Seattle Rep’s A PEOPLE’S HISTORY: Beyond the Theatre

Poster image for Seattle Rep's A People's HistorySeattle Repertory Theatre presents A PEOPLE’S HISTORY by Mike Daisey, from October 17 to November 25, 2018. Librarians at Seattle Public Library created this list of books and video to enhance your experience of the show: Seattle Rep’s A PEOPLE’S HISTORY: BEYOND THE THEATRE.

Through his discovery of Howard Zinn’s classic work, A People’s History of the United States, public Monologist Mike Daisey has discovered the narrative power of historians to shape events to suit the purposes of their stories.   The narrator can affect our collective understanding of the story. Continue reading “Seattle Rep’s A PEOPLE’S HISTORY: Beyond the Theatre”

ACT’s Until the Flood: Beyond the Theatre

policACT (A Contemporary Theatre) presents UNTIL THE FLOOD by Dael Orlandersmith from June 8 to July 8, 2018. UNTIL THE FLOOD focuses on the social unrest following the fatal police shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Librarians at Seattle Public Library created this list of books and films to enhance your experience of the show: ACT’s UNTIL THE FLOOD: Beyond the Theatre  

The names and places, unfortunately, are tragically familiar: Ferguson, Trayvon, Baltimore, Philando, Tamir, Baton Rouge, and Charles Kinseythe list goes on. How can we take it in? What does it mean? How can we comprehend?

Obie Award winning and Pulitzer Prize finalist playwright Dael Orlandersmith is bringing her work, UNTIL THE FLOOD, to ACT, with her quest of understanding how we got here and what it signifies. Focusing on Ferguson, Missouri, and the death of unarmed 18-year old Michael Brown, the one-act drama uses eight composite characters from the area to explore issues of race, social unrest, and political power. The characters all are working to find their standpoint with racial matters in our society, but from a personal level, ranging from teenagers to seniors, and from anger to reflection. Continue reading “ACT’s Until the Flood: Beyond the Theatre”

Bird Week: Mythology and Birds

The Seattle Public Library is partnering with the Seward Park Audubon Center for the first ever Seattle Bird Week, April 23-30, in celebration of the center’s tenth anniversary.

Throughout human mythology, birds fly with us, inspire us, sing to us, and explain the natural world to us.

Image from the British Museum.

Consider the ancient Greeks using the idea of a bird to teach moral lessons. Imagine you are Icarus, that legendary character, who wearing wings made of wax and bird feathers, are leaping off a tower of imprisonment in sunny Crete. Free, you soar higher and higher into the clear blue skies, despite being warned not to do that by Daedalus, your famously clever father, who designed the wings after he studied birds in flight. Unbound from constraint, gravity, and the plodding limits of your own nature, you are rapturous with the joy of flight, and ignore his admonitions, to your peril. View the full story in this streamed video from our website. Continue reading “Bird Week: Mythology and Birds”

Bird Week: Shakespeare’s Birds

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

Image of William Shakespeare, a bird is perched on his let arm. Text reads: Shakespeare, Illustration from "The Birds of Shakespeare," James Edmund Harting 1871

‘Tis unnatural,
Even like the deed that’s done. On Tuesday last,
A falcon, tow’ring in her pride of place,
Was by a mousing owl hawk’d at and kill’d.
~ Macbeth: Act 2, Scene 4

By coincidence, as we celebrate this Bird Week, it is also Bard Week, as in the birthday of Mr. William Shakespeare of Stratford-upon-Avon, a noted appreciator of the many qualities of birds. He was born April 23, 1564 according to most sources.

Continue reading “Bird Week: Shakespeare’s Birds”

Baseball Culture in Cuba

Stateside we sometimes say that baseball is as American as apple pie. Baseball is also the Cuban national sport, so you might say as Cuban as the national dish, ropa vieja. How did it start there?

In the USA, we have our myth of Abner Doubleday laying out the ballfield and explaining the rules to his sporting friends in Cooperstown, NY, back in 1839. In Cuba the myth centers on a first game in 1874 between teams from Matanzas and Havana, with the players having been taught to play by sailors from a visiting American ship in Matanzas Harbor for a repair. Yale professor González Echevarría explores the origins of Cuban baseball, and why this may be a false origin story in The Pride of Havana: A History of Cuban Baseball. He looks at baseball and society from the first amateur leagues in the 1860s to modern times, examining the paradox of Cuba’s love of America’s pastime while maintaining pride in national independence, including separations from Spanish and American identities. Continue reading “Baseball Culture in Cuba”