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”

DIY Holidays: Crafty Gifts and Gifts of Food

Today is Black Friday, the traditional start of the holiday shopping season and historically the busiest shopping day of the year. If the idea of battling frenzied crowds for the latest must-have doo-dad makes you want to pull the covers over your head and never come out, we have an idea for you – make your own gifts! You’ll get to stay home, avoid the clogged streets, and maybe even learn a new skill. And nothing says you care like a homemade present! Here are a few recent titles to inspire you:

Miniature Terrariums
Terrariums are among some of the easiest, quickest and cheapest crafts to make. Try it out yourself at our Holiday Craft workshop coming up next Thursday, November 29th at the Central Library, 5:30 pm (free and open to all while supplies last).

Take a Tin by Jemima Schlee
You’ve probably got a few tin cans lying around the house somewhere. Upcycle these ubiquitous household items into lamps, storage and other fun gifts. Continue reading “DIY Holidays: Crafty Gifts and Gifts of Food”

Rocktober!

Ah, October . . . one of my favorite months of the year. Leaves are turning glorious shades of red, orange and gold, delicious wild mushrooms are abundant in the woods, and it’s finally cold enough to break out all my hand-knit scarves and hats. Plus October has the best holidays . . . Indigenous Peoples’ Day, National Grouch Day, Halloween and a month-long celebration of all things rock n’ roll . . . ROCKTOBER.

There are many ways one can pay homage to the gods and goddesses of rock during the month of Rocktober. You can blast Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song” at full volume while cruising around town in your beat-up old van, a la Jack Black in School of Rock. You can watch This Is Spinal Tap for the eleventy-millionth time. You can belt out your most impassioned version of “Crazy on You” at karaoke night.

Or you could read one of these excellent recently published books in rock biography, history and criticism.

Uncommon People: The Rise and Fall of the Rock Stars by David Hepworth
British rock critic Hepworth’s book is an informative, entertaining and witty biography of the concept of the rock star, from its genesis in the 1950s to its decline in the 1990s. Each chapter highlights a different individual or group who contributed to rock star mythology, focusing on a pivotal moment in their career and its reverberations throughout the decades.   Continue reading “Rocktober!”

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”

Bird Week: Put a Bird On It!

The Seattle Public Library is partnering with the Seward Park Audubon Center for Bird Week, April 23-30, in celebration of the center’s 10th anniversary and the National Audubon Society’s 2018 Year of the Bird.

Long before Portlandia made it a meme, artists and craftspeople have been adorning their work with birds. One of the earliest known artworks is a 30,000 year-old sculpture of a water bird carved from a mammoth tusk. By the time John James Audubon began painting his famous Birds of America in the early 19th century, birds had been the subject of paintings, sculptures, weavings, jewelry and many other art forms for millennia.

You too can join this hallowed artistic tradition and celebrate Bird Week by creating your very own bird-centric art pieces Continue reading “Bird Week: Put a Bird On It!”