Seattle Rep’s THE GREAT LEAP: Beyond the Theater

Diplomatic tensions between American and China, played out in the sports arena. How the passions and actions of one person can make a difference in the world. The themes of Lauren Yee’s play The Great Leap – which opens its month-long run at The Seattle Repertory theatre on March 23 – could not be more timely.

Yee’s play was inspired by stories of her father’s days on the basketball courts of San Francisco’s Chinatown, where he played center and was known as “Spider.” Chinatown had a robust history of basketball dating back to the 1930’s and 1940’s, when male and female athletes cultivated a new high-speed style of fast-break basketball that was decades ahead of its time, smashing stereotypes and defeating rivals. Kathleen Yep’s fascinating Outside the Paint: When Basketball Ruled at the Chinese Playground reveals this history, while Dean Wong’s Seeing the Light: Four Decades in Chinatown provides a vivid immersion in the life, spirit and struggles of four Chinatowns depicted in powerful, revelatory photographs. Continue reading “Seattle Rep’s THE GREAT LEAP: Beyond the Theater”

Seattle Rep’s TWO TRAINS RUNNING: Beyond the Theatre

August Wilson Way, a pedestrian walkway at Seattle Center. (Photo by Curtis Cronn, flickr)

Here in Seattle we claim playwright August Wilson as one of our own, even though he was born in Pittsburgh and spent only 15 years (from 1990 until his death in 2005) here. But it was here, in the basement of his Capitol Hill house, where he completed his magnificent Pittsburgh Cycle (sometimes also called the Twentieth Century Pittsburgh Cycle). It was here where he worked with Seattle Repertory Theatre to produce all ten plays in the cycle. It is here, in Seattle, where a lovely walkway, just south of the Seattle Rep (along the vacated Republican Street between Warren Ave N. and 2nd Ave. North) is known as August Wilson Way.

Two Trains Running, which opens next Friday at the Seattle Rep, premiered at the Yale Repertory Theatre in 1990 and then went on to the Huntington Theatre in Boston and, in 1991, at the Seattle Rep with Laurence Fishburne. We’re excited to welcome this production back to Seattle. Continue reading “Seattle Rep’s TWO TRAINS RUNNING: Beyond the Theatre”

Seattle Rep’s A RAISIN IN THE SUN: Beyond the Theatre

Seattle Repertory Theatre presents A RAISIN IN THE SUN by Lorraine Hansberry from September 30 to October 30, 2016. Librarians at Seattle Public Library created this list of books and DVDs to enhance your experience of the show: Seattle Rep’s A RAISIN IN THE SUN: Beyond the Theatre

a-raisin-in-the-sunLorraine Hansberry’s play A Raisin in the Sun was an important, controversial play for its time and its themes of an African American family trying to survive and get ahead in a white world still illuminates and resonates today. Here are some further reading and viewing suggestions that will help deepen your understanding and enjoyment of the Seattle Rep’s production of Hansberry’s contemporary classic.

The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes by Langston Hughes. Hansberry took the title of her play from a line in “Harlem,” one of Harlem Renaissance poet Langston Hughes’ most famous works. (Re)discover his poetry in this comprehensive collection. Continue reading “Seattle Rep’s A RAISIN IN THE SUN: Beyond the Theatre”

Seattle Repertory Theatre’s “Sherlock Holmes and the American Problem” – Beyond the Theatre

~posted by Rebecca K.

Not that he has ever strayed far from popular imagination, but mastermind detective Sherlock Holmes has enjoyed a resurgence in recent years. The BBC’s whip-smart series “Sherlock” starring Benedict Cumberbatch has earned high critical acclaim and a devoted audience around the globe. Closer to home, the Sherlock Seattle Convention draws enthusiastic fans of all ages to engage in discussions, artwork, costumes, theatre, and games related to one of the most recognized and loved characters in fiction.
From April 22 to May 22, experience a brand-new Holmesian tale brought to life by the Seattle Repertory Theatre. In “Sherlock Holmes and the American Problem,” Victorian England sensibilities meet the boisterous, mythical American West. Written by local playwright R. Hamilton Wright and making its world premiere right here in Seattle, the play is set in 1887 during Queen Victoria’s Jubilee celebration, where the eminent detective and the ever steadfast Dr. Watson take on a case that features famed sharpshooter Annie Oakley. Continue reading “Seattle Repertory Theatre’s “Sherlock Holmes and the American Problem” – Beyond the Theatre”

Seattle Repertory Theatre’s “brownsville song (b-side for tray)” – Beyond the Theatre

BS_3x3 updated art~posted by Abby B.

When high school senior Tramaine (“Tray”) Berry Thompson is killed by a random act of gun violence, his family and friends seek hope and resilience in their memories of his vibrant, all-too-brief existence.

Stories like Tray’s are sadly all too common in America today. In fact, playwright Kimber Lee was inspired to write brownsville song (b-side for tray) after learning about the untimely death of a young boxer in a Brooklyn gang shooting. You can learn more about the development of brownsville song here and attend the play at the Seattle Repertory Theatre March 25 – April 24. Continue reading “Seattle Repertory Theatre’s “brownsville song (b-side for tray)” – Beyond the Theatre”