ACT’s ROMEO + JULIET: Beyond the Theatre

A Contemporary Theatre presents ROMEO + JULIET by William Shakespeare from March 1-31, 2019. Librarians at The Seattle Public Library created this resource list of books, videos, and a podcast to enhance your experience of the show.

ACT partnered with leaders in the Deaf community to make their production of Shakespeare’s classic story of young star-crossed lovers American Sign Language (ASL) integrated. The cast features deaf actors, including Joshua Castille as Romeo. Castille and others participated in a panel discussion on deaf actors and the use of ASL in musical theater at the Seattle Public Library back in June 2018. The Deaf Movement and Musical Theater is a podcast recording of that event. For other examples of Deaf Theater and Arts, watch the streaming video The National Theater of the Deaf: Performance and Commentary and check out Signing the Body Poetic: Essays on American Sign Language Literature, a collection of essays and an accompanying DVD that celebrate and analyze ASL artistic expression.

There have been many film adaptations of Romeo and Juliet. Notable versions include Franco Zeffirelli’s classic 1968 film, Baz Luhrmann’s frenetic and visually rich William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet, and Aleta Chappelle’s recent Romeo and Juliet in Harlem, which features a cast of Black and Latinx actors.

Romeo and Juliet has also inspired a number of unique adaptations. Ronit & Jamil is young adult novel in verse set in the modern-day Israel-Palestine conflict. Romeo and/or Juliet: A Chooseable-path Adventure is a choose your own adventure style reimagining with more than a billion possible storylines. Ronald Wimberly’s graphic novel Prince of Cats (soon to be a movie starring Lakeith Stanfield) follows Tybalt and his crew of Capulets as they move through a stylized 1980’s Brooklyn battling the rival Montagues.

For these suggestions and more, see the complete resource list for ROMEO + JULIET.

~ Posted by Richard V.

Spring into Suspense with these Thrilling Tales!

This Spring, Thrilling Tales – our regular lunch hour Story Time for Grown Ups – will transport you from the psychoanalyst’s couch to the funeral parlor, from suburbia to death row, from the swamp to a magical realm where dragons fly overhead. Join us, won’t you? Admission is free, and brown bag lunches are welcome! All readings begin at 12:05 in the Central Library’s Microsoft Auditorium, and are finished well before 1 p.m.

Monday, March 11: The Other Side of the Wall, by Stanley Ellin. Someone had better call the police: Dr. Schwimmer and his patient Albert are about to have a major breakthrough. Also, The Great Silence by Ted Chiang. The humans look to the stars for non-human intelligence, but we parrots are right here. Talk to us!

Monday, March 25: Homicide House, by Day Keene. He married her for her money, but Continue reading “Spring into Suspense with these Thrilling Tales!”

Intiman’s CAUGHT: Beyond the Theatre

Poster for Intiman Theater's Caught by Christopher ChenImagine yourself at an art exhibition viewing the installation of an internationally known artist. This is how the play CAUGHT begins, a compelling work for those who relish unconventional narratives and conceptual art.  The audience is a part, not apart, from the action of a “labyrinthine exploration of truth, art, social justice and cultural appropriation, where nothing is as it first appears.”

You’re here to hear the artist, Lin Bo, give a gallery talk. He is enjoying wide exposure and his work has come to greater prominence because of an article published about him in the New Yorker. Having been imprisoned in China for a single work of art, Lin Bo is telling his side of the story. If you think this sounds sort of like Ai Weiwei, You’re headed in the right direction. Bo’s character was partially based on the dissident artist’s life.

The cast and director of Intiman Theatre's CAUGHT: (from left to right) Narea Kang, Jonelle Jordan, Justin Huertas, director Desdemona Chiang, and Bradford Farwell. Photo by Naomi Ishisaka for Intiman Theatre.
The cast and director of Intiman Theatre’s CAUGHT: (from left to right) Narea Kang, Jonelle Jordan, Justin Huertas, director Desdemona Chiang, and Bradford Farwell. Photo by Naomi Ishisaka for Intiman Theatre.

Lin Bo talks about contemporary art and artists in China. He describes how in China, One Million Artists face censorship and suppression. Scenes of Tiananmen Square, Mao, the Cultural Revolution, uproar and protest spill from his mouth.

Now, imagine yourself caught inside of an ever-changing narrative of multiple viewpoints circling around The Truth and Other Lies. This play, does exactly that, it takes the audience not down but through the “rabbit hole” of perception. Continue reading “Intiman’s CAUGHT: Beyond the Theatre”

Book-It Repertory Theatre’s AMERICAN JUNKIE: Beyond the Theatre

Book-It Repertory Theatre presents AMERICAN JUNKIE by Tom Hansen, adapted by Jane Jones & Kevin McKeon, directed by Jane Jones, from February 14-March 10, 2019. Librarians at Seattle Public Library created this list of books, videos, and music to enhance your experience of the show.

Hansen’s memoir chronicles his heroin addiction and recovery against a backdrop of the Seattle grunge music scene. For more recollections of grunge-era Seattle, check out Everybody Loves Our Town, Mark Yarm’s thick, sprawling oral history of grunge that features interviews with over 250 people, including Tom Hansen. The 1996 documentary Hype! uses concert footage and interviews to examine how grunge moved from a small, independent scene to a massive pop culture phenomenon. Continue reading “Book-It Repertory Theatre’s AMERICAN JUNKIE: Beyond the Theatre”

Seattle Rep’s LAST OF THE BOYS: Beyond the Theatre

Seattle Repertory Theatre presents LAST OF THE BOYS by Steven Dietz, directed by Braden Abraham, from January 18 to February 10, 2019. Librarians at Seattle Public Library created this list of books, films, and music to enhance your experience of the show.

Seattle’s prolific and industrious playwright Steven Dietz received a Pulitzer Prize nomination for LAST OF THE BOYS, which was written and first produced in 2004. Continue reading “Seattle Rep’s LAST OF THE BOYS: Beyond the Theatre”