by Jas Keimig
In this land of rivers deep and mountains high, someone who’s simply the best has come to town.
Rolling through Paramount Theatre this month is TINA — The Tina Turner Musical, which tells the story of the Queen of Rock ’n’ Roll. The 12-time Tony-nominated jukebox musical written by Katori Hall with Frank Ketelaar and Kees Prins debuted in April 2018 in London’s West End, and now Seattleites can see it for themselves at the Paramount Theatre until Sept.17.
Continue reading ‘TINA – The Tina Turner Musical’ Blasts Onto the Paramount Stage
by Jasmine M. Pulido
As he nervously runs his fingers through his hair, Korean actor Koo Park pauses as the jarring sound of coffee grinding fills the spaces between his thoughts in fitful bursts. Sitting atop the stool within the white planked walls of a noisy coffee shop, Park contemplates how he felt when he first started acting in Korea to how he feels today, 15 years later.
Continue reading Koo Park: A Seattle-Based Korean Actor Who Is Just Like You
by Victor Simoes
The Sound Theatre Company (STC) recently announced Shermona Mitchell would become its new co-artistic director. A multifaceted theater artist and the first Black woman to lead the Sound Theatre board, Mitchell assumed the new position in January. Working with the founder and the other co-artistic director of the STC, Teresa Thuman, Mitchell will support the company’s mission to uplift local actors, directors, and audiences while bringing attention to stories often silenced by systemic oppression.
Continue reading Newly Elected Shermona Mitchell Comes Full Circle as Sound Theatre’s New Co-Artistic Director
curated by Emerald Editors
A round-up of news and announcements we don’t want to get lost in the fast-churning news cycle!
It’s a week for hearings, local and national. These include the first inquest hearing into the 2017 death of Charleena Lyles, which is a judicial inquiry that lays out and ascertains the facts of the case. Nationally, the fourth of the Jan. 6 Committee hearings has also just passed; the fifth takes place Thursday morning, June 23. Recent flickers of white nationalist groups making hyperlocal plays and targeting LGBTQ+ communities can’t help but feel like echoes of insurrection.
But there is still some levity to be found. Pride events continue this weekend — see our guide — including Lavender Rights Project’s Black Trans Comedy Showcase tonight!
—Vee Hua 華婷婷, interim managing editor for the South Seattle Emerald
Continue reading NEWS GLEAMS: Majority of 2021 Fatal Crashes in South End, Taste of White Center, & More
by Amanda Ong
On March 11, Pipeline, a play about the school-to-prison pipeline, premiered at the Seattle Public Theater. Through the lens of one African American family, Pipeline looks at the policies and practices that force students on a path from schools into systems of incarceration, which disproportionately affects marginalized students.
Continue reading Now Showing at Seattle Public Theater, ‘Pipeline’ Explores the School-to-Prison Pipeline
by Amanda Ong
The oldest Asian American theatre group in the Pacific Northwest will put on a 24-hour play festival this Saturday, Nov. 13. Pork Filled Productions’ Resilience! An AAPI 24-Hour Play Festival will showcase seven 10-minute plays, conceived, written, rehearsed, and performed all within 24 hours. Each play will be put on by a team of distinguished Asian American writers, directors, and actors. The online production will be livestreamed on Youtube.
Pork Filled Productions was founded in Seattle in 1998 as an Asian American sketch comedy group dedicated to blending community activism with theatre. While their genres have expanded in years since to include science fiction, noir, fantasy, steampunk, and more, they have continued their mission to imagine fantastical universes informed by diverse perspectives.
Resilience! was conceived by senior producer Kendall Uyeji in response to the surge of Asian hate crimes and the #StopAsianHate movement in the spring of 2021, particularly after the shooting of six massage parlor workers in Atlanta, Georgia.
Uyeji said he felt he wanted to do something to help raise the profile of the movement. “We want to write about the now,” he told the Emerald. “And the best way to write about the now is to literally have [playwrights] write the night of and then produce it the next day.”
Continue reading 24-Hour Asian American Play Festival Aims to Diversify Asian Stories in Theatre
by Maile Anderson
A high chance of rain didn’t stop Intiman’s “Homecoming: Performing Arts Festival’’ celebration on Capitol Hill last weekend. In fact, development and communications director Wesley Frugé called the weather “a wonderful way” to welcome the Intiman Theatre into its new space at the Erickson Theatre on Harvard Avenue.
“Intiman did not have a home theater for the past 5 years,” said Frugé, explaining the move. “Our offices were at Seattle Center but we produced all around town in different locations for every show.”
As part of the celebration, the block of Harvard Avenue that will now be a permanent home to Intiman hosted multiple vendors including Vermillion Art Gallery, Badder Body, and Mediums Collective.
Continue reading PHOTO ESSAY: Intiman Theatre Celebrates Their New Space With ‘Homecoming’ Festival
by Mark Van Streefkerk
Blind or visually impaired (BVI) people navigate a world built for sighted people everyday, but how often do sighted people truly see these individuals or understand their experiences? The audio play Flying Blind! offers a candid look at life for BVI people, with plenty of insights for sighted folks to take note of. Produced by South Seattle-based Anything is Possible Theatre Company (AIP) and written by and with the blind and low-vision community, the play is a series of audio scenes, sounds, original songs, and music that together illustrate some situations BVI people encounter — situations that can be frustrating, misunderstood, or even comical.
“Please don’t tell me that I’m an inspiration just for getting out the door today. / Can you see that the main obstacle is not what I can’t see, but a society that’s not set up for people like me?” asks the opening song in Flying Blind!
“Our society is not set up for people who have blind or low vision — or any kind of disability really,” said Kathleen Tracy, composer and music director for Flying Blind! “[BVI] people are amazingly resourceful and can totally live their lives [in spite of] impediments, some of which are hilarious and some of which are infuriating.”
Continue reading ‘Flying Blind!’ Shares the Everyday Experiences of Blind and Visually Impaired Individuals
by Kathya Alexander
When COVID-19 was declared a pandemic in March 2020, Tyrone Brown was in Lesotho, an independent country of 2 million people completely surrounded by South Africa. As a volunteer for the Peace Corps, he was teaching English, life skills, and HIV/AIDS prevention to Lesotho elementary school students. But the Peace Corps decided to withdraw all their volunteers worldwide and send them home.
Born and raised in Seattle, Tyrone Brown, the founder and artistic director of Brownbox Theatre, credits his mother for introducing him to the arts when he was very young. Brown feels Seattle gave him more freedom and exposure to the arts that he wouldn’t have received, especially as a young Black male, had he grown up somewhere else. Still, being involved in the arts in a single-parent family had its challenges.
“I remember I was in the Northwest Boys Choir for a short period of time. I don’t remember a lot about the experience except for one thing. We had a big concert that was happening in downtown Seattle. And my mom couldn’t get me there. She said, ‘I don’t have money for bus fare. So you’re going to have to call somebody.’ It was a predominately white institution, a group of white boys basically. And I didn’t know those kids, who came from two-parent homes and had money. I was just so embarrassed.”
Continue reading Tyrone Brown: Where Art and Activism Meet