Intiman Theatre announced it will return in 2013 with a second summer festival of plays, building on the same 2012 format that brought back the theater after a near-collapse in 2011.
After a well-attended 2012 summer season that brought the company back from a severe financial crisis, Seattle’s Intiman Theatre plans to return in 2013 in the same format.
The next Intiman Theatre Festival will take place at Seattle Center’s Intiman Playhouse from June 22 to Sept. 15. It will again present four plays in repertory, with an ensemble of local actors.
The lineup, according to Intiman artistic director Andrew Russell, includes classic and modern works on topics “polite people don’t talk about at dinner: race, sex, politics and money.”
At least two of those subjects arise in “Stu for Silverton,” a world-premiere musical by writer Peter Duchan and composer Breedlove. Directed by Russell, who calls it “swift, quirky and fun,” the show is based on the real-life saga of transgender businessman Stu Rasmussen’s campaign to become mayor of Silverton, Ore.
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Sheila Daniels will stage “Lysistrata” by Aristophanes, a freewheeling version of the ancient Greek comedy about women who withhold sex from their husbands to end their warring.
“Trouble in Mind,” a topical, Obie Award-winning 1955 comedy by Alice Childress, focuses on racial tensions that surface among black and white theater artists rehearsing a play on Broadway. To be directed by Valerie Curtis-Newton, Russell says the play “is about issues we’re still addressing today in American theater.”
The fourth offering: “We Won’t Pay! We Won’t Pay!,” a satirical comedy by Italian farceur Dario Fo (“Accidental Death of an Anarchist”), about housewives trying to conceal their larcenous protest against the high price of groceries.
Like the 2012 fest, the 2013 follow-up is budgeted at $1 million. Intiman’s managing director, Keri Kellerman, says fundraising is under way, but if the full amount is not raised the fest could be downsized.
Intiman staffers are optimistic about donations, buoyed by audience and media responses to the 2012 season and by a Boeing grant of $15,000 to support “Trouble in Mind.”
The 2012 festival attendance of 15,000 reached a healthy 80 percent of Intiman’s projections, but that figure included free tickets given to Intiman ex-subscribers to make up for canceled 2011 shows.
Intiman also is making progress reducing the large fiscal debt that nearly killed the long-running company, Kellerman says. Through payments and renegotiated balances, the current amount owed to commercial vendors is $270,000, down from $560,000.
The theater also is gradually paying off $330,000 in overdue rent to Seattle Center on a multiyear plan. (Next year, Cornish College of the Arts will become the primary leaseholder of the building and will sublet space to Intiman.)
Says Russell, “The reaction to the work we did this year was motivating and encouraging.”
Adds Kellerman: “Now it’s about how to make it sustainable over time.”
Misha Berson: firstname.lastname@example.org