Seattle's Intiman Theatre is launching an emergency fundraising drive to raise $1 million by September — beyond what the theater had already planned to raise for the 2011 season. The funds are needed so Intiman can continue its current level of operation, says the theater's board president Kim Anderson.

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The Intiman Theatre, one of Seattle’s flagship drama companies and a Tony Award honoree, must raise $1 million by September, in addition to its planned annual goal of $1.75 million, or it cannot meet its production expenses for the season, says Intiman board president Kim Anderson.

It is launching an immediate emergency fundraising drive.

In a statement issued Friday, Anderson blamed “inflated budget projections, unpaid bills and a complete lack of financial and accounting oversight” for leaving the theater “dangerously low on cash.” To meet its immediate obligations, she said, Intiman must raise an extra $500,000 by March 31, an additional $250,000 by June, and $250,000 more by September.

Amid intensifying rumors of its financial instability, Intiman went public with its fiscal problems last fall. Since then, the company has raised $874,315 — $348,598 from its board of directors. But the company needs a total of $2.75 million, Anderson told the Times, to ensure the company’s future and its planned 2011 season, which is set to begin in March with Arthur Miller’s “All My Sons.” Intiman’s annual budget is an estimated $5 million.

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Intiman recently appointed a new acting manager, former development director Melaine Bennett, and a new interim CEO, Barbara Anderson (no relation to Kim Anderson). The former managing director, Brian Colburn, resigned Nov. 1, 2010.

The company is also forging a new 2011 budget, and has laid off one employee (the marketing manager), reduced its staff time to a four-day workweek, caught up on tax payments, commenced a new audit and created a rent-repayment plan with its landlord, the Seattle Center.

Intiman has been a leading professional theater in Seattle since its founding in 1972 by Margaret Booker. Specializing first in classic plays, the company in recent decades has focused more on nationally recognized contemporary works.

Though she acknowledges this is a difficult time to raise substantial sums for arts groups, Kim Anderson said, “There is a general feeling we’ve gotten, even from other arts organizations, that you can’t allow Intiman to fail. The work’s too important to the infrastructure of the entire local arts community, and to the actors, the carpenters, the costumers and others we help support.”

Under the command of former artistic director Barlett Sher, Intiman earned a Tony Award in 2006 for outstanding American regional theater, and it launched the Tony-honored musical “The Light in the Piazza.” Sher left the company in 2009 and was succeeded by the current artistic director, Kate Whoriskey, in 2010.

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