A New Era of Theater: Accessibility Fits the Bill

Written by Teen Writer Zoe Loughnane and edited by Teen Editor Valentine Wulf

Rachel Zegler as Maria in West Side Story 20th Century Fox 2021

Musical theatre is a beloved art form. However, fans of the genre will be the first to admit that there are a lot of unrealistic parts to musical theater: breaking into song every few seconds, random dance breaks, that one character who only talks in minute-long monologues. Unfortunately, one all-too-real problem is how inaccessible it is. Musical theater is supposed to be fantastical and fun. Even when it discusses hard topics, there are songs and elaborate dance numbers to add levity. It’s a way to escape from the real world for a while, to a place where everything is a little brighter. It’s not fair that only some people get to experience this form of escapism.

As a lower-middle class individual who loves musical theater and has grown up bouncing between Chicago and Seattle, two big theater industries, catching shows has been near impossible. Tickets are expensive and getting them for a family of four is a financial nightmare. My family tried to get tickets to Hamilton for two years before we were able to find upper balcony, back row seats that we still had to dip into our savings for. Theatre is elitist. It shouldn’t be.

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Show Art Some Love This Month!

Teen Editorial Staff February 2022 Editorial

Written by Teen Editorial Staff Members Eleanor Cenname and Esha Potharaju

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Maybe the month of February, which is filled with celebrations of love, community, and sparkling pink confetti, will provide a sweet reprieve from these past bitter months. We at TeenTix certainly know that enjoying accessible art of all forms is a great way to feel the mood. The month offers a diverse selection of art events, from lectures to operas to plays—you have the freedom to choose!

Kicking the month off, the Newsroom will cover SAL’s (Seattle Arts & Lectures) exploration of complex ethical questions in conversation with Michael Schur. Schur is renowned for his work creating or writing for the shows The Office, Parks and Recreation, and The Good Place. If you’re not the biggest TV show buff, Seattle Town Hall will be hosting a discussion with leading intelligence expert Amy B. Zegart on The History and Future of Espionage in the U.S. Zegart clarifies harmful cognitive biases that the media has instilled in us about espionage, and even reveals information about the current endeavors of U.S. intelligence agencies.

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BANNED! Acknowledging Controversial Films

Review of BANNED! Witch Hunt presented by SIFF

Written by Teen Writer Nour Gajial and edited by Teen Editor Valentine Wulf

Häxan 1922 dir Benjamin Christensen

“Banned! Witch Hunt,” is the first of a series of film talks at SIFF focussing on banned films and censorship throughout history. This informative two-hour workshop was communicated via a thought-provoking presentation on films banned by the U.S. government under 1920s obscenity laws. Due to COVID-19 precautions, this production was offered in a hybrid model where audience members had the option to participate in-person or view the production online through Zoom.

I engaged through Zoom, and the workshop started promptly. The presentation was effectively presented through a shared screen and the audio was extremely clear. The session was largely divided into three parts: an educational lesson on silent films, an exploration of two silent films, and a Q&A.

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Zach Stone Should've Been Famous

Review of Zach Stone is Gonna Be Famous presented by Netflix

Written by Teen Writer Kyle Gerstel and edited by Teen Editor Esha Potharaju

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In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, many architects were guided by the maxim that “form follows function.” In the early 21st century, based on the success of shows such as Modern Family and Parks and Recreation, many television writers are guided by the maxim that “mockumentaries make money.” While story structure differs from architecture, the symbiotic relationship between the format and content of Bo Burnham’s 2013 sitcom Zach Stone is Gonna Be Famous makes for a triumph in bingeable situational comedy despite the show’s occasional lazy humor.

Zach Stone is a mockumentary series that captures the life of a high school graduate played by Burnham who chooses to use his college fund to hire a film crew to document his life rather than pursuing higher education. Each episode features a zany get-famous-quick scheme that inevitably goes awry, forcing Zach’s friends and family to save him. After one season, MTV canceled the show.

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Welcoming 2022

Teen Editorial Staff January 2022 Editorial

Written by Teen Editorial Staff Member Triona Suiter and Lucia McLaren

Jan Editorial

2022 will be another year of firsts—some good, some bad, but hopefully enough to get us on the right track. It can be difficult to face yet another wave of uncertainty, but if nothing else, we here at TeenTix know that the art world will continue to flourish. Be it film, theater, music, or whatever else gets your creativity flowing, join us as we start the new year off with pieces from across the state.

Feeling like heading back to the stage this January? If you’re looking for something to make you laugh, come and watch See How They Run at Taproot Theatre Company, a lighthearted comedy about how one woman’s night out on the town can turn to mayhem. Or if you have an animal companion at home and want to see a creative take on their shades of morality, take a look at Animal Saints & Animal Sinners 3 at 18th & Union. For those who like a touch more realism, ACT presents Hotter Than Egypt, a dramedy (drama-comedy) that follows two American tourists and their two Egyptian tour guides. And for anyone interested in historical activism, Seattle Rep’s one-woman musical Fannie: The Music and Life of Fannie Lou Hamer is sure to be a hit.

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Six Takes on Arcane: League of Legends

Review of Arcane: League of Legends

Written collectively by the Teen Editorial Staff

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The Teen Editorial Staff teamed up once more to bring to light some different perspectives about the recently released Arcane: League of Legends (2021). Read on to see how anyone can gather enjoyment from this new Netflix series, whether or not you're an avid video game enthusiast. DISHA

Having no interest or experience in video games except for the pesky midnight screaming of my brother in the neighboring room, I was pleasantly surprised by Arcane: League of Legends. The unique animation style with its fresh coloring gives life to the characters; the 2D textures utilized to create the backgrounds of certain scenes contrast brightly with the fleshed-out 3D characters, fabricating a somber mood. The brunt of the storytelling is conveyed through an ethereal narration that harkens to a gruesome yet hopeful past (courtesy of Hailee Steinfeld) and lends to the meaningful themes in Arcane’s narrative. The plot hoists itself on the legs of stories and tropes already told—innocence inevitably corrupted by society’s ruthlessness, lost sisters, warring siblings, a battle for the ages—it’s a tale as old as time, pioneered by predecessors such as Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Dragon Prince. However, the show’s worldbuilding and portrayal of war and society is so bracingly revolting, that it highlights a welcome, adult perspective in animation—mostly afforded by its unapologetic swearing and sexual plotlines.

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We’ve Battled Monsters Before, But This Time, It Feels Even Fresher

Review of We've Battled Monsters Before presented by ArtsWest

Written by Teen Writer Kyle Gerstel and edited by Teen Editor Lucia McLaren

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For the premiere of We’ve Battled Monsters Before, ArtsWest transformed itself into a creative fantasyland reminiscent of the chocolate room in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. However, musical instruments are scattered across the stage rather than oversized candy and while there is no chocolate fountain in sight, a tree composed of fabric and paper towers over the audience. Despite the set’s inherent minimalism, the space bursts with color and creativity, as does the show. Photo by John McLellan

Justin Huertas, the creator of Monsters, was TeenTix’s first-ever Crush of the Month, and for good reason. The talented writer, composer, and performer explores his intersectional identities through musical allegories that entertain and inspire empathy among Seattle audiences. However, this was not always the case—according to a January 2010 interview with TeenTix, Huertas “enjoy[ed] writing plays and songs, but the two didn’t mix well for him when he tried to write a musical.” Based on Monsters, I can assure you that is no longer the case. Photo by John McLellan

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Where Digital Media and 19th Century Art Meet

Review of Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience in Seattle

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

Immersive Room 4

Vincent van Gogh’s oil paintings are well known and honored by almost everyone who knows anything about art. It’s well known that his struggles with mental illness impacted his art. In a rented warehouse on Occidental Street, Van Gogh: An Immersive Experience displays art in a way that makes it accessible to a modern audience using digital enhancements to warp his work into a dynamic performance that captivates viewers.

Near the entry, a summary of Van Gogh’s life hangs next to a sculpture of his head. The figure holds a projection of Starry Night that looks as if it’s growing onto the figure. Having a three dimensional Van Gogh head as the canvas for a two dimensional oil painting beautifully displayed the depth behind Starry Night and showed how Van Gogh saw the stars. Though creative and captivating, the display raises the question: Does this display change his intent behind his original creation? Is this an expression of Van Gogh or the current creators of the exhibit? Photo by Dan Swartz for Exhibition Hub & Fever

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Uncle Mike Ruins Christmas: Raunchy, Hit-or-Miss Hilarity

Review of Uncle Mike Ruins Christmas at Jet City Improv

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

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The winter season brings to mind precious, wonderful memories, and the prospect of making even more. Alternatively, it harkens the mundanity of semi-theatrically unboxing presents for an hour of your day before returning to doing whatever work you had set aside for Winter Break.

However, there is humor to be had in the outlandishly horrible, the “[winter-adjacent holiday] gone wrong” that you’ll always remember either as a sore patch, a laughing point to bring up in holiday-related small talk, or a blank hole in the timeline. This notion of being able to look back and laugh is the basis of Jet City Improv’s Uncle Mike Ruins Christmas, a performance in which actors take audience members’ fondest holiday memories and—through the medium of the titular uncle, played by Mike Murphy—decimate them in ways both insane and inane. I found this concept ripe with comedic potential, and having enjoyed what little experience I had with improv shows, I signed up to check out their performance at West of Lenin.

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The Book Versus Book-It

Review of The Three Musketeers at Book-It Repertory Theatre

Written by Teen Editor Eleanor Cenname and edited by Teen Editor Valentine Wulf

Screen Shot Torrie Mc Donald

Book-It Repertory Theatre’s production of Alexandre Dumas père’s The Three Musketeers is better designated as an audiobook than an audio “play.” Book-It’s usual format functions on reinterpreting classic literature for performance while maintaining some tone and style from the original work by incorporating narration. In an audio-only context, Book-It’s elegant style loses its magnetism. The adaptation fails to add something new to Dumas’ original work beyond sound effects and a more contemporary style. And in the swashbuckling world of The Three Musketeers, the audiobook-esque performance falls flat.

Lamar Legend’s adaptation and direction stay true to Dumas’ story. Trick Danneker’s D’Artagnan joins a group of musketeers: “the three inseparables,” Athos, Porthos, and Aramis, played by Porscha Shaw, Nicholas JaPaul Bernard, and Nathaniel Tenenbaum respectively. When his landlord, Bonacieux (John Coons), asks D’Artagnan to find his wife, Constance Bonacieux (Kathy Hsieh), D’Artagnan becomes involved in controversy surrounding the Queen of France (Kate Jaeger) and Duke of Buckingham (Basil Harris). D’Artagnan and the musketeers also meet the femme fatale, Milady de Winter (Kate Jaeger), an agent of Cardinal Richelieu (John Coons). Photo of Trick Danneker by John Ulman

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The Future is 0 Keeps Satire Classy

Review of The Future is 0 at On the Boards

Written by Teen Writer Ruby Lee and edited by Teen Editor Valentine Wulf

Jas Keimig Shannon Perry and Tomo Nakayama in The Future is 0 Photo by West Smith

The Future is 0 is an exhilarating night of satirical, refreshing commentary on our current society in the form of a classic game show, hosted by Clay Buff (Claire Buss) and Kat O’Hara (as herself). The show is, in the words of the hosts, “a battle of mental, physical, & psychological challenges” in which three contestants play a variety of absurd games. The contestants spin a wheel to choose the games, which are previewed with hysterical, Adult Swim style animations designed by Nick Shively, who also runs the booth. Subtly, one of the best parts of the show is the retro synth-pop theme music that plays throughout (and I am currently petitioning for its release onto streaming platforms).

Before the games begin, the main host Clay Buff performs her three-minute opening monologue during which an audience member is picked from the crowd to sit in the “Chuckle Throne.” A camera monitors the person's face and will sound an aggressively loud alarm whenever the person isn’t actively smiling and laughing. Besides being a hilariously bizarre intro, this establishes a key part of Clay’s character. Through her need for constant validation and praise and by forcing this audience member to smile and laugh the whole time we see her dictatorial manner. Her take on the classic game show host was eerie and fantastical and had a hypersensitive performative progressiveness that, while a commentary on our “fauxgressive” society, made her character refreshingly new but simultaneously all too familiar.

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Transcendent Chamber Music for Transcending Genre

Review of PUBLIQuartet at Town Hall Seattle

Written by Teen Writer Audrey Gray and edited by Teen Editor Disha Cattamanchi

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A string quartet is precisely the kind of musical act you’d expect to see at a place like Town Hall Seattle. Being a converted 20th century church, their Great Hall has a charming feel about it; people file past stained-glass windows, and slide into church pews with the chatter of any other audience. PUBLIQuartet was the string ensemble about to play that night in the Great Hall, with members Curtis Stewart, Jannina Norpoth, Nick Revel, and Hamilton Berry all taking their seats. The contemporary group advertised their sound as “dynamic, genre-bending chamber music,” a claim just as ambitious as their piece selections for the evening, which included an intriguing array of improvisations based on pieces composed by Ornette Coleman, Tina Turner, Alice Coltrane, and Antonín Dvořák. The stage dressing was simple; with only four seats, it lacked anything showy. Yet from the very beginning of PUBLIQuartet’s performance, from the hushed silence right before the first note was drawn, it became evident that they weren't just there for a good time. They were there to say something powerful.

In their first Seattle performance, PUBLIQuartet chose to play pieces from their upcoming album What is American. The work explores issues of identity and belonging in this country, using improvisations of well-known American compositions to expand on the power of music’s diverse history. American born-and-bred genres such as rock, funk, and jazz are used to represent the nuanced title, with genre musicians taking prominent positions in the album’s influences. The group performed renditions of contemporary works by Vijay Iyer, and improvised on Dvořák’s “American” Quartet, a popular chamber music composition influenced by the Indigenous and Black American music Dvořák encountered while in the United States. These compositional choices reflect most heavily the influence of Black music on America’s musical culture as a whole. Photo by Lelaine Foster

With this blend of influences and the added challenge of improvisation, how did PUBLIQuartet connect the dots between seemingly disparate works tied loosely with a label of “American”? It was an incredibly daunting prospect, but PUBLIQuartet surprised me; they made it seem effortless.

Every part of the performance was done masterfully. The group’s selections were tied together with a common thread of artistic reflection, which was accomplished within their improvisations by musically reiterating the similarities between the pieces. They included repeated motifs and rhythmic elements throughout their selections, giving their own commentary on the inspiration behind their reworked source material. By the end, PUBLIQuartet’s selections seemed so well-conceived that I wanted to experience them all over again, just to try to understand them a bit better.

The most magical thing about their compositions was the layered effect. The group balanced musical elements of rhythm, harmony, and melody within their pieces, so there were always several layers of sound, each accomplished with different instruments. In this way, no instrument went to waste—not even a single note. Every moment of the performance was taken up with a perfect blend of the violins, cello, and viola, but never in a way that felt old, repetitive, or dull. The musicians improvised so well with each other that the music never lost its depth, even as the group transitioned between different tones, genres of influence, and techniques. Unorthodox vocal and drumming techniques were layered on top of melodic elements and subtler harmonies, contributing to the distinct impression of PUBLIQuartet’s unique musical identity. Even as the musicians shifted back and forth from atmospheric interpretations of their source material to frenetic and dynamic moments, there was never a dull moment.

PUBLIQuartet’s pure skill and flawless musical layering were not the only impressive aspects of their performance. Their thoughtfulness, passion, and mastery laid heavily upon the audience, and their music lingered with a deep understanding. Alice Coltrane’s music was interpreted with a soulful and somewhat strange spirituality, incorporating both the original artist’s depth and PUBLIQuartet’s unique style. The improvisations on Fats Waller’s Honeysuckle Rose also painted a vivid cityscape with unconventional rhythmic elements. It added a layer of story to the original song, by reimagining it within the context of the life of Madam C.J. Walker, the first female self-made millionaire in America.

PUBLIQuartet's overarching enthusiasm and powerful interpretations tied every exemplary aspect of their performance together. If you closed your eyes as they played, their sound was defined by the fluidity, movement, and dynamism of their composition. PUBLIQuartet’s music was transformative, beautifully atmospheric, effortlessly exciting, and unlike any string quartet I’ve ever heard before. It was a lapse from genre-based confines for the ages.

PUBLIQuartet played at Town Hall Seattle on December 6, 2021. For more information see here.

Lead photo credit: PUBLIQuartet, photo by Lelaine Foster

The TeenTix Newsroom is a group of teen writers led by the Teen Editorial Staff. For each review, Newsroom writers work individually with a teen editor to polish their writing for publication. The Teen Editorial Staff is made up of 6 teens who curate the review portion of the TeenTix blog. More information about the Teen Editorial Staff can be found HERE.

The TeenTix Press Corps promotes critical thinking, communication, and information literacy through criticism and journalism practice for teens. For more information about the Press Corps program see HERE.

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Naughty, Nice, and Noir at Christmastown

Review of Christmastown: A Holiday Noir at Seattle Public Theater

Written by Teen Writer Roy Callahan and edited by Teen Editor Valentine Wulf

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Imagine a world where elves are security thugs, Mrs. Claus is a fake old schemer, and detectives and crime bosses suck on candy canes instead of cigars. In a tribute to two familiar genres we’ve all seen before, Seattle Public Theater’s production of Christmastown, written by Wayne Rawley and directed by Rachel Delmar takes classic Christmas characters like elves, reindeer, and jolly Santas and tosses them into a cauldron with film noir tropes, resulting in a hilarious Christmas romp that also examines dark themes with some dismal twists.

The story centers around Nick Holiday, a hard-boiled detective, who narrates the story to the audience as he works through his comedic thoughts aloud. After a mysterious lady elf shows Nick pictures of Santa’s questionable activity, he is thrown into a spiral of fights, escapes, chases, and interrogations with crazy police, reckless and brilliant cab drivers, and shady families that control the holiday. As Nick runs around the City of Christmastown, trying to uncover the truth about Santa, he begins to realize along the way that there are hidden secrets surrounding Big Red that many citizens don’t want to hear. The city's fate hangs in the balance as Nick faces past issues, confronts new ones, and digs deeper into the dark plot that surrounds Santa.

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Stand in Community, Solidarity, and Love

Review of Community Spread at the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience

Written by Teen Writer Ava Carrel and edited by Teen Editor Valentine Wulf

We Are In This Together C ID mural part of mural painting campaign that grew up after C ID businesses were boarded up in June 2020 Photo by Tony Ngo

Warm. That was how I felt leaving the Community Spread: How We Faced a Pandemic exhibit at the Wing Luke Museum. After spending a while freaking out about driving on I-90 for the first time, I walked through Capitol Hill, shivering and stuffing my hands in my pockets. Yet, when I pulled open the door to the museum, I was embraced with warm air and excited smiles.

The Wing Luke Museum is in a special spot. It could’ve been built by the Gates Discovery Center, or in Bellevue, but it’s in the International District right near Chinatown. The proximity to the Asian community that the museum honors is an important part of the experience. Walking up to the museum you pass an Asian grocery store, selling fresh dashi stock, durians, and pulled noodles. When I crossed the street, two bundled up elderly Asian women walked past me with arms full of groceries. It’s important that the museum wasn’t built in more developed neighborhoods. The museum isn’t white-washed and doesn’t pander to the desires of those more privileged. The diverse International District neighborhood creates a rich environment for the Wing Luke Museum.

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An Artful End of the Year

Teen Editorial Staff December 2021 Editorial

Written by Teen Editorial Staff Members Disha Cattamanchi and Lucia McLaren

Dec editorial

It’s that time of year when you look back and wonder where all the months have gone. Just yesterday it seemed like everyone was cheering at 2020’s end, and here we are now, just a month away from 2022. There are many things to be thankful for this year, but there are also many ways to celebrate this new beginning. TeenTix hopes to offer a sampling of all types of nostalgia and anticipation this holiday season, so come and join us in seeing some truly magical art.

Has COVID and all-virtual gatherings been making you miss that spark of connection with others? Then you should come see The Future is 0, a live show at On the Boards that promises to keep the audience on their toes with satirical commentary and a unique twist on a game show format. It seems like improv is everywhere this month—we’ll also be covering Uncle Mike Ruins Christmas at Jet City Improv, a show where your favorite family memories will be retold, live, with a comedian’s twist.

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The Movement of Identity at Archive of Longings

Review of Diana Al-Hadid: Archive of Longings at the Henry Art Gallery

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

DAH AOL Credit Timoty Doyon

When you walk into Diana Al-Hadid’s Archive of Longings, you are greeted by what appears to be a block of glittering ice—you’ll later learn that this mountain-like sculpture is called “Gradiva”. The thirteen sculptural pieces speak, in the most genuine way, to the different ways that the female identity can present itself. The “block of glittering ice” alludes to the title character from Wilhelm Jensen’s novella Gradiva, who was famously analyzed by psychologist Sigmund Freud. Gradiva became known in the world of surrealist art as “the woman who walks through walls,” and Frued recognized her as a modern mythical figure. Al-Hadid uses this imagery to highlight the elusive nature of desire, to show the viewer how women are perceived, and to call out where that narrative is lacking. She expertly captures the individual stories of women through imagery like that of “Gradiva”. At the same time, she focuses on the body, and how those two facets of identity, the physical presence and the cultivated experience, work together to navigate the world.

Immediately to the right of the exhibit’s entrance, there’s a sculpture of a staircase titled “Moving Target”. On a plaque, Al-Hadid writes that she creates things on a large scale to show that the physical labor it takes to make art is just as important as the mental labor. Perhaps the most striking of these large-scale pieces is the archway called “Smoke Screen” that is built into the wall, where peeled resin drips like icicles. When she blurs the lines between function and beauty—art and architecture—she works to “obscure a single narrative”.

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The Formation: A Performance of Pride and Power

Review of Let ‘im Move You: This Is a Formation at On the Boards

Written by Teen Editor Disha Cattamanchi and edited by Teen Editor Lucia McLaren

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It was with a force of a lion that the dancers gracefully contorted their bodies to the grand bass of the music. The earth-shaking tracks vibrated through Merrill Theater at On the Boards, mixed live at the sound table. Black dancers displayed their choreographed finesse and pride through This Is a Formation, the final work in jumatatu m. poe and Jermone Donte Beacham series Let ‘im Move You. Though the choreographed performance imbued Black Queer pride into a powerful visual performance, it contained elements of full-body nudity that were not highlighted beforehand, creating a somewhat startling performance experience for me. However, the performance skillfully melded ideas of sexuality, beauty, and playfulness into a piece that supersedes the boundaries of dance.

As poe and Beachman guided visitors into the performance space, onlookers noticed that Merrill Theater was transformed to fit the engaging nature of the performance. The seats were blocked off by a long black sheet, eliminating the use of a traditional ‘audience’ structure. Instead, onlookers of the performance were immersed into the formation of dancers. There was no allocated space for the dancers to perform on, no partition or separation between the performers and the viewers. Instead, people circled around the performance to get a closer look at the turns of the dancers’ bodies: the specific positions of their fingers, the darting of their feet to move them to different levels from the floor. This created an intimate and special atmosphere, calling back to a time where performance art was shared in the streets with crowds passing them in the big city.

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Understanding Why Heartthrob Movie Stars Became Just Movie Stars

Review of From Heartthrob to Movie Star at SIFF

Written by Newsroom Writer Malak Kassem and edited by Teen Editor Disha Cattamanchi

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Have you ever wondered what—and who—makes a successful film? Would Hollywood be what it is today without heartthrobs? From Heartthrob to Movie Star dissects how the entertainment industry uses the everlasting effects of the female gaze to produce bankable male actors. The SIFF webinar discussed actors including Leonardo DiCaprio, Denzel Washington, and George Clooney and the fame they gained with performances in rom-coms.

Faridah Gbadamosi, the facilitator and creator of the class, treated the event as a discussion while approaching the lesson. Taking place on Zoom, participants responded to questions asked by speaking through the mic, or by typing in the chat box. Participants were able to chime in with their ideas as the lesson progressed. People were commenting on movie clips, and sharing memories that came with certain movies, along with their take on the female gaze. Gbadamosi, who was knowledgeable and passionate about the topics she presented, led the class through enriching and collaborative discussion. Scenes and clips from various films and TV shows were played to observe points in the lesson. The webinar was visual, interactive, and engaging, but mostly, it was informative. Gbadamosi engaged with the virtual format in an engaging way, as it has been utilized throughout the pandemic. However, the zoom format was more isolated, and limited interaction with fellow participants.Viewers could have benefited from an in-person format due to a grander scale of networking with fellow classmates. Nonetheless, Zoom made the class more accessible, as Gbadamosi and myself joined from the east coast. Photo courtesy of SIFF

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Greetings from LA: the TeenTix Expansion

Written by Newsroom Writer Katherine Kang and edited by Teen Editor Eleanor Cenname

Teen Tix LA header

TeenTix has expanded to the fabulous city of Los Angeles! As the launch date of TeenTix LA approaches, we sat down (virtually) with Allison Whorton, the brain behind establishing TeenTix LA. As the program director of TeenTix LA and the only full-time employee, she wears countless hats to prepare for the launch of the organization. Some of her jobs include partnership building, as well as facilitating and cultivating relationships with community-based arts, cultural, and youth-serving organizations. In addition to strengthening these important relationships, Whorton is also in charge of marketing and outreach, guiding fundraising, and most importantly, getting TeenTix passes into the hands of LA teens. She described the process of establishing TeenTix LA as, “an exciting roller coaster!” Allison Whorton, Program Director of TeenTix LA. Photo by Quinn Meyers

Whorton is not alone on this journey. Along with an intern, there is an Advisory Board team of people who were a part of the earliest conversations of bringing TeenTix to Los Angeles. The idea of TeenTix LA initially began prior to Whorton being a part of the team. There were a series of round-table discussions about the sustainability of LA arts culture. The group brainstormed ways that organizations could include the next generation of Angelenos and cultivate a group of art lovers. Some members of the discussion brought up the model of TeenTix Seattle and believed that this model could ensure a future for the arts community in LA. Ultimately, TeenTix was described as being able to address audience development through a holistic lens and empower teens to take advantage of their art experience on their own terms, which was exactly what they were aiming to accomplish. Those who continued to look into TeenTix’s Seattle model became the Advisory Board and they immediately began surveying those in multidisciplinary arts and education communities. From the teens surveyed, they learned that almost 70 percent of teens felt unwelcome at an art space and almost 40 percent of teens believed that cost was a barrier for them to experience art. The TeenTix model would address both of these concerns and more.

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Music on the Strait and the Importance of Live Music

Review of Music on the Strait

Written by Teen Writer Yoon Lee and edited by Teen Editor Disha Cattamanchi

Richard O neal and Grammy

On March 2, 2020, the music department at my school was loading charter buses destined for Benaroya Hall when Governor Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency. With no precedent, the staff made the decision to unload the buses and cancel the event. I specifically remember sitting in the viola section, half the class grumbling about the cancellation, and the other half nervously commenting that perhaps the risk of this mysterious disease outweighed our several months of musical preparation. A week later, my school was closed in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

More than a year and a half later, I have yet to perform in a live event with an audience of more than three people. My musical life has been in front of a camera and under two stereo microphones, taking and retaking videos against a sterile beige background. As nerve-wracking as it may be to perform in front of an audience, there is something special about braving uncertainty and possible mistakes to deliver an honest presentation of your hardest work. It is for this reason that the return of Music on the Strait became a transcendent experience for me.

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