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”

Theater in the Library: My Name is Asher Lev

Seattle Jewish Theater Company has been performing classic and contemporary Jewish theater throughout the Seattle area since 2011. The Library has hosted several of these performances in the past and we are pleased to give patrons an opportunity to see SJTC’s latest production. Join us in the Microsoft Auditorium at the Central Library on Sunday, April 21 at 2pm for SJTC’s production of My Name is Asher Lev. The production is directed by Shana Bestock and produced by SJTC artistic director Art Feinglass. The performance will be followed by an audience discussion with the cast. Continue reading “Theater in the Library: My Name is Asher Lev”

Book-It Repertory Theatre’s RETURNING THE BONES: Beyond the Theatre

Her heart was as big as Texas. That’s why it takes more than twenty voices to relay the story of her life. Aunt BeBe, otherwise known as Dr. Carolyn Beatrice Hammond Montier, was a woman to be reckoned with.

Gin Hammond performing in Returning the Bones
Gin Hammond performing in Returning the Bones

Continue reading “Book-It Repertory Theatre’s RETURNING THE BONES: Beyond the Theatre”