Meet the Spookiest Family in Edmonds

Review of The Addams Family - A New Musical at Edmonds Driftwood Players.

Written by TeenTix Newsroom Writer Katherine Kang, and edited by Teen Editor Huma Ali!

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One family full of darkness, two love birds, three “normal” people coming to visit, and four walls being broken, The Addams Family from the Edmonds Driftwood Players is a musical full of mystery, drama, and humor. In their cozy theatre, where every seat has a good view, the stage is set with all natural hues. The iconic intro comes on, and you can’t help but snap along to the familiar beat of the song.

This engaging musical captures the story of Wednesday Addams, (Megan Acuna), daughter of proud parents Morticia, (Tamara C. Davis), and Gomez Addams, (Doug Knoop), and older sister to the troublesome, but soft-hearted, Pugsley Addams, (Catherine Craig). Wednesday, the beloved princess of the family, has fallen in love with Lucas Beineke, (David Naber), who is different from her family—a more average suburban boy. No one knows about the couple except Wednesday’s father, Gomez, who has never kept a secret from his wife, Morticia. This tension only continues to grow as the polar families meet to have dinner. Wednesday has only one request for her family: one normal night. “Normal is just an illusion,” Morticia points out. The Addams Family - A New Musical by Edmonds Driftwood Players. Photo by Dale Sutton

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Kyle Abraham Channels Greater Power

Review of Kyle Abraham's A.I.M. presented by STG and On the Boards.

Written by Rosemary Sissel during TeenTix’s Theater & Dance Press Corps Intensive.

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Out of the smoky darkness, Kyle Abraham emerges, opening the magnificent four piece Abraham in Motion (A.I.M.) with one explosive solo, "INDY." Four stand-alone pieces that touch on police brutality, love, human connection, powerlessness, and pain, and everything begins with one gloriously powerful solo. An entire piece performed by one man.

Abraham enters through a veil of smoke, walking into an ethereal ray of light. His arms shake, pelting the light with a barrage of questions. It does not answer. Then, slowly, things calm.

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A.I.M. Should Strike a Chord Within All of Us

Review of Kyle Abraham's A.I.M. presented by STG and On the Boards.

Written by Prama Singh during TeenTix’s Theater & Dance Press Corps Intensive.

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“Shut your eyes….”, played repeatedly and the beep, beep, beep, of the sound effects rippled through the theater as the audience watched the fluid dancers take up the stage. Kyle Abraham and his company Abraham In Motion (A.I.M.) presented four pieces on stage at the Moore Theatre this March. They were all beautiful pieces, but there was one piece in particular that stood out along with a specific part of another.

In Abraham’s fourth piece, “Drive”, the music seemed to get louder and louder as fog filtered onto the stage. The dimmed lights were on the dancers as they pulsated in synch, the rhythm of the music pounding along. The feeling of desperation, and the intense need to convey something filled the air as the dynamic dancers unhesitatingly continued to flow and sway. They were swift and unstoppable in their need to get the audience to understand. An ominous feeling filled the theater, yet eyes remain locked on stage. This feeling was amplified after the previous message commemorating any black man who reached age twenty-one from the piece “Meditation: A Silent Prayer.” As the lights dimmed further and the curtains went down, the audience stood for an ovation.

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Broadway or 2.7 Million Dollar Debt? The Ballad of Phillip Chavira

Interview with Phillip Chavira, Executive Director of Intiman Theatre.

Written by Lark Keteyian, during TeenTix’s Beyond the Review Press Corps Intensive.

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"The biggest question is, why would I come to Seattle after that?"

Phillip Chavira used to be a Broadway producer. His job was to raise money to invest in shows, and if they made a profit he got paid—which was rare, but glamorous when it happened. In 2016, he was nominated for a Tony Award for co-producing ECLIPSED, a play about the Second Liberian Civil War with an all women of color cast, director, and playwright. He worked with Stephen C. Byrd and Alia Jones-Harvey, the only current African-American producers on Broadway. But in 2017, he moved across the country to work with a theater company struggling to get out from under its 2.7 million dollar debt.

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Phillip Chavira: Desert Boy

Interview with Phillip Chavira, Executive Director of Intiman Theatre.

Written by Beezus Murphy, during TeenTix’s Beyond the Review Press Corps Intensive.

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On Wednesday, April 10th, I had the opportunity to interview Phillip Chavira, alongside two other members of the TeenTix Press Corps Intensive. Chavira is the Executive Director of the Intiman Theatre and, prior to coming to Seattle, was nominated for a Tony Award for his work as co-producer on the groundbreaking Broadway play Eclipsed. Eclipsed’s cast, director and playwright were all women of color.

Beezus Murphy: Yeah, I read that you were nominated for a Tony.

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A War With Identity

Review of Promise at Dawn, presented at Stroum Jewish Community Center’s Seattle Jewish Film Festival.

Written by TeenTix Newsroom Writer Eleanor Cenname, and edited by Teen Editor Hannah Schoettmer!

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Promise at Dawn revolves around the idea of war. Based on the memoir of Romain Gary, the film, included in Stroum Jewish Community Center’s Seattle Jewish Film Festival, portrays both physical and metaphorical manifestations of war that ultimately support the central theme of identity.

The film opens to a shot of a city in Mexico—the streets congested with people with the painted faces typical of The Day of the Dead. A lone car pushes its way through the packed road. A woman exits the car, her severe expression a stark contrast to the raucous celebration around her. She enters a building where she calls for her husband, Romain. She finds him slumped on a balcony, a bandage around his head, and they leave for the hospital. In the car, the woman begins to read the papers Romain, an author, had been writing when she found him and his voice sounds as the screen floods with the view of a boy walking down a snow-covered street. The film cuts to a place of the past—the story of Romain’s life with his Jewish mother and the wars that drive his story.

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Questions Better Left Unanswered: A Doll’s House, Part 2

Review of A Doll's House, Part 2 at Seattle Repertory Theatre.

Written by TeenTix Newsroom Writer Kendall Kieras, and edited by Teen Editor Huma Ali!

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A Doll’s House, Part 2, starts with a door. Written by Lucas Hnath in 2017, the play begins with the same door Nora Helmer shut on her children and husband fifteen years earlier. Now, instead of slamming the door, she is entering it, announcing a return she hopes will be brief.

In those first moments, entering a door once exited, the audience knows exactly what they are in for—a tying up of loose ends as only a sequel can, and an attempt at addressing all the unanswered questions taking shape in those she left behind fifteen years ago.

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ACT’s Romeo + Juliet: Beautiful but Problematic

Review of Romeo + Juliet at ACT Theatre.

Written by Faith Elder during TeenTix’s Theater & Dance Press Corps Intensive.

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Police sirens wail as officers dressed in riot gear rush in, followed by parents who cry for their children. To an unknowing spectator, this could be the beginning of a crime thriller. But this is no murder mystery, it is a four hundred year-old tragedy.

ACT Theater’s Romeo + Juliet, directed by John Langs, brings a Shakespearean classic into the modern world to address the violence and anger that today’s youth face. The production, part of the season’s goal of bringing new life to older works, also added a new dimension to the story with the casting of Deaf actors in the roles of Romeo and Friar Lawrence. But while this production incorporates stunning performances by both Deaf and hearing performers, the romance becomes questionable when brought into today’s societal norms.

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A New Twist on Romeo + Juliet

Review of Romeo + Juliet at ACT Theatre.

Written by Linnea Fast during TeenTix’s Theater & Dance Press Corps Intensive.

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ACT’s production of Romeo + Juliet, directed by John Langs, added new aspects to the play like American Sign Language that intrigued and mesmerized the audience. Everyone knows the story of Romeo and Juliet, the love, the laughter and the pain. But this production added a new form of communication, American Sign Language. Although the play Romeo and Juliet has been done time and time again, this production was able to make it new with the sets, actors, and directing they used. The new communication used in the play added parts to the story not used in the original play, allowing a deeper look at the characters’ lives not seen before.

They used a small stage, with the seats surrounding it like a colosseum. Throughout the three hour long play, the actors interacted with the audience. In one scene, Mercutio jokingly asked a little girl to dance, and Benvolio complimenting a woman’s pants in an attempted joke at Romeo. The props, including a table and three small chain link fences, were used and moved by the actors for each scene. With these, they were able to create a surprising variety of different scenery. From the intimacy of Juliet’s balcony, to the streets of Verona where Tybalt and Mercutio are slain, to a scene reminiscent of the rumble scene in West Side Story, the chain link fences and lighting resembling the same dark alley, gang violence notions.

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R+J, Old and Tired or New and Relevant?

Review of Romeo + Juliet at ACT Theatre.

Written by Kessa Claire-Woldt during TeenTix’s Theater & Dance Press Corps Intensive.

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ACT Theatre’s Romeo + Juliet touched the heart and tickled the soul. The actors continuously took the audience from laughing to holding their breath in suspense. I was constantly on the edge of my seat, waiting for what came next. In a play as familiar as Romeo + Juliet, there were vulnerable moments and heart-wrenching scenes that came as a surprise.

Chain link fence, tarp, and concrete surrounded the audience and stage. The set reminded me of the immigrant detention center in Tacoma, where I have witnessed children travel hundreds of miles to spend a few minutes with an exiled parent. Like immigrants in the detention center, Romeo and Juliet had a hard choice to make. They could leave their homes and families for a better life together. A life without fighting and death. Leaving means losing the life they have known. If they stay, their true love could be killed in the cross-fire, but they would have their family and parents around them.

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CAUGHT Up In Lies

Review of CAUGHT at Intiman Theatre.

Written by TeenTix Newsroom Writer Olivia Sun, and edited by Teen Editor Anya Shukla!

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Chinese-American playwright Christopher Chen blurs illusion with reality and time with space in his innovative piece CAUGHT, presented by Intiman Theatre at 12th Avenue Arts. CAUGHT (which ran March 7-March 30) is Chen’s rejection of conventional categorizations of art, a highly inventive artistic work that crosses between theatrical performance, visual arts exhibit, and artist talkback.

Walking into the theatre space, I step onstage to observe a small arts gallery, consisting of everyday objects that hint at the push-and-pull dynamic between Chinese and American culture. The performance begins with a TED talk-esque speech by dissident artist Lin Bo (Justin Huertas), who describes how the post-Tiananmen climate in China had inspired him to set up an imaginary protest against the Chinese government—an act that ultimately leads to his imprisonment. Before we know it, Chen seamlessly switches the setting to that of a journalist’s office, where Lin Bo is questioned again and again about his imprisonment, until the truthfulness of his account unravels. Chen shifts the scope of the performance yet again; now, two performers (Jonelle Jordan and Narea Kang) act out an artist’s interview that explores how truth and lies manifest in our culture. Chen changes the location once more, to a scene “after the show” where two actors discuss their motivations for creating CAUGHT and come to realize that they had been lied to by someone they had thought to be truthful. By the end of the performance, we are left questioning the authenticity of stories told by journalists, historians, and artists alike. What we believe to be the truth is simply based off the stories we hear and share all around us. CAUGHT at Intiman Theatre. Photo by Naomi Ishisaka.

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Dry Land: A New Age of Theater Production

Review of Dry Land at Seattle Public Theater.

Written by TeenTix Newsroom Writer Lucia McLaren and edited by Teen Editor Lily Williamson!

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Dry Land, a play written by Ruby Rae Spiegel and directed by Anita Montgomery, is based around abortion: a controversial, yet largely ignored topic. Dry Land tells the story of Amy (played by Libby Barnard) and Ester (Madilyn Cooper), two high schoolers on the same swim team. It’s soon made clear to the audience that Amy is pregnant, and she’s struggling, with Ester’s help, to find a way to end her pregnancy without anyone finding out. The two of them go to desperate measures, all the while trying to keep their friendship. Taking on a controversial topic like abortion is a bold choice by Spiegel, though it’s clear that those working on the show know that this story is one that needs to be told.

When I first arrived in the theater, I was struck immediately by the composition of the audience. I was one of only a few teenagers watching the play, which seemed strange to me because of how the play focused on the struggles of young people when obtaining abortions. Though this certainly doesn’t mean that this topic is not important to adults, it was interesting for me to consider whether this theater experience was the first time that some of the audience members had really been exposed to how abortion relates to teens in such a direct way. Dry Land at Seattle Public Theater. Photo by John Ulman.

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The Triangularity of Dance

Review of Director's Choice at Pacific Northwest Ballet

Written by Elisabetta Pierazzi, during TeenTix’s Theater & Dance Press Corps Intensive.

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PNB Artistic Director Peter Boal has exalted the path of ordinary life, and sometimes that of thousands of dancers, selecting three different productions that are both well linked and assorted, giving the public a real and proper representation of the stages in which the individual audience member can be encountered.

The number three is one of the recurrences that the audience can see in the production: three different acts, three different stories by three different choreographers. Matthew Neenan's "Bacchus" opens the show, continuing with "The Trees The Trees" by Robyn Mineko Williams, and the curtain falls on the latest movements Justin Peck's "In the Countenance of Kings." The minimalism of the neoclassical ballet is a perfect conductive line for the different technical aspects. The lights and the dancers communicate the stories and emotions instead of extravagant or pompous costumes, cumbersome set design, or too-perfect lines in the movements. All this makes us as audience members focus more on the feeling of self-recognition as if to say ''This is me! ''Pacific Northwest Ballet soloist Margaret Mullin in Matthew Neenan’s Bacchus. PNB is performing Bacchus as part of DIRECTOR’S CHOICE, March 15 – 24, 2019. Photo © Angela Sterling.

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PNB’s Director’s Choice Is a Menagerie of Contemporary Ballet

Review of Director's Choice at Pacific Northwest Ballet

Written by Isabell Petersen, during TeenTix’s Theater & Dance Press Corps Intensive.

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On March 15th, Pacific Northwest Ballet presented Director’s Choice, a collection of three pieces ("Bacchus," "The Trees The Trees," and "In The Countenance of Kings," respectively), two of which ("Bacchus" and "The Trees The Trees") were world premieres.

The first piece of the evening was "Bacchus," set to music composed by Oliver Davis, and choreographed by Matthew Neenan. As a whole, "Bacchus" was quite enjoyable, from the costumes, to the score, to the dancers’ movements themselves. The stage was clean, and the only backdrop provided was the mezzanine. All of the dancers were draped in deep, rich purple hues, which evoked the color and smoothness of wine (costumes designed by Mark Zappone). The movement of the dancers was almost birdlike in the beginning vignette of the piece, with dancers pairing off to intertwine themselves with one another in a courtship dance. James Moore, whose costume was a slightly brighter purple than the others, and which had a cape-like attachment- remained onstage during the entire piece, and his character’s movements seemed to influence the others. During the second vignette, when Moore danced alone, his movements were large, sweeping, and reminded me of a storm or a tempest. A third intriguing choice was when, during the third vignette, the music stopped altogether, allowing the heavy breathing and squeaking of shoes to be heard as the dancers moved around the stage.

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Theater & Dance Press Corps Intensive Recap

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The Theater & Dance Press Corps Intensive was a four-week arts-going and criticism practice workshop that ran March-April, 2019. Throughout the four weeks, a group of ten teens learned how to approach theater and dance criticism and practiced these skills by reviewing two plays and two dance performances at different TeenTix Arts Partners. The group met each week to discuss the art they saw and various issues within the field of arts criticism.

The group was mentored by two professional critics, Becs Richards and Melody Datz Hansen, who helped each teen hone their arts writing skills. Stay tuned on the blog for reviews of each event!

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Jason Johnson of The Vera Project, Dogbreth, and More!

Interview with musician and Vera Project Talent Buyer & Production Coordinator Jason Johnson.

Written by Pearl Lomonaco, during TeenTix’s Beyond the Review Press Corps Intensive.

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Jason Johnson, is local a punk musician, in three bands: Dogbreth, Itemfinder and The Exquisites. Their music makes you feel as if you’re at a rock concert. It's very real with live instruments; you can really feel the melody. It’s violently emotive. Each song has its own story, whether it’s about love or just wanting to hang out with friends and watch anime.

When did you start playing music? And why?

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The Vera Project's Jason Clackley

Interview with musician and Vera Project Programs Director & Talent Buyer Jason Clackley.

Written by Noah Chandler, during TeenTix’s Beyond the Review Press Corps Intensive.

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Recently, we were able to sit down with Jason Clackley of the Vera Project, an all ages music venue that showcases up and coming artists. He is also a part of two bands, The Exquisites and Dreamdecay. He talked with us about The Vera Project, his experiences, and about the path of new and emerging artists.

Where are you from and how long have you been making music?

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The Vera Project: Amplifying the Voices of Up-and-Coming Musicians

Interview with musician Hunter Grier at The Vera Project.

Written by Sumeya Block, during TeenTix’s Beyond the Review Press Corps Intensive.

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The Vera Project has become a household name in Seattle since their founding in 2001. They hold shows for all ages with a strong value on no drugs or alcohol within the building, while creating a fun space for teens and adults alike. Many have seen shows, performances, and concerts at The Vera Project, but not many know of the significance it has on the local Seattle artists it partners with. From holding programs, to booking new artists their first shows, it is clear The Vera Project cares about its Seattle musicians and the music community it cultivates. One of these up and coming musicians is the young, dedicated, and inspired Hunter Grier. A fresh high school graduate, Grier, 19, has already released over twelve collections of songs and tells us he has more in the works.

Grier is a DIY artist. When I asked him what that means, he told me “DIY [do it yourself] culture is what the name implies. It’s doing it by yourself, being able to like take projects into your own hands.”

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SPECIAL OFFER: 100 FREE Tickets to Legends of Rock

Members can sign up now for these complimentary tickets!

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Join Seattle Women's Chorus for a complimentary evening of daring rock 'n' roll as they celebrate trailblazing female singer-songwriters!

You and up to three other folks are invited to see this performance for FREE with your TeenTix Pass on April 28th at 4:00 PM. All you've gotta do is sign up below with the requested information to claim tickets to this event! Visit this link to directly fill out the form, or scroll down this page to enter your info.

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90% with Jason Clackley and The Vera Project

Interview with musician and Vera Project Programs Director & Talent Buyer Jason Clackley.

Written by Arizona Gibson, during TeenTix’s Beyond the Review Press Corps Intensive.

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The Vera Project is an organization steeped in independent spirit. With roots in the D.I.Y. movement, the entire space hums with a deep reverence for creativity and individuality, and possesses a kind of unapologetic grittiness that’s rare in most mainstream venues. It feels like the grown-up evolution of a punk house—a place carved out by artists with the needs of artists in mind. One artist at the forefront of this carving is Jason Clackley, programs director for The Vera Project and long-time fixture in the Seattle music scene. Sitting before a backdrop of locally-illustrated zine covers, show flyers, and band posters, Clackley speaks animatedly about his youth, his experience with the local arts culture, and his evolution as an artist. His simply-stated personal history feels like a perfect extension of The Vera Project mission.

“I bought a guitar, and I started making music. I took a few lessons and started playing shows, and then I started doing my own shows, and I moved on from there.”

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