Anna Deavere Smith’s Living Theater

Life and literature reflect each other in interesting ways. As the trial begins for Amber Guyger (the Dallas police officer charged with killing Botham Jean in his own apartment last September), I have been led to read books about the aftermath of previous trials and grand jury decisions involving police officers, and how they affected the populace of their cities.

Image result for notes from the fieldLately I read the 2018 play Notes from the Field by Anna Deavere Smith.  I had known about Anna Deavere Smith as an actress, specifically as the hospital administrator on Nurse Jackie.  This play deals with the school to prison pipeline and its disproportionate effects on black and indigenous people of color.  Ms. Smith wrote the play after interviewing over 250 people in different parts of the United States. Her transcripts include experiences from people around the Freddie Grey death, an indigenous man who started getting in trouble in school and ended up in prison, and Bree Newsome who pulled down the confederate flag in South Carolina, together with many other moving stories. Continue reading “Anna Deavere Smith’s Living Theater”

Intiman’s Dragon Lady and Philippine Migration

The migration of a family from the Philippines to America has been explored in colorful form by Sara Porkalob in Dragon Lady, a one woman show at the Intiman Theater, closing October 1st. She revisits the arc of Philippine culture and assimilation from her grandmother’s time to her own, as she portrays three generations of her family members. Along the way she dramatizes the themes of stereotyping, resiliency, sexual exploitation, gangster feuds, teen pregnancy, and single parenting, through the lives and eyes of Filipinos on the islands, and as immigrants of color in America. (Check out this brief interview with the title character of Sara Porkalob’s Dragon Lady. Porkalob will also be reading from a banned book at the Library’s panel on Intellectual Freedom and Libraries this coming October 4 at 7 p.m.). Continue reading “Intiman’s Dragon Lady and Philippine Migration”

ACT’s ALEX & ARIS: Beyond the Theatre

ACT (A Contemporary Theatre) presents the world premiere of ALEX & ARIS by Moby Pomerance from July 14 to August 6, 2017. ALEX & ARIS is the story of a young prince (who would go on to become Alexander the Great) and his time as a pupil of the great philosopher Aristotle. Librarians at Seattle Public Library created this list of books and films to enhance your experience of the show: ACT Theatre’s ALEX & ARIS: Beyond the Theatre.

Fiction can be an exciting way to visit the ancient past. Annabel Lyon’s The Golden Mean offers another exploration of the relationship between Aristotle and Alexander the Great. The first book in Mary Renault Alexander the Great trilogy, Fire from Heaven examines Alexander’s early life before he ascends to the throne. Set as his army is stalled, just before his final great victory, The Virtues of War by Steven Pressfield focuses on Alexander’s military acumen.

Continue reading “ACT’s ALEX & ARIS: Beyond the Theatre”

Seattle Rep’s DRY POWDER: Beyond the Theater

Seattle Repertory Theatre presents DRY POWDER by Sarah Burgess from March 17 – April 15, 2017. Set in the top echelons of today’s morally-compromised financial sector, this dark comedy explores the uneasy relationship between being good and doing well. Librarians at Seattle Public Library created this list of books, CDs and films to enhance your experience of the show: Seattle Rep’s DRY POWDER: Beyond the Theater. Continue reading “Seattle Rep’s DRY POWDER: Beyond the Theater”

Seattle Repertory Theatre’s “Come from Away”: Beyond the Theater

     – Posted by David W.

Most of us can remember where we were and what we were doing on September 11, 2001,Come From Away Poster but few outside the tragic loci of that day’s events can have as dramatic a memory of them than the residents of the small Newfoundland town of Gander. It was to Gander that 39 planes carrying 6,595 passengers from all over the world were diverted when American airspace was closed. What happened next was a small miracle, memorably recounted in Jim DeFede’s book The Day the World Came to Town, and now the inspiration for the musical Come From Away, opening at the Seattle Repertory Theatre this Friday, with a preview at the Central library today at noon.

It has often been observed how tragic events can draw people closer together, and help us to bring out the best in each other. Here are some other titles that explore how this happens. Continue reading “Seattle Repertory Theatre’s “Come from Away”: Beyond the Theater”