to do things themselves. So I do a lot of that. I do a lot of teaching and training, then I walk away and let people do what they do without being monitored directly.
But they need it, I’m there. If they ask. And for the most part, it’s been extremely successful. I don’t know the statistics, but I would venture to guess this is one of the very, very few performance venue rental systems that doesn’t require a paid staff member to be present.

And I’m very, very proud of that. And I’m proud of all the people who walked out knowing more than they did when they walk in. Granted, all they know is how to use 25 year-old equipment — and I don’t know what that gets them — but every bit of knowledge is important. And even more importantly, I think it builds the human spirit. To be given the power to make your own choices. Right? So that’s the philosophy behind that. 

(This conversation is quite lengthy, so we will be continuing in a series of several installments.)

E-mail Keiko at with the subject heading “ASK REX” to have your question featured in an upcoming newsletter!

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Fundraising Bootcamp: Sign-up today!

This year, TPS had the opportunity to do an in-depth assessment with the consultants at Campbell and Co.  They walked us through every detail of what healthy fundraising systems and activities look like in a non-profit arts organization, and then helped us create a practical work plan that we are using to get on track.

TPS wants to share this knowledge and these resources with you.  Join us for the “Fundraising Bootcamp.”  In six 2.5-hour sessions, we will take a deep-dive into the core competencies needed for successful fundraising.  We will hear from professionals in the field and have many opportunities to share learnings and resources among peers in the world of fundraising for theatre and the arts.  The curriculum includes case studies, articles and other relevant materials to be consumed in preparation for each session.  Participants will also have the opportunity to create a giving campaign unique to their organization or specified event in collaboration with their peers (with the help and feedback of the group), execute the campaign as part of the end of year giving season, and then return to the group to debrief and share findings.

The “Fundraising Bootcamp” is for you if:

  • You are the development representative at your organization: staff member, volunteer, or board member.
  • You have been in the field less than 5 years or currently have little to no access to technical training or support for fundraising.

It is not for you if:

  • You are a seasoned development professional.
  • Your organization has a robust fundraising staff.

Due to the collaborative nature of this project, a commitment of participation will be necessary as part of enrollment. We will meet on the following dates from 6:00p – 8:30pm:

July 31, 2018

August 28, 2018

September 25, 2018

October 30, 2018

November 27, 2018

January 29, 2019

Topics will include:

  • Organizational Planning
  • Building a culture of philanthropy in your organization
  • Fundraising staffing and systems
  • Fundraising activities, outcomes, and evaluation
  • Managing board and volunteer fundraising
  • Donor communications, management, and stewardship
  • And more!

Cost is $350 for TPS members and $450 for non-members. Fill out the attached form (below) to register and return to TPS with payment no later than Friday, July 13, 2018!

2018 Fundraising Bootcamp Registration


Any questions/comments? Contact us at or (206)770-0370.

Thank you to Seattle’s Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture for support this program!

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Staff Spotlight: Ariel Bradler

Learn more about our Executive Director!

1. What does a day as ED look like?
As vague as this sounds, it depends on the day and the size of the organization. Some days it’s about cultivating donors, some days it’s about building programming, and sometimes, because we inhabit an old building, it’s about plumbing. I think for every organization, it is a careful balance of thinking and planning for both present and future and to consider how we can take steps now to ensure we are living our greatest potential in 5 or 10 years.  Much of my day is spent in connecting with people and hearing how TPS can work best for this community. We have a unique moment to refocus our mission and vision, analyze what’s working and what’s not, and have our membership and stakeholders help us grow the organization into a meaningful part of the theatrical ecosystem of the region. 

2. What was the first play you ever saw?
My mom was really good about getting my brother and I out to see plays and visit museums when we were kids, so it was probably something at the local Fine Arts Center in Colorado Spring. However, the first play I remember that made me realize this was the community I wanted to belong to was Rent when I was 16. We had a chance to see it as part of a school trip right after it opened on Broadway. The band was on stage (always love this), and the abstract set was a new and exciting opportunity for storytelling concept I hadn’t seen before. The show swept me away.

3. You’ve been here for almost a year. What are you most proud of?
We have built such a great team. It is always such a pleasure to be in the office and know that the staff and board are committed to the community and working as a trusted and cohesive team. I am really proud that the office environment is one of openness and honesty and that we’ve created a good rhythm in a fairly short time of knowing each other. 

4. What are you excited to tackle next?
Too many things, I’m just trying to focus on stabilizing and getting us a new website which will make many of our current processes, much easier. 

5. What are some things people might not know about you? 
I’m a pretty decent cook and my love language is food which means you can almost always assume there will be treats involved in public gatherings. (Like the Public Membership Meeting March 18th!) I LOVE a good pun and get really irritated by bad ones (ask anyone on staff about that infamous calendar page). I especially love when people sneak them into official communications. You will always win my heart with a punny subject line, promotional email or a good kid joke…like this one… What did the 0 say to the 8? – Nice belt. 

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