Intiman Theatre Makes Fundraising Progress to Continue 2011 Season

News   Intiman Theatre Makes Fundraising Progress to Continue 2011 Season
Seattle's Tony Award-winning Intiman Theatre, which presented a dire financial picture in February and was in danger of closing its doors, is making progress to continue its 2011 season.

According to a statement released by the organization March 15, nearly $175,000 in gifts and pledges have been raised towards the campaign to keep the Intiman open, and the remainder of the 2011 season will continue as planned. The Intiman has repaid $1.7 million of its debts and is aiming to start its 2012 season debt free.

In February the Intiman revealed it was facing a $1 million financial crisis and would need to raise $500,000 by the end of March, in addition to $250,000 by June and another quarter of a million by September in order to continue operation. Those figures still stand.

Members of the Seattle community have rallied around the Tony Award-winning regional company. A large gift from A Contemporary Theatre managing director Carlo Scandiuzzi and a production sponsorship from the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation have been essential in allowing operations to continue.

While ticket sales for a new African-American production of Arthur Miller's All My Sons, starring Tony Award winner Chuck Cooper, are "pacing well," Intiman acting managing director Melaine Bennett was cautiously optimistic in a statement.

"We are moving forward with the season and continuing to find ways to operate within a reduced budget and the cash on hand," she said. "Intiman is in a very challenging position and the need for community investment is still very great. The Impact Intiman fundraising campaign is critical to our success." Last fall, the board of trustees, led by Kim Anderson, unearthed what the Intiman characterized as a series of management failings, including inflated budget projections, unpaid bills and a lack of accounting oversight, which occurred during Brian Colburn's tenure as managing director. Colburn resigned last November, citing personal reasons.

The Intiman took emergency action, reducing its staff to a four-day workweek, reducing its 2011 budget by $1.4 million (a quarter of the previous 12-month budget) and making a public appeal to the greater Seattle community to lend financial support. The company is also looking to cut an additional $400,000 from its budget.

Kate Whoriskey succeeded Tony Award-winning director Bartlett Sher (South Pacific, The Light in the Piazza) as artistic director of the Intiman last March. Sher departed his position to become the resident director of Lincoln Center Theater.

The Intiman staged the world premieres of The Kentucky Cycle and The Light in the Piazza. It was also the first regional company to stage Tony Kushner's two-part epic Angels in America, after its Broadway debut.

All My Sons begins performances March 18.


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