Shakespeare Shows and Shorts on Kanopy

If you’re like me, you’ve been spending the past few months missing going out to see plays and performance in Seattle’s theatre scene. As the days get warmer and brighter and summer seems just around the corner, we still don’t know whether we will be able to enjoy Shakespeare in the Park season as we have in past years. Of course nothing can make up for the experience of seeing the Bard performed live, but there ARE some excellent shorts, feature films, and recorded theatre productions based on Shakespeare’s work available on Kanopy. Here are just a few to get you started:

Macbeth, directed by Robert Goold

Starring Sir Patrick Stewart and Kate Fleetwood as Macbeth and Lady M, this film from 2003 sets the action onto a contemporary, vaguely “central European” backdrop with stylistic nods to Soviet propaganda artwork. It is also shot on location in an underground English abbey, giving us a very intense, intimate experience as viewers. The movie is based on a hugely successful play Continue reading “Shakespeare Shows and Shorts on Kanopy”

Throwback Thursday: March 31, 2008

Seattle Reads, the arts, and gentrification was the topic in our Throwback Thursday post on March 31, 2008.

Image result for the beautiful things that heaven bears

If you have picked up this year’s Seattle Reads novel, The Beautiful Things that Heaven Bears by Dinaw Mengestu you’ve had a chance to get one novelist’s take on some of the issues and pressures that can fracture a community changing in the face of gentrification and immigration.

Facing similar issues, particularly those of gentrification pressures, local Capitol Hill artists, arts activists, neighbors and interested citizens are gathering at Seattle City Hall in April to discuss community concerns about rapidly diminishing affordable space for arts uses in the City’s core neighborhoods. Get details at:

Make Room for Art: Cultural Overlay Districts for Seattle
April 2, 5pm-6:30pm, Seattle City Hall

City Councilmembers will hear from Seattle residents, arts and entertainment venues and organizations, property owners, developers, and officials on how the Council might go about establishing an overlay district to offer incentives and controls in a specific area to encourage or preserve particular kinds of activities, spaces, and/or design. How can the city grow in a healthy balanced way that benefits all? This could be an exciting opportunity to add your voice as “A City Makes Herself.” Continue reading “Throwback Thursday: March 31, 2008”

Anna Deavere Smith’s Living Theater

Life and literature reflect each other in interesting ways. As the trial begins for Amber Guyger (the Dallas police officer charged with killing Botham Jean in his own apartment last September), I have been led to read books about the aftermath of previous trials and grand jury decisions involving police officers, and how they affected the populace of their cities.

Image result for notes from the fieldLately I read the 2018 play Notes from the Field by Anna Deavere Smith.  I had known about Anna Deavere Smith as an actress, specifically as the hospital administrator on Nurse Jackie.  This play deals with the school to prison pipeline and its disproportionate effects on black and Indigenous people of color.  Ms. Smith wrote the play after interviewing over 250 people in different parts of the United States. Her transcripts include experiences from people around the Freddie Grey death, an Indigenous man who started getting in trouble in school and ended up in prison, and Bree Newsome who pulled down the confederate flag in South Carolina, together with many other moving stories. Continue reading “Anna Deavere Smith’s Living Theater”

Seattle Rep’s TINY BEAUTIFUL THINGS: Beyond the Theatre

Seattle Repertory Theatre presents TINY BEAUTIFUL THINGS by Nia Vardalos, adapted from the book by Cheryl Strayed from May 17 to June 23, 2019. Librarians at Seattle Public Library created this list of books and films to enhance your experience of the show.

Before she wrote a runaway bestselling memoir of solo hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, before she was portrayed on the big screen by Reese Witherspoon, Cheryl Strayed gave advice to strangers. From 2010 to 2012, she wrote an anonymous advice column, Dear Sugar, for the online magazine The Rumpus, which was collected in Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar in 2012.

Strayed’s book inspired actor and playwright Nia Vardalos’ adaption of the same name which opens at the Rep next week. You may be familiar with Vardalos from her sleeper hit 2002 film, My Big Fat Greek Wedding. But you may not know that she’s also written a funny and poignant memoir about her experiences as an adoptive parent, Instant Mom.

 For more suggested reading and viewing before the play, check out this resource list.

~posted by Abby B.

 

Seattle Rep’s NINA SIMONE: FOUR WOMEN: Beyond the Theatre

Seattle Repertory Theatre presents NINA SIMONE: FOUR WOMEN by Christina Ham from April 26 to June 2, 2019. Librarians at Seattle Public Library created this list of books, music and films to enhance your experience of the show.

Nina Simone’s “Four Women” is a haunting, critical exploration of racial stereotypes and the legacy of slavery through the lives of four Black women: Aunt Sarah, Saffronia, Sweet Thing and Peaches. In NINA SIMONE: FOUR WOMEN, playwright Christina Ham brings these characters and Simone herself to life as they gather in the ruins of the 16th Street Baptist Church the day after 4 young Black girls died in a terrorist bombing. This tragedy profoundly impacted Simone, prompting her evolution from artist to artist-activist and inspiring her to write and perform powerful songs such as “Mississippi Goddamn,” “Young, Gifted and Black” and of course, “Four Women.” Continue reading “Seattle Rep’s NINA SIMONE: FOUR WOMEN: Beyond the Theatre”