The Holidays Are a Time for Traditions, and Breaking Them

Teen Editorial Staff December 2022 Editorial

Written by Teen Editorial Staff Members Aamina Mughal and Kyle Gerstel

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As we enter the depths of winter and the holiday season, art in Seattle is picking up a familiar festive theme—with a twist, of course. Tradition connects us to our heritage and identity, but it can also feel limiting. The ability to evolve traditions and create something new and interesting for the present is and has always been integral to art. Rest assured, there will be plenty of opportunities to revisit and reconstruct our favorite holiday classics this December.

Seattle Public Theater is bringing a Christmas classic to the mix with a revival of their A Very Die Hard Christmas, running from December 3 — 30. Similarly, A Very Drunken Christmas Carol is coming back to the Seattle Opera after a sold-out run in the 2021 season.

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The Bloody Madness of Seattle Shakespeare’s "Macbeth"

Review of Macbeth at Seattle Shakespeare Company

Written by Teen Writer Carly Callas and edited by Disha Cattamanchi

Macbeth

“Life ... is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” ― William Shakespeare, Macbeth

Seattle Shakespeare’s Macbeth intensely portrays how the blind chase for power can wreak havoc on one’s life if left untamed. The story follows Scottish general Macbeth (Reginald André Jackson) on his quest to become king, following a prophecy from the weird sisters promising his ascent to the throne. With Lady Macbeth’s (Alexandra Tavares) help, he kills King Duncan (Charles Leggett) and spirals into insanity, plagued by the insecurity and shame of his deed. The cast interpreted the characters beautifully, but some of the special effects were distracting at times.

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Review of Little Shop of Horrors at the Village Theatre

Written by Teen Writer Elle Vonada and edited by Teen Editor Kyle Gerstel

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Warning: Spoilers ahead!

Village Theatre’s production of Little Shop of Horrors brings the classic horror comedy to life through thoughtful set design, choreography, and blocking. Little Shop of Horrors opened in 1982 as an off Broadway production with book and lyrics by Howard Ashman and a score by Alan Menken. Broke botanist Seymour Krelborn (Kyle Nicholas Anderson) has a breakthrough growing a fantastical plant. Seymour thinks his financial issues have been resolved when the plant attracts customers to the store he works at, Mushnik’s Flower Shop. However, the plant grows a mind of its own, and things go awry.

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Rain and Leaves, with Hints of Snow

Teen Editorial Staff November 2022 Editorial

Written by Teen Editorial Staff Members Disha Cattamanchi and Yoon Lee

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Welcome to the “Thursday” of the year! November isn’t exactly the Wednesday of the week, but it definitely isn’t Friday either. As we float towards the weekend of the year (December), the local arts scene too begins making the shift from fall to the holiday season. Various arts events of holiday spirit now coexist with cultural exhibitions that redefine the giving season, culminating in a Mariah Carey-esque thawing as the festive fun begins. So please you, enjoy yourself this November with productions of all kinds, holiday-themed or not!

Thanksgiving season is a time to reflect on our cultural identities, identifying how they will shape our futures. American Art: The Stories We Carry, an exhibit at the Seattle Art Museum, does just that, highlighting a diverse array of experiences that give new meaning to the term “American.” The exhibit opened on October 20th, and is a fun way to spark conversation with family and friends as you trudge about Seattle’s art scene in the remaining fall weather.

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Appreciating the Details in "The Great Jheri Curl Debate"

Review of The Great Jheri Curl Debate at East West Players

Written by Teen Writer Poppy Lang and edited by Teen Editor Yoon Lee

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The Great Jheri Curl Debate at East West Players explores the relationship between Veralynn Jackson (Julianne Chidi Hill) and Mr. Kim (Ryun Yu), and many different forms of racial bias.

Award winning playwright Inda Craig-Galván created a heartfelt, whitty and incredibly written play that East West Players performed beautifully. Directed by Scarlett Kim, this piece is a meditation on racial bias, overcoming certain preconceived notions, and creating a beautiful relationship.

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Las Mariposas: How a Rebellion Spread its Wings

Review of In the Time of the Butterflies presented at Book-It Repertory Theatre

Written by Teen Writer Joelle Walworth and edited by Teen Editor Audrey Gray

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The play opens to a lively set, filled with bright colors. Music pulses through the floorboards. The separation between the audience and the actors shrinks, and we are brought into the powerful, resonant story of four brave sisters. Directed by Ana María Campoy, the play In the Time of the Butterflies showcases the story of Las Mariposas and their rebellion against the Dominican Republic’s dictator Rafael Trujillo. Las Mariposas were four Dominican sisters—Dede (Beth Pollack), Minerva (Jasmine Lomax), Patria (Aviona Rodriguez Brown), and María Teresa Mirabal (Sofía Raquel Sánchez)—living during the tyrannical reign of President Trujillo. They helped lead the rebellion against his dictatorship, and three of them were eventually killed for it—their legacy, however, still played a role in Trujillo’s downfall. Based on the novel by Julia Alvarez and adapted for stage by Caridad Svich, the production by Book-It Repertory Theatre effectively conveys the events of Las Mariposa’s rebellion, but falters in operating as a theatrical piece.

One blatant issue with the piece is that as the sisters mature, the play’s events seem to have minimal effects on them. The sisters experience imprisonment, harassment, and horrors beyond imagination, but quickly after these events transpire, the characters return to their original disposition as though they had not encountered these evils at all. This flagrant lack of character growth is most noticeable in María Teresa. As a child, she was spunky and cheerful, always wanting new dresses and shoes. Her immature attitude surrounding clothing continues throughout the story, right up until her death—while Las Mariposas are driving before they are stopped and killed, María Teresa remarks on wanting a new bag. In some ways, this can be interpreted as a demonstration of how the sisters’ core values still hold true throughout all circumstances. However, in this scene, María’s materialism came off as shallow and fit the atmosphere poorly. Her childishness contrasts sharply with the mature and solemn María Teresa we see when she is actively participating in the rebellion. This inconsistency rendered attempts at understanding her emotional growth from child to adult near impossible. Her inconsistent nature could have been used thoughtfully to show the effects of Trujillo’s tyranny, but instead it makes it difficult to understand her character because she acts like two entirely separate people. Sofía Raquel Sánchez in In the Time of Butterflies at Book-It Repertory Theatre, Photo by Anthony Floyd

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Frights and Thrills for the Creative Spirit

Teen Editorial Staff October 2022 Editorial

Written by Teen Editorial Staff Members Audrey Gray and Esha Potharaju

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A rush of autumnal spirit thrums in the air. The transition from September to October is jarring—all of a sudden, the wind picks up, carrying the aroma of fall spices, and Halloween seems just around the corner. Throughout the local art scene, creative minds are preparing for this transition, setting up spooky productions of well-known favorites and spine-tingling selections of film and art that are sure to offer you a new vision into what the human mind is capable of creating. This October, seek out some new frights and thrills to get your blood pumping and rejuvenate your spirit, curated by the Teen Editorial Staff here at TeenTix.

If you’re eager to experience how the classic monster-laden iconography of Halloween manifests in the mind of Shakespeare, visit Center Theatre for Seattle Shakespeare Company’s taste of cackling witches and cold-blooded murder in their production of the world-renowned play Macbeth. If you’re riding on that wave of spooky theater but are looking for something a bit more lighthearted and punchy, drop by at Village Theatre to watch Little Shop of Horrors, based on the cult classic 1960s film of the same name. The show is jam packed with comedy, rock, romance, and carnivorous, borderline predatory plants.

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Stories Like "Where We Belong" Belong on More Stages

Review of Where We Belong presented by Seattle Rep

Written by Teen Writer Anna Melomed and edited by Teen Editor Kyle Gerstel

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Where We Belong is a story told by one person, but it features countless different perspectives. Meet Madeline Sayet, the playwright and performer of the piece. Her Mohegan name translates to “Blackbird” and over the course of the play, Sayet learns to soar through life. She is the daughter of the medicine woman of the Mohegan tribe, an Indigenous tribe nestled in the emerald forests of Connecticut. Her community is her family and a large part of her identity.

The audience learns that several things make up a soul: a name, a family, and a passion. A passion is an incredibly strong thing: when a person discovers their passion, it changes their life. It is a thing we can fall back on no matter what goes wrong.

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The Interpretations and Identities in Choir Boy

Review of Choir Boy presented by ACT Theatre

Written by Teen Writer Amelia Stiles and edited by Teen Editor Disha Cattamanchi

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A seat in the second row of ACT’s Allen Theater could not have prepared me more for the intimate and captivating story of Choir Boy. As I sat feet away from the hexagon stage, I was immediately brought into the Charles R. Drew Prep School for Boys’ Commencement Ceremony. Seconds into this opening scene, the space fills with the rich and resonant voice of protagonist Pharus Young (Nicholas Japaul Bernard), the bold and audacious leader of the school’s gospel choir. Choir Boy revolves around Pharus’s sexuality, religious identity, and experience being Queer and Black in an all-male prep school. His story is thoughtfully conveyed through gospel, Step choreography, and innovative set design. I enjoyed the show’s creative visuals, although some of the character choices left me confused.

The unique incorporation of sound made the show a personal experience. Unlike a flashy musical, the songs in Choir Boy are fully a capella. Music entirely created with the human body lets the characters deeply express joy and pain. The absence of an orchestra leaves room for creative ways to fill the space with sound; stomping, clapping, and slamming of benches, and other body percussion are used in each musical number. These are all qualities of a specific African-American dance form, Step. By adding Step into the choreography, Juel D. Lane, the choreographer, creates a complex visual to pair with the powerful vocals on stage. This not only provided the audience with a more raw and personal way to experience the characters’ emotions but also gave a chance for audiences to see a historical Black dance form presented in a modern play. Step, paired with the gospel lyrics, allows the personal stories of each character to be told through their Black experience. The song and dance adds a deeper understanding of the character’s identities. Without explicitly speaking about being Black, the characters can demonstrate how their identity contributes to their stories.

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Windows and Mirrors Across the Seattle Art Scene

Teen Editorial Staff September 2022 Editorial

Written by Teen Editorial Staff Members Kyle Gerstel and Aamina Mughal

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As summer yields itself to autumn, a sense of renewal flurries in the air. For TeenTix, this manifests itself most literally in our new batch of TEDS (Teen Editorial Staff) and Newsroom writers, but we also want to consider the importance of increasing the range of stories we consume and how we consume them. Depending on your perspective, the events you’ll see reviewed on the blog this month can act as windows into experiences different from your own, as well as mirrors reflecting and representing voices that are too often left unheard.

Art has served as an outlet for marginalized communities, but the arts community has also historically suppressed these voices, making diverse perspectives inaccessible. We believe it is critical for teens (and all citizens) to see themselves represented in art and expose themselves to the experiences of others. As the school year starts back up, it is our hope that we continue this trend of renewal and are able to introduce a greater feeling of belonging in the arts scene.

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miku, and the gods. is a Stunning Spoken Through Musical

Review of miku, and the gods. presented by ArtsWest

Written by Kyle Gerstel and edited by Teen Editor Esha Potharaju

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I love the Seattle theater scene. We have a wide range of venues that specialize in vastly different types of theater. Hungry for a flashy musical? Go to The 5th and you won’t be disappointed. Interested in exploring more challenging work without sacrificing production value? Check out what’s playing at the Rep. However, there is no theater I know of with shows as surprising yet consistent as ArtsWest. From the delightful We’ve Battled Monsters Before to the disturbing Monsters of the American Cinema, the theater has presented some of the boldest, most intimate productions I’ve seen since quarantine ended, and the world premiere of miku, and the gods. may be my favorite of them all.

The spoken-through musical follows Miku, a 12-year-old girl of Japanese descent, as she pursues her dream of becoming a god. It feels inappropriate to call the show a play since its rhythmic pacing, choreography, and use of theatrical devices are more aligned with what I expect from a musical. Miku’s desire to become a god serves as a smart and relatable analogy for the struggles of tweenhood, but many of the other characters lack a clear objective. Nonetheless, I remained captivated for the entire show thanks to the performers’ energy, playwright Julia Izumi’s wonderful wonder-filled dialogue (antimetabole intended), and director Alyza DelPan Monley’s raw yet thoughtful staging.

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The Price of Selling Kabul

Review of Selling Kabul presented by Seattle Rep

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

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Entering Seattle Rep’s Leo K. Theater, I could taste the stage: Lex Marcos’ scenic design is immersive yet intimate and textured without overwhelming the senses. The play takes place in an apartment in Afghanistan and Marcos cleverly incorporates a second layer of windows in an adjacent building, which enhances and broadens the world of the story. In addition, the apartment itself has remarkable depth, with doors, a hallway, and a kitchen separate enough to be believable while managing to fit the stage. Once the play started, D.R. Amromin’s evocative soundscape and Geoff Korf’s escalating lighting elements only drew me in more.

Selling Kabul explores the ethical and emotional consequences of valuing one life over another. It follows an Afghani interpreter for the U.S. Army as he hides from the Taliban in his sister’s apartment.

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Don’t Pigeonhole Children’s Theater

Review of Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! The Musical! Presented by Seattle Children's Theater
Written by Teen Writer Kyle Gerstel and edited by Teen Editor Esha Potharaju

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Seattle Children’s Theatre’s Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! The Musical! is not a bad show—admittedly, it is quite enjoyable. However, the book’s innovative structure is replaced with an unfortunately banal narrative, eliminating the essence of what made the source material so special.

The book Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! follows a pigeon’s antics as he attempts to convince readers to let him drive a bus. Meanwhile, Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! The Musical! tells the story of a pigeon who is denied his wish of driving the bus, but learns to help the bus driver in a different capacity. Mo Willems, who created the original text, serves as the show’s lyricist and co-wrote the script with Tom Warburton.

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Balance the World of Love and Family

Review of Romeo y Julieta presented by Seattle Shakespeare Company

Written by Angelina N. during an Arts Criticism workshop at Glacier Middle School

Randj21

Our school had the opportunity of allowing 8th graders to watch local performers perform a rendition of the Shakespearean play, Romeo and Juliet - or in this case, Romeo y Julieta. The actors themselves did wonderful, however, myself and many others found that the play was quite confusing and boring. Many of us had no idea what was going on, and the play seemed to drag on for hours (which it technically did).

The play Romeo y Julieta follows the tragic story of two star-crossed lovers in Verona, Italy as they balance the world of love and family. The two meet at a masquerade feast where they both meet for the first time and fall in love. Unfortunately for them, their families, the Montagues and the Capulets, have been enemies for many generations. Even knowing about the feud, the two decide to get married with assistance from Julieta’s nursemaid and Friar Lawrence. The day of their wedding, Julieta’s cousin Tybalt and Romeo’s cousin Mercutio participate in a duel where Tybalt ends up taking Mercutio’s life. Upon hearing about the death of his cousin, Romeo finds, duels, and kills Tybalt. When the Prince found out about the deaths, he sentenced Romeo to exile. Julieta, not wanting to be without Romeo, or marry Paris whom her father is forcing her, tries to kill herself. However, Friar Lawrence helps her hatch up a plan for her and Romeo to run away together. Julieta fakes her death and awaits Romeo in her family tomb. The Friar’s plan however did not work because Romeo misses the Friar’s message about Julieta and goes to see her himself. At her tomb, he meets and kills Paris before finally seeing Julieta’s alleged dead body. He kisses her and downs some poison and dies at the foot of her tomb. Julieta wakes up not too long after to find Romeo dead and kills herself to be with him.

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They Would Do Anything to Be Together

Review of Romeo y Julieta presented by Seattle Shakespeare Company

Written by Binta So during an Arts Criticism workshop at Glacier Middle School

Randj20

Have you ever seen the play Romeo y Julieta? Well if you have that's great but if you haven't Romeo y Julieta, it's about two lovers that are very much in love but due to their religions and their families not liking each other, their relationship was not supported so they were not allowed to see each other. At the end they both killed themselves thinking the other partner was dead, so basically they killed themselves because they both lost the love of their life.

In the play Romeo y Julieta I liked when they never gave up on each other but i didn't like the mango scene because in my opinion it was unnecessary.

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Smooth Transition Between English and Spanish

Review of Romeo y Julieta presented by Seattle Shakespeare Company

Written by Ron Nguyen during an Arts Criticism workshop at Glacier Middle School

Randj19

The play Romeo y Julieta is about two people that are in love with each other. But due to their family, they can not be together.

In the play Romeo y Julieta, I was fond of the smooth transition between English and Spanish. I think this makes the play a lot more interesting. Because without it the play would seem a bit inaccurate because the play is set in a Spanish speaking country. So, with this edition, it makes the play a lot more interesting and the transition from the two languages is also very smooth and consistent. This makes the play a lot more pleasing to watch.

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Well Performed and Well Put Together

Review of Romeo y Julieta presented by Seattle Shakespeare Company

Written by Zoe Hamaker during an Arts Criticism workshop at Glacier Middle School

Randj18

In the play Romeo y Julieta, a play about two people who fell in love, their parents do not like Romeo. Then both ended up killing themselves at the end of the play because of their love and they both thought they died. I felt like it could’ve been more entertaining and more interactive with the audience.

I think it could’ve been more entertaining during the play if they would ask the audience member questions during the play as a more entertaining way to pull the viewers in because most of those kids didn’t pay attention half the time. But instead they made 200+ middle school kids sit in a small gym and watch a theater play about romance, and if you didn't know, those four things don’t add up. So I think it would be important to take into consideration that no middle schooler except for theater kids would enjoy Romeo y Julieta live action.

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A Forbidden Love

Review of Romeo y Julieta presented by Seattle Shakespeare Company
Written by Norah Bustanoby during an Arts Criticism workshop at Glacier Middle School

Randj17

The play Romeo y Julieta was a play where Romeo had a forbidden love with a princess named Julieta. They quickly had fallen in love and later both committed suicide due to a staged death from Julieta.

I liked when Romeo and Julieta died because the actors really put in effort to make it seem that they really were hurt. The character that played Romeo truly did show how he was in pain from his lost love Julieta. Not just Romeo but Julieta did to her character, expressing to us that she was in so much despair that she would go as far to kill herself just to be with him.

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Their Strong Suit were the Suits

Review of Romeo y Julieta presented by Seattle Shakespeare Company

Written by Kameron Thav during an Arts Criticism workshop at Glacier Middle School

Randj16

This play is about two families in Verona, Italy. One of them being Romeo's family and the other being Julieta's, who have conflict against each other. Unfortunately, Romeo ends up meeting Julieta and Romeo and Julieta ended up falling in love. However, the families found out about this love and did not like it.

I liked the costumes of the play. I also liked the action in the play because it was entertaining but I didn’t like the language switching in the play, it was too confusing.

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Realistic and Action Packed

Review of Romeo y Julieta presented by Seattle Shakespeare Company

Written by Peter Vinn during an Arts Criticism workshop at Glacier Middle School

Randj15

The play Romeo and Juliet is about two lovers who want to be with each other but can't because of their families. In the play Romeo y Julieta they do a lot of sword fighting. One of them pretended to kill herself, but when the other found out, they killed themselves. They want to be with each other but their families had a rivalry so they couldn't be together.

I didn’t like the play as much because it was pretty confusing. It was confusing because there was a lot of talking and I could barely hear them. Also, the story in general was confusing when I could hear them. I liked how they were still going even when it got loud because it shows how focused they were into the play.

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