Someday, actors will again put Seattle Central’s Capitol Hill theater spaces back to work. When the lights come up, the spotlight will fall on a new partnership for the Broadway school that will shine light on social justice — and equity in the vital theater roles behind the scenes.
Last week, the college announced it is making a new home for longtime Seattle arts group the Intiman Theater that will create a new associate degree program emphasis in Technical Theatre for Social Justice at the school — and help to provide training and roles for diverse designers, lighting techs, and theater crews.
“We look forward to working with Intiman to provide students with a pathway into the world of technical theater. This partnership is a vivid model of how to better serve our students and how to close the opportunity gaps in our community,” college president Dr. Sheila Edwards Lange said in a statement.
The new agreement and program slated to start in fall of 2021 puts an end of the recent wanderings of Intiman production and, hopefully, years of financial uncertainty. The Seattle Time reports the theater group hopes to raise $1.5 million to back the move to Capitol Hill.
It will also put Intiman to work on Seattle Central’s stages inside Harvard Ave’s Erickson Theater and inside the Broadway Performance Hall. It might also provide a glimmer of light for those hoping Seattle Central’s recent directions around the arts might bring an end to theater at the school. Seven years ago, Seattle Central found itself dedicating theater space for use during classes as it faced a space crunch for instruction. Those pressures have remained. Last year, CHS reported on long-term planning that would also rededicate the historic performance hall and carve up the venue into additional space needed to meet curriculum needs.
Seattle Central also owns the classic Egyptian Theatre across the street, revived by SIFF in a 10-year deal struck in 2014.
The college’s campus, meanwhile, remains mostly quiet as its adjusts to providing remote learning during the COVID-19 restrictions and hopes to stave off severe impacts from likely budget cuts.
The new SCC-Intiman program begins in the fall quarter of 2021 with curriculum developed in conjunction with the theater. Applications are now being accepted.
SCC says the training will offer “learning in technical theatre elements including costumes and properties fabrication, stage lighting, electrics, projections, audio engineering, and scenic carpentry and painting.” Up to 40 students will be accepted per year, “where they will work alongside Union professionals on Intiman’s mainstage productions during their practicum labs.” The program provides graduates a direct transfer to four-year schools.
According to the announcement, Intiman plans to present three productions at SCC venues during their 2021-22 season, with the first play opening in November 2021, pending COVID-19 health mandates.
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