Revamped Intiman plans 2013 summer festival
After a condensed 2012 summer season with strong attendance and supportive feedback, the revamped Intiman Theatre plans to go forward with...
Seattle Times theater critic
After a condensed 2012 summer season with strong attendance and supportive feedback, the revamped Intiman Theatre plans to go forward with another four-show, two-month play festival in 2013, according to staffers.
"We did it all, we did everything we said we were going to do in 2012," says Intiman manager Keri Kellerman.
That checklist included raising a budget of $1 million in several months, after the heavily indebted and cash-poor Intiman curtailed its 2011 season last spring. Other goals achieved: assembling a collective of noted local artists to guide the theater, and staging a "festival" of two classic plays and two contemporary works with a repertory acting ensemble.
The total festival attendance of about 14,000 reached Intiman's projections, says Kellerman. And ticket sales raised about $70,000 toward next year's event.
Overall attendance was a robust 60-70 percent of capacity, Kellerman notes, though about 50 percent of the tickets were freebies for 2011 subscribers, to make up for canceled shows last year. (About half of the 2011 subscribers attended festival shows; the other half did not.)
Kellerman says the festival budget will increase about 10-20 percent in 2013. "This year we had so many people and companies give us in-kind donations and reduced fees. We can't expect that to be repeated."
The next Intiman festival will begin earlier, in late June rather than July, "to give us the flexibility to extend without running into Bumbershoot." In lieu of subscriptions, Intiman will offer all-festival passes.
Critical response to this year's event, which ended Sunday, was mixed but mainly upbeat. According to Intiman artistic director Andrew Russell, the breakout box-office hit was "Miracle!" a raunchy parody of "The Miracle Worker" by Dan Savage set in a gay drag bar.
"I'm proud that [our] artistic risks paid off, showing that audiences are hungry for work that goes against the grain and is audacious," Russell said.
Meanwhile, Intiman is chipping away at its two-pronged accumulated debt, thanks to contributions from individuals and renegotiation with creditors. The theater is on a payment plan to vanquish $320,000 in back rent owed to the city-owned Seattle Center. About $173,000 has been paid in 2012 to other creditors, with $352,000 still owing.
"We are continuing to negotiate with our creditors in good faith," Kellerman said, "and we have a plan in place to eliminate our remaining debt by the end of 2014."
Misha Berson: email@example.com