Wright Gone Wrong

A dispute over authorial credits threatens Intiman's production of Native Son. Plus: Band news.

 Wright Gone Wrong Last week, Intiman Theatre abruptly canceled and replaced a world premiere production of Native Son, just three weeks before it was to open. The problem boiled down to a dispute between playwright Cheryl L. West, who had penned a new adaptation of Richard Wright's masterwork, and the estate of the late playwright Paul Green, which owns half the stage rights to the novel. Green and Wright himself wrote a 1941 stage adaptation of the book, and the Green estate recently insisted that West's new version be billed as an adaptation of that earlier script. West balked, and refused to continue with the project. Intiman—which has been planning this production for years—is now replacing it with a new adaptation of the novel by director Kent Gash. The play will open a week later than planned, Fri., Oct. 27, without West attached to it. Too bad: West is a highly regarded playwright, and her nonlinear adaptation of one of the great American novels was highly anticipated. But Intiman no doubt felt it had no choice but to go ahead with some version of the novel: The production anchors its fall season, and is the third of five plays in the theater's five-year American Cycle of classic American texts. LYNN JACOBSON Janet Joins Jicks It's only been a matter of weeks since the curtain went down on Sleater-Kinney's 11-year career together, but for drummer Janet Weiss the show goes on. Quasi claims her and now so can veritable neighbor Stephen Malkmus as she lends her skills on the skins to his post-Pavement project, Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks. According to the Portland Mercury, Weiss joined Malkmus onstage last Friday at the Jupiter Hotel. . . . In other band news, Math and Physics Club set a release show for their eponymous debut full-length, Sat., Oct. 14, at the Sunset (with Boat and the Seaworthies). The group released two EPs, Belle & Sebastian–style, on Matinée, and have found success in the global indie-pop market. You won't want to miss their smart covers of the Beach Boys and Television Personalities, among others. AJA PECKNOLD AND KATE SILVER Cash for Creativity Brain City just got smarter—or at the very least richer, thanks to a $15 million grant to the University of Washington's creative writing program from the S. Wilson and Grace M. Pollock Foundation. It's the biggest grant ever received by the UW College of Arts and Sciences, and it will fund additional faculty members and student tuition assistance. The creative writing program already has a wealth of talented instructors, including National Book Award winner Charles Johnson and assorted Guggenheim fellows and MacArthur "geniuses." It also has many notable alumni, including Bainbridge Island's David Guterson (Snow Falling on Cedars)—who received a scholarship from the Pollock Foundation when he attended UW. LYNN JACOBSON

 
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