Back in black | With expanded fourth annual festival, Seattle’s Intiman Theatre shows its hand and hints at a full-fledged return (some day)

Could it be? Maybe one day? The return of Intiman – in name and scale?

While it may be too soon to prophesy, there is no denying that Seattle’s Intiman has been gathering strength and working out like a maniac to regain its fighting form since the extremely dramatic and sudden -er- vanishing act in 2011 that left America minus one of its most hallowed regional theatres.

With the year round theatre program gone, Intiman started up a small summer festival in 2012. Each year the old veteran shows a little more game – and ambition. If we were in a comeback movie, this would be the part where Mickey Rourke is in the basement hitting the punching bag 24-7. One by one, the neighborhood gang who had previously written off the guy as hopelessly over the hill stop and stare through the window. “Hey Louie, I think he might pull this off…”

Intiman announced its fourth annual summer festival this week, and the kid’s got game. Intiman is not coasting. Seattle’s once and future grand house is amping up and setting sail. We said bring it. They did.

If you’ve missed out on the last three festivals – you have seriously missed out. Spend one of those September endless summer weekends in Seattle and take in a few shows.

This year features a rare performance of ORPHEUS DESCENDING by Tennessee Williams (at the Seattle’s new 12 Ave Arts theatre space). You dare not miss that.

Here’s a profile piece by Misha Berson of the Seattle Times.

The old Intiman comes alive each summer.  And maybe one day...?
The old Intiman comes alive each summer. And maybe one day…?

2015 Intiman Theatre Festival

“The Hunt is On”

ORPHEUS DESCENDING
by Tennessee Williams
7.10 – 8.2 at 12 Ave Arts Mainstage

This audience-immersive production of Orpheus Descending, Tennessee Williams’ modern retelling of the ancient Greek Orpheus legend, features eight actors in a black box space who create the show in real-time before and among the audience.

While remaining true to Williams’ script, this production infuses pop music and contemporary trends to change the lens we use to view this important piece of the American theatre canon.

JOHN BAXTER IS A SWITCH HITTER
by Ana Brown & Andrew Russell
8.18 – 9.27 at Intiman Theatre

Inspired by a true story, this new comic drama explores the unlikely modern-day witch hunt that changed the course of the 2008 Gay Softball World Series held in Seattle.

When one team accuses its competitor of having “too many straights” on their gay softball team, a makeshift tribunal commences and quickly devolves into Facebook-hunting, in-your-face interrogation, and pointed personal questions before a crowd of virtual strangers.

THE CHILDREN’S HOUR
by Lillian Helman
9.9-27 at Intiman Theatre

A classic and controversial play of its time, The Children’s Hour tells the story of two private girls’ school headmistresses who are falsely accused by a student of being in a romantic relationship, and who lose everything in the ensuing witch hunt.

Written in 1932, The Children’s Hour shines a harsh light on the power of a lie to destroy a life (even when the lie is later proven untrue). The play was banned in some cities, produced with acclaim in others, and made into a controversial 1961 film starring Audrey Hepburn, Shirley MacLaine, and James Garner.

BUT WAIT – DON’T ANSWER YET – THERE’S MORE

This is the hooky marketing part of the message where we force you to visit Intiman’s cool web site to find out about the three additional events that are part of this year’s festival.