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

Review of We've Battled Monsters Before presented by ArtsWest

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

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

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

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Announcing: Art Begets Art Creative Writing Workshops!

See cool art and respond with creative writing in these new workshops with TeenTix and On the Boards!

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Calling all creative writers! Join us for a new series of FREE creative writing workshops, hosted by TeenTix in collaboration with On the Boards. In each Art Begets Art mini-workshop you’ll attend a performance at the On the Boards, then produce a piece of creative writing in response to the performance. Mini-workshops consists of three meetings: a pre-meeting to learn about the performance you'll be seeing, the performance itself, and a post-meeting to work on your creative writing.

You'll get to discuss the performance with other art-loving teens, meet the artist after the show, and receive individual mentorship from a professional writer on your work. There will also be an opportunity to publish your work on the TeenTix blog and receive a stipend for publication!

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The Book Versus Book-It

Review of The Three Musketeers at Book-It Repertory Theatre

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

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

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

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Naughty, Nice, and Noir at Christmastown

Review of Christmastown: A Holiday Noir at Seattle Public Theater

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

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

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

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An Artful End of the Year

Teen Editorial Staff December 2021 Editorial

Written by Teen Editorial Staff Members Disha Cattamanchi and Lucia McLaren

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

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

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The Formation: A Performance of Pride and Power

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

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

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

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

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Celebrate the Holidays with Art

Teen Editorial Staff November 2021 Editorial

Written by Teen Editorial Staff Members Esha Potharaju and Triona Suiter

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As we settle into the cozy fall weather, November beckons a slew of holiday celebrations. One way to get into the spirit is by enjoying some good old art, maybe to bond with a loved one you haven’t caught up with in almost two years, or maybe to treat yourself on a solitary afternoon. In the coming month, the TeenTix Newsroom will be hurtling through ballet shows, film classes, timeless plays, and holiday thrillers—and we hope you can join us in the journey.

To kick off the month right away with a healthy dose of feminism, we highly recommend checking out From Heartthrob to Movie Star at SIFF on November 4th. This virtual class focuses on the power of stories written specifically for a female audience and the importance of continuing to tell these stories despite the film industry’s increasing disregard for their value. Or, if you’re interested in female empowerment but want something a little more self-guided, Henry Art Gallery is hosting Diana Al-Hadid’s Archive of Longings exhibition, which will showcase sculptures exploring the natural world, Syrian and Muslim histories, and the female body.

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Come Home to Safety, Love, and Joy

Review of HOMECOMING Performing Arts Festival presented by Intiman Theatre
Written by Teen Writer Ava Carrel and edited by Teen Editor Lucia McLaren

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Last weekend’s HOMECOMING Performing Arts Festival from Intiman Theatre was a true celebration of joy. Walking into the festival, the love and effort could be immediately recognized: the patterns on the wristbands were beautifully drawn and the staff had towels on hand, constantly wiping seats off to make the event more accessible for their disabled or older guests. The pride was clear and well deserved.

The media constantly bombards us with news and images of trauma, loss, and marginalization—with the immense suffering of marginalized people becoming a staple in news today. Desensitization to such topics is becoming increasingly, and worryingly, normal. While it's essential to recognize systemic challenges to be able to invoke change, it’s just as important to showcase the togetherness and joy of POC and LGBTQIA+ communities.

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Back in School, Back in Business

Teen Editorial Staff September 2021 Editorial

Written by Teen Editorial Staff Members Disha Cattamanchi and Lucia McLaren

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While 2021 renews the all-too-familiar challenges of last year, it also brings something a bit more hopeful: a fall season full of new opportunities. The pandemic may not be defeated, but we are learning to adapt and minimize its spread, which means (you guessed it!) in-person events are returning. So as students pack their bags for the semester and the weather gets cooler, look to see what art we’re reviewing this September.

If starting school again makes you want to get on your feet and dance, then going to an in-person dance event may be just for you. Let ‘im Move You: This is a Formation, a contemporary dance performance at On the Boards utilizes themes of Black Femme and queerness to tell a vivid portrayal through dance. Whim W’Him is also presenting exciting performances with Fall 21 to get your spirits running high and ready for school. If dance isn’t what you’re looking for, you’re in luck. TeenTix LA has recently expanded to LA, and we will be are featuring the TeenTix LA staff to learn about the arts landscape in LA and what it’s been like to open a new branch of TeenTix.

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When Social Media, Spanglish, and Shakespeare Meet, Romeo y Julieta is the Result

Review of Romeo y Julieta, presented by Seattle Shakespeare

Written by Teen Writer Katherine Kang and edited by Teen Editor Lily Williamson

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Romeo and Juliet is a classic play that almost every student is familiar with. But what if the script was modernized to include trends that Gen Z-ers are familiar with, such as Instagram, TikTok, and even masks?

Seattle Shakespeare did just that with its production of Romeo y Julieta, a multilingual adaptation of the famous and bitter love story of Romeo and Juliet. With a gender-bent and diverse cast, the production was a perfect way to begin Pride Month. From the allusions to queer culture to a Spanish, English, and Spanglish script, this show was a celebration full of love, drama, and emotion.

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Bringing Joy In June

Teen Editorial Staff June 2021 Editorial

Written by Teen Editorial Staff Members Eleanor Cenname and Triona Suiter

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Take a deep breath. We’ll do it with you: in… and out. You have made it to June, and we are so proud of you. Whether you are a student and are nearing summer break or are working, take a moment this month to step back and breathe. When we think about summer, we might associate it with the beach or the pool. Proximity to water has been shown to reduce cortisol (a stress hormone) levels. This is called the Blue Mind Theory. So as we enjoy this warmer and sunnier month, we can take a moment to let the water that surrounds us here in Seattle carry away a bit of our stress. Another way that we can take breaks this month is through art. We have an exciting list of events for June that we hope will bring as much joy to you as they do to us.

Tune in on the 10th for a virtual presentation from Dr. Temple Grandin at Town Hall, discussing science, curiosity, and her new book. Check out Seattle Shakespeare’s Romeo y Julieta, a multilingual adaptation of the classic star-crossed lovers story. Spend some time exploring Seattle Public Theater’s HUE festival, a celebration of women playwrights of color and their creations. Tackle the truly absurd with The Doll Pit at Washington Ensemble Theatre, where Jody Kuehner spends an hour talking to herself--or rather, her iconic character Cherdonna Shinatra. Or, if you’re looking for something more visual, why not check out MoPOP’s Heroes and Villains exhibit, featuring over 70 iconic Disney costumes?

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Let Yourself Listen in on Someone’s Innermost Soul at Long Last With STARFISH Project’s 2020 Vision: Through Our Eyes

Review of 2020 Vision: Through Our Eyes, presented by STARFISH Project

Written by Teen Writer Rosemary Sissel and edited by Teen Editor Lucia McLaren

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A face, speaking directly to the video camera. Alone. It’s almost overwhelmingly intimate. To stare into someone’s eyes—eight people’s eyes—as they share their pandemic stories. Their insecurities, anxieties, quiet hopes, and innermost dreams. It’s terrifying—and everything we need. STARFISH Project’s 2020 Vision: Through Our Eyes allows us the long-lost luxury (and necessity) of hearing others open up their souls.

The hour-long recording begins with one person, alone in a Zoom call. More people join, but no one speaks. The scene cuts to a poet, writing alone, dramatically lit so that her writer’s block broadcasts against a backdrop of utter darkness. She grabs a piece of paper inscribed with the words “I can do this,” crumples it up, and throws it away.

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Sci-Fi Meets History in Book-It’s The Effluent Engine

Review of The Effluent Engine, presented by Book-It Repertory Theatre

Written by Teen Writer Valentine Wulf and edited by Teen Editor Lucia McLaren

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Steampunk is a subgenre of science fiction, usually set in the Victorian era, which imagines an alternate reality of steam-powered technology. Beyond the specific literary definition, it’s also a more general term used to describe a certain aesthetic: a futuristic and romanticized vision of the 1800s—almost always revolving around Europe, Victorian England specifically.

Book-It Repertory Theatre’s audio play adaptation of The Effluent Engine, originally a short story by N.K. Jemisin, is a refreshing exception to the overwhelmingly European genre. The Effluent Engine follows the story of Jessaline Dumonde, a spy trying to stop France from recapturing Haiti in the aftermath of the Haitian revolution.

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A Memorable May

Teen Editorial Staff May 2021 Editorial

Written by Teen Editorial Staff Members Lily Williamson and Mila Borowski

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The month of May has already provided both rainpours and blue skies, and in spirit with a month that really drives home the diversity of Seattle weather, we have a diverse array of art events to check out while hunkering down from seasonal showers. From a story about strong and dystopian heroines to an event highlighting the future of the music industry, the Newsroom will be reviewing events this month for every art enthusiast.

Curl up and listen to The Effluent Engine if you are in the mood to dive into a steampunk short story, read dramatically by Book-It Repertory Theater’s cast. Or, rather than hear about a fictional heroine, you can learn about Ellen Ripley’s feminist journey as evaluated through her roles in film at What The Femme: The Evolution of Ellen Ripley, a virtual class provided by SIFF.

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Bringing an Italian Crime Scene to Life on Screen!

Review of Accidental Death of an Anarchist, presented by UW School of Drama

Written by Teen Writer Nour Gajial and edited by Teen Editor Triona Suiter

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Although the pandemic has been restricting to many, it has not stopped the UW drama department from curating a professional show. Last weekend, I had the privilege of viewing Accidental Death of an Anarchist performed by the UW School of Drama. Through an online livestream, the performance reached a broad audience while respecting safety precautions during the pandemic. The show was two hours long with a ten-minute intermission—perfect for a lazy Sunday evening! The livestream started promptly and the actors took their spots on screen.

Accidental Death of an Anarchist is a story written by playwright Dario Fo based on real-life events in Italy in 1969. In the first scene, we jump into an interrogation of the protagonist called the Maniac. Throughout the show, we follow the Maniac as he conjures up new plans to figure out who killed the anarchist. Although the Maniac is portrayed as a male character in the main storyline, the UW drama team decided to have a female lead play this character. The actress playing the Maniac was full of energy and stayed immersed in her role. As a viewer, the character’s expressions kept me engaged and brought a lot of excitement to the performance. In my opinion, the character’s demeanor could have been enhanced if the background of the actors’ screens were unique to the setting in the story. That being said, through costume changes, the group was still able to portray time changes during the show. Unlike many other shows, Accidental Death of an Anarchist ends with a question posed to the audience where the viewers decide what happens next. Although this is not a conventional conclusion to a performance, it left the audience to form their own opinion about the plot which felt very engaging and left me thinking about the performance even after it had ended. Accidental Death of an Anarchist. Photo courtesy of UW School of Drama.

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April’s Showers and Flowers

Teen Editorial Staff April 2021 Editorial

Written by Teen Editorial Staff Members Anya Shulka and Lucia McLaren

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As vaccination rates rise, we can see the tail end of the pandemic on the horizon (knock on wood!). In this uncertainty-filled year, it's a huge relief to see improving conditions, though exercising caution is more important than ever. Still, warmer weather is peeking around the corner, and there's plenty of art and media for you to explore this month—no matter what you're looking for.

It’s no secret that the news has gotten everyone thinking about what comes next. For those interested in what life might look like in the future, look no further than Unexpected Productions’ Seattle Theatresports, a now in-person improv show. For those who prefer to see what teens envision the coming years to look like, check out SIFF’s Futurewave, an exciting lineup of movies and shorts curated for youth audiences.

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Dacha Theater Invites Everyone into an Ingenious Zoom Celebration of Enduring Friendship

Review of Secret Admirer, presented by Dacha Theater

Written by Teen Writer Rosemary Sissel and edited by Teen Editor Triona Suiter

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We have all, at this point, had that one quarantine experience. I will title it the Zoom Quest of Trying to Have an Online Conversation and Awkwardly Failing, or ZQoTtHaOCaAF, for short. Dacha Theater’s latest brilliant creation, Secret Admirer, invites watchers to journey through every possible Zoom adventure, from ZQoTtHaOCaAF to EFRtBTEaORC (Estranged Friends Reunite to Battle Their Evil and Outdated Robot Consciousnesses), in a heartwarming, inclusive, and hilarious test of the limits of virtual—and interactive—theater.

In a positively perfect ode to 90s-era kitsch, Secret Admirer centers around an answering machine board game in which a group of four friends compete to discover which cute dude is their fated prom date. The dudes, played delightfully stereotypically by four live performers, drop clues in the form of strange, but touching, in-game messages.

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Charting Uncharted Waters

Review of Uncharted Waters presented by Cornish College of the Arts, the University of Washington, and Seattle University

Written by Teen Editor Lucia McLaren and edited by TeenTix Teaching Artist Misha Berson

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Artists of all walks of life have taken quarantine’s challenges and made them into opportunities, not limitations. But community acts can seem distant online, an echo of their pre-COVID counterparts, serving as nothing more than a solemn reminder of a year gone by in isolation. Is it possible to cultivate a sense of genuine togetherness when health guidelines keep us apart? Uncharted Waters, a three-way theatre collaboration between Cornish College of the Arts, the University of Washington, and Seattle University, aims to bring to light what social intimacy 2020’s various crises have endangered.

Uncharted Waters begins with a production of Twelfth Night, a well-known Shakespearian comedy. Directed by Seattle University professor Rosa Joshi, the play follows the misadventures of Viola, a shipwrecked young lady who disguises herself as a man and throws the whole island of Illyria into cheerful chaos.

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Nod When You’ve Got It

Review of A Thousand Ways (Part Two): An Encounter, presented by On the Boards

Written by Teen Writer Kyle Gerstel and edited by Teen Editor Lily Williamson

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“The truth is rarely pure and never simple.” - Oscar Wilde

A man sits alone in a barren theater, awaiting my arrival. Upon the table before him lies a stack of index cards bursting with inquiries and fantasies to guide participants, a script to be performed for no one but one another. I take a seat.

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Announcing the Mentorship for Teen Artists of Color Summer Cohort!

Applications are now open!

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TeenTix, in partnership with The Colorization Collective (a teen-run organization that promotes diversity in the arts) is excited to announce our 2021 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.) and performing arts (musical theater, acting, etc.). Teens will be put into either a visual arts or performing arts cohort, and each group will be paired with a professional artist/mentor of color to create or workshop a piece specifically for the program showcase.SCHEDULE

The Summer M-TAC program will meet for 5 weeks (July 7-August 6), every Wednesday from 2-5 PM PST. The meetings dates are: July 7, 14, 21, 28, and August 4. There will also be a one-hour showcase the week of August 9 (exact time TBD).

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 2022.

Applications are open now and close at 12 AM (midnight) PST on May 31, 2021. APPLY HERE!

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 [email protected]

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