No Tricks, Just Treats

Teen Editorial Staff October 2021 Editorial

Written by Teen Editorial Staff Members Eleanor Cenname and Valentine Wulf

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During this predictably cold and dreary season, we believe in seeking out the treats. Maybe that means ingesting a veritable bathtub’s worth of pumpkin spice coffee products, cracking open the old autumn sweater collection, or, if you are anything like us, becoming over-excited by the three new Light Rail stations. As you remember to treat yourself this month, let us also treat you with some fantastic art. Our upcoming reviews will guide you through just some of the arts events that we hope you will explore this month!

First up, we’ve got the Duo Comedy Showcase at Unexpected Productions! This open mic improv event is Every Wednesday from September 29 to December 29. Anyone can sign up to perform improv with a partner in front of a crowd. The Duo Comedy showcase is a great way to practice your improv skills, build your confidence onstage, or just have some fun with a friend! A mixture of experience levels makes this event wild from start to finish for both the crowd and the performers.

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Film as a Medium for Change at Local Sightings Film Festival

Review of Local Sightings Film Festival presented by Northwest Film Forum
Written by Teen Writer Stella Crouch and edited by Teen Editorial Staff

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The Local Sightings Film Festival is continuing to thrive in its 24th year. It is the only film festival in Seattle dedicated to Pacific Northwest films. The Northwest Film Forum was founded in 1995. It has kept Seattle’s film culture alive through its countless festivals, even through the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Last year, the Local Sightings Film Festival was held entirely online and now this year’s has been held hybrid, showing films both in person and in a virtual, COVID-safe manner. This year's festival has shown a wide array of genres and narratives with their only commonality being their connection to the Pacific Northwest. Regardless of their many differences they all feel as though they belong and there is something for everyone to appreciate.

Occupying the Megalopolis

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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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Witnessing Human Vulnerability Through an Insightful Polish Production

Review of Never Gonna Snow Again presented by SIFF
Written by Teen Writer Malak Kassem and edited by Teen Editor Valentine Wulf

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Never Gonna Snow Again is a Polish production directed by Małgorzata Szumowska and Michał Englert. The film emphasizes hardship, the challenge to accept personal flaws, and the battle to be one’s best self. Zhenia (Alec Utgoff) is a Ukrainian masseur who works in Poland. He gives massages that have radioactive powers, which work against high stress, exhaustion, and short-term depression by casting a spell and instantly putting patients to sleep, which is followed by great relief from the individual. Zhenia’s skills and powers are demanding in this uniformed, isolated town where houses are identical, door bells have the same tune, and the sky is never blue. The neighborhood lacks vibrancy, color, and driven individuals. Except for the sounds of clocks ticking in dining rooms and barking dogs going for walks, the neighborhood is hushed. The combination of lighting, sound, and the actors’ dull tones create an eerie atmosphere.Actors are in character and are in sync with one another. They live realistically within their roles. Never Gonna Snow Again’s characters are portrayed in a subtle and mysterious manner. Characters have an analytical mindset and are direct with the expression of their inner thoughts when it comes to their personal struggle and depression, especially around Zhenia. The people in this town are shameless and awkward in their interactions. Film still from Never Gonna Snow Again, directed by Małgorzata Szumowska and Michał Englert

Szumowska and Englert represent how the concept of internal struggle appears differently depending on the personality it affects. Zhenia had his own struggles and trauma. Zhenia is portrayed as a therapist, proving that therapists, counselors, and the people we rely on have their own stories too. A person behind closed doors is different from how they may seem in public. Everyone makes an enormous effort to represent their best selves in public spaces and platforms. It is not a coincidence that Zhenia refuses to be seen as an emotionally broken person except during this one instance, when he had drinks with the gatekeeper who is also Ukrainian. Perhaps Szumowska and Englert believe that it is only natural that people feel more comfortable around those who come from the same background, especially on foreign land. Immigrants and foreigners tend to create micro-communities to build a safe, gated, and trusted space for each other. Zhenia creates a bold, charming, and reliable image for himself which lures his patients to unfold and reveal their weaknesses in his company. Ironically, he is Ukrainian and they are Polish, going against the theory of trusting those from similar backgrounds. Zhenia is a one-way valve to vulnerability. Though he refuses to express vulnerability to others, they find him to be a confidant. The film highlighted some important motifs that are present in the real world that society tends to overlook, such as internal struggle, overcoming personal flaws, the challenge of living on foreign land, the importance of expressing yourself, societal pressures, the ugliness of the truth, and the realization that being hidden is better for your public image. The sun's lack of appearance in the movie symbolizes that happiness doesn’t follow people, but that people destined to be happy are the ones that go find it. Despite the film’s thoughtful ideas and messages, at times it was repetitive, and many scenes were predictable. There were some scenes that felt empty, and the movie would have been better without them. The story line was vague and there wasn’t a hook that had me at the edge of my seat. More dialogue and action could have improved the piece. Overall, Never Gonna Snow Again is a well thought out film with intriguing themes, but the slow pacing makes it hard to sit through. A short film could have gotten the same message across while keeping it engaging.

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Announcing the Mentorship for Teen Artists of Color Winter 2022 Cohort!

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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 that applications for the 2022 Winter Cohort of our Mentorship for Teen Artists of Color (M-TAC) program are open! This program will specifically allow teen artists of color to hone their artwork under the guidance of professional mentors of color. 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 music (singing, composition, instruments, DJing, etc.) and writing ((journalism, fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, screenwriting, etc.) (painting, drawing, sculpture, etc.) Teens will be put into either a music or writing 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.

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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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Announcing the 2021/2022 Teen Editorial Staff!

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TeenTix is proud to announce the 2021/2022 Teen Editorial Staff. This year's Teen Editorial Staff (TEDS) is comprised of six teens: Disha Cattamanchi, Eleanor Cenname, Esha Potharaju, Lucia McLaren, Triona Suiter, and Valentine Wulf. 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.

Statement from this year's Teen Editorial Staff:

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Using Film as a Lens for History: Two Views on Fritz Lang’s Metropolis

Review of Metropolis

Written by Teen Writer Yoon Lee and edited by Teen Editor Lily Williamson

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The 1927 Fritz Lang film Metropolis is among the most influential films to ever exist, spawning discussion and setting standards that would influence the entire science fiction genre going forward. However, as is the case for any near-century-old film, many aspects are impossible to address without considering the historical context of its creation. As such, interpretations of this film from any time period can be an opportunity to further understand its context, and the viewpoints of those that viewed it in its prime. Among the best ways to pursue this opportunity is to view the reviews and critiques by audiences of the time. Of the multitude of high-profile figures that viewed and spouted their (often disapproving) takes on “Metropolis,” among them prolific science fiction author H. G. Wells, an often overlooked 1929 review is that of Shim Hun. This oversight is both due to the non-Western nature of the review, being written by a Korean, and due to Shim being an author targeted by Imperial Japanese censorship and subjugation.

Metropolis is a German science-fiction drama that presents a futuristic utopia existing above a bleak underworld populated by mistreated downtrodden workers. When the privileged Freder discovers the poor, and often fatal, conditions under the city, he becomes intent on helping the workers. He befriends the rebellious teacher Maria, who preaches to the workers of Metropolis, but this puts him at odds with his authoritative father Fredersen, master of Metropolis. Fredersen seeks out the deranged genius Rotwang to impersonate Maria so that the workers can be fooled and controlled. Brigitte Helm in Metropolis, 1927.

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Art Goes Hand in Hand with Science: A Talk With Temple Grandin

Review of Dr. Temple Grandin with Dr. Jim Heath presented by Town Hall Seattle

Written by Teen Writer Esha Potharaju and edited by Teen Editor Anya Shulka

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“Arts foster scientific success,” said Dr. Temple Grandin, a woman of many accomplishments, in a presentation I was lucky enough to catch at the Seattle Town Hall. An animal behaviorist with numerous scholarly articles published, Grandin has designed systems to handle half the cattle in America. Beyond her scientific contributions, Grandin is a renowned autism spokesperson and advocate. In 2010, HBO released the award-winning biopic Temple Grandin based on her memoirs.

In her presentation at Town Hall, Grandin broke down different types of thinking: visual thinkers, pattern thinkers, verbal thinkers, and auditory thinkers. While Grandin didn’t mention much about the latter, verbal thinkers love to memorize facts and history, visual thinkers love art and have natural mechanical ability, and pattern thinkers excel at math and music. Grandin herself is a visual thinker: she explained how she did not talk until she was about four, but was very artistic by that age. “You see, engineers calculate things,” she noted. “Visual thinkers can see it.”

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We the People: Stand Up For Our Democracy

Review of Stand Up Seattle: The Democracy Project, presented by Museum of History and Industry

Written by Teen Writer Disha Cattamanchi and edited by Teen Editor Lily Williamson

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The past couple of years have been embroiled with conflict and controversy—from a grueling year of the pandemic to an election that forced our political system to go under incredible scrutiny moreso than any other time in the past decade, the United States has been in a state of reflection. In fact, it could be said that the whole world has been in a state of reflection about the policies (explicit and implicit) that govern our social, political, and environmental issues. However, the lens that we have viewed news through has been on a more global or national scale, rarely exposing the unsettling truths about our ignorance locally. Common news coverage for most Americans, such as CNN, FOX, ABC, and MSN, covers a more national perspective in representation, rarely zooming in on Seattle. This local perspective is tackled by Stand Up Seattle: The Democracy Project, an interactive exhibit at the Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) that explores social justice issues in an artistic yet informational way. Stand Up Seattle neutrally covers a wide variety of topics, such as Asian-American immigration, Black Lives Matter and LGBTQ+ protests, environmental issues, news resources, systemic racism, and involvement in democracy. With exhibits that engage your sight, hearing, and touch, Stand Up Seattle is a phenomenal localized outlook on Washington’s democratic history.Photo courtesy of Museum of History and Industry.

The doorway into Stand Up Seattle is the viewer’s first immersion into the interactive atmosphere of the exhibit. A walkway that surveys the visitor’s involvement in democracy ensures that visitors of all ages will have an immensely fun time going through the interactions. The entirety of the exhibit is displayed in the national—and very patriotic—red, white, and blue. The exhibit has a wide array of artifacts, such as a harpoon head from the Makah tribe’s whaling culture in the 1800s, to Pride T-shirts from recent protests, which are displayed throughout the exhibit. Materials used in Seattle protests were also shown to the public. It was an unsettling experience to see a spent tear gas canister, gas masks, and bottles of eyewash all right next to me. By displaying these objects that were key parts of protests, the exhibit attempts to accustom visitors to vital social justice history in Washington. It brings a nuanced depiction to marches and protests we may have only visualized in our heads or seen on our screens, humanizing the protesters that were on the streets fighting for their rights.

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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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Art in Stages with HUE Festival’s Homecoming

Review of Homecoming, presented by Seattle Public Theater

Written by Teen Editor Lucia McLaren and edited by Teen Editor Anya Shulka

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When I think of art, I imagine a piece that’s been worked to finality by its artist—and chances are, I’m not the only one. American society treats movies, music, and visual art as completed pieces on platters readily served up to a crowd that’s eager to tear them apart. But is this right? Is art only art when it meets some arbitrary benchmark of being “finished”?

HUE Festival, produced by the Seattle Public Theater, states its goal is to highlight shows by women of color playwrights and to “provide these new works with an opportunity to live and breathe before a community of theater lovers while also giving playwrights the opportunity to hear their work out loud for future development.” Starting on June 9 with Homecoming, written by Sandra Holloway and directed by Valerie Curtis-Newton, a series of plays are presented online with the same goal in mind.

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Heroes and Villains: Magical MoPOP Exhibit Shows Off Disney Costumes

Review of Heroes and Villians: The Art of the Disney Costume, presented by MoPOP

Written by Teen Writer Anabelle Dillard and edited by Teen Editor Eleanor Cenname

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Calling all Disney fans! The newest MOPOP exhibit, Heroes and Villains: The Art of the Disney Costume, is a must-see for Disney lovers, costume enthusiasts, and budding fashionistas alike. Featuring over seventy original costume pieces from a variety of Disney movies and TV shows, from Mary Poppins to Once Upon a Time to Dumbo, the exhibit is a delightful romp through the fantastical worlds of Disney. Although the mannequins are stationary, the costumes come to life thanks to creative staging and lighting; some are placed in dynamic poses or on spinning platforms, reminding visitors that these were real costumes worn by real actors. Soft instrumental covers of Disney classics and the simple presentation allows the costumes to take center stage, making guests feel as if they have stepped into the costume design workshops for their favorite movies.Pirates of the Caribbean Costume. Photo courtesy of MoPOP.

The exhibit opens with one of the most iconic Disney princesses: Cinderella. While the rest of the costumes are sorted into “hero,” “villain,” or “other,” the first room focuses solely on various adaptations of the classic fairy tale, allowing museum-goers to compare and contrast several of Cinderella’s dresses in the context of their respective films. Anna Kendrick’s willow-inspired green and gold gown from Into the Woods (2014) has a completely different feel than Brandy’s bejeweled peplum dress from Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella (1997), reflecting the grittier, semi-realistic themes of the former and fun, contemporary tone of the latter. My personal favorite was Lily James’s gown from Cinderella (2015), a film that never fails to make my fashion-design-loving little heart sing with joy. While the film isn’t exactly period-accurate (a detail I am willing to excuse, albeit begrudgingly, for the sake of fantasy), the vibrant colors and over-the-top dresses make for a fun, nostalgic viewing experience, and seeing the costumes in person was no exception. The blue ball gown is actually made up of several layers of thin fabric in different shades, making the dress look like something out of a watercolor painting, and the voluminous petticoats underneath make the dance scenes truly magical. Interviews with the incredibly talented Sandy Powell, an award-winning costume designer with a history of fabulous period pieces, pull back the curtain to reveal just how much thought and effort went into production, including over ten thousand crystals and more than three miles of hems that made up the iconic blue ball gown, as well as the creative use of color theory and patterns to quietly convey important character details. 102 Dalmatians Costume. Photo courtesy of MoPOP.

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Teen Arts & Opportunity Fair 2021

This fair, created by teens, for teens, is centered around professional development and youth artwork.

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On June 19, starting at 6 PM, join us for the 2021 Virtual Teen Arts and Opportunities Fair!

The fair will connect youth to potential internships and opportunities, allow them to learn more about working in the arts industry, and showcase the vibrant Washington teen arts community.

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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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The Reincarnations of Ellen Ripley: How Media Portrays Women

Review of What the Femme: The Evolution of Ellen Ripley, presented by SIFF

Written by Teen Writer Esha Potharaju and edited by Teen Editor Eleanor Cenname

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***SPOILERS: This is a review of a class that analyzes the Alien film franchise using a feminist lens. As such, there are moments in both the class and review when the plot of the films is discussed in detail.

“I just had a thought. What would you think if Ripley was a woman? She would be the last one you would think would survive—she’s beautiful,” confessed Ridley Scott, the director of the cult classic sci-fi film, Alien. The lead character, Ellen Ripley (played by Sigourney Weaver), is lauded as a feminist icon. One of the first female action heroes, she is independent and undefined by the men around her. Anthony Hudson, horror fanatic and film programmer, walked us through the many facets of Ripley’s feminism in their lecture, "The Evolution of Ellen Ripley,” the latest installment in SIFF’s “What the Femme” series

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Part Gallery Exhibition, Part Homage to the Seattle Music Scene, "Gary Simmons: The Engine Room" Waits to Roar to Life at the Henry

Review of Gary Simmons: The Engine Room at the Henry Art Gallery

Written by Teen Editor Lily Williamson and edited by TeenTix Teaching Artist Leah St. Lawrence

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Stepping into the space that houses the Henry Art Gallery’s new exhibit Gary Simmons: The Engine Room, I was immediately immersed in grunge. From the silvery engine sculpture near the entrance to the colorful, large paintings adorning the walls, each component is imbued with a unique punk-rock feel, and every piece seems to fit perfectly in place.

The exhibit makes smart use of the museum’s sizable lower-level galleries. Each of its components—three large-scale paintings, a silvery sculpture of an engine, and an imposing architecture installation—is neatly placed in the airy, grand space, and the bright colors and grunge feel juxtapose nicely with the grandeur of the gallery. When I entered the room I was struck by this—it seemed like the exhibit had been designed for the space. And, it was. Artist Gary Simmons crafted each piece in the exhibit for the Henry Art Gallery, working directly with the exhibit’s curator, Shamim Momin, and LANGSTON, an arts and culture organization that centers Black artists, to design the show.

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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 Wide Range of Talent MoPOP’s Sound Off!

Review of Sound Off, presented by MoPOP

Written by Teen Writer Jaiden Borowski and edited by Teen Editor Anya Shukla

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MoPOP’s annual Sound Off! event began as so many things do nowadays, with a click on an emailed Zoom link. However, in contrast to the routine of school Zoom meetings, this webinar began with sweet vocals that washed over the audience as we eagerly awaited the beginning of the performances. I pleasantly floated through the calming yet powerful lyrics and melodies, unaware that the song, “Cashitis,” was in fact made by a 2016 Sound Off! performer, Parisalexa. This caught me quite off guard, as the song sounded like it had been professionally made rather than recorded by a young adult. As the quality of her song would suggest, Alexa is now a highly-acclaimed, professional R&B singer/songwriter. Such successes paired nicely with this year’s performers, who all proved to be extremely talented as well.

The show began with an introduction that was recorded inside of MoPOP, a great way to incorporate the museum without unsafely cramming the audience inside. Members of MoPOP briefly explained why the Sound Off! event was so important to them, with many appreciating its public yet supportive environment for new artists. I was especially impressed by the professionalism of the set, which boasted a huge screen with digital graphics and gave the Zoom meeting a more concert-like feel.

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