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Tracy Michelle Hughes and Burton Curtis in "Trouble in Mind" by Alice Childress at the Intiman Theatre. (Photo by Chris Bennion)

Intiman Theatre’s 2016 Festival Will Focus on Black Female Playwrights

The Seattle theatre will produce works by Lydia R. Diamond, Alice Childress, and Adrienne Kennedy.

SEATTLE: The Intiman Theatre has announced the lineup for its 2016 festival, which will feature work by Lydia R. Diamond, Alice Childress, and Adrienne Kennedy. The festival is co-curated by director/educator Valerie Curtis-Newton and the theatre’s artistic director Andrew Russell.

“Intiman is one of my artistic homes so doing this work with them is a special joy,” Curtis-Newton said in a statement. “Together, we are going to create a moment worthy of national attention. One that says, ‘These writers are valued—even in the fifth whitest city in the country…Look at how rich the fabric of our community is. Look at how we embrace the challenge of bridging our differences. Look at how we are willing to face the fear around confronting the issue of race.’”

The season will open with Diamond’s Stick Fly (May 24–June 19), about a black family who gather for their annual trip to Martha’s Vineyard, where two brothers are bringing home their girlfriends for the first time. Justin Emeka will direct.

Next will be a showcase of work by Kennedy (Aug. 5–7), as part of the Intiman’s Emerging Artists Program.

Closing the season will be Childress’s Wedding Band: A Love/Hate Story in Black and White (Sept. 6–Oct. 2), about an interracial couple that wants to get married in the  South in 1918. Curtis-Newton will direct.

In addition to its production season, the Intiman will support a series of play readings from black female playwrights, produced by the Hansberry Project.

The first set of readings will be called “Can You Hear Me Now?” (July 12–16) and will feature readings of Sunset Baby by Dominique Morisseau, Sojourners by Mfonsio Udofia, Bright Half Life by Tanya Barfield, A Lovely Malfunction by Shontina Vernon, and In Her Own Words, a sampler of work from local writers Kathya Alexander, Rosalind Bell, Alma Davenport, Nina Foxx and Storme Webber.

The second set of readings will be called “Untamed—Body, Hair, Attitude” (July 17–18), which will be curated by Morisseau, and will feature readings of Melanin Intervention by Chisa Hutchinson, The Hair Play by Cori Thomas, San Francisco Cab by Lenelle Moïse, White-­n-Luscious by Jocelyn Bioh, and Peace Officer Privilege by Nikkole Salter.

The Hansberry Project, with support from Intiman Theatre, will also host a gathering of black female writers called “Black Women Wisdom” (Sept. 23–25).

Intiman Theatre is a Tony-winning resident theatre founded in 1972. It currently produces a summer-fall festival featuring socially progressive work.

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