Windows and Mirrors Across the Seattle Art Scene

Teen Editorial Staff September 2022 Editorial

Written by Teen Editorial Staff Members Kyle Gerstel and Aamina Mughal

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As summer yields itself to autumn, a sense of renewal flurries in the air. For TeenTix, this manifests itself most literally in our new batch of TEDS (Teen Editorial Staff) and Newsroom writers, but we also want to consider the importance of increasing the range of stories we consume and how we consume them. Depending on your perspective, the events you’ll see reviewed on the blog this month can act as windows into experiences different from your own, as well as mirrors reflecting and representing voices that are too often left unheard.

Art has served as an outlet for marginalized communities, but the arts community has also historically suppressed these voices, making diverse perspectives inaccessible. We believe it is critical for teens (and all citizens) to see themselves represented in art and expose themselves to the experiences of others. As the school year starts back up, it is our hope that we continue this trend of renewal and are able to introduce a greater feeling of belonging in the arts scene.

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Six Takes on The Sea Beast

Reviews of Netflix's The Sea Beast

Written collectively by the Teen Editorial Staff and guest edited by TeenTix alumni Lily Williamson and Tova Gaster

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The Teen Editorial Staff teamed up to bring to light some different perspectives about the recently released The Sea Beast (2022). Read on to see how anyone can gather enjoyment from this new Netflix film. Warning: spoilers ahead! AAMINA

The Sea Beast follows Maisie Brumble (Zaris-Angel Hator) and Jacob Holland (Karl Urban) on a voyage through reconciliation with their history in a timely examination of patriotism, pride, and peace, debuted this June. The film opens with a beautifully animated scene of a storm, complete with the dazzling blues and greens of the sea, accompanied by the glowing oranges and reds of a ship on fire. In a world where humans are constantly at war with sea monsters, monster hunters are regarded as among the most noble members of society. When one of the leading ships, The Inevitable, steered by a revenge-driven Captain Crow (Jared Harris), fails to bring the Red Bluster, an infamous sea monster, to the Crown, they are given an ultimatum to either succeed the next time or to hand the reins over to the military, ending the era of monster hunters. Maisie, the daughter of two monster hunters who passed away in a shipwreck, decides to stow away on the ship. Maisie meets Jacob, and is immediately starstruck. Jacob, to whom The Inevitable is the closest thing he had to a family, is the hallmark of a stereotypical hero from his loyalty to his arrogance. Eventually, Maisie and Jacob get separated from The Inevitable.

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Announcing the 2022/2023 Teen Editorial Staff!

Collage of 2223 TEDS

TeenTix is proud to announce the 2022/2023 Teen Editorial Staff. This year's Teen Editorial Staff (TEDS) is comprised of six teens: Aamina Mughal, Audrey Gray, Disha Cattamanchi, Esha Potharaju, Kyle Gerstel, and Yoon Lee. 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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New Fire for YA Fantasy

Review of Blood Scion by Deborah Falaye
Written by Zoe Loughnane and edited by Teen Editor Disha Cattamanchi

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Blood Scion by Deborah Falaye is a fantasy novel which explores colonialist themes, drawing from Yoruba legends and mythologies. The story portrays Sloane struggling to hide her identity while fighting for the very people who would kill her: the Lucis. Sloane must go through mandatory recruitment training known to either kill or break you, in order to thwart them. The world of Blood Scion is rich with magic and lore; the use of African mythology sets it apart from other mythology based books. It is far more frequent to find books with Greek gods or even Norse gods but African gods are untapped source material. It was enjoyable to read a new mythos, being unfamiliar with Yoruba mythology. YA needs more diversity in its titles and this felt like a great example of what new authors should strive for.

I was pleasantly surprised by the worldbuilding in this book. The war between the surviving decendants of the Orisha and the Lucis set the backdrop for the entire plot to unfold. Scions are descendants of the ancient Orisha gods; Sloane being a descendant of Shango, possesses fire áse (fire magic). It was different to see characters who use their hands to perform magic, unlike books such as Harry Potter which uses wands and Percy Jackson which has “enhanced abilities.” Magic systems not limited by magic aids (wands) or ancestry, were refreshing to see, as these overused tropes often dilute the impact of universal themes. It was also interesting to have Sloane’s magic be physically painful for her to keep in and not expend. Magical powers are often written as gifts with no negative effects to the user, but this book depicts magic as a painful burden. The magic systems therefore end up contributing to the theme of oppression and colonialism the book explores; Scions and Yorubas have to hide who they are in order to avoid persecution. Sounds familiar doesn't it?

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miku, and the gods. is a Stunning Spoken Through Musical

Review of miku, and the gods. presented by ArtsWest

Written by Kyle Gerstel and edited by Teen Editor Esha Potharaju

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I love the Seattle theater scene. We have a wide range of venues that specialize in vastly different types of theater. Hungry for a flashy musical? Go to The 5th and you won’t be disappointed. Interested in exploring more challenging work without sacrificing production value? Check out what’s playing at the Rep. However, there is no theater I know of with shows as surprising yet consistent as ArtsWest. From the delightful We’ve Battled Monsters Before to the disturbing Monsters of the American Cinema, the theater has presented some of the boldest, most intimate productions I’ve seen since quarantine ended, and the world premiere of miku, and the gods. may be my favorite of them all.

The spoken-through musical follows Miku, a 12-year-old girl of Japanese descent, as she pursues her dream of becoming a god. It feels inappropriate to call the show a play since its rhythmic pacing, choreography, and use of theatrical devices are more aligned with what I expect from a musical. Miku’s desire to become a god serves as a smart and relatable analogy for the struggles of tweenhood, but many of the other characters lack a clear objective. Nonetheless, I remained captivated for the entire show thanks to the performers’ energy, playwright Julia Izumi’s wonderful wonder-filled dialogue (antimetabole intended), and director Alyza DelPan Monley’s raw yet thoughtful staging.

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The Price of Selling Kabul

Review of Selling Kabul presented by Seattle Rep

Written by Teen Writer Kyle Gerstel and edited by Teen Editor Triona Suiter

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Entering Seattle Rep’s Leo K. Theater, I could taste the stage: Lex Marcos’ scenic design is immersive yet intimate and textured without overwhelming the senses. The play takes place in an apartment in Afghanistan and Marcos cleverly incorporates a second layer of windows in an adjacent building, which enhances and broadens the world of the story. In addition, the apartment itself has remarkable depth, with doors, a hallway, and a kitchen separate enough to be believable while managing to fit the stage. Once the play started, D.R. Amromin’s evocative soundscape and Geoff Korf’s escalating lighting elements only drew me in more.

Selling Kabul explores the ethical and emotional consequences of valuing one life over another. It follows an Afghani interpreter for the U.S. Army as he hides from the Taliban in his sister’s apartment.

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Don’t Pigeonhole Children’s Theater

Review of Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! The Musical! Presented by Seattle Children's Theater
Written by Teen Writer Kyle Gerstel and edited by Teen Editor Esha Potharaju

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Seattle Children’s Theatre’s Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! The Musical! is not a bad show—admittedly, it is quite enjoyable. However, the book’s innovative structure is replaced with an unfortunately banal narrative, eliminating the essence of what made the source material so special.

The book Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! follows a pigeon’s antics as he attempts to convince readers to let him drive a bus. Meanwhile, Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! The Musical! tells the story of a pigeon who is denied his wish of driving the bus, but learns to help the bus driver in a different capacity. Mo Willems, who created the original text, serves as the show’s lyricist and co-wrote the script with Tom Warburton.

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Learning From The Inside Outtakes

Takeaways from Bo Burnham's The Inside Outtakes
Written by Teen Writer Kyle Gerstel and Edited by Lucia McLaren

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On Monday May 30, 2022, comedian Bo Burnham honored the one year anniversary of his popular Netflix special Inside by releasing over an hour of outtakes on his YouTube channel. While the outtake reel isn’t as polished as the original special, I believe it more effectively satirizes the role of media in our society and delivers laughs of larger quantity and quality. It also serves as an educational tool for aspiring and practicing artists alike:

Lesson 1: Respect the audience.

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Balance the World of Love and Family

Review of Romeo y Julieta presented by Seattle Shakespeare Company

Written by Angelina N. during an Arts Criticism workshop at Glacier Middle School

Randj21

Our school had the opportunity of allowing 8th graders to watch local performers perform a rendition of the Shakespearean play, Romeo and Juliet - or in this case, Romeo y Julieta. The actors themselves did wonderful, however, myself and many others found that the play was quite confusing and boring. Many of us had no idea what was going on, and the play seemed to drag on for hours (which it technically did).

The play Romeo y Julieta follows the tragic story of two star-crossed lovers in Verona, Italy as they balance the world of love and family. The two meet at a masquerade feast where they both meet for the first time and fall in love. Unfortunately for them, their families, the Montagues and the Capulets, have been enemies for many generations. Even knowing about the feud, the two decide to get married with assistance from Julieta’s nursemaid and Friar Lawrence. The day of their wedding, Julieta’s cousin Tybalt and Romeo’s cousin Mercutio participate in a duel where Tybalt ends up taking Mercutio’s life. Upon hearing about the death of his cousin, Romeo finds, duels, and kills Tybalt. When the Prince found out about the deaths, he sentenced Romeo to exile. Julieta, not wanting to be without Romeo, or marry Paris whom her father is forcing her, tries to kill herself. However, Friar Lawrence helps her hatch up a plan for her and Romeo to run away together. Julieta fakes her death and awaits Romeo in her family tomb. The Friar’s plan however did not work because Romeo misses the Friar’s message about Julieta and goes to see her himself. At her tomb, he meets and kills Paris before finally seeing Julieta’s alleged dead body. He kisses her and downs some poison and dies at the foot of her tomb. Julieta wakes up not too long after to find Romeo dead and kills herself to be with him.

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They Would Do Anything to Be Together

Review of Romeo y Julieta presented by Seattle Shakespeare Company

Written by Binta So during an Arts Criticism workshop at Glacier Middle School

Randj20

Have you ever seen the play Romeo y Julieta? Well if you have that's great but if you haven't Romeo y Julieta, it's about two lovers that are very much in love but due to their religions and their families not liking each other, their relationship was not supported so they were not allowed to see each other. At the end they both killed themselves thinking the other partner was dead, so basically they killed themselves because they both lost the love of their life.

In the play Romeo y Julieta I liked when they never gave up on each other but i didn't like the mango scene because in my opinion it was unnecessary.

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Smooth Transition Between English and Spanish

Review of Romeo y Julieta presented by Seattle Shakespeare Company

Written by Ron Nguyen during an Arts Criticism workshop at Glacier Middle School

Randj19

The play Romeo y Julieta is about two people that are in love with each other. But due to their family, they can not be together.

In the play Romeo y Julieta, I was fond of the smooth transition between English and Spanish. I think this makes the play a lot more interesting. Because without it the play would seem a bit inaccurate because the play is set in a Spanish speaking country. So, with this edition, it makes the play a lot more interesting and the transition from the two languages is also very smooth and consistent. This makes the play a lot more pleasing to watch.

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Well Performed and Well Put Together

Review of Romeo y Julieta presented by Seattle Shakespeare Company

Written by Zoe Hamaker during an Arts Criticism workshop at Glacier Middle School

Randj18

In the play Romeo y Julieta, a play about two people who fell in love, their parents do not like Romeo. Then both ended up killing themselves at the end of the play because of their love and they both thought they died. I felt like it could’ve been more entertaining and more interactive with the audience.

I think it could’ve been more entertaining during the play if they would ask the audience member questions during the play as a more entertaining way to pull the viewers in because most of those kids didn’t pay attention half the time. But instead they made 200+ middle school kids sit in a small gym and watch a theater play about romance, and if you didn't know, those four things don’t add up. So I think it would be important to take into consideration that no middle schooler except for theater kids would enjoy Romeo y Julieta live action.

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A Forbidden Love

Review of Romeo y Julieta presented by Seattle Shakespeare Company
Written by Norah Bustanoby during an Arts Criticism workshop at Glacier Middle School

Randj17

The play Romeo y Julieta was a play where Romeo had a forbidden love with a princess named Julieta. They quickly had fallen in love and later both committed suicide due to a staged death from Julieta.

I liked when Romeo and Julieta died because the actors really put in effort to make it seem that they really were hurt. The character that played Romeo truly did show how he was in pain from his lost love Julieta. Not just Romeo but Julieta did to her character, expressing to us that she was in so much despair that she would go as far to kill herself just to be with him.

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Their Strong Suit were the Suits

Review of Romeo y Julieta presented by Seattle Shakespeare Company

Written by Kameron Thav during an Arts Criticism workshop at Glacier Middle School

Randj16

This play is about two families in Verona, Italy. One of them being Romeo's family and the other being Julieta's, who have conflict against each other. Unfortunately, Romeo ends up meeting Julieta and Romeo and Julieta ended up falling in love. However, the families found out about this love and did not like it.

I liked the costumes of the play. I also liked the action in the play because it was entertaining but I didn’t like the language switching in the play, it was too confusing.

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Realistic and Action Packed

Review of Romeo y Julieta presented by Seattle Shakespeare Company

Written by Peter Vinn during an Arts Criticism workshop at Glacier Middle School

Randj15

The play Romeo and Juliet is about two lovers who want to be with each other but can't because of their families. In the play Romeo y Julieta they do a lot of sword fighting. One of them pretended to kill herself, but when the other found out, they killed themselves. They want to be with each other but their families had a rivalry so they couldn't be together.

I didn’t like the play as much because it was pretty confusing. It was confusing because there was a lot of talking and I could barely hear them. Also, the story in general was confusing when I could hear them. I liked how they were still going even when it got loud because it shows how focused they were into the play.

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Diversity of Language vs. Clear Communication

Review of Romeo y Julieta presented by Seattle Shakespeare Company

Written by Felix Cass during an Arts Criticism workshop at Glacier Middle School

Randj14

In the play Romeo y Julieta, two people named Romeo y Julieta, living in Verona, Italy fall in love with each other. But, they cannot get married because their families are rivals and forbid them from seeing each other. I liked the costumes, but I did not like that the play was in Old English.

The costumes in the play were very cool. I was able to tell all of the characters apart because of their clothes/props. I saw this when the person who played Mercutio changed from being the prince, to playing Mercutio by dressing in fancier clothes. This is important because if we weren’t able to tell the difference between characters, we would think one character is doing something a different character was doing, and would have no idea what is happening.

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Troubles With Communication in Romeo y Julieta

Review of Romeo y Julieta presented by Seattle Shakespeare Company

Written by Vincent Vincent during an Arts Criticism workshop at Glacier Middle School

Randj13

In the play Romeo y Julieta two teenagers meet and they fall in love. There are some complications between both of the families. Romeo's is a Montague and Julieta's is a Capulet; two opposing families. Julieta appears dead and Romeo sees that and he kills himself. Julieta saw that he was actually dead and then she kills herself. This play takes place in Italy and it is very unique. I liked the way that the actors knew what they were supposed to say and did not mess up their words, but I didn't like that I couldn't fully understand what they were saying sometimes.

I liked the way that the actors knew what they were supposed to say and did not mess up their words. I heard this when the actors were all doing their parts and speaking fluently. I also noticed this when they were fighting; they all knew what to say when they were yelling despite it being an intense moment; they were not stopping and trying to remember what they were supposed to say. This is important to me because It was enjoyable to listen to the play even if it was hard to understand sometimes.

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Props and Costumes That Stand Out

Review of Romeo y Julieta presented by Seattle Shakespeare Company

Written by Avy Le during an Arts Criticism workshop at Glacier Middle School

Randj12

In the play Romeo y Julieta I liked the costumes, music, and the plot, but I didn't like the language. The play Romeo y Julieta is about how two people from rival families fall in love and that love ends in a tragedy. I liked the costumes and props because they were unique. In the play I saw that they had masquerade masks. There was one that stood out to me; it was the bunny one that Julieta was holding. It was so pretty.

I didn't like the set because I couldn't tell what and where the play happened because of the 4 posters which threw me off. In the play I noticed that each poster had a different place.

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Choosing Between Family and Love

Review of Romeo y Julieta presented by Seattle Shakespeare Company

Written by Bruce Franco during an Arts Criticism workshop at Glacier Middle School

Randjf

The play I am reviewing is the play Romeo and Julieta; it is a story that takes place long ago. There was a lot of romance aspects to the play, leaning towards a forbidden romance type of play. Something that was interesting is that they would switch from English and Spanish-- throughout the play just putting in random Spanish words. The play takes place in Vermont, Italy which helps us understand why they include Spanish into their scripts. The characters in the play were Romeo ,Julieta, their parents, the maids, the person that Julieta was supposed to marry, the priest and Romeo and Julieta's friends. All in all I didn't like the play for many reasons.

The play is about two people that are in love but they belong to rival families; the Montagues and the Capulets which causes a huge obstacle between them. They have to choose between family and love, making sacrifices for each other throughout the story. Many people try to get in the way and split them up because of their bloodline and family stuff but they all fail in the end. They go through many more challenges together and in the end they end up together forever. Something that I didn't like about the play was when they would talk they would speak in a olden time way and also the random pieces of Spanish made it confusing as well even though I could understand the Spanish. For the time when they were speaking in old English (Like most of the play) I would be so confused about what they were saying and the meaning of their words. I would be watching the play wondering what they were saying, Also I just found it unnatural how they would use the Spanish because in real life people don't just throw Spanish in a sentence full of English as much as they did.

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We Feel What They Feel

Review of Romeo y Julieta presented by Seattle Shakespeare Company

Written by Mackenzie during an Arts Criticism workshop at Glacier Middle School

Randj11

At Glacier Middle School, The eighth graders saw Romeo y Julieta. In it, Romeo is convinced by their friends to go to a party where they meet a girl named Julieta. He falls in love with her right as they sees her, but they both soon find out that they’re from opposing houses. When Tybalt hears of Romeo's appearance at the party he is filled with rage. He goes to challenge Romeo to a duel where he finds Mercutio and eventually provokes Mercutio to a duel. It ends with Mercutio dead and Romeo finds this. So they challenge Tybalt to a duel. Not keeping up his kill streak, Tybalt dies, and Romeo is banished because of it. Juliet hears of this and wishes to run away with Romeo so she drinks a sleeping potion to trick everyone into believing she's dead so she can sneak off with him. Her family finds her and believes she's dead, but Romeo also believes that. Stricken with grief, Romeo buys poison and drinks it right next to Juliet’s sleeping body. Right as he dies Juliet awakes and finds Romeo dead. She then kills herself because why have one dead teenager when you can have two!!

Shakespeare focuses a lot on showing emotion to the audience through character actions and feelings in Romeo and Juliet. In the play it shows the characters is going through many emotions, for example when Mercutio dies. As Romeo feels shock, so do we. And we feel the same anger at Tybalt that Romeo feels too. Not only do our emotions often line up with the characters, but the characters express those emotions very well. While Juliet talks to her nurse about Romeo she’s very giddy. Bouncing around. Having a big smile, and that really shows just how strong she feels about Romeo as she talks. It's a sudden shift from her originally sullen mood about getting married.

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