Thursday, August 21, 2008


SEATTLE— Intiman Theatre Board President Susan J. Leavitt and Artistic Director Bartlett Sher announce that Brian Colburn has been selected as Intiman’s new Managing Director, following a national search. Colburn was the unanimous choice of the Intiman Search Committee, chaired by Trustee Cynthia Huffman and vice chaired by past Trustee Joel Bodansky, and his selection was approved by the full Board of Directors. He will assume his new position later this year.

“Brian brings a proven track record of excellent management skills, strong leadership internally and within his community, strategic financial planning and successful fundraising,” says Leavitt. “He also shares our belief that theaters are mission-based, and his connection to Intiman’s mission—a combination of great art, community engagement and civic participation—was immediately evident to all of us.”

Colburn comes to Intiman from the Pasadena Playhouse, where he has served as Managing Director since 2004. He has been affiliated with the Playhouse since 1997, advancing to the top management position through several internal promotions. During his tenure, Colburn has helped to establish Pasadena Playhouse as a leader in the Los Angeles theater community, in partnership with Artistic Director Sheldon Epps. He also steered the company to greater visibility and increased support from its audiences, donors and the philanthropic community.

“Brian seemed to be a potentially ideal partner from our very first conversation,” says Sher. “He is passionate about theater, and about community, and he is dedicated to fostering the kinds of circumstances that allow for the creation of great art and great storytelling. He’s an insightful manager and fundraiser, and a very considered and thoughtful person—and he’s got a great sense of humor. I value all of these qualities, and I’m looking forward to working with him to take Intiman on its next steps into the future.”

Colburn was selected after a national search led by Greg Kandel of Management Consultants for the Arts. He succeeds Laura Penn , who is now Executive Director of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers. Since March, Intiman has been under the leadership of Interim Managing Director Kevin Maifeld.

“We conducted an intensive national search to find the right person for Intiman,” said Huffman of the seven-month search process, which was vetted by an 11-member Search Committee and 9-member Advisory Committee. “We are thrilled with Brian’s appointment.”

As Managing Director, Colburn is responsible for Intiman’s institutional and financial affairs, and for guiding its strategic planning efforts through community relations, education and audience development. Intiman’s annual budget is $5.7 million and it currently has 9,500 subscribers.

“When the Intiman opportunity presented itself,” says Colburn, “I instantly recognized a very special American theatre with a tremendous sense of community among its artists and supporters. Intiman has always been an innovative institution, and it has accomplished so much in the last decade under the leadership of Bart Sher . Its challenge, as presented to me by its Board and staff leaders, is to not sit back and enjoy recent successes, but to keep moving forward and to propel all of its artistry and creativity into the future. This is a challenge that moved me at this stage of my career, and I very much look forward to adding my efforts to the cause of supporting Intiman."

Intiman Theatre, founded in 1972, received the 2006 Regional Theatre Tony Award. It produces classics and new plays, created by artists who make their home in Seattle and nationally recognized artists, all of whom are dedicated to engaging our community in conversation and to having an impact on our culture locally and nationally. World premieres include The Light in the Piazza by Craig Lucas and Adam Guettel; Prayer for My Enemy and Singing Forest, both by Craig Lucas; Native Son, Kent Gash’s adaptation of the novel by Richard Wright; Nickel and Dimed, Joan Holden’s adaptation of Barbara Ehrenreich’s nonfiction bestseller; and Robert Schenkkan’s The Kentucky Cycle, winner of the Pulitzer Prize. Intiman serves multigenerational audiences through its commitment to community engagement and civic dialogue, and reaches more than 10,000 students annually through the statewide arts education program Living History, for which it has been honored with the Golden Apple Award, and special programs presented through the American Cycle series of classic stories and community programs.

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