Intiman Theatre Names Jennifer Zeyl Artistic Director

The director, designer, an arts leader will take on the leadership role in December.

SEATTLE: Intiman Theatre has named Jennifer Zeyl the company’s seventh artistic director. She will begin her new role on Dec. 15, leading the organization with executive director Phillip Chavira and board president elect  Barbara Lewis.

“We are thrilled to welcome Jennifer Zeyl as our next artistic director,” said Kevin Malgesini, current president of the Intiman board of trustees, in a statement. “Jennifer brings years of experience and a commitment to use her art and voice to explore stories that wrestle with the inequities we see in America today. All of this wedded to the highest level of artistic excellence.”

Jennifer Zeyl.

Zeyl is the curator and creative director of Genre Bender at City Arts Magazine. She is the founding co-artistic director of Washington Ensemble Theatre, and the proprietress of Canoe Social Club. She has designed and produced more than 120 productions nationally, including works at the Guthrie Theater, Two River Theatre, the Rose, the Public Theater, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Seattle Children’s Theatre, and ACT Theatre. She is the recipient of the Stranger’s  2006 Genius Award,  she was named “Best Scenic Designer in Seattle” by Seattle Weekly in 2005,  she received two Footlight Awards from the Seattle Times in 2006, and she has won the Gregory Falls Best Set Design twice. She has also been recognized by the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, Artist Trust, 4Culture, and National Endowment for the Arts. She holds an MFA MFA in Scenic Design from the University of Washington, and BFAs in stage directing, theatre design, and fine art from the University of Rhode Island.

We will hold underrepresented stories to the light while centering new artists, unlikely combinations, and lived true stories, reminding our audience and artists alike that we are what makes America great,” said Zeyl in a statement. “We will look at issues of identity, race, visibility, gender and an allegory on colonization.”

Intiman Theatre, founded in 1972, recovered in 2011 from a near-closure due to debt and mismanagement in the wake of an abortive succession that saw Kate Whoriskey take over as artistic director briefly after the tenure of Bartlett Sher. In the interim, producing artistic director Andrew Russell led the theatre back into solvency with a summer festival producing model.

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