Men on Boats

by Jaclyn Backhaus

Ten explorers. Four boats. One Grand Canyon. Re-imagined with all-female or gender non-binary actors playing the roles of historic explorers, MEN ON BOATS is the true(ish) history of the 1869 expedition led by one-armed war veteran Captain John Wesley Powell and his crew of unhinged-yet-loyal volunteers to chart the hidden course of the untamed Colorado River.

Playwrights Horizons, Inc. and Clubbed Thumb produced
MEN ON BOATS in New York City, 2016

[MEN ON BOATS] is marvelously destabilizing both as history and theater. The stalwartness and selfishness of the adventurers — their cockiness and cluelessness — become biting satire when sent up by women.

NY Magazine

…you will surely want to spend time with the hearty title characters of MEN ON BOATS…[a] rollicking history pageant…MEN ON BOATS makes canny use of the obvious distance between performers and their roles to help bridge the distance between then and now…The tone is comic, but never cute or camp. And ultimately, you feel, the play respects its bold if fallible pioneers, in all their natural bravery and fearfulness.

NY Times

Live Performances

Know before you go

  • Masks optional at WWU locations. Covid-19 protocol details
  • Double check event details for updates before you go. Covid-19 safety may cause event dates and locations to change.

Tickets also available at the box office one hour before the performance, or by calling 360-650-6146: $16 general, $8 with student ID.

WWU students skip the box office!

Show your WWU student ID at the door for free balcony seating (first come, first served). Student-priced tickets available at the box office for main floor seats.

Contact if you need to reserve an accessible space.


Recorded on-demand streaming performances with captions via Broadway on Demand. Tickets available through the streaming button below: $9 plus $2.95 streaming fee that supports the service.

  • Friday, June 10 at 12:00 am PDT
  • Saturday, June 11 at 12:00 am PDT

Disability Accommodations

For disability accommodations, please contact the department presenting the event. Disability access information is available online at Parking Services, and further resources can be found by contacting Western's Disability Access Center.