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 IBSEN IN CHICAGO: Beyond the Theatre

Seattle Repertory Theatre presents IBSEN IN CHICAGO by David Grimm from February 2 to March 4, 2018. Librarians at Seattle Public Library created this list of books, CDs and films to enhance your experience of the show: Seattle Rep’s IBSEN IN CHICAGO: Beyond the Theatre.

Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen gained success in the Scandinavian world with Brand in 1866, and then world-wide fame with Peer Gynt (1867), with music provided by Edvard Grieg, and continued to grow his reputation with subsequent plays like A Doll’s House (1879). Ibsen, who lived in Germany and other countries in Europe, never visited the United States. Yet in 1882, his new play Ghosts was produced not in Norway nor anywhere in Scandinavia, but at Aurora Turner Hall in Chicago. David Grimm, playwright of Ibsen in Chicago, takes this unlikely Chicago setting and the controversial plot mention of venereal disease in Ghosts to create a comedy imagining a motley crew of Danish and Norwegian immigrants debuting the play. Continue reading “Seattle Rep’s IBSEN IN CHICAGO: Beyond the Theatre”

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 THE HUMANS: Beyond the Theatre

Seattle Repertory Theatre presents Stephen Karam’s THE HUMANS from November 17 to December 17, 2017.

Stephen Karam’s THE HUMANS is an uproarious, hopeful, and heartbreaking play that takes place over the course of a family dinner on Thanksgiving. Breaking with tradition, Erik Blake has brought his Pennsylvania family to celebrate and give thanks at his daughter’s apartment in Lower Manhattan. As darkness falls outside the ramshackle pre-war duplex and eerie things start to go bump in the night, the Blake clan’s deepest fears and greatest follies are laid bare. Our modern age of anxiety is keenly observed with humor and compassion in this new American classic that won the 2016 Tony Award™ for Best Play.

Here are some books and movies that will enhance your experience and understanding of the play: Continue reading “Seattle Rep’s THE HUMANS: Beyond the Theatre”

Seattle Rep’s PRIDE AND PREJUDICE: Beyond the Theatre

Seattle Repertory Theatre presents Jane Austen’s PRIDE AND PREJUDICE adapted by Kate Hamill from September 29 to October 29, 2017. Librarians at Seattle Public Library created this list of books, CDs and films to enhance your experience of the show: Seattle Rep’s PRIDE & PREJUDICE: Beyond the Theatre.

Seattle Rep presents Austen’s beloved classic this month, adapted by Kate Hamill. As per Seattle Rep,  “Kate Hamill imbues new life to this classic love story with a decidedly progressive take on the trials and travails of Elizabeth Bennet, Mr. Darcy, and, of course the delightful Bennet clan. But not to worry, empire waists and lavish Regency-era attire still abound in this familiar yet surprisingly modern premier adaptation.”

In anticipation of this sure-to-charming debut, we here at The Seattle Public Library have compiled a few reading suggestions for all the Austen fans out there:

Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld
From the best-selling author of Prep comes a modern retelling of a classic. Liz may be a magazine writer and Darcy a neurosurgeon, but Sittenfeld still captures Austen’s humor and social criticism. Continue reading “Seattle Rep’s PRIDE AND PREJUDICE: Beyond the Theatre”