Intiman unveils summer festival plan
Intiman Theatre, which shut down earlier this year, is embarking on a fundraising campaign to establish a summer season of four productions.
Seattle Times theater critic
Intiman Theatre is embarking on a $1 million fundraising campaign to revive its suspended operations with a 2012 summer season of four productions.
In an announcement of the plan Monday at Seattle Center's Intiman Playhouse, the Intiman board of directors revealed it has raised $200,000 — $100,000 from board pledges and $100,000 from an anonymous donor — of the needed funds for the proposed 2012 season.
The summer festival, as outlined in a plan developed by Intiman consulting artistic director Andrew Russell, would present four productions based on ideas contributed by the multidisciplinary collective of 17 leading Seattle actors, directors, choreographers, playwrights and other artists.
The tentative lineup would include Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet," adapted to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and staged by Allison Narver; Henrik Ibsen's "Hedda Gabler," directed by Russell and choreographed by Olivier Wevers; a contemporary play staged by Valerie Curtis-Newton in the Intiman's small studio theater and outdoors in its courtyard; and a new "outlandish" work conceived by author-activist Dan Savage.
Russell says the hallmark of the festival will be creative diversity, and "classics done with a bold twist. That was the foundation of the Intiman when it was founded 40 years ago. We feel this programming, done by local artists with successful pedigrees, can appeal to audience members of the past as well as people who haven't yet set foot in our theater."
The $1 million production budget for 2012 must be raised by early February for the plan to be implemented, Russell said. "Whether someone has committed $20 or $5,000, we only will spend it if we reach our entire goal for the season."
This new pay-as-you-go procedure is one of several steps Intiman is taking to try to ease concerns about its financial stability. The plan would also give free 2012 subscriptions to Intiman's about 4,500 patrons who subscribed to the aborted 2011 season, which ended April 17.
However, Intiman holds a standing debt of about $1 million (including unpaid rent owed to its landlord, Seattle Center). And it is not clear whether the company or another arts group will manage the Intiman Playhouse over the entire year.
New Intiman board president and U.S. Bank executive Terry Jones said the theater has paid about $30,000 to creditors recently and will renegotiate its Seattle Center rental debt soon.
She speculated it could take two to three years to retire the theater's overall deficit, but suggested that by ensuring the company has the funds up front to pay for production costs, Intiman would not fall further in arrears.
Misha Berson: firstname.lastname@example.org
Information in this article, originally published November 15, 2011, was corrected Nov. 16, 2011. A photo caption in a previous version of this story misidentified Intiman Theatre board president Terry Jones.
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