A Love Story Reimagined


Written by TeenTix Newsroom Writer VIOLET SPRAGUE and edited by Teen Editorial Staff Member KYLE GERSTEL

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Romeo and Juliet is the classic tragedy of star-crossed lovers who are famously doomed from the start. This version, produced by the Seattle Shakespeare Company, consists of 2.5 hours immersing the audience in beautiful language and guiding us through a complete rollercoaster of emotions.

Taking my seat in the audience at the Center Theatre, the sense of intimacy struck me immediately in the small, dimly lit space. This was heightened by the fact that the stage was on the floor, with the actors on the same level as the audience, blurring the line between performer and spectator. As the theatrical smoke wafted over us, anticipation hung in the air. Everyone sensed that something momentous was bound to happen; we just didn’t know what.

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Honk If You’re Horny!


Written by TeenTix Newsroom Writer CALLAGHAN CROOK and edited by Teen Editorial Staff Member ANNA MELOMED

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When you read the word “theater,” what do you picture? A raised stage with red curtains and footlights? Dramatic dialogue spoken from behind the fourth wall? Silence from the audience broken only by appropriate laughter and polite applause?

Well, if that sounds boring to you, welcome to Scrambling the Goose! Washington Ensemble Theatre’s newest show, which ran at 12th Avenue Arts from April 26 to May 17, challenges conventional boundaries of theater, not only by showcasing a wide variety of mediums and genres, but also by incorporating the audience as a crucial part of the show.

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Village Theatre’s The Fantasticks: Reimagining a Classic

Review of The Fantasticks at Village Theater

Written by TeenTix Newsroom Writer Prisha Sharma and edited by Teen Editorial Staff Member Anna Melomed

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Love problems, and moral issues, Village Theatre’s The Fantasticks deals with it all. This interpretation delves into childhood naivety and the ways we can be misguided by the things we least suspect. Despite its well-trodden storyline, the production breathes new life into the classic tale, ensuring familiarity doesn't breed lethargy.

Set against a backdrop of two houses separated by a wall, the musical follows the story of two fathers who conspire to unite their children, Luisa and Matt. The show invites the audience to engage in the unfolding narrative, allowing for a more interactive and immersive experience. At times, the audience gets questioned by El Gallo, the narrator, and bandit in charge of uniting the children, or looked at directly by the cast, treated like the lesson is the audience’s to learn too. It is worth noting that while the production succeeds in revitalizing the script by taking out many controversial scenes, there are moments where it stumbles. A fleeting reference to rape felt out of place and unnecessary, detracting from the scene. As it was spoken so quickly, it solidified that the show could have easily gone on without it. Photo courtesy of Auston James

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Finales and Finals Season

Teen Editorial Staff May 2024 Editorial

Written by Teen Editorial Staff Members Daphne Bunker and Anna Melomed

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It’s a busy time of year at the TeenTix Newsroom. We’ve arrived at the last review cycle of the TeenTix program year, many of us are students and are submerged in final exams and AP tests, and, for some, graduation is on the horizon. We hope that, as the year wraps up and the days seep into summer, you can take some time to rest. To breathe, enjoy a steady moment of your day, and maybe – surely even – go see some art! Here’s what we’re covering this month at the Newsroom.

Seattle Chamber Music Society is bringing a unique classical music fix with Adam Neiman’s varied program featuring Rachmaninoff's 6 Moments Musicaux, Ravel’s Miroirs, and Neiman’s own Visions. Moments Musicaux are very well known in the piano world, with the famous No.4 in E minor held as one of the hardest piano pieces of all time due to its rolling left hand. This set of concert etudes features a combination of musical complexity from introspective reverie to inner turmoil making it a perfect concert piece. If you’re looking to explore classical and experimentalist music you can see Adam Neiman perform on May 10th.

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You Never Know What Can Happen on The Moors

Review of The Moors at Seattle Public Theater

Written by TeenTix Newsroom Writer Kaylee Yu and edited by Teen Editorial Staff Member Kyle Gerstel

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Two spinster sisters sit in the parlor of their ancestral mansion. The mastiff, with his drooping jowls, pants rhythmically atop a brocaded carpet. The windows let in the weak light from the endless gray sky of the Moors; the maid Marjorie (or is it Mallory? Margret?) coughs and complains that their company is late. A governess, fresh-faced from London, arrives today.

Walking into Seattle Public Theater (known affectionately as “The Bathhouse”), the intimate, public-bathhouse-turned-blackbox-theater is filled with soft, slightly ominous piano music. On the stage is a dark sitting room, where antique, dark tones are counterbalanced by a millennial-pink velvet sofa. The moody set is a perfect, yet slightly quirky, canvas for a period piece—so long as you can ignore the paintings donning sunglasses and the converse-clad cast. Highlights in hair and pom-pom pens abound.

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STEW for the Soul

A review of STEW at ACT Theater
Written by TeenTix Newsroom Writer Raika Roy Choudhury and edited by Teen Editorial Staff Member Audrey Gray

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STEW at the ACT is a truly contemporary performance that explores the hefty concepts of family, guilt, and maturity. Centering on an intergenerational female household, the play relays the importance of breaking generational trauma through visual and aural cues. The narrative opens by introducing the family’s matriarch, Mama. Soon after, in a chaotic fashion, the rest of the family is introduced: Mama’s daughters Lillian, and teenage Nelly, and Lil’ Mama, Lillian’s daughter. At first, It was difficult to understand their relationships, but it became clear by the second act. The family is deeply interconnected, and each family member’s life parallels those from earlier generations. For example, Mama had Lillian at 17 and Lillian also had Lil’ Mama at 17. The other parallels are revealed at tense points throughout the performance, and the newer generations’ drive to break the often unfair norm created by their previous generation serves as a turning point for each character.

The story revolves around Mama making a large batch of stew. Stew brings the whole family together—even though Lillian and Lil’ Mama live elsewhere, they visit Mama to help her make and eat the stew. Stew serves as a symbol of hope and togetherness, and the progress of cooking the stew throughout the play reflects the mood of the story. Shaunyce Omar, Varinique “V” Davis, Shermona Mitchell, Kataka Corn in Stew, photo courtesy of Rosemary Dai Ross

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Reflection, Growth, and Fun as a Theater Production Mentor

Interview with Bayla Jaffe, 2024 Rising Star Project Mentor

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This motto, displayed prominently at the top of The 5th Avenue Theatre’s Rising Star Project information page, is exemplified by the teen participants of the career and artistic program. Beyond the clear empowerment of future professionals, these leaders of tomorrow are also strengthening and motivating current theater professionals.

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Sacrifice and Salvation: A Retelling of The Master and Margarita

A Review of The Master and Margarita at Dacha Theatre

Written by TeenTix Newsroom Writer Zunairah Karim and edited by Teen Editorial Staff Member Aamina Mughal

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The devil himself orchestrates chaos in the heart of 1930s Moscow in Mike Lion’s adaptation of Mikhail Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita presented by Dacha Theatre. This adaptation, staged at 12th Avenue Arts, delves into the philosophical dichotomies of good and evil, exploring their coexistence against the tumultuous backdrop of the Soviet Union. This production shows the power of theater by bringing complex philosophical narratives to life, inviting both newcomers to the story and fans of the original novel to engage with its depth.

The Master and Margarita uses magical realism and gothic elements to challenge societal norms and present deep philosophical questions. Set in a time when atheism was state policy, the story starts with the arrival of Professor Woland, the devil in disguise, and his eclectic entourage, who set Moscow ablaze with events that peeled back the layers of hypocrisy and corruption embedded within society.

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Rising Star Project Creates Community and Connection

An interview with Rising Star Project participants Sebastian Borges and Spencer Barber

Written by TeenTix Newsroom Writer Jwan Magsoosi

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We have all heard the theater kid stereotypes. Loud, dramatic, proud. Students in the Rising Star Project at The 5th Avenue Theatre are no exception to this, but in the best ways possible! I had the pleasure of chatting with Rising Star Project participants Spencer Barber and Sebastian Borges, who joined this community of talented youth and professionals to nurture their love for the arts. The RSP program mentors students in all aspects of theater production, and puts on a show at the end.

Barber and Borges both play the role of Dr.Grayburn in the farcical comedy, Something’s Afoot. In our interview, they both showed me how empowering the arts could be. We talked about the magic of theater, what they’ve learned from the Rising Star Project, and how more arts programs are becoming accessible to youth—a trend that will hopefully continue in the future.

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Inspired by Tradition, Innovating the Future: Isaiah Hsu's Theatre Odyssey

Written by TeenTix Newsroom Writer Hannah Smith


Actor, writer, and director-in-progress, Isaiah Hsu is taking on what might be his most important role yet: that of a young professional.

The start of Hsu’s acting passions began at Tacoma Little Theatre’s 2014 summer camp, when he played Shan Yu in Mulan. He also participated in Curtis Senior High School’s theater and choir, experiences that both helped him grow his voice as an artist, but it wasn’t until he joined Village Theatre for their production of Newsies that he felt he really “got his foot in the door” of the theatre world.

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Spring’s Arrival Marks Great Seattle Art

Teen Editorial Staff March 2024 Editorial

Written by Teen Editorial Staff Members Audrey Gray and Daphne Bunker

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The sun’s coming up in Seattle. As the evenings grow lighter, cherry blossoms bloom, and March brings us closer and closer to the equinox, now is the perfect time to step out into the near-spring air and go see some art with your TeenTix pass. This month, the Newsroom’s slate of reviews covers gothic theater, pluralistic choreography, classic musicals, and local comedy: a plentiful and varied spring spread!

Over at Dacha Theatre, Mikhail Bulkakov’s “gothic Soviet fairytale” Master and the Margarita is coming to the stage. Opening on March 22 and running at 12th Avenue Arts on Capitol Hill, the play is perfect for audiences who want to be entranced by magical realism and pulled into hilarious satire. A perfect partner to Dacha’s production is The Moors at Seattle Public Theater. This play, running from March 22 to April 14, promises even more gothic goodness, this time entrenched in the mystery of the English moors. Between unexpected arrivals and the secrets of old houses, The Moors will bring a rush of intrigue into your month.

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The Lower Depths

Review of The Lower Depths at The Initiman + Seagull Project

Written by TeenTix Newsroom Writer Joelle Walworth and edited by Teen Editorial Staff Member Anna Melomed

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“Who are we to pity the dead? We don’t even pity the living.” The Seagull Project and Intiman’s production of Maxim Gorky’s The Lower Depths highlight the disregard for human life and the tendency to separate ourselves from struggle. Its' raw portrayal of poverty seeks to challenge the viewer to see beyond themselves to ignore issues in society.

This discomfort begins immediately. As the lights fade in, cramped bunk beds and trash are seen littering the stage as the flophouse inhabitants live in semi-darkness. Illness, death, and hopelessness call this basement a home more so than the characters. The play attempts to welcome the audience in, to fully immerse in this nightmarish housing, empathizing with those who have spent their entire lives in such poverty. The majority of the play is set in this one-room home. I quickly grew weary of the littered and cramped set, and I craved something to bring me out of the horrific storyline. For me, the despair it evoked demonstrated that the play was dedicated to sharing the life-long experiences of mistreatment and poverty.

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Revisiting Our Most Human Questions in Honor of Groundhog Day

Teen Editorial Staff February 2024 Editorial

Written by Teen Editorial Staff Members Aamina Mughal and Kyle Grestel

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This February, in honor of Groundhog Day, the events that the newsroom is reviewing shed light on the dilemmas that have come to define the human experience: Who am I? Does joy come from continuity or change? Will there be another six weeks of winter? Though the fact that we continue to struggle with these questions can feel disheartening, we can also relish the fact that we, like so many of our ancestors, have the opportunity to untangle the complicated web of human existence.

Joy Harjo will be at Seattle Town Hall on February 27, a poet known for her writings on reconciling the past with the future as we all ask ourselves, how do we remember the past and our heritage without idealizing the pain in our history? Also taking inspiration from history, ArtsWest is running Born With Teeth from February 1 through 25. The play depicts queer, fictionalized depictions of William Shakespeare and Kit Marlowe, capturing the conflict experienced by all queer people and the erasure of their history while celebrating queer joy and excellence.

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Less of a Play, More of a Performance

Review of A Thick Description of Harry Smith (Vol. 1) at UW Drama

Written by TeenTix Newsroom Writer Lorelei Schwarz and edited by Teen Editorial Staff Member Kyle Gerstel

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When second-year UW graduate student Nick O’Leary pitched a show for the UW School of Drama’s 2023-2024 ticketed season almost a year ago, he was looking for a play with a unique form and relationship between performers and audience, and he found that in A Thick Description of Harry Smith (Vol. 1). To explain the show, O’Leary quotes the notes of playwright Carlos Murillo, with whom the cast was able to work during the first week of rehearsals: “This is less of a play, and more of a performance.” The play—or, rather, performance—is part of Murillo’s trilogy of Javier Plays, three scripts that draw from the work of little-known Colombian-American playwright Javier C.

The show, which incorporates live music and a chaotic, omni-surprising set, is difficult to describe, says O’Leary. “This script has its own rules, and Carlos has not followed any kind of template.” To bring a semblance of unity to this inherently unstructured show, he took inspiration from the medium of collage. When watching, audience members get the sense that there is no real end, and new pieces are added on, complicating the image.Photos by Sunny Martini, permission granted to use by the University of Washington, School of Drama.

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We Can Do Together

Review of Black Nativity at Intiman Theatre
Written by TeenTix Newsroom Writer Karli Kooi and edited by Teen Editorial Staff Member Kyle Grestel

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At the end of each year from 1998 to 2012, a staging of Black Nativity by playwright Langston Hughes was produced by Intiman Theatre, captivating Seattle audiences with a poetic celebration of Black joy and talent. Despite Black Nativity’s 10-year hiatus, fans inquired about tickets to the show each winter. This past December, director Valerie Curtis-Newton answered prayers for a Seattle revival with a reimagined production, adding a new act that embraces Black Gospel culture to bring warmth, exultation, and connection to Seattle audiences. The 2023 production also features choreography by Vania C. Bynam and music direction by Sam L. Townsend Jr. It is presented in partnership with The Hansberry Project, a professional African American theater lab “dedicated to the artistic exploration of African American life, history, and culture” led by Curtis-Newton. Founded in 2004, The Hansberry Project aims to provide the community with “consistent access to African American artistic voice… rooted in the convictions that black artists should be at the center of the artistic process, that the community deserves excellence in its art, and that theatre’s fundamental function is to put people in relationship to one another.” Their motto, “Where ART meets SOUL!”, is magnificently reflected in Black Nativity.

The show was first produced off-Broadway in 1961 with a cast of over 160. Since 1970, it has been performed yearly as a cherished tradition in Boston and continues to move and delight audiences nationwide. The show includes an all-Black cast and features design elements that incorporate African and African-American culture. The play, written as one act, is divided into two acts in this reignited production. The first part follows the Christian nativity story of Mary giving birth to Baby Jesus. Black Nativity adapts the classic tale with humor and regard. An incredibly talented gospel choir accompanies soloists from the group as well as a featured cast of five. The choir is clad in classic choral robes, sits around a lively band. Both choreography and choir-ography by Bynam accompany the production. The dancers move in individual spirit; their movements aren’t synchronized, but they’re aligned in their verve and emotion. Solos and duets enhance both sung and spoken passages, and technical vocal talent connects strong feelings with expressive dancing. The costumes by Dannielle Nieves, worn by dancers, featured characters, the five-person cast, and the onstage music director, provide vibrant texture and color to the show. Highlights include a pleated gold cape on an angel, beaded and frilled headpieces, and a blue, tie-dyed wrapped dress around the dancer Mary. Radiant lighting, by designer Robert Aguillar and assistant designer Chih-Hung Shao, masterfully shifts in tones with the story’s spirit. The set, designed by Jennifer Zeyl, consists of stained glass windows hanging above the stage. An upper platform allows for engaging cast movement that enhances this first act. Choir and Dancers, Photo by Joe Moore 2023

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Resolutions for Arts Consumption

Teen Editorial Staff January 2024 Editorial

Written by Teen Editorial Staff Members Audrey Gray and Kyle Grestel

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Happy New Year from the TeenTix Newsroom! This year, we challenge you to explore new artistic mediums, genres, and subjects, all for $5 with your TeenTix pass.

If you’re interested in branching into the visual arts, the Henry Art Gallery has more engrossing, novel exhibitions coming through 2024. Raúl de Nieves’s A window to the see, a spirit star chiming in the wind of wonder… opened at the Henry in September of 2023 and will continue well into summer. We suggest opening your year with the one-of-a-kind multimedia experience to set the tone for many more explosive experiences to come. Music’s rich but often-unexplored history is getting a spotlight at the Northwest African American Museum through their Positive Frequencies exhibit. Check it out to learn more about how music plays a role in Black History.

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Little Women: A Modern Retelling

Review of Little Women at Seattle Rep
Written by TeenTix Newsroom Writer Prisha Sharma and edited by Teen Editorial Staff Member Anna Melomed

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Upon entering Seattle Rep, the first thing that caught my eye was the small fireplace on the stage, plumes of smoke coming out from the top. Feeling like I was almost at home on an early Christmas morning, a soft flurry of snow descended upon the stage, delicately pirouetting in the air as the sisters called out for one another without being seen. Like cracking open a book, Seattle Rep's rendition of Little Women created an atmospheric marvel and a sincere retelling of the beloved story.

Through its many variations, I have fallen in love with the purity and innocence of Little Women, with its characters, setting, and timeless meaning. Rebecca Court, playing Amy, and Amelio García, playing Jo, both portray their characters flawlessly, captivating the entire audience. Their onstage chemistry is a testament to the intricate relationship between Jo and Amy, the constant bickering mirroring many sibling relationships. Being a focal point of the play, relationships, and connections are prioritized, yet the spotlight that was put on the sisters' relationships far outshined the one placed on Jo’s and Laurie’s intricate romance. Without any discernible connection between Laurie and Jo, it was difficult to feel any sort of actual heartache upon seeing her reject him. Their connection was more than just fleeting, and their knowing each other since childhood should have been something more time was spent on. This moment was to display a loss of innocence, and the stark reality Jo had to face in the ‘real world,’ where love did exist, where she had to make decisions concerning these issues. Katie Peabody, Rebecca Cort, Cy Paolantonio, and Amelio García in LIttle Women. Photo by Bronwen Houck.

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Irving Berlin’s White Christmas: Nostalgic, If Not Timeless

Review of Irving Berlin’s White Christmas at Fifth Avenue Theater

Written by TeenTix Newsroom Writer Lorelei Schwarz and edited by Teen Editorial Staff Member Kyle Gerstel

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When the faux snowflakes drift into the audience during the finale of Irving Berlin’s White Christmas from the 5th Avenue Theatre, it’s impossible to deny the magic of this show, the cable-knit sweater coziness of it all. Unfortunately, the chances of it snowing outside are slim to none, but you walk out of the theater convinced that life leans toward the magical, expecting a blanket of white to cover the city streets.

White Christmas, a stage adaptation of the 1954 movie musical of the same name, features holiday classics and angsty love songs alike. In the show, World War II veterans-turned-star singing duo Bob Wallace and Phil Davis decide (well, Phil decides and Bob is reluctantly dragged along) to follow another singing duo, the Haynes sisters, to Vermont.

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December’s Kaleidoscope of Inspiration

Teen Editorial Staff December 2023 Editorial

Written by Teen Editorial Staff Members Anna Melomed and Daphne Bunker

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It's wintertime! Even in Seattle's bleakest months of the year, vibrancy and inspiration are definitely not gone from Seattle’s arts scene. This month our writers will be putting on their explorer hats and experiencing art from around the globe. So join them on experiences ranging from Indonesian Gamelan to Nordic sculptures to contemporary Seattle experimentation.

Seeking to disrupt and reinvent, NextFest NW 2023 at Velocity Dance is a celebration of experimentation. Northwestern artists Maximiliano, Kara Beadle, Danielle Ross, and Sophie Marie Schatz present a singular yet cohesive experience from dancing, movement, and light. NextFest runs December 7-9 + 14-16, so don’t miss the contemporary event of the season at 12th Ave Arts.

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