The Intiman Theatre of Seattle turns 30 years old in 2002 with artistic director Bartlett Sher helming Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus and a return to his Obie-winning production of Waste, as well the world premieres of Theresa Rebeck's adaptation of The Bells and a theatrical version of Barbara Ehrenreich's book "Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America." Season 2002 opens April 3 with Titus.
Harley Granville Barker's turn-of-the-century drama Waste was given its American premiere by Sher at New York City's Theatre for a New Audience in 2000. Banned until 1936, British actor, director and playwright Barker's Waste, an election time drama set against a Tory candidate's abortion scandal, was too much for England's Lord Chamberlain, who forbade the 1907 production of the drama at London's Court Theatre. For the next thirty years, the play was revised again and again until the 1930's saw the first public performance at the Westminster Theatre, directed by Barker and Michael MacOwen. In New York, Byron Jennings starred as the politician Henry Trebell with Intiman's Kristin Flanders as Amy O'Connell, the woman with whom he becomes involved.
Set in Gold Rush Alaska, The Bells is taken from a popular 19th Century melodrama about Mathias, a businessman and community leader whose good works conceal a horrible crime in his past. The play was a hit of the Victorian Era and theatre legend Sir Henry Irving played in it more than 800 times. Rebeck is the author of The Butterfly Collection (also directed by Sher), View of the Dome and Spike Heels.
Ehrenreich, in her New York Times bestseller "Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America," spends a month each as a waitress, a maid and a Wal-Mart sales clerk. Pretending to be an inexperienced housewife coming back into the job market, she examines the life of unskilled, low-wage workers. Her other books include "Blood Rites: Origins and History of the Passions of War" and "Fear of Falling: The Inner Life of the Middle Class."
The Intiman will also stage Moliere's Scapin and another play to be announced. Scapin will be directed by Christopher Bayes of Theatre de la Jeune Lune and the Guthrie Theater. Subscriptions are $66-$222. Single tickets to 2002 productions will go on sale Feb. 24, 2002. The Intiman Theatre is located in the Seattle Center at 201 Mercer St. For reservation information, call (206) 269 1900. The Intiman Theatre is on the web at http://www.intiman.org.
— By Christine Ehren