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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Enough is Enough: Teens Challenge Gun Violence Through Theater

Written by TeenTix Newsroom Writer Violet Sprague

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ENOUGH! PLAYS TO END GUN VIOLENCE is a nationwide initiative to confront gun violence in a new way. Guided by teens with a passion for theater and activism, this festival is a collection of staged readings of six bold 10-minute plays written by students around the US. These plays are saying what needs to be said about the impact of gun violence and inspiring meaningful action in communities across the country. The performance takes place in 30 states, in 53 cities, all on the same night. These teen playwrights have turned to theater to avoid becoming just another statistic, and their plays make the statement: Enough is enough.

I attended the festival, produced by Seattle Children’s Theatre, The 5th Avenue Theatre, and The Alliance for Gun Responsibility, on November 6, with my dad and my friend Rhea Thombre (age 14, she/her). The seats in the audience were full of a whole collection of people. The tickets to the show were free, which ensured everyone who wanted to was able to attend—all different ages, abilities, races, joined together by a taste for change. As we sat there in the small theater, there was a sense of community, a we're-all-in-this-together feeling.

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The Power of the Pole Pavilion at Bumbershoot

Written by TeenTix Writer Xandra Yugto

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This Labor Day weekend, Bumbershoot is back with a wide variety of unconventional arts, like a cat circus and roller skating. Among those peculiar programs is pole dancing, a nontraditional yet empowering art. As a pole dancer myself, I was ready to take a spin and talk to the curators and performers of the show. The Pole Pavillion was a collaborative program created by Aero Space Studios in Oregon and Ascendance Pole & Aerial Arts, right here in Washington.

On Day 1 of Bumbershoot, I got to talk to Ashley Madison, one of the curators of the Pole Pavillion, and co-owner of Aero Space Studios where they encourage the art of pole dancing in Portland. The theme of the program was, “What does pole dance mean to you?” After asking Madison about the theme of the program, she mentioned that, “One of the beautiful things about pole dance is that you can go so many directions with it, and everybody has their own unique style and everybody chooses their path on pole which can be all over the place so we tried to pick a diverse program that showed different styles of pole.” As I watched the performers I could clearly see the diversity of their dance styles.

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Theatre is a Two Way Street at Public Works

Written by TeenTix Alumni Cordelia Janow

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Public Works, a program at Seattle Rep, is dedicated to bringing theatre to everyone. Through partnerships with community-based organizations, Public Works brings free theatre classes, productions, and performances to people in the greater Seattle area. This August 25-27, The Public Works Team will be putting on The Tempest, completely free of charge. I sat down for a conversation with Ally Poole, Public Works Manager, Talia Colten, Public Works Assistant, and Donovan Olsen, Public Works Associate, to speak with them about their work and the importance of the Public Works Program.

What is Public Works?

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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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14/48:HS: Adapting Youth Theater to a Modern Pandemic

Feature on 14/48:HS

Written by Teen Writer Audrey Liepsna Gray and edited by Teen Editor Eleanor Cenname

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Back in March, the COVID-19 pandemic introduced challenges that no one could have predicted just a few months earlier. For artistic communities nationwide, these hardships took shape in the accessibility of art; venues for creative exhibition and exploration closed, groups could no longer meet safely, and artists began to struggle under the challenges of just staying afloat. Organizations like 14/48:HS, a local community-oriented youth theatre group, were pushed into a virtual platform, their resources and activities stifled by quarantine. Even inspiration suffered under the toll of the pandemic. Days began to blend together into a surreal quarantine landscape, and the sudden depression of social distancing pushed many artists’ creativity into a background hum. Financial instability, social isolation, and the stress of self-sufficiency in a country that seemed to be collapsing were common issues among adults. But what about teens?

For teenagers all across the country, school and extracurriculars spelled out an escape from tumultuous relationships and home lives. Now, home life is all we know. Even school, something that used to be a welcome time for stimulation and friendships, is one hundred percent virtual and isolated. Most extracurriculars were postponed indefinitely or forced to move to an online format, including groups that promoted artistic expression through their activities. One such group is 14/48:HS. They’re dedicated to producing their student theater festival and being a supportive artistic community that fosters the creative growth of members in various artistic mediums. Their community is so strong, they’ve won the Teeny Award for Best Youth Engagement Program— twice. Since quarantine began, they’ve been trying to continue their group online. Finding solutions to the challenges that plague artistic communities during the pandemic hasn’t been easy. The inability to come back to a physical theater space has left a 2020 14/48:HS festival impossible, and they’ve struggled with engagement and creative work over a virtual medium. But 14/48:HS is overcoming these challenges, and they’re doing it in a fashion befitting their mission as a youth-led, directed, and produced organization.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, organizations have had to adapt to online meetings and employ creative problem-solving. 14/48:HS is a great example of how groups of young artists can use online tools at their disposal to explore their creativity and serve their community. I attended one of the 14/48:HS meetings and found an open, friendly community. Creative ideas seemed to bounce off every member and the atmosphere was relaxed. During the quarantine, they’ve been unable to meet in person and do many of the things that they normally do as a theater group, so they’ve changed up their mission and began focusing more on their community. Being a safe space to let members focus more on themselves and the social issues plaguing our community was important for them. However, they’re now beginning to get back to the artistic aspect of their organization and planning to use the internet, the one reliable tool at their disposal, for creating. Photo courtesy of 14/48:HS.

Social media may serve to be the most important tool in 14/48:HS’s shift back into theater during the pandemic. Community engagement has always been an important aspect of their organization, but during the quarantine, their artistic endeavors have suffered. A way to get back to creation whilst honoring these values may be through TikTok, an app with an overwhelmingly young user base. 14/48:HS plans on using the platform to create short musicals and skits, all recorded through the ideas of the members and from the safety of a home recording. The idea seems perfect for a modern theatrical response to a modern pandemic. The engaging, youthful peer-to-peer nature of 14/48:HS reveals just how well they’re making their group work even in these difficult times. They’re peers, and they’re a community; they know each other’s struggles, conveniences, and the trends of their generation. Because of this, they know how they can help each other through the dark tunnel of quarantine. Through this intrinsic connection, they’re able to more effectively understand their platform, their peers, and the world of virtual theater. Their use of other virtual sources than the more obvious video-chatting services shows their mindfulness, as it's an excellent way to combat the widespread phenomena known as Zoom fatigue.

These times may be rough and isolation may run rampant, but communities are still very much alive. The empathetic and engaging work of 14/48:HS proves this. Although creativity may take a backseat for many young artists in these times of strife and discord, nothing shows the strength of community and togetherness like knowing that that’s okay. Even a group as artistically oriented as 14/48:HS recognizes this. Their theater is made by and made for today’s youth. They use the internet mindfully to make a powerful point as they transition back to art. After all the fatigue and challenge of functioning solo in quarantine, the 14/48:HS community is a breath of fresh air and a sign of more creative youth theater to come in the future. It shows just how far a community can go towards making an event as universally stressful and isolating as a pandemic a little bit more bearable, and a little bit more creative. No other organization shows an intrinsic understanding of this better than the exemplary 14/48:HS.

More information about 14:48/HS can be found on their website.

Lead Photo Credit: Photo courtesy of 14/48:HS. Spring 2019 Festival.

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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Sweet Six Teenys in Quarantine

Feature about the 2020 Virtual Teeny Awards

Written by Teen Writer Sumeya Block and edited by Teen Editor Mila Borowski

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In this day and age of 2020, any chance to dress up, socialize, and enjoy a party drink or two is a Zoom call worth attending. Full of glitter, ball gowns, fun crazy wigs, bright makeup, and a red-carpet, this annual celebration really is the heart of TeenTix, and a sweet ode to its beloved pass program.

Last year, I went to the TeenTix Gala and Teeny Awards as a representative of the Newsroom. The Teeny Awards celebrated Arts Partners, and the TeenTix Gala celebrated TeenTix’s supporters. At the gala there were lots of crowns, masks, and references to the TeenTix board members’ teenage selves, whose photos accompanied lively centerpieces on each table. The Teeny Gala was just a week after the Teeny Awards, and many of the arts organizations who were nominated for awards were now present at the gala. Through the connections formed at these events, communities grow and opportunities unfold. What is so special about the TeenTix Gala is that it provides a space to meet others who crave creativity and serves as the jumping off point for us to grow in our love for the arts together. This year, TeenTix has split up the two events and the TeenTix Gala will be held in April 2021, while the Teeny Awards were hosted this November.

When I joined TeenTix New Guard this past January, I was most excited to help plan the Teeny Awards. When the planning committee started brainstorming back in June, we realized that this year would be different from the 2019 awards show. This year, we had to harness the same community-building atmosphere of our annual event onto a virtual stage; no longer would we be mingling at the SIFF cinema, now it would be set in people’s living rooms. We included different aspects from The Teeny Awards and the TeenTix Gala and combined them into the 2020 Virtual Teeny Awards. Initially, everyone was split into breakout rooms, which functioned as proxies for the round tables at the previous gala. The workshops and awards show was like the Teeny Awards part of the evening. For me, what was perhaps the hardest to say goodbye to this year was the infamous TeenTix snack table. The double stuffed Oreos and unlimited access to Rachel’s Ginger Beer were certainly missed, but it was cool to enjoy the signature drink of this virtual evening: a Sweet Sixteeny (YUM!).

TeenTix is 16 years old this year, and just like with any other sweet 16th birthday, there comes change: the mood might be different, the decorations more sophisticated, and there may be some new faces along with the appearance of the ones we know and love. I, like many other New Guardians and pass holders, share a birth year with TeenTix, and any birthday during a pandemic is no doubt bittersweet. The connection that all 16 year olds share, including TeenTix, is that during this pandemic, it is a weird and exciting time to turn 16. We are all trying new things, and making our way in a COVID-19 world. During social distancing, intimate times with friends and family can feel lonesome when their warm faces are just pixels projected from your TV. It might feel like the only benefit to all this is getting to have all that cake for yourself. So when it came to planning this year’s virtual event, our goal was to avoid that empty feeling and make the awards feel more personal, just like a birthday party where you finally get to see your friends after a month away at summer camp.

Since August, the Teeny Awards committee, Teeny Awards intern Daisy, and the adult TeenTix staff have been brainstorming how to make this a COVID friendly yet fun show. This year has been a time filled with a lot of new things, new routines, and new hobbies, and likewise we approached this with a new mindset. This year, the Teeny Awards stretched out over two days instead of one. We also combined what was previously the New Guard’s Teen Arts and Opportunities Fair and the many workshops we hold throughout the year into the Teeny Awards through Community Day, the second day of events. The TeenTix website is currently housing a virtual gallery displaying the works from a new mentorship program, and shares about what each teen accomplished in the mentorships. On the first day, before the Teeny Awards show, everyone played games over Zoom, socializing while coloring a TeenTix coloring sheet (drawn by a fellow New Guardian!).

This year, the Teeny Awards show was streamed on YouTube and a couple of us teens got to see the awards announced in a Zoom watch party, so we could all celebrate the winners and drink our Sweet Sixteenys! During quarantine, there aren't always a lot of chances to meet new people, so it was refreshing to have that during the two days of the Teeny Awards. People dressed up, (I wore a tiara in true Sweet Sixteen fashion), and we were treated to performances by Mirabai Kukathas, Helena Goos, and many more. The dance group DANDY hosted the show, bringing their lively and fresh performances to our screens. Teens and Teaching Artist Martin Douglas during a Music as Activism workshop at Community Day

The following morning, at Community Day, we were in for a treat with a workshop hosted by Martin Douglas, from KEXP, where we learned about rap and the cultural significance of the Black communities it is grounded in. We learned from Martin about many rap songs that discuss issues of incarceration and police brutality against Black people, and we discussed the role of music within activism and how that is presented. In the afternoon, I attended an Art as Activism panel where we got to share our own experiences and learn from the panelists, all local artist/activists about their work. It was exciting to have discussions with such talented artists and to learn about their creative process and intentions with their art. Just like last year, I feel so inspired by my experiences from the Teeny Awards. My own creativity has been refueled, and I feel like—for the first time in a long long time—I actually had fun on a Zoom call! And an extra bonus: I found a new artist to obsess over. The Teeny Awards always inspire me to write more, to use my TeenTix Pass frequently, and to make friends and engage in more art.

BRB, logging off to follow Mirabai Kukathas on Instagram!

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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Creativity Through COVID: How Some TeenTix Partners Have Managed the Crisis

Written by Teen Writer Josh Caplan and edited by Teen Editor Triona Suiter

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When the Covid-19 pandemic arrived, with it came a dark time for the arts. To halt the spread of the virus, our TeenTix partner organizations closed. Museums like Wing Luke, the Burke Museum, and MoPOP were closed to the public for what was then an unknown duration of time. However, this dark spot was not dark for ingenuity. Sparks of light appeared as our TeenTix partners found innovative ways to reopen safely. I visited these three museums with the initial intention of writing an article on the ways they had adapted to reopen during the pandemic. Unfortunately, we have recently seen a sharp uptake in cases, and with that, these museums have once again closed their doors. The state has issued a timeline that mandates museums to be closed until January 4, 2021. The museums continue their hard work through this lockdown, balancing the health of employees and patrons with their commitment to enthrall, inspire, entertain, and inform.

In my visits to these museums, this commitment became exceptionally clear. Photo courtesy of the MoPOP

When I walked into MoPOP, all groups stood over six feet apart and hand sanitizer was abundant. I was given a thoroughly cleaned stylus to use to touch screens throughout the museum. Small things like this immediately showed some of the adjustments MoPOP had made before they reopened. I strolled through an exhibit on Minecraft, walking past human sized endermen figures and mineshafts built into the walls. However, the most engaging part of the exhibit for me were videos focusing on how, to many, Minecraft is a world to explore one’s own ideas in any way they might like. That idea is very powerful during COVID times when some of us try to view this as a time to delve into new things. There were other fascinating exhibits I explored; they included an exhibit on the rich cultural history of tattoo, as well as exhibits on musicians from the Pacific Northwest area. All of the exhibits allowed me to do what for some, Minecraft does: reflect and explore.

As MoPOP has closed, they remain doing everything they can virtually. They have virtual live music events, with schedules online. You can find more information on their website.

The Wing Luke Museum is filled with a host of exhibits on Asian American history, art, and cultures. The Wing Luke had initially closed for six months. In March, when COVID hit, the Wing Luke and the Chinatown International District first felt the economic pains that came with COVID. The stigmatization of the pandemic originating in Wuhan, exacerbated by people’s prejudices, led to fewer people visiting the district and the museum. To add to this, the Wing Luke was at the peak of a fundraising season. They realized that these unprecedented times required unprecedented solutions and immediately took action on alternative fundraising and outreach. Chrissy Shimizu, director of individual giving at the Wing Luke, framed it this way, “We were seeing all of these long form videos that were scripted and didn’t come from the heart; all of the personal engagement that people get from being together did not translate. Instead, we encouraged our board of trustees to reach out to their friends who would usually attend fundraising events with them and ask how they were doing and hear what they would like from us as a museum.” Still from Wing Luke's safety protocols video. Courtesy of the Wing Luke Museum

This creativity and commitment to finding new ways to keep the Wing Luke vibrant during COVID continued as the museum re-opened. Rahul Gupta, Director of Education and Tours, and his team worked hard to develop a highly individualized and personal virtual tour system. “When people visit the Wing, we want them to connect deeply with their own story and how that connects with the story of the museum and the people who first built our building. We didn’t want to lose that exchange, our ability to talk with folks who are on our tours and be part of a co-learning experience,” Shimizu added. The virtual tour is a live Zoom call. Tour staff walks through the museum while being able to interact with the group and answer questions. The intimacy that might come with an in-person tour is maintained in a safe way. On the virtual tour you can explore the Yick Fung Chinese import store, the bedrooms of what was once the Freeman Hotel, and several other exhibits. Virtual tours are still happening now, and you can book one on the Wing’s website.

Now, in lockdown, the Wing is not losing ambition. They have also transitioned towards offering more online orders and their marketplace, separate from the museum, remains open for in-person visits.

The new building of the Burke Museum has been there for over a year now. From outside you can see a large fossil through a massive glass window, giving passers-by a taste of the wonders that are inside. When I visited the Burke, the experience was almost exactly how it would be if COVID had not happened, with the exception of social distance markers and mask wearing. Photo courtesy of the Burke Museum

Through the three floors of the Burke, I explored time periods, geology, plants, animals, the climate crisis, and the art and culture of Indigenous communities in the Pacific Northwest and around the world. The Burke has a massive treasure trove of fossils, art and information that is now not accessible in person. In response to the latest round of closures, the Burke, like MoPop has created an exciting virtual alternative. A lot of their artifacts and information is available on their website, in a section they call “Burke from Home.” They have videos, articles and image galleries on everything from identifying the plants of Washington to drawing our surroundings. They have periodic Q&As with their experts, drawing activities for kids and families, entire virtual exhibits, and cooking tutorials. The Burke’s response to this second lockdown has been to make their wonders available online and then some. You can learn and explore on their website just as much variety as you would in-person. Photo courtesy of the Burke Museum

Back at the Wing, Shimizu pointed out, “The International District is a more vibrant neighborhood ecosystem than any other neighborhood in Seattle. If [the historic businesses in the ID] were to close and go out of business, they might be replaced by something that doesn’t carry on the cultural memory and cultural significance of the neighborhood and AAPI culture and identity. The museum is a cultural and economic anchor... A lot of people who visit the museum will go shopping or eating in the neighborhood. We want to make sure that when we [make] adjustments to our business model, we also pass on the love to ensure the well being of businesses in the area.”

Local arts organizations serve a role like this in their respective neighborhoods. They are in a way the keystone species of their neighborhood ecosystems. By supporting arts partners like the Wing Luke, the Burke, and MoPOP, we are a key part of this ecosystem. COVID cannot stop us from doing our part. For more information on ways to stay engaged with and support these museums, you can visit their respective websites.

For more information on MoPOP, see here.

For more information on The Wing Luke Museum, see here.

For more information on the Burke Museum, see here.

Lead Photo Credit: Photo courtesy of the Museum of Pop Culture

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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I Dream Of COVID-19: The Evolution of Theatre in the Age of Coronavirus

Review of COVID Dreams at 18th and Union

Written by Teen Writer Audrey Liepsna Gray and edited by Teen Editor Lucia McLaren

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On March 23, 2020, Governor Jay Inslee issued the first stay-at-home order for Washington state in response to COVID-19. Plans were canceled, events were rescheduled. Inslee tentatively scheduled the first shutdown to last at least two weeks, but now self-quarantine and social distancing have been going on for seven months with hardly any sign of stopping. Being alone with ourselves has made things bleak and dire, and for artists all across the country, COVID-19 has signaled a substantial shift in the way we direct our creative energy. Forced out of venues but fueled by the crises of our day, a brilliant example of the adaptability of art has been revealed by the quarantine. Out of the ashes of the on-hold artistic scenes across the country, new art has emerged with new formats made for safety and perfected for the current age. COVID Dreams, a new play from Radial Theater Project and 18th & Union Seattle, is a perfect example of the evolution art has gone through in the one-of-a-kind time we’re living in.

COVID Dreams, directed by Merri Ann Osborne and written by Jacqueline Ware, is a part of a new era of innovative theatre that’s emerged during quarantine. It combines the necessary precautionary measures now needed to produce art with the easy intimacy and emotion of live production, despite the lack of an in-person audience. The play follows the conversation and personal connection between two college students as they wait for their professor to arrive for class and find themselves the only ones there. During the wait, they engage in lively talks about their lives in the age of coronavirus and impromptu a cappella performances about the stresses that consume their days. I had the amazing privilege to be able to talk with Osborne and Ware about COVID Dreams and gain insight into the world of play production and inspiration in quarantine. I quickly realized it’s been very strange and very, very limited.

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XALT: Unraveling Distanced Chaos Reveals Self-Identified Truth

Feature on Whim W'Him's XALT

Written by Teen Writer Sumeya Block and edited by Teen Editor Lily Williamson

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Pandemic life is nothing new: it’s in the headline of every arts event, and it’s the center of every news story, hashtag, and home. It is shocking how rapidly a single word can trigger dread and create a sense of isolation, or even mania, within an entire population. In these many months, the world has faced a great deal of change, and while isolation has proven to be one of the biggest challenges, we all have found ways to create the personal interactions we so intensely crave. Art has been a surprisingly integral part of these interpersonal interactions—watching a live stream from your favorite singer can be just as engaging as a phone call with a friend, and viewing short films on Zoom together brings us that much closer to the ones we care about. The opportunity to become invested in art and creativity is, in many ways, more accessible than ever. Arts organizations have adapted to COVID-19 by utilizing their websites to increase interactivity with hope of adding the personal touches that help thaw the loneliness of their audiences and supporters. Theater and dance companies have faced the same challenge: how can a theater bring audiences the gift of a show and continue to offer cherished community spaces when they aren’t physically open? This summer season, the artists of local dance company Whim W’Him had to find that answer for themselves.

“We decided to pivot into making dance films” says Whim W’Him artistic director Olivier Wevers. Before COVID-19, the dance company’s summer season XALT was set to consist of two live shows—MANIFOLD and The Way It Is. These pieces intended to explore the human journey and bring the audience into an intimate storyline, latching onto the personal, yet universal, emotions of the audience members and artists alike. But COVID-19 spun the arts world on its head, leaving many dance companies unprepared and in search of new ways to reach audiences. XALT’S MANIFOLD, choreographed by Penny Saunders, and The Way It Is, choreographed by Wevers, use dance to perfectly capture the loneliness of quarantine. It is strangely comforting to see the socially distanced dancers in these performances tread carefully, so as not to step into each other’s space. Whim W'Him dancer Andrew McShea and company dancers performing Olivier Wevers' The Way It Is during a pop-up appearance at Myrtle Edwards Park in Seattle. Photo by Stefano Altamura.

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A NFFTY Artist Feature

Interview with filmmakers from the 2020 NFFTY Film Festival

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

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Barb Hoffman just wanted to draw on clouds. Now, her film, What We See in the Clouds, is up for a jury nomination at NFFTY, the largest youth film festival in the world. This week, I had the privilege to speak with her (virtually) as well as the young artistes behind God is a Lobster, another film debuting at the festival, to discuss their experience making films safely in the age of COVID-19. Let’s see what they’ve been up to:

In Hoffman’s What We See in the Clouds, she has her friends describe what they see in various pictures of—you guessed it—clouds. Then, Hoffman expresses the descriptions visually by drawing on top of the images, blurring the line between reality and imagination. Essentially, she crafted a cloud-centric Rorschach Test and conveyed her results through mixed-media animation. She chose this technique because “telling stories with actual imagery that we’re used to, plus images on top of it gives [the film] a sense of magical realism that I’m very intrigued in seeing.”

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Passionate about Hip Hop? Interested in a career in music?

The Residency Hip Hop Program is now accepting applications for its 2020 cohort.



Youth ages 16-19 with an established desire to pursue hip-hop and music as a career must apply online and meet all criteria in order to be considered. This year’s intensive will take place at MoPOP from July 27th - August 21st. Application deadline is June 1st.

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Bridging the Gap Between Lack of Arts Funding and Career Pathways in Technical Theatre

Feature about the STARFISH PROJECT, a program by the Intiman Theatre.

Written by Maire Kennan, during TeenTix’s Beyond the Review Press Corps Intensive.


We met Sam, Adem, and Faith along with Kyle Hartmann, around a large table on a cloudy day in April. Sam, Adem, and Faith are all students at Franklin High School in South Seattle, and members of STARFISH PROJECT and Kyle, is the STARFISH PROJECT program manager. The focus of our meeting: to learn and gain insight and information about STARFISH PROJECT.

STARFISH PROJECT, which started in 2017 in a woodshop at Franklin High School, works to provide professional access to education and career opportunities in theatre craft. The program takes place anywhere between six and nine weeks, three days a week, for three hours. Each iteration works to put on a show. The program usually starts with the school’s existing theatre program (if there is one), and works with actors from the drama club as well as students interested in carpentry, set design, lighting design, stage managing and more. Although STARFISH PROJECT works with three high schools: Chief Sealth, Franklin High School, and Rainier Beach High School, the program is not limited to students at those schools. Any 14-18 year olds (and older) in the Seattle area are welcome to join the program, although it is geared toward high school aged kids, and they hope to expand.

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The Art of Backstage Storytelling

Feature about the STARFISH PROJECT, a program by the Intiman Theatre.

Written by Triona Suiter, during TeenTix’s Beyond the Review Press Corps Intensive.


The world of theatre is slowly getting more diverse. Actors of color are finding more jobs, female directors are gradually gaining recognition, and most shows are providing more representation as a whole. But the backstage world is still ruled by straight white men. Technical theatre is an extremely important aspect of stagecraft that is often overlooked. People prefer the flashy and glamorous onstage action to the quiet and stealthy work backstage. Because of that, technical theatre training is almost nonexistent. The STARFISH PROJECT is looking to rectify that.

Through a partnership with Sawhorse Revolution, the Intiman Theatre launched the STARFISH PROJECT in 2017. The project’s goal is to provide accessible training in all aspects of technical theatre to teens in the Seattle area, especially in high schools that have underfunded or nonexistent arts programs. Already, it has had a powerful impact on students’ lives.

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Interview with Betsey Brock, Executive Director of On the Boards


Each year we look forward to sharing the amazing stories of our GiveBIG SUPERSTARS with our TeenTix community. This year, we’ve added a “magic” word to this title to reflect the extra special nature of this group of devoted arts access champions who have transformed TeenTix with their consistent support. So without further ado, we’d like to introduce you to our first TeenTix GiveBIG SUPERSTAR SORCERER Betsey Brock! Betsey is one of just nine people in the whole world who has donated to TeenTix during GiveBIG every year since 2013!

Betsey has been a TeenTix fan from the beginning; she first got to know our programs through her good friend Holly Arsenault, the first Executive Director of TeenTix! At the time, Betsey was working at TeenTix Partner Henry Art Gallery, and her husband (curator and former art critic Eric Fredericksen) was asked to work with the TeenTix Press Corps, so the whole family soon got to see TeenTix’s programs in action... Not long after, her son turned 13 and signed up for his own TeenTix Pass. Today, as Executive Director of TeenTix Partner On the Boards, Betsey regularly works with TeenTix to foster an intelligent and engaged audience of young people.

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Broadway or 2.7 Million Dollar Debt? The Ballad of Phillip Chavira

Interview with Phillip Chavira, Executive Director of Intiman Theatre.

Written by Lark Keteyian, during TeenTix’s Beyond the Review Press Corps Intensive.

Philip photo

"The biggest question is, why would I come to Seattle after that?"

Phillip Chavira used to be a Broadway producer. His job was to raise money to invest in shows, and if they made a profit he got paid—which was rare, but glamorous when it happened. In 2016, he was nominated for a Tony Award for co-producing ECLIPSED, a play about the Second Liberian Civil War with an all women of color cast, director, and playwright. He worked with Stephen C. Byrd and Alia Jones-Harvey, the only current African-American producers on Broadway. But in 2017, he moved across the country to work with a theater company struggling to get out from under its 2.7 million dollar debt.

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