Two Mile Hollow Delivers a Worthwhile Message but is Muddled in Execution

Review of Two Mile Hollow presented by Intiman Theatre

Written by Teen Writer Yoon Lee and edited by Teen Editor Esha Potharaju

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My experience with Two Mile Hollow was not what I anticipated. This subversion of my expectations works both for and against it.

I came into it hoping it would lean into the irony of its premise–satirize a petty rich white family by casting Asian American Pacific Islander actors for each role. The promise of seeing something akin to The Mystery of Irma Vep, which used two actors in cross-gender roles to lampoon traditional Victorian gender roles, was what drew me to Two Mile Hollow in the first place. Its deficiency in this department was why it was a disappointment.

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The Time of Change with Double Dare Ya

Review of Double Dare Ya presented by the Henry Art Gallery

Written by Teen Writer and Editor Lucia McLaren and edited by Teen Editor Eleanor Cenname

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At the Henry Art Gallery, everyone wants to see the Skyspace, an oval-shaped building with an oval-shaped skylight. To get to this famous exhibit, you have to pass through a small, square room. Most people give a few seconds or minutes of a glance before moving on, either to the Skyspace or to another more popular exhibit at the Henry. Within this room is Viewpoints. It’s essentially a rotating display: works from various artists that center around a different theme each time it’s changed.

Double Dare Ya, the most recent iteration of Viewpoints, features works by Amanda Ross-Ho, Marsha Burns, and Justine Kurland. They center around the reality of teenage girls—facing vast change, transience, and the rigidity of femininity. Amanda Ross-Ho, Untitled (SIMPLE PLAN), 2013. Acrylic on dyed canvas. Photo Courtesy of the Henry Art Gallery.

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Saving Face

Review of Hatching presented by SIFF

Written by Teen Writer Elle Vonada and edited by Teen Editor Eleanor Cenname

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This coming of age meets horror film unnervingly unpacks Tinja’s (Siiri Solalinna) toxic relationship with her mother (Sophia Heikkilä) as well as her own repressed demons. Tinja’s mother is a family lifestyle vlogger, determined to encapsulate her family’s day to day life as perfect. Throughout the film, however, it becomes apparent that Tinja’s family is far from perfect. Director ​​Hanna Bergholm exposes the overbearingness of Tinja’s mother through costuming and set design. Tinja is thirteen years old and still wears frilly dresses and hair bows. Her bedroom is the epitome of a grandma who’s aesthetic never developed past the 1940s. With walls covered floor to ceiling in flowery wallpaper and sheer voile curtains, there is no doubt that Tinja has never rebelled against her mother.

To any outsider, this behavior would scream mommy issues, but to Tinja, she is simply upholding her mother’s desires and is happy to do so for her mother’s approval. Tinja lacks the freedom to be an unbothered teenage girl, so when she finds an egg in the woods, Tinja immediately bonds with it as this is the first thing that is truly hers. Still from Hatching (2022) directed by Hanna Bergholm. Distributed by IFC Films.

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Seattle Shakespeare Has Little to Say About Much Ado

Review of Much Ado About Nothing presented by Seattle Shakespeare Company

Written by Teen Writer Adrian Martin and edited by Teen Editor Disha Cattamanchi

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The Seattle Shakespeare Company took the title of Much Ado About Nothing very literally in a half-hearted, Bachelor-esque adaptation with very little to say. Arriving home from a vague war to a country club romance, Benedict and Claudio are looking for love. Beatrice is trying to get back at Benedict for breaking her heart, and Hero is looking for a husband. A reality TV-esque web of lies and rumors twist through this island summer setting.

The one thing that makes this adaptation worth watching is the acting. Unconventional casting asserted the dignity of the female characters with entirely non-male love interests. The adaptation had a new and holistic take on the sweet, sought after Hero (Joellen Sweeney), who is usually a helpless damsel type in the original source material. Her anti-heroic love interest, Claudio (Meme García), proves that regardless of gender, leaving someone at the altar is always a dick move. Sweeney preserves the grace and kindness of Hero throughout the second act without taking away her agency, which proves to be an impressive balancing act. Sweeney’s Hero did not shrink when upstaged by her more grandiose family. When her reputation is on the line in Act Two, you can feel the rage radiating off of Hero, who is so typically played as a submissive damsel-in-distress. She does not take Claudio back because she thinks she deserves his treatment; rather, she does so out of the kindness of her heart and her belief in redemption. Sweeney is a powerful force on stage, bringing a new life to this previously bland, shrinking violet.

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Water, Art, and Their Inseparable Histories

Review of Our Blue Planet: Global Visions of Water presented by Seattle Art Museum

Written by Teen Writer Stella Crouch and edited by Teen Editor Disha Cattamanchi

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Our Blue Planet: Global Visions of Water is a temporary exhibit at the Seattle Art Museum (SAM), chronicling the privileges and powers humanity has over water. The exhibit features works from a wide array of mediums including photography, film, painting, sculpture, and various textiles, analyzing the sustaining role water has played in the past, and what that can mean moving forward.

Pushing the boundaries of what a single exhibit can be, Our Blue Planet contains the works of 74 artists from numerous countries and Indigenous tribes. The exhibit is not limited by a certain medium, location, point of view, age, or history; rather, it embraces the duality of art forms to create an immersive experience. The multitude of forms the exhibit takes emphasizes the universal need for a healthy planet. Ultimately, the exhibit comments there is no place or person who will not be affected by climate change.

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Final Stretch, Here We Come!

Teen Editorial Staff May 2022 Editorial

Written by Teen Editorial Staff Members Esha Potharaju and Disha Cattamanchi

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Exam season is in full swing for teens across the country. It can be difficult to ease the waves of stress that accompany exams. We at TeenTix would like to reassure our readers that we have full faith in their abilities. Whatever happens, it will be alright! De-stressing is important for success, both personally and academically. We hope that readers will set time aside to take care of themselves by participating in art, be it a classical music performance or a modern film! There’s a huge selection of events that will be happening this month, and we’d like to highlight just a few that we hope you’ll enjoy.

From May 20-21, Pacific MusicWorks will be holding their music show, Wayward Sisters: A Dynamic Tapestry of Sound, at Benaroya Hall. The event will be an ode to 17th century soprano trios, reimagining the major works of the century as theatrical events. If you’re looking for something more contemporary, catch SIFF’s film Hatching. The film follows a twelve-year-old gymnast as she confronts her conflicts in the form of a fantastical, yet increasingly grotesque, creature that hatches from an egg that she finds in the woods.

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Spin Me Round Leaves Me of Two Minds

Review of Spin Me Round presented during SIFF's 48th Seattle International Film Festival

Written by Teen Writer Roy Callahan and edited by Teen Editor Lucia McLaren

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Spin Me Round is a comedic fever dream that surprises the audience with its crazy twists, well-rounded cast, and addicting relationships. What seemed like a basic comedy turned out to be a unique film that delivered emotion, depth, and genuine disappointment.

Amber, played by Alison Brie of the popular show Community, works as a manager for a trashy Italian food chain in the small town of Bakersfield. While working there, she is invited on a corporate retreat to the company’s luxurious mansion in Italy. Amber heads off on her trip with hopes of finding love and a life-changing experience.

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What's So Special About Ballet?

Review of Kent Stowell's Swan Lake presented by Pacific Northwest Ballet

Written by Teen Editor Lucia McLaren and edited by TeenTix Mentor Melody Datz Hansen.

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Swan Lake is one of the most well-known ballets of all time. It is a classic, somber tale of love between Prince Seigfried and Odette, a young woman who transforms into a swan due to a sorcerer’s curse.

As a student of ballet since fourth grade, I was nervous about reviewing Pacific Northwest Ballet’s presentation of Swan Lake, as it was my first time seeing the piece. Would my level of experience do it justice in a review? Would my lofty expectations of it be fulfilled? Tchaikovsky’s music perpetuates just about every ballet class in America, and I was familiar with the performance’s format, but nonetheless, the nerves were there.

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April Showers Bring Art’s Flowers

Teen Editorial Staff April 2022 Editorial

Written by Teen Editorial Staff Members Eleanor Cenname and Lucia McLaren

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There is something a bit nostalgic every time spring rolls around. The familiar whiff of flowers that brings to mind the warmer seasons. For those of us going to school, the end of the year starts to come into crisp focus. And best of all, the days grow longer, giving us just a little more time in the day to play. At TeenTix, we like to play by enjoying art. If you would like to join us as we use our new daylight hours, consider visiting the TeenTix calendar for a full list of arts events happening this month. Let us also recommend a few of the April events that we are most looking forward to.

As the weather gets warmer and students get restless, it’s a great month to take a look at some old favorites. If a nostalgia trip feels like the right thing for you this time of year, come down and see a musical adaptation of the classic, fun kid’s book Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! at Seattle Children’s Theatre. Or if you want to engage in some more mature forms of art, Pacific Northwest Ballet will be presenting the unforgettable Swan Lake. Even if you are not much of a ballet enthusiast, this age-old story is truly a delight to watch for everyone, and the dancers performing are sure to be talented and creative.

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Fall in Love With a Show Where Being Feared is the Only Option

Review of Teenage Dick presented by Seattle Repertory Theatre

Written by Teen Writer Adrian Martin and edited by Teen Editor Valentine Wulf

Mac Gregor Arney and Meredith Aleigha Wells in Teenage Dick at Seattle Rep Photo by Nate Watters

Immediately after the lights went down on Teenage Dick, there was complete and utter silence in the theater—silence that carried through the lobby and out the doors. Seattle Repertory Theatre has managed to make Richard III, one of Shakespeare’s many boring histories, worthy of stunned silence.

Shakespeare’s original tragedy features King Richard, a hunchback, who is determined to ascend to the throne by any murderous means necessary. He succeeds, but it comes at the cost of his allies, sanity, popularity, and his young wife Anne.

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Red Riding Hood: A Look Into the Whimsical World of Children's Theatre

Review of Red Riding Hood presented by Seattle Children's Theatre

Written by Teen Writer Josephine Bishop and edited by Teen Editor Eleanor Cenname

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A common misconception of children's plays is that they are way too simplistic to hold any appeal to anyone over the age of eight years old, but what most people don’t understand is the very fine line that the writers have to maintain of humor and clarity throughout the entire duration of any play aimed towards a younger demographic. Red Riding Hood, written by Allison Gregory and directed by Steven Dietz, does this perfectly. Red Riding Hood is an adaptation of the classic fairy tale in which Little Red Riding Hood ventures into the woods to deliver a basket of food to her sick grandmother. Upon her arrival, she finds a wolf disguised as her grandmother, resulting in Red Riding Hood’s death. Of course, there are hundreds of different retellings of this story, each a little bit different. Still from Red Riding Hood presented by Seattle Children's Theater. Photo by Angela Sterling.

The play begins with Wolfgang (Conner Neddersen) starting to rehearse his one-man show adaptation of Little Red Riding Hood. One of the many things that make this play unique is that it is a play within a play, meaning you, the audience member, are essentially watching these characters while they practice for their upcoming performance. Wolfgang dawns massive furry gloves, this comical accessory setting the stage for many laughs to come. While at the climactic moment where Wolfgang mimes devouring Little Red Riding Hood’s grandmother, a delivery woman (Claudine Mboligikpelani Nako) enters the stage holding a mysterious package. This package will be a subject of Wolfgang’s suspicion for practically the entire play, with frequent requests from Wolfgang to see what’s inside. This is when the delivery woman resolves to assist Wolfgang in telling the story because according to her, he was not telling the story accurately. After a good amount of pushback on Wolfgang’s side, he gives in to letting her join his show. For the rest of the play, the two switch parts between Red Riding Hood, the wolf, Red Riding Hood’s mother, and Red Riding Hood’s grandmother, a fantastic direction for the play to take. Once settling on their roles, the delivery woman as Red Riding Hood, and Wolfgang maintaining his role as Wolfgang, the story continues. The pair venture through the forest on the way to Grandmother’s house, Wolfgang attempts to eat Red Riding Hood a few times, and many, many, wolf puns and absurd jokes later, they finally arrive at Grandmother’s house. Still from Red Riding Hood presented by Seattle Children's Theater. Photo by Angela Sterling.

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Embodied Change Teaches Us About What We Inherit

Review of Embodied Change: South Asian Art Across Time presented by Seattle Asian Art Museum

Written by Teen Writer Aamina Mughal and edited by Teen Editor Esha Potharaju

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When you walk to the back of Seattle Asian Art Museum, across from the floor-to-ceiling windows looking out over Volunteer Park, you experience a neon vision. The museum’s Embodied Change: South Asian Art Across Time starts here with Chila Kumari Singh Burman’s visual art piece Kali (I’m A Mess). With this commencing motif, Burman uses a historically revered Hindu goddess to reflect on societal concerns from the year of its conception, 2020. The words “I’m A Mess” glow above a technicolor image of Kali, eyebrows raised and tongue out. Although this is not a message commonly associated with the figure, Burman uses Kali as a symbol of rebellion and liberation to ask the question—“Can Kali drive time forward into a brave new world where we are no longer a mess?” In the 6th century, the Hindu philosophical text Devi Mahatmyam, or “Glory of the Goddess,” denoted when the worship of the female body became a part of Hindu tradition, which set the stage for works like Burman’s in the 21st century.

Burman’s work demonstrates how historical images, the ones deep rooted in cultural history, can be used to make implications about our modern world. This idea is echoed throughout this exhibit. Although South Asian Art cannot be defined as one thing, as South Asia and South Asian identities do not take a singular form; as she shared in an interview, it was a goal of the curator Natalia di Pietrantonio, “to show the expanse of the South Asian field by purposely including artists from across the diaspora.” This idea of dynamic identity and reclamation are echoed throughout Embodied Change and are told through the lens of the human body, specifically the female form. One thing that I believe unites these works is the burden of inheritance. There are certain things that we inherit through our heritage without us making the choice to do so. What we do choose, however, is how we carry this inheritance.

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Harry Potter (Take Two)

Review of Kelcie Murphy and the Academy for the Unbreakable Arts by Erika Lewis

Written by Teen Writer Malak Kassem and edited by Teen Editor Esha Potharaju

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YA author, Erika Lewis, introduces a variation of the Harry Potter series filled with magic, sorcery, and a Hogwarts-like institution: The Academy of the Unbreakable Arts. As we travel through the tale of the main character, Kelcie Murphy, we question what home truly is and how it builds our identity. While Kelcie Murphy and the Academy for the Unbreakable Arts allows readers to think deeply about the world around them and their own individual lives, it lacks originality as it is nearly identical to the Harry Potter series.

Kelcie was raised in Boston, in what the sorcerers in the book deem the Human World. She was passed on to several foster families throughout her childhood, and like many foster children, Kelcie dealt with uncaring families who treated her with cruelty and inhumanity. Throughout the book, she constantly mentions that she doesn’t like to remember “those times,” emphasizing the trauma her experiences left her with. However, they have also made her a responsible young person. At just 12 years old, Kelcie thinks ahead, knows how to defend herself, and is independent. Her background is very similar to J.K Rowling’s Harry Potter, who grew up with an unfair aunt and uncle who mistreat him within their home.

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You Nervous?

Review of A Thousand Ways (Part Three): An Assembly presented by On The Boards

Written by Teen Writer Kyle Gerstel and edited by Teen Editor Triona Suiter

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The moment you think you understand a great work of art, it's dead for you.” - Oscar Wilde

I enter On The Boards with a friend. After spending a year awaiting the final installment of A Thousand Ways, a series of controlled encounters between strangers, I am thrilled to see what theatremakers Michael Silverstone and Abigail Browde of 600 HIGHWAYMEN have created.

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Fifteen Years Later, Sweeney Todd’s Macabre Whimsy Holds Up

Review of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007) directed by Tim Burton

Written by Teen Editor Valentine Wulf and edited by TeenTix Teaching Artist Jas Keimig

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Cannibalism, capitalism, and class struggle come together in Stephen Sondheim’s darkly humorous satire, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, beautifully adapted by director Tim Burton for the screen. Songs are cut down and some slashed altogether, shaving an hour off of the stage show’s runtime. The pacing keeps things engaging, and, unless you’re a diehard fan of the original Broadway production, it’s hard to tell anything’s missing. The film manages to do what many other stage-to-screen adaptations miss the mark on—making a movie that stands on its own.

After spending fifteen years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit, mild-mannered barber Benjamin Barker (Johnny Depp) returns home with a thousand-yard stare, a newfound cynicism, and a new name—Sweeney Todd. His last shred of hope is shattered when he discovers his wife Lucy (Laura Michelle Kelly) is dead and his teenage daughter Johanna (Jayne Wisener) is in the custody of the corrupt Judge Turpin (Alan Rickman) who had him sent away. Promising revenge on the aristocrats that ruined their lives, Sweeney and down-on-her-luck baker Mrs. Lovett (Helena Bonham Carter) hatch a delectable plan. But as they build a business off consuming the rich, they too are consumed—Sweeney by violence and Mrs. Lovett by greed—becoming the very things they swore to destroy. After all, you are what you eat. Johnny Depp in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007) directed by Tim Burton.

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Speak of the Devil and He is Schur to Appear

Review of Michael Schur in Conversation presented by Seattle Arts & Lectures

Written by Teen Writer Kyle Gerstel and edited by Teen Editor Eleanor Cenname

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Michael Schur in Conversation at Seattle Arts & Lectures explores the intersection of comedy, philosophy, regret, and hope. Although it is not a narrative experience, Schur’s humorous anecdotes and philosophical ramblings are as cohesive and entertaining as most stand-up comedy sets.

Schur is one of the brilliant minds behind many popular modern sitcoms, including The Office (U.S.), Parks and Recreation, and The Good Place. He also served as president of the Harvard Lampoon and led Weekend Update at Saturday Night Live. George Meyer, a former writer of The Simpsons, joins Schur to facilitate the dialogue. If you were wondering, yes, this is what non-denominational comedy heaven looks like. Michael Shur in Michael Shur in Conversation. Photo by Libby Lewis Photography.

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The Mystery of Irma Vep Is Fun, Queer, Sci-Fi Camp

Review of The Mystery of Irma Vep presented by Intiman Theatre

Written by Teen Writer Yoon Lee and edited by Teen Editor Triona Suiter

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The Mystery of Irma Vep, written by Charles Ludlam and performed by Intiman Theatre, centers on the Mandacrest estate in some nondescript Victorian setting, haunted by the recently-passed ghost of resident Lord Edgar’s former mistress as he attempts to move on with his second wife Lady Enid. There are mummies, werewolves, mistaken identities, and plenty of campy comedy to go around as only two actors perform a series of quick costume changes to portray the colorful cast of characters.

From a technical standpoint, the performers—Jesse Calixto and Helen Roundhill—pulled off the production near-flawlessly. The only unintentional slips I could discern were a few misalignments with sound effects and a brief hesitation in dialogue, both of which I qualify as the lowest form of nitpicking possible for a performance of any kind. In every other sense the night ran flawlessly as far as I could tell, the advertised 35 quick costume changes working seamlessly as characters deftly left and entered stages with mere seconds (and often, off-stage line deliveries) to do brisk wardrobe switch-ups. I expected to keenly notice the fact that only two characters could share the stage at once, but I scarcely considered that fact, a testament to the playwriting and both actors’ nearly flawless deliveries. Helen Roundhill in The Mystery of Irma Vep presented by Intiman Theatre. Photo by Joe Moore.

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The Arts are Blossoming this Month!

Teen Editorial Staff March 2022 Editorial

Written by Teen Editorial Staff Members Disha Cattamanchi and Valentine Wulf

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As the Seattle rains begin to let up–how much ever Seattle rains are capable of letting up– flowers are blooming and Spring is in the air, and so are a blossoming reprieve of arts events! The vibrant and vivid colors of March are glistening in all of our curated events this month, as you get to reimagine pop culture and history through an evolving, artistic lens.

If you’re a fan of fairy tales, come see how Seattle Children’s Theatre puts a new spin on a classic Grimm story with Red Riding Hood. In this adaptation of the iconic red-caped heroine’s tale, a mysterious delivery driver questions the integrity of world-renowned actor Wolfgang, sparking a wild adventure. In Teenage Dick at Seattle Repertory Theatre, another classic, Shakespeare’s Richard II, is reimagined as a twisted, modern high school revenge tale.

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Espionage, Tech, and the Role of Journalism in a Changing World

Review of The History and Future of Espionage in the U.S. presented by Town Hall

Written by Teen Writer Lucia McLaren and edited by Teen Editor Triona Suiter

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Journalism has a natural affinity to the arts. Plays and movies require less expertise to analyze without being questioned by experts—that is, you don’t need a degree in film studies to write a good article on The Empire Strikes Back. Hyper-specialized tech fields like espionage and intelligence politics are the very opposite. Where art is public, intelligence is private, and many people have little to no understanding about how critical agencies like the CIA or FBI work.

Here is where people like Amy Zegart come in. Her book Spies, Lies, and Algorithms covers intelligence agencies and their related fields in a human, comprehensible light, and in Town Hall’s The History and Future of Espionage in the U.S., she talks with KUOW executive producer and Town Hall regular Ross Reynolds about why that coverage is so important.

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