Bulrusher: A POC Narrative about Self-Discovery

Review of Bulrusher at Intiman Theatre.

Written by Teen Editor Olivia Sun and edited by Teen Editor Joshua Fernandes.

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At seven years old, I thought I knew everything there was to know about living a fulfilling life. For me, the path to happiness was simple: become a famous artist, adopt three dogs, and live in a mansion on the lake. However, I soon realized that life wasn’t as easy as I made it out to be. But with these fanciful dreams no longer clouding my thoughts, there were times when I no longer knew who I was, where I fit into my community, or what I wanted to do with my life. This kind of teenage existential crisis is common amongst my peers, and perhaps this is why playwright Eisa Davis wrote Bulrusher, a coming-of-age story about the pathway to self-discovery.

Bulrusher, set in the year 1955, is a production directed by Valerie Curtis-Newton at the Intiman Theatre. When we first meet Bulrusher (Ayo Tushinde), she is a young woman, living in the small logging and farming town of Boonville. The Boonville residents speak a combination of English and Boontling—an elaborate, esoteric lingo known only by the locals. As an infant, Bulrusher was abandoned in a basket set free along the Navarro River, before eventually being found and raised by an old schoolteacher named Schoolch (Charles Leggett). Eighteen years later, she spends her time running her own orange business, getting schooled by the local brothel owner Madame (Christine Pilar), and being serenaded with love songs by a local teenage boy (Adam Fontana). But as one of just two people of color in Boonville, Bulrusher is a misfit in her traditional, white, working-class rural community. She copes with her struggles of belonging by spending time besides the river that kept her alive as a baby. Reginald André Jackson, Adam Fontana, and Charles Leggett in Bulrusher. Photo by Naomi Ishisaka.

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Antiques Improv: "Discovering Seattle’s Hidden Treasures!"

Review of Antiques Improv Show at Jet City Improv.

Written by Teen Editor Joshua Fernandes and edited by Teen Editor Olivia Sun.

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Money may very well be the root of all evil, but at Antiques Improv Show by Jet City Improv, monetary value becomes the butt of an evening-spanning joke. If you’ve ever found yourself channel-surfing a TV without cable from the hours of 7 to 9 pm, then you’ve likely stumbled upon the incredibly mundane world of Antiques Roadshow. For those who haven’t been enlightened, the basic premise of the show is that local people bring in valuable, old, or innocuous items for appraisal by the traveling Antiques Roadshow experts, and the most valuable or interesting items get put into the show.

Similarly, in Antiques Improv Show, each audience member is encouraged to bring an item of their own for appraisal. Unlike the TV show, however, these items don’t need to be valuable, significant, or even antiques. Instead, it’s up to the “appraisers” (Taya K. Beattie, Glen Dodge, Matt Jurasek, Randy S. Miller, Austin Olson, Jenn Petti, Sam Riordan, and Emily Shuel) to give them value by creating lavish stories for the items. I brought a chess participation trophy I “won” 7 years ago, but after an initial appraisal, it turned out to be a relic from the knights of templar with connections to the holy grail.

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Indy Jones Is a Fresh, Fun-Filled Take on a Childhood Classic

Review of Indy Jones and the Raiders of the Last Temple of the Doomed Ark at Seattle Public Theater.

Written by Teen Editor Lily Williamson and edited by Teen Editor Kendall Kieras.

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Although I was born a few decades too late to experience the Indiana Jones movies as they came out, the franchise was an integral part of my childhood. My dad and I have always bonded over these films, and we even made our way through the entire series. So when I heard that Seattle Public Theatre, in collaboration with theater troupe The Habit, was offering their own spin on these sentimental films, we just had to go together.

I can’t say I was expecting SPT’s Indy Jones and the Raiders of the Last Temple of the Doomed Ark to be anywhere near as great as the original films. I was anticipating a simple re-enactment of the series, with maybe a few new and cheesy jokes. But, Indy Jones exceeded my expectations: it’s a wonderfully comedic mishmash of the first three films, complete with original musical numbers. This production isn’t a simple re-enactment of the show, but a new, fresh, and dick joke-filled take on these nostalgic classics.SPT’s Indy Jones and the Raiders of the Last Temple of the Doomed Ark. Photo by Marcia Davis.

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The Great British Bake Off Gets A Radical Upgrade

Review of the Great Victorian Radicals Bake-Off at Seattle Art Museum.

Written by Teen Editor Anya Shukla and edited by Teen Editor Tova Gaster.

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In a truly tragic turn of events, I arrived at SAM’s Great Victorian Radicals Bake-Off four days after I vowed to eat healthier and skip dessert for two weeks. As I watched my sister nosh her way through cakes, pies, and even dessert tacos, I could feel my mouth start to water. She looked at me between bites, raising her eyebrows as if to say “your loss!” I stuck to my guns, but if I go by my sister’s review, I missed out on a gastric fiesta.

The event was billed as a mix between The Great British Bake-Off, a family-friendly baking show, and SAM’s Victorian Radicals art exhibit, a showcase of the revolutionary techniques used by artists in 19th century Europe. Bakers had two months to view the exhibit, pick a piece, and create a breathtaking dessert based on their choice. On the day of, judges did a taste-test, scoring each scrumptious baked good on taste, presentation, and connection to the exhibit. At the Bake-Off, the audience also got the chance to vote for the winner of the “People’s Choice Award,” AKA “Best Looking Sweet.” This baking event seemed like a way of connecting the exhibit, which centers around older art, with young adults and teens who might know the British Bake-Off better than the Industrial Revolution. Great Victorian Radicals Bake-Off. Photo courtesy of SAM.

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Turning Up the Volume with Mal Blum

Review of Mal Blum at the Vera Project.

Written by Teen Editor Tova Gaster and edited by Teen Editor Anya Shukla.

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During their all-ages show at the Vera Project on August 22, musician Mal Blum declared that they weren’t getting into any fights on social media for the month. As they wrote on Twitter earlier that day, they instead opted to “focus on [their] all ages show in Seattle and the trans kids [they] get to meet every night IRL instead. No more tweet beef!!”

At Blum’s energetic and vulnerable show, the crowd was indeed full of trans kids, and Blum’s driving pop-punk guitar and shouted lyrics energized the audience. Blum’s stage presence is self-deprecating and charismatic, and their boyish low voice slides seamlessly into a clear upper register. They’re short with a confident center of gravity.

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B-List is the Best List

Teen Editorial Staff September 2019 Editorial

Written by Teen Editors Anya Shukla and Tova Gaster!

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As the great Calvin of Calvin and Hobbes once said, “It is now two days closer to the start of school than it was two days ago.”

We made that sentence its own paragraph, because the idea can stand alone as a bringer of pure, unadulterated panic.

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Announcing the 2019/2020 Teen Editorial Staff!

Meet the leaders of the TeenTix Newsroom!

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TeenTix is proud to announce the 2019/2020 Teen Editorial Staff. This year's Teen Editorial Staff (TEDS) is comprised of six teens: Anya Shukla, Joshua Fernandes, Kendall Kieras, Lily Williamson, Olivia Sun, and Tova Gaster. 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 the Teen Editorial Staff: “The goal of the Teen Editorial Staff is to promote our local Arts Partners while amplifying the perspectives of the next generation of arts patrons. The TeenTix Newsroom fosters arts journalism by teens, for teens. We are dedicated to elevating youth voices and encouraging them to think critically about the arts and media they consume.”

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Drag is for Everyone!

We're serving gender expression realness this year for our biggest little awards show. But why?

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Don't miss the #2019TeenyAwards DRAG EXTRAVAGANZA!

Every year, TeenTix throws a big ol' party (the Teeny Awards!) to celebrate the work that our Arts Partners do to keep art accessible for young people. In true TeenTix style, the party is full of snacks, crafts, photo booths, and an awards ceremony that honors art from the last year voted on by you, TeenTix members, PLUS a program full of super-fun teen-choice performances.

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2019: The Summer of Interns!

What do teen interns really do at TeenTix?

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We asked our summer interns to give you the scoop on what they've been up to for the past couple of months. Read on to find out what real teens are doing to make our organization run! Neha Gupta

OUTREACHHi! I'm Neha, one of TeenTix’s outreach interns this summer. Over the past 5 weeks, Justin and I have been working on various projects to help expand the reach of the TeenTix Pass Program, specifically to areas outside of central Seattle.

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Discussing Wunderkammers and “A Deep Fear of Crappy Jobs”

Interview with Seattle Art Fair curator and artistic director Nato Thompson.

Written by TeenTix Press Corps writer Sitara Lewis.

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Fellow TeenTix Press Corps writer, Rosemary Sissel, and I were honored to interview Seattle Art Fair’s curator and artistic director, Nato Thompson. The Seattle Art Fair 2019 took place at Centurylink Field Event Center August 1-4.

You’ve attempted to create a wide array of different objects and pieces of art and magic that evokes the curiosity rooms of the 16th and 17th centuries, and reading your curatorial statement, it’s almost as if these rooms contained everything. So how is it possible to curate everything?

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Wonderful Art Fair, Happens to Be in Seattle

Review of the Seattle Art Fair.

Written by TeenTix Press Corps writer Rosemary Sissel.

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A tunnel of captive trees reflects itself into infinity. Pieces of wood arranged in the shape of Africa cast the shadow of a face. Another face, painted by many tiny newspaper words, loses its eye.

The Fair is a river of continual images, inviting viewers to look at, question, and interact with collections from nearly one hundred galleries from around the world—and the variety is staggering. A head is suspended upside down by steel cable. A nose is a shoe. A plunger is glass.

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Insider Scoop: Press Corps Alumna Jackie Allison

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Jackie Allison, professional journalist, and TeenTix alumna, is a prime example of a TeenTix success story. Currently 25 and working for the Skagit Valley Herald - a daily news source serving the Skagit Valley - Jackie participated in Young Critics Workshops waaaaaaaaay back in 2011 as a junior in high school (YCW is a program from a former incarnation of the Press Corps - now we call similar events Press Corps Intensives)! She was also a Teentix pass user and had hers through 4 years of high school. When we talked, I asked if any art she attended stuck out from that point in her life. It’s been a while, but she specifically remembers the shows she wrote reviews for (a good reminder that critically engaging with the art we see can expand and enrich our experience as audience members). She recalled a show at TeenTix Partner On the Boards: “Oh, I do remember this one moment. I remember someone, they were stretching a red string across the stage. And I remember I wrote that in my review, like that was one of the moments I wrote about.” At time, Jackie wasn't exactly sure what the show meant, but that was probably the point! TeenTix did a little digging and we found that very review from 2011. You can read it here.

Now Jackie writes less about metaphors in movement and more of your typical, local reporter-fare. At the Skagit Valley Herald, her “beat” is business and agriculture - but they don’t have a particular arts writer, and since her editors know her interests, sometimes Jackie gets those stories too. Her favorite story, to date, is a weird and wonderful jaunt into the wormhole of maritime law. You can read the whole piece here, but in short, complicated laws mandate the kinds of ships allowed to sail in US fishing waters. A beautiful new ship was under construction, but elements of the design didn’t meet the intense government standards and a company in Anacortes had to spend YEARS getting a waiver from Congress to save their company. The fallout took a toll on the community and Jackie got the document all of it! (Don’t worry, they got the waiver and this story has a happy ending.) When asked why this story stuck out in particular to her, Jackie said, “I kind of got a behind-the-scenes look at what was going on and I built a lot of relationships with the business owners. They trusted me and at one point were really only wanting to talk to me over like, even the Seattle Times! Then I got to go on the actual ship, like this giant fishing ship for a day when it did fishing trials in February so that [kind of] really amazing national news [with] many different aspects to it. The feeling of being trusted and having a relationship, building a relationship with sources, which I think is what journalism is all about.”

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Nominate A Teen for the 2019 Youth Arts Advocate of the Year Award!

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Do you know a teen who is always getting their friends to go to shows? How about a teen who works to keep arts education in school? Or a teen who creates opportunities for other teens to express themselves through art? Or a teen who pours themselves into leading a drama club, poetry slam, photography club, writing club, dance team, or WHATEVER KIND OF AWESOME ARTY CLUB? Know anybody like that?

Nominate them for the Youth Arts Advocate of the Year Award! The Youth Arts Advocate of the Year Award celebrates a teen who makes big contributions to our region's arts and cultural community through passion, advocacy, and leadership.

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Insider Scoop: Press Corps Teaching Artist Melody Datz Hansen

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Heard about the TeenTix Press Corps? It’s a program that allows teens to learn, practice, and publish arts criticism. For more information or to get involved, click here! For the insider scoop we chatted with Press Corps teaching artist Melody Datz Hansen about why this program is completely awesome and important!

Among many other things, Melody is a research ethics consultant - a fancy way of saying that she helps keep an eye on medical studies involving people - but she is also proud to be a writer, teaching artist, and full-time parent. Melody’s original foray into the art world was through dance, she’s a classically trained ballet dancer; in college she became a sociologist. In 2011, while working full-time for the University of Washington, she applied and was accepted for an internship at the Stranger. Her job description was to write book reviews, but at the time no one was doing dance writing and Melody asked if she could take those pieces on too. The rest is history! She’s also written for the Seattle Times, City Arts, and has a blog, plus various other freelancing endeavors. She says, “Dance writing is close to my heart because it something I understand and can communicate to people who don’t know anything about dance or who don’t care about it or who haven’t previously liked it or cared about it. Dance is not an accessible art form in many ways. It can seem very high brow or contemporary. Dance can seem very weird and inaccessible.” She is delighted to have found a kind of niche where she can write about dance and “People can think about it in simpler ways that maybe apply to their own lives and own interests a little better.”

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Sing your heart out this summer!

Practice your craft with The 5th Avenue Theatre with this new musical theatre masterclass.

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Hey TeenTix-ers: Scholarships are now available for Singing the Gospel, a masterclass from our friends at The 5th Avenue Theatre!

This energetic and uplifting vocal master class will explore the history and influence of gospel music in musical theater. In this two-part course, students will work with Seattle-based singer and actress, Shaunyce Omar, to examine how gospel music has influenced both musical theater and pop music; learn the power of ensemble singing; and discover how to adapt their own personal style to gospel singing. Join in for this fun and engaging class and get singing!

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Insider Scoop: Current Press Corps Member Sumeya

Interview with current Press Corps member Sumeya Block

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Heard about the TeenTix Press Corps? This radical program allows teens to learn, practice, and publish arts criticism. For more information or to get involved, click here! We wanted the insider scoop, so we enlisted the help of an active TeenTix Press Corps writer and arts-goer - Sumeya Block!

Sumeya is a rising sophomore at the Downtown School, just blocks from TeenTix headquarters! She got a TeenTix Pass at the age of 13 when The 5th Avenue Theatre put on a production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame. She desperately wanted to attend the performance but tickets were way out of her price range. Luckily, she discovered TeenTix just in time and got herself a ticket for just $5 - she hasn’t looked back since! When TeenTix showed up at her school, she was introduced to the Press Corps and was excited to learn that writing about the arts was even a possibility! Sumeya applied to be a writer in the TeenTix Newsroom and soon after took an Intensive Workshop where she honed her arts journalism skills. “I didn’t realize my love of writing and my love of art could come together; I never thought I could potentially use that as a job”.

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Pass Over Confronts Audiences in the Best Way Possible

Review of Pass Over at ACT.

Written by Teen Editor Anya Shukla, and edited by Teen Editor Huma Ali!

WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD

Although I had been warned by the sign at the front door—CAUTION: LOUD GUNSHOTS—I still started, pretzeled my arms into my chest, when the trigger was finally pulled. I sat, head buzzing, as the murderer monologued for the final two minutes of the play. The lights went down amidst audience mumblings, then I stood clapping with the room while the actors bowed. My chest was tight with anxiety all through the talkback, the drive home, my pre-bed face wash; even now, I can easily picture the muzzle flash. If art’s job is to affect individuals, then Pass Over deserves a raise.

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TEDS 1.0 Signing Off!

2019 Teen Editorial Staff Farewell Editorial

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We made it! It’s an odd feeling, watching the first era of our Teen Editorial Staff—the group that we all helped to create—come to a close. Just a little under a year ago, we were five strangers, only connected by our shared passion for art. Now, we’ve grown into a sort of family, and we can’t imagine the Teen Editorial Staff being any different. However, as a different group of teen editors will be the reality next year, now comes the time to move on, let go, and get ready to enter a new era. It truly has been our pleasure editing reviews for the TeenTix blog. We’d like to take a moment to thank some very important people who’ve really made the Teen Editorial Staff the success it is. Firstly, we’d like to thank our incredible Newsroom of teen writers, who write the lovely reviews we have had the pleasure of editing. We’d also like to thank the TeenTix Arts Partners, who provide us with the means and support we need to go out and experience their incredible art. We’d like to give the biggest thanks to Mariko, our mentor and guru who’s guided us through the world of arts criticism and given countless hours to help make the Teen Editorial Staff a reality. And finally, we’d like to thank YOU for supporting TeenTix and the Teen Editorial Staff through your patronage. This has been the 2018-19 Teen Editorial Staff, signing off!

- Anya, Hannah, Huma, Josh, and Lily

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Storytelling through Contemporary Dance

Review of This is Not the Little Prince by Whim W'Him.

Written by TeenTix Newsroom Writer Katherine Kang, and edited by Teen Editor Hannah Schoettmer!

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The movement of the human body accompanied by a simple monotone score, props that seem familiar, and a new musical score can tell a beautiful story with great emotion and power.

After almost two years of brainstorming and eight intense weeks of choreographing and rehearsing, This is Not The Little Prince is now being performed at the Cornish Playhouse. This one hour contemporary dance piece is full of heart, creativity, emotion, and flexibility. Choreographed and staged by Olivier Wevers, this show conveys a well-known story in a new light, with the story of the author. Using the language of dance, everyone can interpret the narrative, no matter what language they speak.Whim W'Him in This is Not the Little Prince. Photo by Stefano Altamura.

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