ACT’s Until the Flood: Beyond the Theatre

policACT (A Contemporary Theatre) presents UNTIL THE FLOOD by Dael Orlandersmith from June 8 to July 8, 2018. UNTIL THE FLOOD focuses on the social unrest following the fatal police shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Librarians at Seattle Public Library created this list of books and films to enhance your experience of the show: ACT’s UNTIL THE FLOOD: Beyond the Theatre  

The names and places, unfortunately, are tragically familiar: Ferguson, Trayvon, Baltimore, Philando, Tamir, Baton Rouge, and Charles Kinseythe list goes on. How can we take it in? What does it mean? How can we comprehend?

Obie Award winning and Pulitzer Prize finalist playwright Dael Orlandersmith is bringing her work, UNTIL THE FLOOD, to ACT, with her quest of understanding how we got here and what it signifies. Focusing on Ferguson, Missouri, and the death of unarmed 18-year old Michael Brown, the one-act drama uses eight composite characters from the area to explore issues of race, social unrest, and political power. The characters all are working to find their standpoint with racial matters in our society, but from a personal level, ranging from teenagers to seniors, and from anger to reflection. Continue reading “ACT’s Until the Flood: Beyond the Theatre”

The Seattle Public Library Zine Collections

Central Library Zine Collection

A zine is a self-published work of original or appropriated and remixed materials, including photographs, drawings, poetry, and prose. Typically limited in print number, zines are most often stapled-together paper reproduced on a photocopier, and distributed locally.

While zines are closely associated with music scenes such as punk or riot grrrl, they have existed in their modern form as a part of a variety of artistic movements since the early 20th century, including Dadaist leaflets and early science fiction fan magazines (aka fanzines aka zines).

The Central Library’s Teen Center zine collection, launched with the goal of promoting the voices and creative expression of teens and young adults, especially those living in the Pacific Northwest, includes over a hundred zines and mini-comics, with topics ranging from self-perception to parrotfish to paper airplanes. All zines in this collection are uncatalogued, but may be borrowed and returned to the library when finished. Continue reading “The Seattle Public Library Zine Collections”

Asian & Pacific Islander Heritage Month: In Our Own Image(s)

At the Capitol Hill Library, we wondered how to create an Asian & Pacific Islander (API) Heritage Month display that recognizes the many peoples who are categorized as “Asian” and “Pacific Islander” — each unique and with their own histories, languages, religions, cultural values, and experiences.  Is it possible to represent such broad and diverse communities without using stereotypical imagery (especially those which focus exclusively on East Asia)?

An answer dawned on us: since API people are already representing themselves, through their art and creative practice… why reach for the clipart of cherry blossoms and dragons, when we could highlight the imagery of API artists?

We reached out to a number of local artists with API heritage, and have featured some samples of their work – swing by the Capitol Hill library, and check out library items that are produced by API writers, illustrators, filmmakers, and musicians.  Our display offers a selection of poetry, picture books, nonfiction, DVDs, comics, and other media from our collection.  For those who can’t make it to our neck of the city, here are a few titles to place on hold:

Works by Pacific Islanders

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Continue reading “Asian & Pacific Islander Heritage Month: In Our Own Image(s)”

Seattle Rep’s MAC BETH: Beyond the Theatre

Seattle Repertory Theatre presents MAC BETH, adapted from Shakespeare’s play and directed by Erica Schmidt, from May 18 to June 17, 2018. Librarians at Seattle Public Library created this list of books, music and films to enhance your experience of the show.

In MAC BETH, playwright/director Erica Schmidt reimagines Shakespeare’s classic tale of intrigue and poisonous ambition with an all-female cast, as seven young women gather after school to retell the story of Macbeth. Here are a few other books that reframe the story with a focus on female characters and perspectives. Continue reading “Seattle Rep’s MAC BETH: Beyond the Theatre”

May the 4th Be With You!

“May the 4th be with you.” What started as pun warmly shared by fans has become a full-fledged Star Wars holiday: Star Wars Day, a special once-a-year celebration of the galaxy far, far away.

One of the earliest known records of “May the 4th” used in popular culture is in 1979, as described here by author Alan Arnold while he was chronicling the making of The Empire Strikes Back for Lucasfilm:

FRIDAY, MAY 4

“Margaret Thatcher has won the election and become Britain’s first woman prime minister. To celebrate their victory her party took a half page of advertising space in the London Evening News. This message, referring to the day of victory, was ‘May the Fourth Be With You, Maggie. Congratulations,’ further proof of the extent to which Star Wars has influenced us all.”

Once the Internet allowed Star Wars fans around the world to connect with one another, May the 4th soon became a grassroots tradition each year, with fans online and offline proclaiming it “Star Wars Day.”

Celebrate Star Wars day with a few reads from your local library! Continue reading “May the 4th Be With You!”