The Devil Strikes at Noir City Festival

Review of The Devil Strikes at Night at SIFF
Written by TeenTix Newsroom Writer Amy Harris and edited by Teen Editor Tova Gaster

The Devil Strikes At Night Rose Schafer and Mario Adorf

Thursday, February 20 marked the culmination of the traveling Noir City Festival in Seattle. Hosted by the “Czar of Noir,” Eddie Muller, the penultimate film was the 1957 German feature, The Devil Strikes at Night.

When doors opened at 5:15 p.m., benefactors flocked to the donor reception, awash with wine, while others saved seats in the theater. Onstage, the Dmitri Matheny trio opened, floating through a half-hour of both the exotic and familiar. While technically adept, the music pertained less to the film or noir mood and more to the superficial Egyptian-themed trimmings of the venue.

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Here We Go Again: Mamma Mia! is Simply Fun

Review of Mamma Mia! at Kirkland Performance Center
Written by TeenTix Newsroom Writer Huma Ali and edited by Teen Editor Josh Fernandes

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Studio East and Kirkland Performance Center’s production of Catherine Johnson’s Mamma Mia! follows 20-year-old Sophie Sheridan (Rachel Kuenzi) as she unfolds a secret plan to find her father—or rather fathers, as she has narrowed the search to 3 potential candidates. Her ultimate goal: to have him walk her down the aisle at her wedding, which is merely days away. An island off Greece, a stuccoed hotel, unrequited love haunting the young and the old—it’s not a shock when things don’t go exactly as planned. But, it’s largely amusing to watch, even as a relative outsider to the franchise.

The stage opens to a fair, blonde Sophie standing next to a yellow mailbox, letters in hand. Recipients: Sam (Samuel Jarius Pettit), Bill (Hakan Olsson), and Harry (Ryan Lile). Sam Carmicheal is an architect and divorcee. Bill Anderson is an adventure-seeking writer. Harry Bright is an English banker. All under the impression of being invited by Sophie’s mother Donna (Shoshauna Mohlman), the three men fly to the island.

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Recap: Dance Journalism Workshop at Hiplet

Teen Reviews of the Hiplet Ballerinas at Edmonds Center for the Arts

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The TeenTix Press Corps partnered with Edmonds Center for the Arts to host a Dance Journalism workshop around the performance of the Hiplet Ballerinas, February 20, 2020. Taught by multimedia journalist and dance artist, Imana Gunawan, the workshop covered the basics of dance criticism and how to approach writing a dance review. In our initial lesson we learned some context for the performance by discussing the roots of both hip hop and ballet as art forms. Before the performance, teens also attended the pre-show talk curated by Dani Tirrell (movement artist centering dance around the African Diaspora) featuring Erricka Turner (Ballet and Graham Techniques) and Fides Anna Banana Freeze Mabanta (B-Girl and Hip-Hop), along with Hiplet company representatives. The discussion further framed the performance by asking questions like: How do race and class play into both of these dance techniques? Does Hip-Hop need Ballet to make it more legitimate to white audiences; and does Ballet need Hip-Hop to make it feel relevant to Black and Brown audiences?

After attending the show, participants met for a final meeting to discuss and reflect on the performance. Teens worked on their writing, did some peer editing, and also reflected on how to confront bias while reviewing dance. Below are the reflections on the Hiplet performance written by some of the workshop participants.

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Our Country’s Long

Review of Our Country's Good at Strawberry Theatre Workshop
Written by TeenTix Newsroom Writer Anna Martin and edited by Teen Editor Kendall Kieras

Our countrys good 3

People are people if you treat them as such. This strong and simple message takes almost three hours to deliver in Strawberry Theatre Workshop’s Our Country’s Good.

The setting is mid-eighteenth century Australia, as the first colony of criminals is arriving. The show focuses on a group of convicts as they join with the officers to put on a play for the inmates.

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Fresher Start!

Teen Editorial Staff March 2020 Editorial

Written by Teen Editor Kendall Kieras!

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We all promise ourselves that the new year will bring a “new me,” but let’s all be honest and admit that the few people among us who still maintain resolutions have already forgotten about them by now. Who even designed the calendar system so that the year would start in the middle of winter? No, the true start of the year is now, with the beginning of Spring! It’s bright, it’s sunny, and we’ve got just the art to give you that fresh start we all need right now!

If you’re looking to shock yourself awake this Spring, there’s no better place to start than Rebecca Brewer’s Natural Horror at the Frye Art Museum. Toying with the psychological effect of the relationship between humans and the natural world, the pieces seem to come alive with their bold and flowing shapes evoking expressionistic painting through the medium of crafts.

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Recap: Dance Criticism Workshop at Grupo Corpo

Teen Reviews of Grupo Corpo at Meany Center for the Performing Arts

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The TeenTix Press Corps hosted a pop-up Dance Criticism workshop at Grupo Corpo’s performance at Meany Center, February 22, 2020. Taught by dance artist, writer, and teacher, Kaitlin McCarthy, the workshop covered the basics of dance criticism and how to approach writing a dance review. After a pre-show lesson, teen participants attended Grupo Corpo’s performance, and then met the next day for discussion and writing practice. Below are the reflections of the performance the participants wrote during the workshop.

Written by Hana - 8th grade

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Recap: Theater Criticism Workshop at Snow White

Teen Reviews of Snow White at Seattle Children's Theatre

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The TeenTix Press Corps hosted a pop-up Theater Criticism workshop at a performance of Snow White at Seattle Children’s Theatre on February 29, 2020. Taught by playwright and arts journalist, Danielle Mohlman, the workshop covered the basics of theater criticism and how to approach writing a review of a play. After a pre-show lesson, teen participants attended a Snow White performance, and then met the next day for discussion and writing practice. Below are the reflections of the play a few of the participants wrote during the workshop.

Written by Faith - 9th grade

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Passionate about Hip Hop? Interested in a career in music?

The Residency Hip Hop Program is now accepting applications for its 2020 cohort.

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WHO CAN PARTICIPATE?

Youth ages 16-19 with an established desire to pursue hip-hop and music as a career must apply online and meet all criteria in order to be considered. This year’s intensive will take place at MoPOP from July 27th - August 21st. Application deadline is June 1st.

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Bodies of Color ≠ Numbers

Review of Admissions at Seattle Public Theater
Written by TeenTix Newsroom Writer Huma Ali and edited by Teen Editor Olivia Sun

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Warning: Spoilers ahead!

An elite New England prep school run by a liberal white couple, salted by the ramblings of their “Republican” son, and peppered with misconstrued ideas about sharing space in positions of power—Seattle Public Theater’s production Admissions suggests that power and its distribution among white, “progressive” individuals is a complex issue.

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Art Museums—Not Just For Your Grandma and Her Bingo Friends Anymore!

Review of SAM's Asian Art Museum

Written by TeenTix Newsroom Writer Valentine Wulf and edited by Teen Editor Anya Shukla

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I am not a museum person. Surprisingly, however, I wasn’t begging for death by the time I reached the gift shop of the newly renovated and expanded Asian Art Museum in Volunteer Park. In fact, I enjoyed every minute of the experience.

The Asian Art Museum feels welcoming from the minute you step in the door. The redone space lacks the usual cold, sterile, hospital-esque feel of your run of the mill museum and is definitely a building you want to spend time in.

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A Series of (Un)Fortunate Events

Review of A Sequence of Wretched Events at Jet City Improv

Written collectively by the Teen Editorial Staff

A Sequenceof Wretched Events

Please, dear reader, take care. The review you are about to read is one of extreme despair, disaster, and community-based youth empowerment in the arts. Recently, six teen editors, a word which here means “teenagers most unpopular in their high schools,” descended upon A Sequence of Wretched Events at Jet City Improv, inspired by Lemony Snicket’s infamous series A Series of Unfortunate Events. What followed was a night of improvisation, impressive stylistic details, and heavy Skittle consumption. Reader, be warned: this review is sure to lead only to despair, and we advise you to click away as quickly as possible. If you continue on this path, only wretched things await.

If you have chosen to continue reading this review, we must begin at the only place there is to begin, the beginning. We began with our narrator themselves, modeled after Lemony Snicket, introducing us to our main characters, two young girls reeling from their father’s death in a mountainous crevasse. The show followed these two as they embarked on a journey to find their father, because, in their words, “a crevasse is never a death sentence.”

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#adulting: A New Opera for the Young at Heart

Review of #adulting at 18th and Union

Written by TeenTix Newsroom Writer Sofia Gerrard and edited by Teen Editor Lily Williamson

PC Christine Oshiki

To many teens, opera can seem boring. But this descriptor is the antithesis of Low Brow Opera Collective’s opera #adulting. An outrageous take on life as a millennial Seattleite, #adulting is a relatable and modern revitalization of a classic art form.

Eschewing a continuous narrative, #adulting presented its story through a series of sketches that follow its protagonist Bucket and her colorful Craigslist-found roommates as they battle student loans, unemployment, Verizon customer service, and food theft. Each roommate (portrayed beautifully by Eric Angus Jeffords, Christine Oshiki, Krissy Terwilliger, and Jared White) serves as a caricature of a millennial stereotype. Their struggles were comically shallow, but the overarching theme of confusion and uncertainty was entirely relatable and surprisingly poignant. This relatability is in part thanks to the libretto by Natalie Stewart Elder and the score by John Ervin Brooks, which add to the comedic and melodramatic elements with apt emotional shifts.

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Isabel Allende Melts the Audience

Review of Isabel Allende's book discussion, presented by Elliott Bay Book Company at Town Hall Seattle

Written by TeenTix Newsroom Writer Maia Demar and edited by Teen Editor Olivia Sun

Allende Lori Barra

There are many satisfying things in this world, but perhaps one of the most rewarding is when you see a writer speak and they talk exactly as they write. This resemblance goes to show no matter what fictional character an author takes on, their authenticity and passion will always shine through. Isabel Allende, an award-winning Latin novelist, demonstrated this skill with ease. On Thursday, January 30, in an event produced by Elliott Bay Book Company, Allende made an appearance at Town Hall Seattle to discuss her newest novel, A Long Petal of the Sea, with Seattle journalist Florangela Davila.

Before Allende came into the spotlight, Davila introduced her as a woman with many accomplishments: she was born in Peru, raised in Chile, and has sold over 56 million books which have been translated from Spanish into more than 35 languages. Other impressive achievements include fifteen honorary doctorates throughout her life and a Presidential Medal of Freedom from former President Obama. Allende also fosters an interest in sponsoring philanthropic foundations that specifically work with women’s rights, reproductive rights, education, youth, and global healthcare.

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Lonely Rice Cookers: A Snapshot of a Generation

Review of Cuckoo by Jaha Koo at On the Boards
Written by TeenTix Newsroom Writer Sky Fiddler and edited by Teen Editor Lily Williamson

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Cuckoo: a one-man play in Korean about sentient rice cookers and loneliness.

When I read that description, I knew I had to make it to On The Boards and see it—this creation appeared to be different than any play I’d seen before. The set was simple, with only a box-like table framed by a large projector screen, the stage otherwise so black and barren that it looked like a portal into the void. Cuckoo simultaneously chronicled Korean history since the late 90’s economic crisis, the experience of a generation of young people, and artist Jaha Koo’s own life.

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Her Creativity and Other Inspirations

Review of Carmen Maria Machado's lecture presented by Seattle Arts and Lectures
Written by TeenTix Newsroom Writer Lucia McLaren and edited by Teen Editor Kendall Kieras

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7:19 PM

My family’s well-loved grey Volkswagen speeds through the streets of downtown Seattle, my mother and I watching her iPhone as it spits out life-saving directions to Town Hall. I frantically tear my hair down from its tight bun, throwing bobby pins and hair ties into my dance bag.

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A Remake Becomes a Surprising Reinvention

Review of Little Women at SIFF

Written by Teen Writer Taylar Christianson and edited by Press Corps Teaching Artist Kathy Fennessy

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My first thought when Greta Gerwig’s Little Women adaptation was announced was “Do we really need another Little Women?” There are already over a dozen adaptations of Louisa May Alcott’s classic, some very recent, and this one felt like an Oscar-bait installment in Hollywood’s reboot fever. It’s another iteration of a well-known story, adapted by a famous director with an A-list cast, and all for another white woman’s take on a story about white women—not exactly groundbreaking in terms of representation or social commentary. What was the point of this?

However, I admit I’ll have to eat (some of) my words on this one. Gerwig’s Little Women isn’t without flaws, but it has beautiful cinematography, a strong cast, and a generally well-executed storyline—and as a literary adaptation, and especially one with so many predecessors, it deserves its praise. Gerwig’s screenwriting and directing give fresh new meaning to the tale of the March sisters’ lives in Reconstruction America, but keeps enough of its charm to feel familiar anyway.

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Magnificent March-ing

Review of Little Women at SIFF

Written by Teen Writer Audrey Brown and edited by Press Corps Teaching Artist Kathy Fennessy

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Set in the 1860s, Greta Gerwig’s Little Women presents the lives of the March family during the Civil War. With the girls’ father away at war, the four sisters and their mother foster deep companionship and sisterhood. The film features the sisters’ lives, daily challenges, and character growth, and proves itself as essentially a coming-of-age fiction piece.

The production stars Saoirse Ronan as the strong-willed Jo, Emma Watson as the responsible Meg, Florence Pugh as the undaunted Amy, and Eliza Scanlen as the reserved Beth. With a skillful cast, alluring sets, and meaningful script, the film hosts a diverse range of personas, and Louisa May Alcott’s timeless novel is magically brought to life on the big screen.

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The Evolution of Little Women Throughout the Decades

Review of Little Women at SIFF

Written by Teen Writer Disha Cattamanchi and edited by Press Corps Teaching Artist Kathy Fennessy

Disha Little Women 1

After many years, we finally have another remake adaptation, but is this remake really worth the hype? Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, a classic tale about the sisterly bond and womanhood in the 1800s, covers aspects of navigating romantic relationships and careers throughout this harrowing time period. Throughout the years, there have been many adaptations of the story of the March sisters, and Greta Gerwig now adds to that stockpile following Gillian Armstrong’s widely received 1994 version. Gerwig’s Little Women is anything but little, giving it its own unique but strange voice in the myriad of these adaptations. It crumbles boundaries set up in the previous one, but also introduces a rather deeper and equal connection with the sisters, although it relies on an audience with previous exposure to Little Women.

One of the many differences in Gerwig’s rendition, is how the plot is expressed; in this case, through a non-linear timeline. Both the book and many previous adaptations have relied on a linear timeline to grow our relationships with the characters, as they themselves grow up. Though it surprised me, the non-linear timeline does not take away from this; in fact, it adds to it. When we see all of the characters grown up, the flashbacks of childhood make it seem like we are traveling back with them. As we know bits and pieces of the present, our minds have to work to connect the dots, making it feel like we are the ones involved in the relationships, as well. When this happens, however, it can also disrupt the emotion of certain scenes. During some scenes that are meant to be sorrowful, for example, a memory might pop up, adding to a more cheerful mood, disrupting the already established tone. This is fine, but the effect may be jarring, and sometimes takes away the emotional climate of certain scenes. Emma Watson, Saoirse Ronan, Florence Pugh, and Eliza Scanlen in Little Women (2019).

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Not Just Hearts And Roses

Teen Editorial Staff February 2020 Editorial

Written by Teen Editors Anya Shukla and Olivia Sun

Balloon

February is such a beautiful month. It’s full of sappy Hallmark cards, sappy Hallmark movies, sappy Hallmark hearts, and… freedom? Yep, February 1, is actually National Freedom Day. In that spirit, we’ve chosen to free ourselves from the cliche of Valentine’s Day as this month’s theme. (Also, a bit of an aside, but February doesn’t have a National Sappy Hallmark Day! Crazy.)

Some of our shows are more literally related to freedom, like Our Country’s Good, Strawberry Theatre Workshop’s play about the prison system, as well as SIFF’s Noir City, a festival featuring detective-and-crime-filled noir films. SAM’s new Asian Art Museum frees itself from tradition, intermixing art from various cultures in the same gallery. Admissions at Seattle Public Theater and #adulting at 18th and Union connect to our theme in a more abstract way: we all will someday have our first taste of independence—and for some of us, the transition can be rocky. Finally, for all you love-story enthusiasts out there, we’re seeing Mamma Mia! at Kirkland Performance Center, which, with all of its island fun, gives us the freedom to have a good time! And also, we love Mamma Mia!

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Liberté, Égalité, Sororité

Review of The Revolutionists at ArtsWest.
Written by Teen Editor Tova Gaster and edited by Press Corps Teaching Artist Jasmine Mahmoud.

The Revolutionists

“That’s no way to begin a comedy!” cries out a woman dressed strikingly in a flowing pink gown, her powdered white hairdo adding almost a foot to her height. This is Olympe de Gouges (Sunam Ellis), a feminist playwright attempting to capture in writing the tumult of the French Revolution. In The Revolutionists at ArtsWest, the revolution is not televised: it’s written into a darkly funny play covering the Reign of Terror, intersectional feminism, and playwriting itself.

Written by the prolific playwright Lauren Gunderson, The Revolutionists is an earnestly optimistic and hilarious argument for feminist solidarity in uncertain times. It explores the dynamics between four very different women: writer Olympe de Gouges, Haitian revolutionary Marianne Angelle, young assassin Charlotte Corday, and the infamous Marie Antoinette. The Revolutionists became a meta narrative about Olympe’s play, influenced by each woman who enters. Although the humor leans distractingly self-conscious—it’s a play within a play and Gunderson doesn’t let you forget it—the witty dialogue and nuanced treatments of identity are fun and thought-provoking. How do we build real solidarity between women when virtue signaling often takes the place of organizing, and as gender categorization at all is increasingly blurry? And where do we find a voice in a history that erases us?

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