Confusing in All the Right Ways

​Review of JACK & at On the Boards, written by TeenTix Press Corps Member Juneaux L!

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Going into a performance or art display of any kind without given any sort of information about the performance beforehand is certainly a curious and exciting experience. Going in to see JACK &, this fact didn't change. I found the steadiness of the fish in the bowl theme to be quite intriguing, given the fact that, in hindsight, I believe it represented much more than what it originally seemed to.

The beginning set up of the show is a blue and turquoise mandala in the center of the stage; on its outskirts, a fishbowl and some cans of Crush soda sit on a stool. Green racks stand to the right side of the stage. On the left sits a computer and speakers on a table, and behind that is a circular tarp.

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Carpets Are Unrolled. Nerf Guns Are Shot.

​Review of Patti & the Kid at On the Boards, written by TeenTix Press Corps Member Anya S.!

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A bright, gray light illuminates the stage, which is empty except for a tired, sagging tree; two rock-like structures made of carpet; and orange cords hanging from the ceiling. The audience, hushed, waits for thirty seconds. The stage is still. Fifteen seconds more. Nothing. People start rustling in their seats. Another fifteen seconds, and an alarm clock starts blaring. Carpets are unrolled. Nerf guns are shot. Patti & The Kid has begun. For the first half of the play, uncomfortable silence seems to be the norm. In their post-Apocalyptic world, Patti and Kid never speak; rather, the only soundtrack is the blaring of a CD player, which accompanies the two characters as they Jazzercise, eat carrots, and make coffee—completely normal activities, which perfectly juxtapose with the strangeness of the situation. Patti and Kid are wary of the area outside their carpets, and only leave their spaces when standing on a small rolling carpet square and pushing themselves around with a broom. The only technology onstage is old—the clunky CD player, the coffee maker, the alarm clock—yet clearly integral to these characters’ lives.

One starts to believe the silence is some sort of side effect from the Apocalypse. But then Tammy—the antithesis of Patti and Kid, a little girl who seems to have no problem with this new, post-Apocalyptic world—arrives with her feet firmly planted on the ground. She breaks both the fourth wall,addressing the audience directly,and whatever spell has kept Patti and Kid from speaking. While the two characters’ actions originally have the tired, monotonous air of repetition, their silence shows they have performed their morning routine so many times that no words are needed; with the entrance of Tammy, Patti and Kid move into uncharted territory, and discuss previously buried parts of their lives through cathartic monologues.

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Expect the Unexpected

Review of Patti & The Kid at On the Boards​, written by TeenTix Press Corps Member Emily B.!

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How do you expect a play to begin?

With an almost deserted stage which remains still and silent for an uncomfortably long period? A stage which, even when filled with movement, will be devoid of voice for a large portion of the play?

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Hit the town with Penguin Productions!

​Shows. Talkbacks. Group discussions. Penguins on the Town has what you're looking for!

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Does theatre get your brain juices flowing? Do you love talkbacks with cast and crew? Do you love dissecting the meaning of art with a group of peers?

Penguin Productions, one of our newest Community Partners, has what you need! They're gearing up to offer a new quarter of this play-going and discussion class, and you're invited to join them. Get all the deets below:

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Twelfth Night Camp @ SPT: FREE for TeenTix Members

Brighten up your after-school schedule with this FREE camp from Seattle Public Theater!

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TeenTix's beloved Arts Partner, Seattle Public Theater, is offering limited FREE spaces in this drama camp for a few lucky TeenTix members! PRODUCTION: Twelfth Night or As You Will

Be a part of a production of one of the most famous romantic comedies of all time: Twelfth Night is the story of outsider Viola, who washes up in an unfamiliar country and has to disguise herself as a man. Filled with love, misunderstandings and gender bending, Twelfth Night is a delightful plunge into the colorful world of William Shakespeare. Taught by ArtsWest's production manager Jay O'Leary, this production is sure to get young actors engaged and excited about working with classical text. Intended for grades 7 - 12. Only TeenTix members may apply: sign up now!

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FREE for TeenTix Members: 14/48 Winter Break Camp

​Seattle Public Theater is offering a camp starring the quickest theater festival in the world! TeenTix members can apply today for a free spot.

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Being a TeenTix member has all SORTS of benefits: $5 tickets to the arts, exclusive arts events, snacks, and now this! Seattle Public Theater and 14/48: The World's Quickest Theater Festival are teaming up to bring you this Winter Break Camp. TeenTix members are encouraged to apply here to snag a FREE spot in this camp. Don't wait! Spots are limited, and the camp starts next Monday, February 19th.

Here are the deets:

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American Hwangap: Another Type of Rebirth

New Guard members Anya S. and Neha G. sit down with director AJ Epstein & share their thoughts about West of Lenin's production.

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Last week, we were lucky enough to go see American Hwangap by Lloyd Suh at West of Lenin. The play explores the relationships of an American-Korean family, the Chuns, particularly that of the family’s estranged father, Min Suk Chun, who returns home after fifteen years to celebrate his “Hwangap” (a commemoration of his 60th birthday). Before the show, we were also able to sit down with the play’s director, AJ Epstein, to ask a few questions.

With an artist for a mother, Epstein grew up surrounded by theatre. He went to shows regularly, and his parents were very supportive of him going into an arts-related field: “I was really lucky, that… I was able to have agency over [my decision to pursue an arts-related career]”, he stated. That wasn’t the only unique aspect of his arts-related journey, we found out, as Epstein had come up through lights and sound, and got into directing only later, in college. After purchasing West of Lenin, a tiny, eighty-eight seat, black box theater, in 2009, he started producing and directing shows there. Part of the theater’s charm is its small space, which provides the audience with a much more intimate experience.

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Reflections on the Rep’s “perhaps overambitious” production of HERE LIES LOVE

An unsolicited review by TeenTix member Elizabeth V.F.

Going to see Here Lies Love is an experience. It is immersive and provocative and at times incredibly overwhelming. This rock musical was written by Fatboy Slim and David Byrne about Imelda Marcos, the wife of a Filipino Dictator in the years leading up to the People’s Power Revolution.

While the Rep’s 2016/17 season revolves around power dynamics, HLL would perhaps have been more fitting in the next season, titled “We are real, messy, human.” The entire duration of the play one both sympathizes and is disappointed with Imelda as she embarks on a life that seems to continually draw her further and further away from reality. HLL gives voice and accessibility to Filipino history while at the same time telling the story of a complex and struggling woman in power.

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Get Silly with These Improv Classes!

Calling all wisecrackers! Unexpected Productions offers up two ~super fun~ classes this summer. Take a look!

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Do you want to laugh and make people laugh? Unexpected Productions has the goods! Take a look at their class offerings this summer:

Intro To Hip Hop Improv with North Coast | more info June 13, 2016 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM, w/ a show at 9:00 PM New York City’s premier hip-hop improv comedy team, North Coast, is a unique collaboration of improvisational comedy, hip hop, beatboxing, and music. This musical improv workshop will get even the most beginner performers comfortable and confident with freestyle rapping and will teach you how to really drill into the deal of your scene and its’ characters. Learn how to set yourself up, find your flow, and weave your rapped verses in and out of your improv scene-work.

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Unraveling the Mysteries of Sisterly Love

A review of WET's The Things Are Against Us by Elizabeth V.F.​

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The Things Are Against Us is a trip on the dark side of the alley when the shadows seem to move behind you. Equal parts hilarious and terrifying, this play is a story of sisterly love that leaves viewers on an emotional roller coaster, and ultimately, not sure how they’re feeling. The play blends old descriptive language with modern verbiage seamlessly in the world playwright Susan Soon He Stanton creates. Having written the play while living next to the Edward Gorey Estate, the play delves into a sense of horrifying normality where things that would normally require hours of background are addressed in a staccato fashion establishing them as ordinary and acceptable.

Though at times hard to follow, the play never loses interest. Seemingly “un-producible,” Washington Ensemble Theater brings to life the story of Solange and her sister Tessa with a beautifully and wondrously constructed set and intense and compelling on-stage relationships.

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A peek inside ACT Theatre

TeenTix New Guard member Caroline H. spends the day at ACT Theatre

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All we see on stage when we go to see a play are the actors and the set pieces. We notice the lights and sound, and maybe the tech crew, but there are so many parts to running a fully-functioning theater that people may not realize. I considered myself pretty knowledgeable about all things theater, but I still had a lot to learn on my mini-mentorship with Robert Hankin, the Associate Director of Development at ACT Theatre. He was a great person to have as a guide and mentor for the day because he said he has had nine different positions in his nine years at ACT!

I was surprised by the dozens and dozens of people who work behind the scenes to make everything run smoothly. A few departments I can rattle off: Development (a.k.a. fundraising), Sales, Marketing, Graphic Design, Casting, Costuming, Set Design, Tech Design, Outreach, Front-of-House, Executive Team, Artistic Team, and more! I remember meeting one person in the elevator who's only job was to paint things. In a large-scale theater like ACT, so many different moving pieces have to work together cohesively. What mattered was that everyone cared about what they were doing and enjoyed putting in the effort to create amazing theater.

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Get Steampunked & Attend a #GHOSTSTORYPIZZAPARTY!

Join TeenTix, Pork Filled Productions, and Washington Ensemble for two upcoming, unforgettable special events!

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Wanna get acquainted with the TeenTix community? There's no better way than to attend one of our ~special events~ produced in cooperation with our partner organizations. The best part about seeing one of these shows? Proceeds from the tickets you purchase always support TeenTix and our mission to ensure equitable access to the arts for all young people. Ready, set, GO get some art!

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Win 2 Tickets to LOLZapaOOPSa!

​Be a WINNER by answering this trivia question for two tickets to LOLZapaOOPSa!

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What if we told you that answering a single question could win you 1 teen ticket + 1 adult ticket for our upcoming special event, LOLZapaOOPSa? WHAT IF!? BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT WE'RE TELLING YOU.

A special donor has donated two tickets (1 for a member, and 1 for a companion adult) for this Thursday's event to give away to one lucky winner who can answer this question correctly:

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Punk Rock Moms

​Review of Angry Housewives at ArtsWest by Vivian Lappenbusch

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Imagine your dear, sweet mother. She’s living a very plain life, making sure the laundry is done before starting dinner, making ends meet, and generally keeping everyone alive and happy. Now imagine that mother, who couldn’t hurt a fly, is now in a punk rock band. Hard to not laugh at, right? ArtsWest is bringing that image to life. Directed by Shawn Belyea, Angry Housewives is a delightful musical about four wives and girlfriends who are sick of living in the shadows of their husbands, sons, and exes. They decide to drop their responsibilities for one week to make some money in a no-holds-barred, punk rock battle of the bands. For Carol (Ann Cornelius), the extra cash means she can keep her car after her spouse’s death. For Jetta (Chelsea LeValley), it means not having to rely on her man-child husband. And for Bev (Heather Hawkins) and Wendi (Janet McWilliams), hey, who couldn't use a little extra cash in tough economic times?

Steeped in the culture of Seattle in the ’80s, Angry Housewives is thoroughly fun. While it's fairly obviously targeted to the real-life housewives in the audience, the characters are endearing and lovable. The music is consistently funny, and all of the songs are even catchier than you could imagine. Whether you relate to Bev’s “Generic Woman” or Tim’s (Trent Moury) “Hell School,” there will be a song in this musical to sum up your life. The book, written by A.M. Collins in Seattle in 1983, really sums up the way family dynamics work when families aren’t as perfectly nuclear as they seem. None of the characters are without flaws, but none of the characters lack redeeming qualities. This balance is what makes Angry Housewives really unique; while many performances love to rely on the infallible hero defeating the sinister villain trope, the normal struggles of these four women are compelling and funny without feeling forced. Angry Housewives runs through May 24, but when you show up, make sure you do so early—the opening shows sold out fast, and so will the rest of them!

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He Really Does Look Like a Lizard

​Review of Lizard Boy at Seattle Repertory Theatre by Vida Behar

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Before Lizard Boy even begins the actors are milling around on stage, tuning their instruments, one of them half-dancing to the ambient acoustic indie rock playing over the speakers. Admittedly, it’s confusing at first, but after realizing this is an artistic choice by the director, it sets the tone as quite intimate for the rest production.

This hilarious comic book musical—written, composed, and starring Justin Huertas as Trevor—tells the story of a boy who hasn't left his apartment in a year in the wake of a bad breakup. But in the process of looking for his ex-boyfriend on Grindr (an app like Tinder for gay male hookups), he has an adorably awkward encounter with Cary, played by William A. Williams.

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Shimmying and Shaking

​Review of Cabaret at UW Undergraduate Theater Society by Mobird

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In my last review of UW’s Undergraduate Theater Society, I covered The Picture of Dorian Gray, stating that this is a wonderful group, on par with the Paramount and many Broadway-level companies. Cabaret doesn’t fail to live up to the standard they set in my last review; it shimmied and shook its way above it. Cabaret is delightfully sexy, adult, playful, dramatic, and sobering. The music is delivered gorgeously; Taige Kussman’s sultry, rich mezzo/alto was the perfect fit for main character Sally Bowle’s English accent and the setting of the Kit Kat Club. This show takes you on a journey far from where you sat down, leaving all your troubles behind you. The acting is simply delightful. From the accents to the sultry movements of the actors, I was entranced. Be warned, however, this show gets mature, covering domestic abuse, the realm of Nazis, and sex workers. Other than that, this show is yet another great production from a fantastic company. Bravo, and well done.

Cabaret UW Undergraduate Theater Society February 26 - March 8

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Rethinking the Honesty of Relationships

​Review of 4000 Miles at ArtsWest by Tracy Montes

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Keeping up with our friends and family members nowadays tends to happen via social media. It is likely you have seen others with their phone devices glued to their hands, staring and swiping endlessly on a screen as they “connect” with others and show sympathy as they “like” pictures, life events, and the statuses of their loved ones. Even if social media is the innovative tool society uses to bond and connect, the play 4000 Miles by Amy Herzog shares with audiences a more effective way to connect with each other.

4000 Miles, directed by Mathew Wright, introduces Leo Joseph-Connel, a 21-year-old without a cellphone, a job, or a place to stay. Leo (Adam Standley) has just finished a cross-country bicycle trip. His deep love for the outdoors inspired him to begin the journey with his best friend Micah, departing from Seattle and heading east, where he ends up by himself in New York City at the door of his grandmother, Vera (Susan Corzatte).

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Don’t Be Afraid of Being Afraid

​Review of Mwindo at Seattle Children's Theater by Susana D.

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Mwindo, written by Cheryl L. West, is a modern adaptation of an ancient tale spun by the elusive Nyanga tribe who reside in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Set Designer Carey Wong transports the audience to Africa with twisting liana vines, rocky mountains, and intricate patterns that cover the floor. Each portion of the set directly relates to the plot.

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The Piano Lesson as an Escape from Your School Lessons

​Review of The Piano Lesson at Seattle Repertory Theatre by Lin G.

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If you need a break from sine, cosine, and tangent, or if your eyes are crossing from reading too many textbooks, Seattle Repertory Theatre offers a differnt kind of lesson: The Piano Lesson by August Wilson. It’s a fun play dealing with family and friends, tiffs and fights, legacy and stories, and spirits and ghosts.

The story, written by August Wilson, is about an African American family trying to hold on to their stories and history. The basic plot: a dispute between siblings. Berniece wants to save an heirloom upright piano for sentimental value, but her brother, Boy Willie, who is more concerned with practicality, is determined to sell the piano and buy a piece of land where their father worked as a slave.

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Still Striving for a “Great Society”

​Review of The Great Society at Seattle Repertory Theatre by Indigo Trigg-Hauger

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Watching The Great Society is like watching a current newscast. Protests swell, Republicans sweep elections, racism rises, and then the audience remembers this was “back then”— the 1960s. But it’s also now.

The play follows Lyndon B. Johnson’s full term in office and the idea he held for a “Great Society” with civil rights, health care, less poverty, and more. With a whirling group of advisors and adversaries coming and going, though, and the tumultuous world outside, we see the inner workings of why things did not go entirely as planned — notably, with the war in Vietnam and the response to civil rights marchers and activists.

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