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Originally published Wednesday, July 6, 2011 at 7:49 PM

Intiman interviewing artists about company revival

Seattle's Intiman Theatre, which canceled its 2011 season in April, is talking with local theater artists about ideas for the company's revival.

Seattle Times theater critic

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The board of directors of Intiman Theatre, which laid off its staff and canceled its 2011 season in April due to crushing financial debt, is inviting local theater artists to submit potential blueprints for reviving the company.

Intiman board chair and hotelier Bruce Bradburn said the trustees have been meeting to consider possible options for future restructuring and fundraising for the operation. But he added that deciding on an artistic and production plan for Intiman is an even bigger priority, if the organization is to move forward.

"We recently had a forum with a really good group of a dozen local artists who've worked with Intiman, including some former associate artistic directors, actors, some costume and set designers, the whole gamut," said Bradburn. Throughout July there will be individual discussions with artists about their visions for the company's future, but "this isn't a formal hiring process for a new artistic director," he said.

However, Bradburn said choosing a particular artistic course and leadership for Intiman, or deciding that the deeply indebted theater is simply no longer viable, "is a relatively imminent decision. We have to be on track to know where we're going by October 1, if we want to start approaching funders."

Asked about the odds of survival for Intiman, one of Seattle's most prominent drama institutions since its founding in 1972, Bradburn said he is "not pessimistic; but let's say cautiously optimistic."

Meanwhile, Seattle Shakespeare Company is considering staging one or two of its 2011-12 productions at the Intiman playhouse, according to company spokesman Jeff Fickes.

As for the patrons who purchased 2011 subscriptions to Intiman, the theater's website lists 19 local performing-arts groups that will honor Intiman tickets for their productions, and Bradburn said a half-dozen other groups have also joined the effort. Information: www.intiman.org.

Misha Berson: mberson@seattletimes.com

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