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Intiman Theatre reaches pledge goal, avoids shutting down

February 7, 2012 |  8:45 am


The Intiman Theatre in Seattle will continue to operate, albeit on a drastically scaled-back level, after receiving pledges amounting to $1 million that were needed to stay in business.

Last week, the highly regarded company set itself a fundraising ultimatum to raise $1 million or close its doors on Tuesday. The company said it came down to the wire, with the final pledge coming in on Friday evening that allowed the company to reach the $1-million mark.

The donations will allow the Intiman to proceed with its planned four-play summer festival season. "After so many months of bad news, the chance to fight for something good felt refreshing," said Andrew Russell, the company's artistic director, in a phone interview Monday.

He said a full season of the type of plays that the Intiman used to produce isn't foreseeable in the short term. "The theater's plans are to move forward in this format," said Russell. "There are no plans to move back to the year-round model of before."

Last year, the Intiman shut down in midseason because of a budget shortfall. The 40-year-old company was once among the top regional theaters in the country and has earned accolades for its productions, some of which have transferred to Broadway, including "The Light in the Piazza."

Russell said every donation in the latest pledge campaign came from individuals -- none from corporations, grants or foundations.

The Intiman said it would honor 2011 subscription tickets in the 2012 season. The four summer productions will be Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet," Ibsen's "Hedda Gabler," a new production by sex columnist Dan Savage and a classic American play whose title has not yet been announced.

Russell said the company currently has a core staff of six, with some working part time. That's down from 30 to 40 people at various times in the past, according to Russell.


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-- David Ng

Photo: The Intiman Theatre's website features images of its supporters. Credit: Intiman Theatre