Resurrected by a vigorous fundraising campaign, INTIMAN THEATRE enters its 40th year this month after financial woes forced it to shut down abruptly in 2011. Considering the many revisions to the theater’s leadership and mission, it may seem more like the company’s first season. Led by new Artistic Director Andrew Russell, Intiman has a small repertory company of 17 local actors putting together a memorable (and cost-effective) summer festival. These aren’t plays to watch when your mind is drifting; the subject matter concerns abstract arguments and mixed-up heroes tackling real-life problems. The festival offerings will run in repertory, with previews starting July 5.
• Seattle luminary Allison Narver directs Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet. Amid the bravado swordplay and lustful soliloquies, Narver’s version highlights the contemporary relevance of the play’s portrayal of a place plagued by constant and deep-seated violence.
• Andrew Russell directs Henrik Ibsen’s tragic Hedda Gabler, about a gal who can’t seem to get a break, featuring Marya Sea Kaminski in the title role, and, in an innovative twist, choreography and movement direction by former Pacific Northwest Ballet star Olivier Wevers.
• Valerie Curtis-Newton, head of the directing program at the University of Washington’s School of Drama, directs Dirty Story, by John Patrick Shanley, which promises to offend everyone—on purpose. The play is an allegorical and darkly comic mining of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, told via the interactions of a sadomasochist couple.
• Coming out of left field, The Stranger’s Dan Savage takes a break from his regularly scheduled MTV show to dust off his theater chops and present his own original play, Miracle!, described as “Helen Keller meets Seattle’s 1990s drag scene.”
7/5–8/26. Times vary. $30 per play (free for 2011 Intiman subscribers). Intiman Theatre, 201 Mercer St.; intiman.org.