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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, July 5, 2013 - Volume 41 Issue 27
Fearless 4 - Intiman's second annual festival explores a quartet of 'taboo' topics
Arts & Entertainment
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Fearless 4 - Intiman's second annual festival explores a quartet of 'taboo' topics

by Michelle Sanders - Special to the SGN

INTIMAN THEATRE FESTIVAL
Through September 15


Summer is here, which means it's time for the Intiman Theatre Festival. This year's festival brings to life four plays that talk about topics a polite person shouldn't discuss at dinner: race, sex, politics, and money, and includes a brand-new musical about America's first openly Transgender mayor.

Intiman produces theater that is relevant to our time and as diverse as the community in which we live, and this year is producing four underrepresented stories with a creative team that is equally divided by gender. Seattle Gay News has the full scoop on each of the plays.

TROUBLE IN MIND
By Alice Childress, directed by Valerie Curtis-Newton

New York, 1957: An integrated theater company gathers to rehearse a new play - the one they hope will be the next big hit on the Great White Way. Against the backdrop of misperceptions and stereotypes within the company, veteran actress Wiletta Mayer grapples with the choice between a once-in-a-lifetime chance to play the lead role in a Broadway show, and the cost of compromising her principles. Trouble in Mind is a groundbreaking backstage story of egos and attitudes, and an insightful look at who we are and who we want to be.

'I am an unabashed fan of Alice Childress,' says director Valerie Curtis-Newton. 'Why do I love her work so much? Simply put, she writes the kinds of plays I want to direct. Passionate. Tender. Fierce and funny. It is fitting that she is included in a festival taking on race, sex, politics, and money. Ms. Childress writes about them with such deftness that we are thoroughly entertained even as she pricks our conscience. That Trouble in Mind feels so relevant now, nearly 60 years later, is both a testament to Ms. Childress's insight and an invitation to continue the conversation.' (PG, 130 min.)

LYSISTRATA
By Aristophanes, directed by Sheila Daniels

Make love, not war! Lysistrata is a woman on a mission, rallying the women of her community to put an end to a senseless war by denying their husbands their most basic desires. It's the ultimate battle of the sexes! Directed by award-winner Sheila Daniels, Aristophanes' audacious story of an antiwar sex strike is brimming with innuendo and bawdy fun that has soul stirring insights into the folly of war and the struggles between the sexes. From director Sheila Daniels on her hysterical modern-day adaptation: 'I learned that the Army puts on a 'Soldier Show' every year, created and performed by active service members. I thought, what if we created a play within a play, set on a working Army base? What if the soldiers put on a Soldier Show, but decided to do an actual play, and that play was Lysistrata? When I told one of my now-friends who had served in Iraq the story of Lysistrata, his exact words were. 'That's hilarious, we would eat that shit up.' (PG-13, 85 min.)

STU FOR SILVERTON
Music and lyrics by Breedlove, book by Peter Duchan, directed by Andrew Russell

Once upon a time, not too long ago, a new American folk hero was born in the small town of Silverton, Oregon. A lifelong resident of Silverton, Stu Rasmussen was launched into the spotlight when he became America's first openly Transgender Mayor in 2008. Struggling to overcome the weight of adversity, Stu found uncompromising support and love in the most unlikely of places. Based on true-life events, with music and lyrics by Brooklyn-based songwriter Breedlove and book by acclaimed playwright Peter Duchan, this new musical blends Our Town with The Rocky Horror Show and tells a surprising story full of heart and hope in humanity. Stu's story is one of not compromising, being entirely yourself, and believing in the power of change - in cities big and small. (PG, 125 min.)

WE WON'T PAY! WE WON'T PAY!
By Dario Fo, directed by Jane Nichols

With the price of groceries on the rise, what's a gal to do? Spontaneously protest by stuffing food down her shirt and pretend to be pregnant, of course! This sidesplitting Dario Fo farce is a playful romp full of heart and hijinks, ultimately illuminating the buoyancy and resilience of the human spirit as it comes up against everyday life struggles. Directed by the queen of clowning, Jane Nichols, We Won't Pay! We Won't Pay! will unite audiences in laughter and remind us all of our common humanity.

From director Jane Nichols: 'You can't laugh at an idiot without recognizing yourself in [him or her]. You can't laugh at yourself without feeling a certain compassion, maybe even a certain wonder and delight in that Self, and in that human menagerie it belongs to. Comedy allows us to embrace ourselves.' (PG, 135 min.)

The Intiman Theatre Festival is performed entirely in repertory with a group of 23 local actors. For tickets and the full performance schedule, go to www.intiman.org or call 1-888-377-4510.

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