Introducing the 2023/2024 Teen Arts Podcast Group!

Meet the 2023 2024 TAP Teens

TeenTix is proud to announce the 2023/2024 Teen Arts Podcast Group. This year's TAP teens are Ashwari Shende, Blue Counts, Caden Nam, and Mickey FontaineThe TeenTix Arts Podcast (TAP) is a group of teens who produce a monthly podcast focused on arts and culture. The TAP program operates in line with the school-year schedule and runs continuously from September-June. TAP teens get to choose the focus for each episode, and work in partnership with Ground Zero Radio to produce a new episode each month - they also GET PAID FOR THEIR WORK!

Meet the 2023-2024 TAP Teens!

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Introducing the 2023/2024 Teen Editorial Staff

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TeenTix is proud to announce the 2023/2024 Teen Editorial Staff. This year's Teen Editorial Staff (TEDS) is comprised of five teens: Aamina Mughal, Anna Melomed, Audrey Gray, Daphne Bunker, and Kyle Gerstel.

The TEDS are the leaders of the TeenTix Newsroom, and work to curate reviews and arts coverage for the TeenTix blog. Teen Editorial Staff members decide which TeenTix Arts Partners' events to cover each month, write an editorial about their curatorial choices, and assign Newsroom writers to review each event. TEDS members interface with TeenTix Arts Partners to set up press tickets for each review, and edit all Newsroom writing before it is published on the TeenTix blog. The Teen Editorial Staff is a group of skilled writers, editors, and leaders, who keep the pulse of the TeenTix Press Corps and the Seattle arts scene.

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5 Takes on the Barbie Movie

The TEDS (Teen Editorial Staff) Review Barbie

Aamina Mughal, Audrey Gray, Anna Melomed, Daphne Bunker, and Kyle Gerstel.

Reviews edited by Tova Gaster and Alison Smith, TeenTix alumni

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To kick off the 23/24 Newsroom Program, the TEDS each saw the Barbie movie. Check back every month to see art criticism for arts events they select and edit reviews of beginning in September! TAKE 1: Written by Anna Melomed, Edited by Tova Gaster, TED alumna

Barbie was a great in-theater experience and a delightful time.

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Theatre is a Two Way Street at Public Works

Written by TeenTix Alumni Cordelia Janow

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Public Works, a program at Seattle Rep, is dedicated to bringing theatre to everyone. Through partnerships with community-based organizations, Public Works brings free theatre classes, productions, and performances to people in the greater Seattle area. This August 25-27, The Public Works Team will be putting on The Tempest, completely free of charge. I sat down for a conversation with Ally Poole, Public Works Manager, Talia Colten, Public Works Assistant, and Donovan Olsen, Public Works Associate, to speak with them about their work and the importance of the Public Works Program.

What is Public Works?

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Diamond(s) in the Rough

Review of Ikat: A World of Compelling Cloth presented by Seattle Art Museum

Written by Teen Writer Maitreyi Parakh and edited by Teen Editor Yoon Lee


Ikat: A World of Compelling Cloth is an exhibit that is very easy to brush over, though it is located prominently on the top floor of the Seattle Art Museum (SAM). The grandeur of the traditional European classic pieces awaits just beyond the door to the left, as well as a ceramics exhibit that will take your breath away. Next to these galleries, Ikat seems to be very ordinary indeed. Of course, it does open with a majestic display of woven strands dropping down from the planks at the top, resembling an optical illusion. As you turn around this display, each angle presents you with a different view of the threads and their scale, leaving you feeling somewhat disoriented. Justifiably, the piece takes up much of the entirety of the main room, allowing you to soak in its splendor and intrigue. PONCHO (DETAIL), 20TH CENTURY, AMERICAS (BOLIVIA, CHARAZANI), Photo curtest of SAM

When you move on to much of the rest of the exhibit, though, you see a strikingly different approach being taken with the presentation of the pieces. The first thing you notice is the bright colors of the walls, surrounding and enveloping the pieces they surround. It's almost difficult to view the art on its own, seemingly messily done.

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A Legacy of Internment & Immigration Detention

Review of Resisters: A Legacy of Movement from the Japanese American Incarceration presented at the Wing Luke Museum

Written by Teen Writer Maitreyi Parakh and edited by Teen Editor Esha Potharaju

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Resisters: A Legacy of Movement from the Japanese American Incarceration is an unintentionally misleading gallery. The impersonal nature from which history is often told is drastically subverted in this exhibit, featured at the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience from October 14, 2022, to September 17, 2023. The gallery is a special exhibition designed by Scott Méxcal, written by Tamiko Nimura, and developed by Mikala Woodward. The exhibit is structured similarly to a maze, where you—placed into the shoes of Japanese Americans facing these aggressions—are led through the passage of time without being able to anticipate what will come up next.

Stories in history that are fraught with tragedy are often dulled down into easy, comprehensible individual values when they are retold. Retellings frequently pick and choose their facts simply by virtue of being a retelling. It would be impossible to cover every single event without meticulously recreating it step by step, as some parts are naturally lost over time. To only cover the certain pieces of the exhibit that remain would be an injustice to all the stories left untold—and to cover the entire exhibit as if it is a holistic record of internment camps would do the same. Instead of picking and choosing a few specific stories, this exhibit and review ask the viewer to put themselves through the experience of internment and view each possible story offered through their own lens. You can hear the recorded testimonies throughout the exhibits echoing through history, just as the exhibit is set up as a timeline that prevents you from seeing what's left to come.

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Iris' Picks for Bumbershoot 2023

Written by TeenTix Intern Iris Opal

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Hello! I’m Iris, an intern at Teentix, a solo music producer for 5 years, and a transsexual woman. My eclectic taste greatly influences my personal work, and informed my choices of artists from the Bumbershoot roster. I’m really excited to see the great selection of extremely talented acts that will be performing this year. They put a lot of effort into showcasing a diverse array of genres and artists in their roster. My choices from the lineup will feature genres such as: shoegaze, jazz, and punk music. After I give you a run-down on the artists I chose, I’ll give some recommendations for related music to check out #1 DOMi and JD Beck

DOMi, a French keyboardist, and JD Beck, an American drummer, are a contemporary jazz duo signed to Blue Note records, a label synonymous with some of the greatest jazz artists of all time. Some of my favorite jazz CDs feature Blue Note on the spine.

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The Eras Tour

Written by TeenTix Alumni Cordelia Janow

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The first time I saw Taylor Swift I was seven years old. I discovered Taylor through the song "You Belong With Me", and a week later, I knew the lyrics to all of her songs. In 2010, when Swift released Speak Now my mom took me and my best friend to see the Speak Now tour at the Tacoma Dome. Now, 13 years later, Taylor’s songs are still as appealing and perceptive as they were from the first listen. As I grew up, the lyrics captured new meanings and the new songs narrated my childhood through my early adulthood, where I knew what I was feeling because of how Swift wrote about it. I share this feeling with many Swifties who have all grown up with, through, and alongside Taylor’s music.

The Eras Tour brings me, and my fellow Swifties, right back through that journey, As Swift traverses through all of her albums, she takes us all on a journey through her past, which is inevitably tied to ours. The tour coincides with Swift's commitment to rerecording and releasing albums 1-6 in order to own her own masters, calling them “Taylor’s Version”s and adding in cut songs from the vault. This makes the show even more personal, as we know that she is actively reclaiming much of the songs she is singing- with "Speak Now (Taylor’s Version)" having been released just two weeks ago. As Taylor revisits each album, one at a time, we journey through high school hallways, remote cabins, soaring castles, and vast cityscapes that characterize the eras. Throughout the concert, Swift gives speeches and tells stories of how the albums came to be, and adds cheeky lead-ins to favorite songs. Swift invites her fans to feel everything with no shame. When she sings about heartbreak, we scream along, as the songs rip us apart and comfort us all at the same time. When she sings about love, we yearn to feel how she does, and when we do, we hold on tight to our partners. When she sings about youth and childhood, we relate to and remember those moments. Even non-fans who have found themselves at the concert with friends or family find themselves moved by the outpouring of emotion in Swift's lyrics, performance, and fanbase. As much as Taylor Swift is seen by her fans (72,000 a night), her fans are seen by her through her music, and the way she looks out into the crowd, as if she knows everyone else’s story like they know hers. Photo Courtesy of the Author

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All the World’s a Stage at GreenStage’s Shakespeare in the Park

Written by TeenTix Alumni Haley Zimmerman

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The opening of Romeo & Juliet takes on a special significance when performed at GreenStage’s outdoor Shakespeare in the Park. The play opens with a lovely little prologue summarizing the “two hours’ traffic of our stage” — the “star-crossed lovers,” their “misadventured piteous overthrows,” their “death-marked love.” It concludes:

“The which, if you with patient ears attend,

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Hedwig is Timeless

Written by Cordelia Janow, TeenTix Alumni

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The stage is set for a night of glamour and rock at Arts West’s Hedwig and the Angry Inch. A sign in the corner reads “Black Trans Lives Matter”, inclusive pride flags sit on the desk, and the stage emanates Seattle’s Pioneer Square, setting up this modernized and localized interpretation of the show. The actors enter an exit as the audience finds their seats, checking on wigs, the soundboard, and whatever else Hedwig needs to start her show. When the show begins Hedwig (Nicholas Japaul Bernard) enters decked in pride flags and a contrasting American flag slung over her shoulders, but when she takes it off it reveals the confederate flag on the other side, immediately calling out the racist undercurrents of America. The opening speech, full of self-aware comments and Seattle-specific references, sets up a new vision for Hedwig: She exists in the modern day and the past, calling audience members to suspend their disbelief as she carries them through her story.

The modern-day aspects serve Hedwig well in addressing the issues that genderqueer and transgender people, especially those of color, face in America today. While staying true to the historical aspects of the show, Hedwig is timeless, referencing both old and new, reminding us that transgender people have been here and will continue to be here, and their stories deserve to be heard. The show's bones lend themselves to be manipulated and altered to fit the story that needs to be told at the time, and the actors and creative team do a fantastic job of sharing the story in a way that feels true to them and their artistry.

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Yes, "Yellowface" is good—but how are you interpreting it?

Review of Yellowface by R. F. Kuang

Written by Teen Writer Yuena Kim and edited by Aamina Mughal


Going into Yellowface, I was immediately enthralled. R. F. Kuang’s hallmarks—suffocating tension, her unflinching eye for critique, and messy-yet-compelling characters that horrify us, yet keep us engrossed in a compulsive, almost shameful pull—were all put on gleaming display.

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Examining Journalism through the Lens of Director Christie Zhao

Written by TeenTix Writer Raika Roy Choudhury

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Masterfully maneuvering the challenges of cultural and linguistic differences, Director Christie Zhao is dedicated to shining light on “essential truths” about our social and political realms through theater. Stumbling upon theater classes whilst pursuing, and soon achieving, a degree in computer science, Zhao unexpectedly “fell deeper and deeper” into its activist potential and culture. In March of 2022, after working in a software engineer role, Zhao even founded Yun Theatre, a nonprofit dedicated to building a multilingual theater community and creating radical theater in the Pacific Northwest.

To Director Zhao, “Journalism is a form of theater.” And theater, she notes, is “a space to bring people together to embody a story… either far or close to us,” where everyone can “reflect and experience at the same time.” Theater is important because it forces proximity to heavy issues, calling the audience’s attention and care to them. It is a medium that “embraces the subjectivity of journalism,” reflecting the “essential truth” of life. For Zhao, her genre of theater is a way to “reclaim the agency of [her] own language,” truly speaking to the versatility of the art form.

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House Shows: A Look into Live Performances

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Welcome to the eighth episode of the TeenTix Arts Podcast (TAP)! At TAP, we aim to uplift youth voices and artists in the music scene through access to education and critical discussion.

What could be more on theme than highlighting the wonderful youth artists in the Seattle area. In this episode, Olivia and Triona dig into some great music from up-and-coming artists and discuss the significance of being a young mucisian today. You'll hear great song clips and further music recommendations. Enjoy!

Funding for TAP provided by 4Culture

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Actors to Stage Shallow!

Review of Day after day on this beautiful stage at Henry Art Gallery

Written by Teen Writer Maitreyi Parakh and edited by Aamina Mughal

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Day after day on this beautiful stage at the Henry Art Gallery attempts a new take on modern art that unfortunately falls quite flat—despite the interactive 3D aspects of the exhibit. Sarah Cain presents a set with couches positioned for the viewer to look upon the stage, as the name suggests. Viewers are allowed to enter both portions of the exhibit, which takes advantage of the Henry's expansive ceilings to appear all-encompassing. The piece is considered a subversion of serious abstract art, in that much of the strokes that build up the world of this set appear childish and sloppy.

A common critique of abstract art is that it is, in fact, childish. The intention of the exhibit seems to twist this view by intentionally attempting to be less serious, overemphasizing the shock factor of its components in this effort. Cain expends so much energy in trying to convey what the portions of her piece represent, that the overall impact is actually rather underwhelming. Much of the time spent attempting to glean the meaning of the stage simply concludes with "this portion was meant to represent the sky, or the sun, or the grass." Though she clearly tries to launch opposition to the standards of abstract art, Day after day falls short.

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An Amateur’s Look at a Celebration of Ballet

Review of Worlds to Come at Pacific Northwest Ballet

Written by Yoon Lee and edited by Gabrielle Nomura Gainor

Pacific Northwest Ballet recently celebrated its 50th anniversary, a fact evident to anyone passing McCaw Hall’s front-door sign. Part of this commemoration included an experimental new performance: Worlds to Come, displayed every time I passed by the hall on my way to TeenTix meetings in the Seattle Center. Despite having little experience with PNB, or with ballet at all, this celebration drew in my curiosity—later, I found myself celebrating 50 years with them and anticipating many years to come.

Worlds to Come presents exactly what the name implies: choreographers on the cutting edge of the ballet world, imagining what the art form may yield in the coming century. Altogether the three segments of the performance—two of them world premieres—came together at about two hours long. Although the three varied in terms of tone, style, and classicality, all came together for a remarkably inspiring experience that toed the line between classical and innovative.

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Moth to a Flame: The Magnetism of the Moth Mainstage

Review of The Moth Mainstage at Seattle Arts and Lectures

Written by Aamina Mughal and edited by Vee Hua

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From the moment the lights dimmed in Benaroya Hall and the anticipatory applause echoed throughout the room, I felt as though the rest of the audience knew something I didn’t, as someone who had never before been to a Moth Mainstage show. I would later discover that the secret they were all privy to was the specific type of magic that comes with sharing intimate stories. The Moth is an organization that emphasizes the importance of storytelling through their podcast and their live events. Moth events are generally composed of a few storytellers, and this event included five speakers, professional and otherwise. The atmosphere at the show was immediately larger than life, aided by the enigmatic host, Jon Goode.

Knowing that I had to write an article at the end of the show, I diligently pulled up a notes page on my phone and dimmed the screen brightness. My plans were foiled by Goode. He started the show by having the audience pull out their phones and turn on their flashlights, mimicking fireflies - and then asked us to turn them off. I’m immensely glad I did, as the stories told at the Moth can only be experienced with one’s full attention.

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Local Youth Artists You Should Listen To

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Welcome to the seventh episode of the TeenTix Arts Podcast (TAP)! Here at TAP, we aim to uplift youth voices and artists in the local music scene through access to education and critical discussion. This month’s episode is on local youth artists, featuring interviews with Chloe Bilstad, Jack Frost, and Knight. Listen as they discuss what songs they're most proud of, how their music connects to their identity, and which other artists inspire their work!

Funding for TAP provided by 4Culture

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"Sweeney Todd" is a Color-Conscious Triumph

Review of Sweeney Todd at The 5th Avenue Theater

Written by Teen Editor Kyle Gerstel and edited by Press Corps Mentor Omar Willey

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In the program for Sweeney Todd at The 5th Avenue Theatre, director Jay Woods states that her team has “been granted the privilege to investigate th[e] text in the way the late great Stephen Sondheim felt was most important,” to put “risk-taking at the heart of creation.” I assume Woods is talking about the production’s use of color-conscious casting, drawing parallels between one of the most famous revenge plots of all time and contemporary race relations. Although the casting is bold and artistically effective, the production is most impressive because of its consistently strong performances and stunning marriage of design and direction.

Sweeney Todd is wildly popular because it is the rare thoughtful musical theater spectacle. It’s also rare as a mainstream musical centered around cannibalism. The plot is structured so the show is always a few steps ahead of the audience, delivering a satisfying and unexpected narrative without relying on shock value. The score is uniquely atmospheric and the text’s use of dramatic irony is delightful. However, the slow pace often took me out of the world of the show.

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Theatre in a Gym: Heartwarming Step by Performers Inspires New Talent

Written by TeenTix Writer, Adrija Jana

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As an elementary school student, Daira Rodriguez remembers being excited to go on a field trip to a show of Annie the Musical. However, when a sudden thunderstorm led to plans being canceled, the theatre team decided to come in and perform in the small gym inside the school, with nothing but costumes and props. Something about the gesture struck a chord with Daira, which it seems, never stopped resonating. A professional director, Daira recounts: "Honestly, I don’t know what it was about that grand gesture that made me beg my mom to sign me up for a youth theatre immediately afterwards—but I did. It was the first community I felt part of and the one I’ve consistently sought since. Something stuck I guess!"

Having decided to make a career in theatre, Daira admits that it has not always been easy, nor would it be, especially if you are not a male director. "For my family, it was about showing them that I was committed and that I could do it…And a responsible amount of lying—I was supposed to double major in something practical!"

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