On Saturday, Intiman Theatre launched its #ShowTheLove campaign with an intimate evening of conversation and performance at The Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center. The vibe was casual, as team members mingled among the guests wearing black t-shirts emblazoned with the campaign’s cool design. (VS Executive Editor Sarah Caples and I both wanted one.)
The energy actually increased when the guests were seated in the auditorium to hear the plans for Intiman’s 2017 programming, co-curated by writer/performer Sara Porkalob and Intiman’s Producing Artistic Director, Andrew Russell. After three years of labeling itself as a “festival,” Intiman has decided to drop that title, as its work off-stage has expanded, with community events and its emerging artist program in summer.
That said, its feature productions this year are quite exciting. After her fantastic 2015 production of BOOTYCANDY, director Malika Oyetimein returns to Intiman to direct Barbecue by Robert O’Hara. Oyetimein calls O’Hara “a genius at making you laugh at things that are usually not funny,” and says of Barbecue “People tend to embrace the things that make us different rather than the complexities that make us all human beings. We want to turn that idea on its head with this story.”
Intiman Theatre’s 2017 Season Launch Party
Photography by Alex Garland
In addition to hearing about Intiman’s plans for 2017, the crowd was treated to a variety of performances. Poet Lisa Chavez opened things up with a heartfelt slam poem recital. Choreographer Alice Gosti introduced a character study from a larger body of work to be premiered later this year. For that piece, dancer Lorraine Lau wore a frock covered with keys that Gosti created (and may have been seen by audiences at Out of Sight in King Street Station during the 2016 Seattle Art Fair).
The dance left keys scattered across the stage, which were quickly cleared as Princess Charming took the stage to sing, accompanied by looped guitar, courtesy of Andy Burian. To finish off the performances, Sara Porkalob transfixed the crowd with anecdotes about her grandmother, the inspiration for her musical solo show Dragonlady. Previous iterations of the Dragonlady have been staged in Seattle, but none have fully realized the production. The capstone for Intiman Theatre 2017’s season will be a full production of the show.
Artistic Director Andrew Russell believes that the play is destined for national productions, and based on the snippet that the audience saw on Saturday, I’m inclined to agree. At turns funny, sexy and foreboding, Porkalob’s biographical work is instantly entertaining and illuminating.
#ShowTheLove: The Campaign
To produce this season, the company is seeking to raise $100K in the next two weeks through its #ShowTheLove campaign. Individual fundraisers are working to fulfill goals small and not-so-small. This is, in fact, a modest budget for how much work the Intiman Theatre is doing with its main stage productions and other events, including its emerging artist program in the summer. On such a modest budget, every dollar truly matters.
If you wish to support Intiman Theatre’s mission, check out the fundraising website and see testimonials from artists and audiences. If you are a true theater lover, consider becoming a team leader and get others interested in arts and culture locally. At a time when there is so much out there dividing and distracting us from intimate and empathetic experiences, it is a prime time to show the love for artistic organizations driven to show love back, in all its complex forms.
Featured photo: Lorraine Lau dances in a piece by Alice Gosti. Photo by Alex Garland.