Tony-winning resident theatre, Intiman Theatre in Seattle, WA, has announced that its 2016 festival will focus specifically on black women playwrights. The 2016 lineup, co-curated by director Valerie Curtis-Newton and the theatre’s artistic director Andrew Russell, will feature work by Lydia R. Diamond, Alice Childress, and Adrienne Kennedy.
“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.’”
In addition to its production season, the Intiman Theatre will support a series of play readings from black women playwrights, produced by the Hansberry Project.
The season will open with Diamond’s “Stick Fly” (May 24 to 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 to 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 to Oct. 2), about an interracial couple that wants to get married in the South in 1918. Curtis-Newton will direct.
Meanwhile, the first set of readings produced by the Hansberry Project will be called “Can You Hear Me Now?” (July 12 to 16) and will feature readings of Dominique Morisseau’s “Sunset Baby,” “Sojourners” by Mfonsio Udofia, “Bright Half Life” by Tanya Barfield, “A Lovely Malfunction” by Shontina Vernon, and “In Her Own Words,” a sample 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 to 18), which will be curated by Dominique 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 women writers called “Black Women Wisdom” (Sept. 23 to 25).
Intiman Theatre was founded in 1972.