Teeny Awards Recap 2024

Written by Team TeenTix

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On Sunday, January 28, 2024, we gathered again at On the Boards, dressed in our iconic MIRRORBALL outfits, to celebrate Arts Access and Youth Empowerment at our annual celebration of all things teen-- The Teeny Awards.The 2024 Teeny Awards was sponsored by foundry10, the Seattle Center, The 5th Avenue Theatre's Rising Star Project, and the Meany Center at the University of Washington. The award ceremony featured performances from local teen arts programs including Velocity Dance Center's Youth Choreographer's Club, the Village Theatre Institute, Washington State Arts Commissions Poetry Out Loud, and Three Dollar Bill Cinema's Reel Queer Youth! These performances reminded us of the wide array of talent throughout our community.

Our awardees this year represent our first cohort of "20 Under 20" Outstanding Teens, each of whom were nominated by arts leaders in TeenTix's network of Arts and Community Partners.The speeches from all of our winners were truly inspiring to all the youth and industry adults at the event. The community vibes were amazing and we had a lot of fun meeting many people for the first time in-person again! The Teeny Awards are back and bigger than ever, continuing to highlight the teen leadership in the Arts and Culture scene.

Thank you to our host, On the Boards, our incredible awardees, and the network of TeenTix supporters out there. Here’s to the next generation of the Teeny awards! The 2024 "20 Under 20" Outstanding Teens Julia Bradler from The 5th Avenue TheatreClaire E. from Powerful VoicesIrie from Powerful VoicesSayaan Nagpal from Powerful VoicesGavin Muhlfelder from KNHC c89.5Augustin Vazquez from The Vera ProjectAthena Davis from Village TheatreDaphne Bunker from TeenTixDaleceana from Speak With PurposePeter Ahern from Speak With PurposeMiles Hagopian from Speak With PurposeKyle Gerstel from Penguin ProductionsFish Harrison from ACT TheatreOlivia Qi from Seattle OperaLeila Neidlinger from Seattle RepEthan Mayo from Seattle Rep

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Iris' Picks for Bumbershoot 2023

Written by TeenTix Intern Iris Opal

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Hello! I’m Iris, an intern at Teentix, a solo music producer for 5 years, and a transsexual woman. My eclectic taste greatly influences my personal work, and informed my choices of artists from the Bumbershoot roster. I’m really excited to see the great selection of extremely talented acts that will be performing this year. They put a lot of effort into showcasing a diverse array of genres and artists in their roster. My choices from the lineup will feature genres such as: shoegaze, jazz, and punk music. After I give you a run-down on the artists I chose, I’ll give some recommendations for related music to check out #1 DOMi and JD Beck

DOMi, a French keyboardist, and JD Beck, an American drummer, are a contemporary jazz duo signed to Blue Note records, a label synonymous with some of the greatest jazz artists of all time. Some of my favorite jazz CDs feature Blue Note on the spine.

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Theatre in a Gym: Heartwarming Step by Performers Inspires New Talent

Written by TeenTix Writer, Adrija Jana

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As an elementary school student, Daira Rodriguez remembers being excited to go on a field trip to a show of Annie the Musical. However, when a sudden thunderstorm led to plans being canceled, the theatre team decided to come in and perform in the small gym inside the school, with nothing but costumes and props. Something about the gesture struck a chord with Daira, which it seems, never stopped resonating. A professional director, Daira recounts: "Honestly, I don’t know what it was about that grand gesture that made me beg my mom to sign me up for a youth theatre immediately afterwards—but I did. It was the first community I felt part of and the one I’ve consistently sought since. Something stuck I guess!"

Having decided to make a career in theatre, Daira admits that it has not always been easy, nor would it be, especially if you are not a male director. "For my family, it was about showing them that I was committed and that I could do it…And a responsible amount of lying—I was supposed to double major in something practical!"

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The Boxes We’re Kept In: Humanizing the Mythical Feminine

Written by TeenTix Writer Esha Potharaju

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Told for thousands of years, ancient mythology seems intransigent. How can one alter something so long standingly accepted? Enter Carolynne “Caro '' Wilcox and Hannah Votel: two playwrights who’ve built their careers on challenging rigid narratives. Together, they’ve combined forces to write and direct The Boxes We’re Kept In, which retells--and completely subverts--three Greek myths that each follow a woman who appears to succumb to a unique form of temptation.

There’s Persephone, who eats a pomegranate that traps her in the Underworld despite the fact that she was warned against it. Psyche, who was instructed by the god of love, her husband, to never look upon his face (spoiler: she did anyway). And finally, Pandora, who is said to have been the first woman on Earth. Gifted a box that she could never open, Pandora gives in to her curiosity, only to realize that she’s released every plague on humanity that one could imagine.

“The common thread in these three pieces is these women aren’t necessarily told what would happen if they did the thing. They just expect you to make the right choice,” said Wilcox.

Describing how these mythical women are typically vilified or infantilized for their choices, Votel said, “People have these preconceived notions of these characters.” Their goal with the play is to challenge such notions. Rather than painting a picture in black and white, Wilcox and Votel chose to represent them as complex, relatable characters who possess flaws, strengths, and desires.

Plays in this style aren’t new to Wilcox. Greek theater captivated her early in her life, which led to her decision to do something from Ancient Greece for her graduate school performance thesis. But there was one pitfall: “The thing that’s really annoying,” said Wilcox, ”is that so many of the Greek female characters are so passive and unresponsive. They’re often not the protagonists in their own stories.”

Wilcox knew that instead of following a preexisting Greek story, she had to write one of her own. The result was Loom, which casts the three Fates of Greek myth as its protagonists. Loom explores the agency of these female figures, a theme which is also prevalent in The Boxes We’re Kept In. “With a snap of the fingers,” said Wilcox, “a woman can be deemed as somebody who made a terrible choice that destroyed the entire world and all of its creations because she dared to open a box. Or she dared to follow an intriguing man down into the underworld. Or she dared to have the desire to look upon her husband’s face. These are all very simple choices that anybody could have made. And I think that these stories and these characters would be looked at in a very different light if they were men.”

In addition to subverting mythos of the female archetype, The Boxes We’re Kept In also challenges the notion of what theater can look like. The play is fully relayed in audio format. A singular actor plays a variety of roles through the usage of voice modulation technology. “Theater doesn’t have to look like a proscenium stage where the audience sits in the back and claps their hands and then leaves,” said Votel, who has been acting since the fourth grade. Their desire to overcome “this Eurocentric and able-bodied norm that we have right now” stems from their personal experiences as someone who is physically disabled. “Theater still exists--it’s valid and valued--even when it’s not big and everyone is doing high kicks and twirling around…Just because we don’t usually see [voice modulation], it’s not necessarily lesser than. Part of the goal is to put out a piece of theater that’s unlike something that some people have seen.”

Wilcox and Votel’s commitment to breaking the molds of myth and theater shines in this fresh new piece. The plights of Persephone, Psyche, and Pandora, while immortalized, have never before been told in this way. By pushing the boundaries of storytelling, the two playwrights demonstrate that imagination will allow them to dismantle established narratives and reshape them into meaningful, resonating tales.

The Boxes We’re Kept In is presented as part of the Strawberry Jam Director's Festival running June 8th-July 8th, 2023. With new titles every weekend, SJAM is dedicated to providing local directors with the opportunity to grow their craft through practice. Check out the full SJAM 2023 Line Up Here

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Caught up in a Wave at Ballard’s National Nordic Museum

Written by TeenTix Alumni, Haley Zimmerman.

An afternoon at Ballard’s National Nordic Museum, a brand-new TeenTix partner, left me oriented and disoriented — both, I would say, in a good way.

The disorientation was immediate and obvious. Within minutes of collecting my free ticket — the National Nordic doesn’t charge on the first Thursday of every month — I pushed through the heavy doors of their new exhibit FLÓÐ into pitch blackness. FLÓÐ was designed by Icelandic singer Jónsi as an immersive museum experience meant to simulate the ocean, but none of that was clear to me as I walked in. All I knew was that it was very, very dark, and that I nearly walked into a fellow museum-goer who hissed a quiet “excuse me” (visitors to FLÓÐ are asked to remain as silent as possible).

Then the lights came up, sort of. FLÓÐ is lit by a single strip across the ceiling, which darkens and brightens and undulates in time with the sound, which is composed by Jónsi and evokes the ocean without really sounding like the ocean. Instead of the crashing of water, it’s made up of choral recordings and vaguely electronic sounds, but it moves up and down like a wave. Sometimes the music and the lights are regular and rhythmic, like a calm sea, and sometimes storms seem to sweep through. Occasionally, the pitch darkness returns.Courtesy of the National Nordic Museum

Eventually, you’ll catch your bearings in FLÓÐ — it’s really just a long room, with a strip of lights on the ceiling and speakers along the walls — and start to get bored. I’d encourage you to linger, even after that. When I forced myself to stay, and keep watching the lights, I stopped thinking about lunch or my article assignment or what-have-you and focused on the ocean.

Still, FLÓÐ is a place you stay only for 10 or 20 minutes, maybe a few more if you’re exceedingly patient and meditative. It’s a good metaphor for my general experience of the National Nordic: a lovely place to drop into, one with a relatively low barrier to entry, that rewards a short visit or a longer one and that rewards multiple viewings. Regardless of whether you end up at the National Nordic on a regular day or a free-admission first Thursday, FLÓÐ will cost you $5 — either included in $5 general admission though the TeenTix pass, or as an add-on to your free ticket to the rest of the museum.

The rest of the museum is where I got better oriented in Nordic culture. The National Nordic does a very good job of generalizing where it’s appropriate and emphasizing individuality when it’s helpful. The rest of the ground floor is an exhibit broken down by country, highlighting a cultural practice from each county. It was useful for me, someone with only a passing familiarity with most Nordic countries, but it seemed just a bit reductive — not all of Danish culture can be encapsulated in the trendy notion of hygge, for example.Courtesy of the National Nordic Museum

This exhibit included a panel about the indigenous Sámi people, whose cultural region, called Sápmi, extends into Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia. On the back wall played a video about the experience of Nordic people of color and their relationship with the stereotypes and ideals of their home countries.

Upstairs was my favorite exhibit, a long and comprehensive timeline of Nordic history. It was exceptionally well-done: accessible to an outsider, clear, and rich with more information than I could conceivably read in a single sitting. The curation of the objects in the room also benefited from the National Nordic’s wide-ranging look at history, featuring everything from Viking longboats to brightly-colored Scandinavian chairs and bicycles.

It’s the objects that really shine at the National Nordic, the clothes and the furnishings and the memorabilia and the doohickeys. It’s easy to get distracted staring at the rigging on a model ship or the stitching on the traditional dresses on display. Everything is vibrantly colorful and interesting and simply lovely; the Scandanavians know what they’re doing when it comes to design. At the National Nordic, take time to stop reading and look up from the plaques, timelines and information to appreciate everything visual that’s on offer.

It’s conceivable to see the entire museum in an hour or two, and that includes time to stop by Freya, the café and bakery on the first floor that serves unique Nordic baked goods. The National Nordic is great to drop by during an afternoon out in Ballard — walk around the shops, grab some lunch, then stop at the museum for a little while. (Just don’t try for lunch at Rachel’s Bagels, as your erstwhile TeenTix writer did, because while they’re open until 1pm, they were nearly cleaned out of bagels at noon. Let that one be a breakfast activity.

The beauty of the National Nordic is the beauty of FLÓÐ: it can be enjoyed relatively briefly, but there’s a lot of depth to it, benefitting both a short and a long visit. For just $5, you too could find yourself both oriented and disoriented in Nordic culture. This summer, take that principle and have a museum summer. Grab your TeenTix pass, find a cool little spot, and add some gallery-gazing, sonic-immersion-experiencing and baked-good-eating to your days out and about in Seattle.Courtesy of the National Nordic Museum

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You're Lookin' Swell, Dolly!

Written by Cordelia Janow, TeenTix Alumni


As the curtain rises for Village Theatre's opening night of “Hello, Dolly!” in Issaquah, it is clear how much love and creative genius has been put into the production. The musical follows Dolly Levi (Bobbi Kotula) as she does what she does best: meddling. In a series of shenanigans, Dolly arranges love for three happy couples, and eventually, herself. “Hello, Dolly!” is full of iconic songs for musical theatre lovers, hilarious moments, and most importantly, love, with Dolly at the center of all of it. This production is impeccable, hitting every mark and then some. The stage is filled with the joy and livelihood of all the performers, designers, and creative team.

Bobbi Kotula is a standout, clearly born to play Dolly Levi. Upon her first entrance, the crowd burst into wild applause, anticipating her brilliance in the role. Kotula is everything that Dolly should be and more. She was completely in control of the stage, just as Dolly is in control of her world. Every moment was brought to life beautifully as Kotula created a nuanced portrayal of one of the most iconic Broadway characters. From the hilarious foolery of “Motherhood”, to the tear-jerking ballad of “Before the Parade Passes By”, Kotula captured the lively spirit of Dolly with her own quirks and interpretations. In a crowd-favorite moment, Kotula spoke back to an audience member's reaction that was a bit too loud, working it seamlessly into the scene. The command that Kotula had of the stage was palpable, and always kept the audience excited for more. Photo Courtesy of Angela Sterling

The rest of the cast shined alongside Kotula, bringing their own flare to the stage. Allen Fitzpatrick as Horace Vandergelder is the perfect grumpy old man whos loveable side is brought out by none other than Dolly herself. Markcus Blair and Rhys Daly take to the stage as Cornelius Hackl and Barnaby Tucker, Vandergelder’s overworked employees who orchestrate a day off to find love and entertainment in New York City. Their plot pays off when they meet Irene Malloy (Jessica Skerritt) and Minnie Fay (Sarah “SG” Garcia), who they are each enamored with, respectively. Skerritt is lovely as Irene, sensible yet still romantic and fun-loving with a beautiful voice. Garcia’s Minnie is adorable and quirky, always a joy on the stage. The ensemble brings the world of “Hello, Dolly!” to life, with exuberant dancing, powerful vocals, and stand-out character bits.

Village Theatre’s “Hello, Dolly!” puts women at the forefront of decision-making. Though the time period of the play itself and when it was written may hold some outdated ideals, the power of women's voices still shines throughout this production. Early on, the men of the show sing a tune called “It Takes a Woman” in which they list off things that only women can do, mainly household chores. Though this song may seem regressive, the tone and directorial choices in this production highlights the misogyny and incompetency of the men, rather than actually enforcing gender roles. Photo Courtesy of Angela Sterling

Additionally, the men in this play are generally helpless without Dolly’s assistance, which is highlighted by the acting and staging choices made. This is seen in Dolly’s stratagem to win Vandergelders heart, along with her meddling in Cornelius and Barnaby’s love lives. Feminist movements of the time were acknowledged on stage as well, with signs for the women's suffrage movement being held up during the parade. This moment of the show was very moving, as it set the play in context with greater American politics at the time. And, in the most iconic moment of the show, Dolly’s praises are sung by a crew of men upon her return to the Harmonia Gardens. In another powerful yet subtle moment, the choreography highlights queer couples, emphasizing the beauty of love in every form. This production sings the praises of Women’s power and updates its staging to celebrate all types of love.

“Hello, Dolly” at Village Theatre is a creative masterpiece and a beautiful celebration of love and joy for all. The production is reminiscent of classic Broadway, with elaborate costumes and set pieces that perfectly capture the idolized New York City where everything is shiny and perfect. The iconic music is played brilliantly by the orchestra and the performers exude happiness in every moment, making even simple entrances feel epic and profound. There is something in this show for everyone, as Village Theatre brings an old classic into the modern world.

"Hello, Dolly" runs at Village Theatre until July 30th. In Issaquah, MAY 24 – JUL 2, 2023 In Everett, JUL 7 – JUL 30, 2023

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“Zach” is Hilarious, Retro, and Relevant

Written by Cordelia Janow, TeenTix Alumni

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90s teen sitcoms find a new home on the stage with “Zach” by Christian St. Croix at Artswest. The play follows Gina (Amber Walker) and PJ (Michael Nevárez) as they traverse their newfound popularity when Zach, a new student, selects them to be part of his clique. Gina is a fashionista, a secretly skilled carpenter, and one of the few black students in her school. PJ is goofy, a great dancer, and Latino. Zach, who is “American. Caucasian. Heterosexual. Capricorn,” creates many problems for Gina and PJ as they traverse through their primarily white high school. The two face average teenage problems such as dating, friendships, and popularity, along with blatant racism from those around them. This element is woven throughout familiar sitcom tropes, blending the two together to point out harmful stereotypes and real-world struggles that marginalized people face. Throughout the play, the two help each other to find themselves and navigate Zach’s oppressive domination of the school’s social scene.

Actors Amber Walker and Michael Nevárez shine in this production, playing over 10 characters throughout the play. The direction and minimal set/costume changes allowed for these actors to quickly jump from one character to the next, often switching back and forth between who is playing who. This was incredibly effective as each actor made strong distinctions between characters, bringing the world to life. This innovative choice also aided the comedy throughout, as the actors were able to switch their voices, personalities, and demeanors on a dime. The two played besties, lovers, enemies, and more, all with eminent chemistry. The play was fast-paced, clocking in at 75 minutes, keeping the audience thoroughly entertained. The 90s sitcom effect was achieved with laugh tracks, montage sequences, and (at times) goofy over-the-top exaggerations. I was laughing throughout the show during both moments of genuine comedy and so-bad-it’s-funny one-liners.

The more serious elements of the play point out the struggles that low-income, nonwhite, and queer teenagers face, marking something that is starkly left out of 90’s sitcoms: diversity. St. Croix brings Gina and PJ’s stories into the conversation and shows how they would really face the high school worlds portrayed in films. In doing this, “Zach” takes the tropes of well-known films and flips them on their head as commentary. Though this was generally effective, certain moments felt simplistic and left without nuance. In order to keep the lighthearted and comedic tone, the topics discussed were often right on the nose. Though this did serve to call out the biases that many people hold, I also felt that these portrayals were at times simplistic, dividing the world into two categories: Good Guys and Bad Guys, and leaving no room for those who are subtly or even unintentionally discriminatory. This choice was effective for capturing the feeling of a sitcom but made certain issues seem overly simple. However, the main goal of this play is achieved by bringing comedy, joy, and friendship to the stage in a new way, which can often be as powerful as tragic stories. The effervescence of “Zach” is what makes it special, and it brings an important representation of joy to the stage while still acknowledging real-world issues.

“Zach” is a wonderful story brought to life by two thoughtful actors and an innovative creative team. This play offers its spin on the world it inhabits, bringing back memories without missing a single trope, while also offering a new and previously overlooked perspective. Gina and PJ are lovable and they make the perfect team, hitting you with familiar sitcom bits from the start. If you are looking for a funny, joyful, and important story, “Zach” is the way to go!

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Welcome Back Bumbershoot

Written by Cordelia Janow, TeenTix Alumni

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For Seattle music lovers, Bumbershoot is highly anticipated. This Labor Day Weekend, Bumbershoot returns for its 50th anniversary with a slew of exciting acts. Sleater-Kinny, the Washington State band famously named after a highway exit, headlines the festival, highlighting one of Washington’s biggest bands and the alternative music scene that Seattle is so famous for. I love Sleater-Kinny as a Seattle local and a lover of riot-grrrl music, which brings feminism, punk, and politics together. Sleater-Kinny is sure to deliver a great set full of hits and make everyone feel like a “Modern Girl”. For fans of Sleater-Kinny and the riot-grrrl movement like myself, Bumbershoot offers more than one exciting set.

Destroy Boys are sure to bring a high-energy performance full of angst and power, keeping the audience excited. Thunder Pussy, another Seattle group, does rock and roll on their own terms and is deeply authentic about it. Electronic meets riot grrl in Pussy Riot, the group known for its activism and danceable hits. These artists merge their art with their politics and send important messages to those in the crowds. Bumbershoot’s lineup doesn’t stick to just one genre though, it offers something for everyone. I look forward to indie rock bands such as Morgan and the Organ Donors, Shannon and the Clams, and Temples, who will bring good vibes to this year's performances. ZHU is another exciting act who will get the Bumbershoot crowds dancing with his upbeat techno and electronic sound.

A final personal favorite is Puddles Pity Party, the famous singing clown who offers his own twist on various hits from across decades. Bumbershoot is sure to be a great event for all music and art lovers, full of exciting and diverse acts that everyone can enjoy!

Check out the full artist line-up here: https://bumbershoot.com/music-...

Cordelia Janow (she/her) is a rising sophomore at The University of Southern California. She is a double major, studying Theatre and American Popular Culture. Cordelia grew up on Bainbridge Island, and was heavily involved with the theatre scene both on the island and in Seattle. She has been a TeenTix member for years and is so excited to be writing for them this summer! In her free time, she loves to listen to music, play guitar, read, and go for bike rides.

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Celebrate the Season with PNB's Nutcracker!

TeenTix Available One Day Only!

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This year, PNB is once again generously providing TeenTix tickets for TWO (2) performances: Tue, Dec 27, 2022 12:30pmTue, Dec 27, 2022 5:30pm

PLEASE NOTE: Tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis, subject to availability, day-of-show only, starting 90 minutes before showtime. TeenTix 2-for-$10 companion tickets are not available for these performances. We hope to see you there!

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