Book-It’s BEHOLD THE DREAMERS: Beyond the Theatre

Imbolo Mbue’s thought-provoking and compassionate 2016 novel Behold the Dreamers follows the experiences of Jende and Neni Jonge, Cameroonian immigrants who are pursuing the American dream in New York City on the cusp of the 2008 financial crisis.

Book-It Repertory Theatre’s adaptation of Mbue’s BEHOLD THE DREAMERS, adapted and directed by Myra Platt, runs June 6 to 30, 2019. Here are a few books to enhance your experience of the show, with a longer list linked at the end of this post.
For other narratives that similarly shed a light on immigrants’ experiences in the United States, check out these novels and memoirs:

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Acclaimed Nigerian author Adichie offers a compelling depiction of globalization and immigrant life through the eyes of Ifemulu, a young Nigerian woman striving to build a life in America, and her friends and family. Continue reading “Book-It’s BEHOLD THE DREAMERS: 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”

Book-It Repertory Theatre’s MY ÁNTONIA: Beyond the Theatre

Book-It Repertory Theatre presents MY ÁNTONIA by Willa Cather, adapted and directed by Annie Lareau, from November 29 to December 30, 2018. Librarians at Seattle Public Library created this list of books, video, and podcasts to enhance your experience of the show.

photo of lead actors in Book-It's production of My Antonia

book cover image for My AntoniaAnnie Lareau, director of Book-It Repertory Theatre’s 2018 production of MY ÁNTONIA, has a long history with the book. Lareau wrote the theatrical adaptation of Willa Cather’s classic novel and starred in the premiere of the work at Book-It in 2008. My Ántonia is the story of a young immigrant arriving in the Great Plains at the close of the 19th century. Lareau used “her dog-eared copy of the book” to write the adaptation, rediscovering “her own adolescent markings of passages she thought were important… ‘It’s Ántonia’s spirit that gets me,’ Lareau said, ‘so open-hearted, she comes to this country under really difficult circumstances and is a survivor. For all her hardships, she always comes back to that mix of fierceness and hope.’” (Seattle Post-Intelligencer) Continue reading “Book-It Repertory Theatre’s MY ÁNTONIA: Beyond the Theatre”

Book-It’s THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY: Beyond the Theatre

Poster that says: "The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde; adapted by Judd Parkin, Directed by Victor Pappas. June 6 - July 1, 2018. Logo at bottom right says "Book-It Repertory Theatre"Book-It Repertory Theatre presents THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY by Oscar Wilde, adapted by Judd Parkin and directed by Victor Pappas, from June 6 to July 1, 2018. Librarians at Seattle Public Library created this list of books, music and films to enhance your experience of the show. 

Oscar Wilde shocked Victorian sensibilities with his descriptions of Gray’s decadence and depravity. The book that scandalized readers was actually toned down from its original form. Book-It’s adaptation is drawn from Wilde’s original typescript, which you can read for yourself in the heavily annotated and illustrated The Picture of Dorian Gray: An Annotated, Uncensored Edition. Continue reading “Book-It’s THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY: Beyond the Theatre”

Book-It’s THE BRIEF WONDROUS LIFE OF OSCAR WAO: Beyond the Theatre

Book-It Repertory Theatre presents THE BRIEF WONDROUS LIFE OF OSCAR WAO by Junot Díaz, adapted and directed by Elise Thoron, from April 19 to May 6, 2018. Librarians at Seattle Public Library created this resource list of books, music and films to enhance your experience of the show.

The history and culture of the Dominican Republic loom large in Junot Díaz’s Pulitzer-prize-winning novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, about a sweet, awkward and ultimately doomed Dominican geek growing up in New Jersey and his family’s trials in Santo Domingo and the United States.

Many Americans know little about this small but densely populated Caribbean nation and the complex, multifaceted heritage of its people. Here are a few titles in the Library’s collection that will help you learn more about Dominican history, culture and identity and get prepared to see THE BRIEF WONDROUS LIFE OF OSCAR WAO at Book-It Repertory Theatre. Continue reading “Book-It’s THE BRIEF WONDROUS LIFE OF OSCAR WAO: Beyond the Theatre”