Here's what the last week has brought us, theater nerds! Six items for you to know.
The Seattle Fringe Festival is back, starting this week. Read all about it here.
This summer, Intiman came back from the near-grave with a four-play summer festival. (You can read all about that here.) Since then, Intiman has been crunching numbers and it looks like their gambit worked.
Granted, these numbers come from Intiman, which probably wasn't going to give us stats on the number of hissy fits, meltdowns, and Valium pills consumed in the process of putting this thing together. But their version of the numbers looks pretty good:
Number of days in the festival: 53.
Number of performances in those 53 days: 82.
Total attendance: Almost 15,000.
Total number of rehearsal hours: Over 500.
Number of times the set changed: Over 60.
Number of community investors: 1 million dollars from over 1,000 individuals.
Number of individual drag performances: Over 200.
Total of "special" martinis sold: Over 200.
Record-breaking number of drinks pre-ordered for intermission in one performance: 46.
Number of new Likes on Facebook in the past nine months: Over 1,000.
Number of days until the theater announces its 2013 summer season: 120.
Number of days until the first performance: 285.
The 5th Avenue Theater, which has a great track record of developing musicals that eventually land on Broadway, provides 800 jobs to arts workers each season, and claims to be the "largest arts employer in the Pacific Northwest," has ended its season in the black and added an estimated $11 million to the downtown Seattle economy. (For more on how arts institutions contribute to economic development, see here.)
Stranger Genius Marya Sea Kaminski will star in a 2013 production of Next to Normal, an award-winning musical about a bi-polar mother. Balagan and Contemporary Classics will co-produce it. Brandon Ivie will direct.
Ripped straight from the press release:
Seattle, WA, September 20, 2012 – ACT – A Contemporary Theatre under the direction of Artistic Director Kurt Beattie officially announces the 2013 mainstage season. One of the most distinguished artists in the world, Sir Alan Ayckbourn, will stage his play, Sugar Daddies in the fall of 2013. Leading up to that is the musical Grey Gardens with The 5th Avenue Theatre, then the premiere of local playwright Katie Forgette’s disturbingly funny take on senior care, Assisted Living, followed by two of the hottest shows from New York’s stages last year, Jon Robin Baitz’s Other Desert Cities and Gina Gionfriddo’s Rapture, Blister, Burn, and then Middletown – Will Eno’s modern response to Thornton Wilder’s Our Town.
Also at ACT right now, From Uncle Ho to Uncle Sam by a badass Vietnamese actor named Trieu Tran. Our review, plus an interview with Tran, is here.
I previously reviewed This Land, a revival of a play about Woody Guthrie, by Strawberry Theater Workshop. I accidentally left after the first act—which I thoroughly enjoyed—since it felt full and complete. (I realized my mistake when reading the program, which I sometimes save until after I see a show, just to avoid preconceived notions.)
I went back to see the second act last weekend and it did not substantially change my thoughts about the play. It is a thoughtful and strong recounting of Guthrie's life, of how he managed to be a patriot and a revolutionary at the same time—positions that seem mutually exclusive these days, but aren't—and how we might take some cues from him and aspire to be revolutionary patriots.