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

Review of Two Mile Hollow presented by Intiman Theatre

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

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

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

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Family Is Always the Most Important Thing In Our Heart

Review of This Girl Laughs, This Girl Cries, and This Girl Does Nothing presented by ArtsWest

Written by Gia Tran during an Arts Criticism workshop at Cascade Middle School

RM 2611

In the play, This Girl Laughs, This Girl Cries, and This Girl Does Nothing by Finnegan Kruckemeyer, there are three sisters - triplets - who live together with their parents. Some big events made them separate from each other. Then, each of the girls goes through their own interesting experiences and grows up. The themes of this play are about family, identity, childhood and being alone, so if you are the person who loves stories about family and self-expression, this one is the perfect movie choice for you.

First, in the play, they show you about how the family is important to you. For example, the dad left the triplets in the forest but instead of getting mad, the first thing they think about is finding him. To me, this shows that as a family, we are never going to be mad at each other for a long time and that family is always the most important thing in our heart. Secondly, the experiences that each of the sisters go through made me really impressed and it showed me about how we find out our identity. For instance, Carmen, the girl who chooses to stay in the woods, has her own way to go and she is helping people and then has her own family. Or Albienne, another sister who chose to go, to fight for her love and protect the village. This shows how we have to deal with being alone in real life. This movie reflects the experiences that we will have to go through to grow up and become mature in our real life.

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Everything Happens for the Best

Review of This Girl Laughs, This Girl Cries, and This Girl Does Nothing presented by ArtsWest

Written by Natnael Ayele during an Arts Criticism workshop at Cascade Middle School

RM 2690

The play This Girl Laughs, This Girl Cries, and This Girl Does Nothing by Finnegan Kruckemeyer, is a story about three sisters who live with their dad. The three sisters are Albienne, Carmen and Beatrix, and each have a different idea/identity. The themes of this play are find your own way for your future, find yourself and family.

When the sisters get lost, they have to find their own way for the future and find themselves. After their dad abandoned them, Carmen, who was the one who did nothing and stayed in that place where their dad left them, was friends with the animals. It shows that Carmen doesn't want to go forward or backward. The second sister, Beatrix, went to the west where her dad left and where the sun set to find her dad. This shows she doesn't want to lose the things she has so she decides to go backward and find her dad. And the third sister Albienne goes to the east and she becomes a soldier and a woman who helps people around that area. This shows she doesn't want to go forward and she wants to try new things.

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Family Is So Important To Us Even If We Don’t Realize It

Review of This Girl Laughs, This Girl Cries, and This Girl Does Nothing presented by ArtsWest.

Written by Roshelyn Munoz Cu during an Arts Criticism workshop at Cascade Middle School

RM 2772

In the play, This Girl Laughs, This Girl Cries, and This Girl Does Nothing by Finnegan Kruckemeyer, three sisters grow up with their father until they are thirteen years old. In a dark night, the three sisters got lost in the woods so each one decided to go a different way. As time passed the sisters had different lives that they did not imagine they would have. But as the years passed and they found their own way, they noticed that they missed their previous lives with their father and their sisters.

One theme of this play is about growing up alone. Growing up can be so difficult because sometimes you have no idea how to face situations on your own without help, without anyone else who can explain the things you don't understand. But also over time things may change the situation because we can find ourselves that we like, the different opportunities that we have and learn to be independent. For example, in the play when the father abandoned them in the forest, all of them took different paths. At the beginning it was not easy because they spent many years apart. But they found a way to do well in life. That is what the play also wants to show.

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Love Your Family When You’re Already With Them

Review of This Girl Laughs, This Girl Cries, and This Girl Does Nothing presented by ArtsWest

Written by Sina Tesfagabir during an Arts Criticism workshop at Cascade Middle School

RM 2705

In the play, This Girl Laughs, This Girl Cries, and This Girl Does Nothing by Finnegan Kruckemeyer, there were three sisters who lived with their dad and mom. They were a family at first but then somehow they separated and they all wanted to get back together, so at the end they found each other again.

The theme of this play is that family is important.

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Pop, Rock and Folk, It’s All Shades of Gray

Review of Afterwords presented by the 5th Avenue Theatre

Written by TeenTix Newsroom Writer Zoe Loughnane

The cast of Afterwords A New Musical at The 5th Avenue Theatre Photo Credit Mark Kitaoka

The 5th Avenue Theatre has historically been the first residence of many productions. The newest addition to its repertoire of world premieres is called Afterwords by Zoe Sarnak and Emily Kaczmarek. It follows sisters Kali and Simone as they struggle to piece their life back together following the death of their mother. With the new burden of ever-mounting bills and the house mortgage, they rent out their attic to news journalist Jo, who is similarly in the midst of wading through the churning sea of loss. As they get to know each other, a complex history of intersecting stories unravels and new relationships form. The show bounces between modern-day and the past as we meet our characters and explore their stories. This story is one of love and loss, grieving and healing, hardships and family.

Afterwords was very reminiscent of Rent. A newer, less rock, version of Rent, but Rent nonetheless. It has some of that raw and truthful emotion that Rent’s composer Jonathan Larson loved to utilize in his work. As I sat down in the theater, the first song “After” came on it immediately engaged me. The use of bold harmonies straight off the bat to build the music and draw the viewer in immediately gave me goosebumps and a sense of total encompassment. Now, as we evolve as a music loving society, Broadway evolves with us—Six embraces our pop side, Hadestown our love of folk and jazz and of course Hamilton the popularity of rap. So Afterwords’ pop/rock/folk score was not new per se, but still thrilling, and surprisingly cohesive throughout the show given the differing genres.

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Despite High Production Value, Afterwords, I Was Disappointed

Review of Afterwords at The 5th Avenue Theatre

Written by TeenTix Newsroom Writer Daniela Mariz-Frankel

The cast of Afterwords at The 5th Avenue Theatre Photo Credit Tracy Martin

Despite being overwhelmingly enjoyable to view, Afterwords disappointed on more than one front. After having thoughtfully contemplated the story, I felt the characters lacked development around the mental health issues they faced, and the plot had a very disheartening resolution. The musical opens with a well-delivered monologue, from a character named Jo, then progresses into the story of two young sisters, arty Simone, and Kali, the older, Grammy-nominated sister. They live in their recently deceased mother’s home together. They both struggle with grief in a realistic way—Simone tries to push it down, and Kali is deeply bitter. When Simone brings up the fact that they really need another source of income and suggests they get a roommate, Kali is extremely defensive, but eventually relents when Jo, a war reporter, shows up on their doorstep to apply to be a tenant; she recently lost someone very important too.

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Letting Go of Grief with Afterwords

Review of Afterwords presented by The 5th Avenue Theatre

Written by TeenTix Newsroom Writer Adrian Martin

Eliza Palasz Kali Understudy Kerstin Anderson Simone and Mari Nelson Lydia in Afterwords at The 5th Avenue Theatre Photo Credit Mark Kitaoka

The 5th Avenue Theatre’s Afterwords, a new musical about three women working through an unexpectedly intertwined grief, is a bone-shaking masterpiece.

The show follows sisters Kali and Simone six months after their mom has passed, living together in their childhood home. When finances get tight, they search for a roommate. Jo, a journalist mourning the loss of her mentor, moves in, hoping the change in scenery will help her write his eulogy. The show switches from past to present—it follows Kali and Simone’s mother as she falls in love and cares for her daughters in the months leading to her death, and how Jo’s mentor shapes who she will become—to the women trying to navigate the space they left. The final twist completed the tragedy of the relationship of these five.

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Seattle Shakespeare Has Little to Say About Much Ado

Review of Much Ado About Nothing presented by Seattle Shakespeare Company

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

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

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

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Final Stretch, Here We Come!

Teen Editorial Staff May 2022 Editorial

Written by Teen Editorial Staff Members Esha Potharaju and Disha Cattamanchi

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

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

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April Showers Bring Art’s Flowers

Teen Editorial Staff April 2022 Editorial

Written by Teen Editorial Staff Members Eleanor Cenname and Lucia McLaren

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

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

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

Review of Teenage Dick presented by Seattle Repertory Theatre

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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You Nervous?

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

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

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

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

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Announcing the Mentorship for Teen Artists of Color 2022 Summer Cohort!

Applications Open Now!

Summer Mentorship Grapic

TeenTix, in partnership with The Colorization Collective (a teen-run organization that promotes diversity in the arts) is excited to announce our 2022 Summer Cohort of our Mentorship for Teen Artists of Color (M-TAC) program. This program will specifically allow teen artists of color to hone their artwork under the guidance of professional mentors. This is a great way for teens to better their craft, build connections in the arts community, and present their art!

This mentorship is for teens interested in visual arts (painting, drawing, sculpture, etc.), writing (poetry, creative nonfiction, etc.) and performing arts (musical theater, acting, etc.). Teens will be put into either a visual arts, writing, or performing arts cohort, and each group will be paired with a professional mentor of color to create or workshop a piece specifically for the program showcase.SCHEDULE:

The Summer M-TAC program will run from 10 AM to 1 PM PST on the following dates:

Wednesday, July 6

Wednesday, July 13

Wednesday, July 20

Wednesday, July 27

Wednesday, August 3

There will also be an hour-long showcase on Wednesday, August 10.

All meetings are conducted virtually, via Zoom. Teens receive a per-meeting stipend for their participation.

Teens in the M-TAC program will also have the opportunity to participate in workshops during the school year, as well as present their finished work during the TeenTix Teen Arts and Opportunities Fair in June of 2023.

APPLY NOW!

Applications are open now and close at 11:59 PM PST on April 30, 2022. Applicants must be ages 13-19 and a current TeenTix member to participate. (Not a TeenTix member yet? Don't worry - sign up for free right here!)

If you need assistance filling out this application, please contact Anya Shukla at colorizationcollective@gmail.com.

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

Review of The Mystery of Irma Vep presented by Intiman Theatre

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

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

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

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The Arts are Blossoming this Month!

Teen Editorial Staff March 2022 Editorial

Written by Teen Editorial Staff Members Disha Cattamanchi and Valentine Wulf

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

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

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The Monsters Under America’s Bed Have Come Out to Play

Review of Monsters of the American Cinema presented by ArtsWest

Written by Teen Writer Kyle Gerstel and edited by Teen Editor Valentine Wulf

Alexander Kilian

In the two-person domestic drama Monsters of the American Cinema, ArtsWest invites audiences to confront the most difficult of demons: those in our own homes. Monsters follows the story of Remy Washington, a Black man who takes care of his dead husband’s straight, white teenage son, Pup. They bond through a shared love of classic monster movies, but tensions arise when Remy learns that Pup bullies a gay teen at his school, and frequently uses the n-word around his friends. Has Remy raised a monster? Meanwhile, Pup’s childhood nightmares of ghosts and monsters return with increased severity.

The 2021-2022 season When We Wake was curated by a cohort of ArtsWest leaders and Associate Artists over the course of eight months, focusing on themes of community, collective healing, and the power of storytelling. Unlike the first show of the season, We’ve Battled Monsters Before, which primarily explored cultural heritage through the lens of joy, Monsters of the American Cinema leaves audiences intentionally uncomfortable, contributing a more disturbing perspective to the discussion of identity prompted by the former.

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Hotter Than Egypt: A Tourist Fiasco

Review of Hotter Than Egypt presented by ACT Theatre

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

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Hotter Than Egypt, written by Yussef El Guindi and directed by John Langs, is a captivating play that you will be increasingly drawn into as the story unfolds. I was lucky enough to witness the world premiere at A Contemporary Theater (ACT), eleven years after El Guindi began Hotter Than Egypt during the Egyptian Revolution. The play follows two separate couples with seemingly little in common, as their lives become more and more intertwined. The plot plays on common tropes such as American ignorance to other cultures, and middle aged couples who have lost the spark in their relationship. The play has an intimate feeling throughout, taking unexpected and original turns while expressing enlightening commentary on broken marriages and power dynamics. This play declared it’s excellence to me through well developed characters, fabulous set design, riveting and topical social commentary.

The play follows Jean (Jen Taylor) and Paul (Paul Morgan Stetler), a white American couple from Wisconsin, on their travels in Cairo. They leave their college age children behind to embark on a trip to celebrate their 24th wedding anniversary. It is revealed later that their trip was planned to coincide with Paul’s work trip. While in Cairo, long-buried troubles within their marriage begin to surface as they interact with recently engaged Egyptian tour guides, Maha (Naseem Etemad) and Sief (Wasim No’mani). They soon find that working through their issues will not be easy, as the couples’ lives become increasingly complicated. Ahmad Kamal’s role as a boat driver, museum guard and door person really bring the setting to life. His range pulls the story together and allows for the play to feel more dimensional adding in plots that would otherwise be difficult to explore with only the two couples.

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Bringing the Past into the Present Through Song With Fannie

Review of Fannie: The Music and Life of Fannie Lou Hamer presented by Seattle Rep

Written by Teen Writer Josephine Bishop and edited by Teen Editor Lucia McLaren

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The stage opens to a quaint, wooden room. There is nothing but a small bookshelf and desk to the right, and to the left, a bare bench and coat hanger. An American flag stands basked in the bright glow of a spotlight. Littered about the theatre, there are signs that read: “We demand equal rights now!”, “Jim Crow must go!”, “We demand voting rights now!”, and “In freedom we are born, in freedom we must live!”.

Fannie: The Music and Life of Fannie Lou Hamer begins with Fannie Lou Hamer—usually played by E. Faye Butler, but for that afternoon’s show by Shaunyce Omar—walking onto the stage to speak at a podium. Hamer’s voice is loud and captivating as she begins her retelling of attempting and failing to vote when suddenly, the podium is pulled away. President Lyndon B. Johnson has ordered a spontaneous conference at the White House solely to take away the focus from Hamer’s testimony. This scene, simple as it may be, makes you angry on Hamer’s behalf and is our first taste of the heart-wrenching injustices that will take place later on.

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