Secrets. We all have them. 

Some may be silly, remembrances of childhood escapades or adolescent mischief. Others are big and scary to tell; secrets we’ve buried for years. Most of us have both. And, The Washington Center for the Performing Arts wants to hear them – your deepest and darkest missive or your most hilarious and outrageous hidden gem.

The beauty of it is no one will know they are your secrets. You get to share publicly yet anonymously.

washington center postsecret
Secrets shared through the PostSecret project range from light-hearted and silly to serious and heart-wrenching. The wide range of secrets will be shared on stage during PostSecret: The Show.

It’s all part of an upcoming event scheduled for March 31 called PostSecret: The Show. The brainchild of Frank Warren, PostSecret is a project started in 2004 when Warren printed 3,000 postcards, blank on one side, with simply instructions and his address on the other, asking people to share a secret they’d never shared before. He walked the streets of Washington D.C., randomly handing them out to strangers, not knowing what to expect.

What he didn’t expect was to see his social experiment spread virally. Not only did his printed cards return, but all sorts of postcards arrived from around the nation and beyond. Warren shares his story in this TED Talk which to date has had nearly 2.8 million views. His website, PostSecret.com, is the most visited advertisement-free blog in the world.

“Secrets can take many forms,” says Warren. “They can be shocking or silly or soulful. They can connect us with our deepest humanity or with people we will never meet.”

washington center events
Founder Frank Warren joins the PostSecret: The Show cast on stage backed by a collage of some of the nearly 1 million secrets submitted to date.

These secrets, sent to Warren over the years, are shared on PostSecret.com each Sunday and have been compiled into five books to date in which Warren always includes one of his own secrets. The postcards are compelling. PostSecret visual art shows and the PostSecret performance show have toured the nation.

The Washington Center is excited to host PostSecret: The Show. It will feature three professional actors interacting with projected images and video to share some of the project’s most intriguing, humorous, and profound secrets. With over one million submitted secrets to choose from, the show’s content is rich and engaging and will leave audiences pondering their own secrets.

Show producers cite a sense of openness, connection and camaraderie that develops within the audience during a PostSecret show. The sense that “no one is ever alone” permeates theaters and auditoriums when the show takes the stage.

What can you expect? The show will include a variety of secrets including witty ones like “I give decaf to customers who are rude to me,” shared by a Starbucks barista on a card made from a flattened cup. Audiences will also experience heart-wrenching secrets like, “I wish I could go to school with no makeup and feel beautiful.”

Dramas, heroic and inspiring as well as devastating and tragic, are playing out in the secret lives of people all around us. As humans, we long to connect, but often the act of holding our secrets too close can keep people from knowing who we really are.

As part of the PostSecret: The Show, The Washington Center invites Thurston County residents to unburden themselves and share their secrets. The Center has created its own version of the PostSecret postcard called CenterSecrets. The postcard is easily downloaded here or picked up at The Washington Center itself. The cards, just like Warren’s originals, include an address, Warren’s simple instructions, and a blank space where you can share your secret.

The postcards will be collected throughout the month leading up to the March 31 show and displayed throughout the lobby on the night of the event. The secrets will then be taken by the PostSecret: The Show staff to be included in the collection of secrets to be utilized in future books, blog posts, and live shows.

washington center postsecret
In preparation for PostSecret: The Show, The Washington Center invites you to anonymously submit your own secret to be displayed in The Center lobby during the March 31 performance.

The Washington Center’s Director of Marketing Michael Cordier thinks PostSecret: The Show is perfect for Olympia and has already submitted his secret. “The wide variety of secrets that PostSecret shares should really reflect the variety right here in our own community,” he says. “One of our main missions at The Washington Center is to deliver diverse programming to engage our diverse community here in Thurston County and PostSecret will do just that.”

And, as a bonus, PostSecret founder Frank Warren will be on-site for the show. You’ll have to attend to find out if he has anything special in store for the Olympia performance.

washington center
The Washington Center hopes to fill their 987 seats with Thurston County residents eager to experience the PostSecret phenomenon live.

Are you thinking of your secret? I’ve already submitted mine. I’ll look for it hung on the wall during the March 31 performance, and, maybe, in an upcoming PostSecret book or show. You never know how sharing your own secret might powerfully impact someone else. Or, how sharing it might powerfully impact you.

PostSecret: The Show at The Washington Center for the Performing Arts
March 31, 7:30 p.m.
Tickets: $12 to $42
512 Washington St SE, Olympia


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