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Artist Spotlight

Five Friday Questions with Kaytlin McIntyre

Kaytlin McIntyre is a Kansas City-bred theatre director whose most recent work, the well-received world premiere Zapoi! At Annex (written by previous 5 Fri Q’er Quinn Armstrong) runs through February 21 (tomorrow). She’s also the literary and casting associate at the Seattle Rep, where she started as an intern back in 2011. She handles casting and new play development like the Writer’s Group (showcase June 12-21) and Justin Huertas’ upcoming indie-musical Lizard Boy (opening April Fools' Day).

I caught up with McIntyre via email at a national college theatre convention in Ellensburg for this installment of Five Friday Questions.  

What’s the best performance you’ve seen lately?
Now I’m Fine at On the Boards in December left me totally undone. [ed: the third 5 Fri Q shout-out for Mr. Oluo!] To this day I have trouble articulating that particular emotional catharsis, so I’ll throw you some adjectives: hypnotic, heartbreaking, seductive, disastrous, hopeful.

On the topic of hope, a year ago I was in Myanmar and happened across a political rally featuring Aung San Suu Kyi, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize and possible president. My Burmese is a bit rusty so I understood little, but she had more poise and command than anyone I’ve witnessed in front of a microphone. I could compare it to a 2008 Obama speech, but that doesn’t do it justice. For some of the faces in the crowd--faces that have lived under a brutal military dictatorship--this was like watching Nelson Mandela speak in post-Apartheid Africa. She is source of national pride and optimism. Most Burmese refer to her reverently as “the lady”.

What’s the best meal in Seattle?
I was born with no sense of smell, which means my taste buds have the sophistication of an eleven year old at Dairy Queen. If it’s excessively sweet or excessively salty, I’m probably on board. That being said, the blasted broccoli at Black Bottle in Belltown has rearranged my whole relationship to broccoli. That is some air-brushed, underwear model, pornographic kind of broccoli. It sets unrealistic expectations for vegetables everywhere.

What music gets you pumped up? What do you listen to when you’re sad?
Sleater-Kinney’s decade hiatus was worth the wait. “Price Tag,” in particular, is a scorcher. It pumps me up for kicking ass and staging mutinies.

I just bought Tracy Chapman’s self-titled at a vinyl record convention in Eugene last weekend. The yearning is almost unbearable, if you’re not sad when you start it, you will be by the time you hear “be someone, be someone, be someone…”

What sunny weather activity are you most looking forward to?
Despite all my better adult judgments, I just dropped the big bucks for Sasquatch at the Gorge. I’m typically a stingy killjoy with a “sale-bin-at-Grocery Outlet” frugality but I’ve never been to a music festival and feel as if my Seattle membership is pending until I make this commitment. And, once again, I can’t smell so that eliminates a lot of the carnal discomforts of sweating it out to Gogol Bordello with the Evergreen freshman class.

I’m also getting married this summer, which is exciting. Maybe I should have led with that?

What’s the most useful thing anyone’s ever taught you about working in theatre?
Anyone can take a car apart, but few people can put one together. It’s pretty easy to pick out flaws, but takes a bit of skill to find what works and what the right parts are that just need proper assembly.

I’ve also learned a valuable lesson from Erin Kraft and the late, great Jerry Manning about the power of emergency desk whiskey.

See Zapoi! at Annex (closing tomorrow!) and Lizard Boy at Seattle Rep March 27 through April 26.