Feb Roundup: Arts Events from home, Scavenger Hunt in Seattle, and a great way to lower worry & stress

It’s time for another Seattle Pockets Roundup!

Calm Your Mind & Your Body

Don’t miss your chance to enter to win The Worry Less & Manage Stress Program (plus be notified when the early-bird rate is available). If you would like to decrease your stress, worry, or anxiety levels, check this out. (Tell a friend too – it’s likely you know a few friends who could benefit from this.) This project is super special to me and I am so excited to be able to share it with you.

MOHAI Scavenger Hunt in South Lake Union

Our pals at MOHAI (Museum of History & Industry) have created a South Lake Union Scavenger Hunt! Mask up, bundle up, and add some much needed variety to your day. In their own words: “Start your journey in front of MOHAI and follow our digital scavenger hunt to explore the neighborhood and see the tangible impacts of the civic actions that shape our community. Unlock access and complete the hunt at the time of your choosing. Finish by July 4, 2021 for an opportunity to win a MOHAI membership!” Such a rad idea for an outdoor experience right now.

Children’s Film Festival Seattle (Streaming)

Presented by Northwest Film Forum, The Children’s Film Festival Seattle has been delighting audiences since 2005. It returns this month, streaming films Feb 18 – 28. My parents and my youngest niece have made the film fest a tradition for many years. The film festival chooses a level of films that delight teens and adults as well as younger kids. If you are in different pods than the kids in your life this year, you can all pick a night to watch the same movie in each of your homes, then hop on a zoom call afterwards to chat about it.

My mom, Jeanne, shared the films she’s most looking forward to seeing this year include

Youth Shine (Ages 9+) which is a collection of shorts featuring “young people whose creativity cannot be dimmed by a global pandemic, and learn how their resilience — and yours — can overcome any foe.”

Louisa: An Amazing Adventure (Ages 9+) which features 3D animation and

Journeys, Genders, and Identities (ages 11+) which “celebrates complex stories of identity and diversity — the characters in these films are one-of-a-kind, living bravely in their authentic selves, rejecting bullying, stereotypes and reaching out to others who respect their journeys

“Children’s Film Festival Seattle celebrates the best and brightest in international film programs for children, including animation, feature-length films, short films and workshops.” Even in the pandemic, they are offering online workshops such as “stop motion animation: playing with food” for ages 8-12, “storytelling for filmmakers” for ages 10-14, and more. The festival runs Feb 18 -28, 2021.

Recent Book I Loved (Book & Audiobook versions)

I really enjoyed “Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens. The description of nature is enchanting and the story really pulled me in. Note: it took me a few pages to get into it, so give it 10 pages or so – I’m glad I had my book club set for this or else I might have moved on and I’m so glad I haven’t. Check out all my recent reads on my Goodreads Page. Photo by @robertson.reads on IG. Shout out to my neighbor who gifted this to me via my Buy Nothing Group. I passed it on to someone else in the group when I was done!

Multi-Chapter Audio Play “Mañanaland”

I adore how Book-It Repertory Theatre has pivoted during the pandemic. “Mañanaland” is the third audio-play of their season and this one has a unique style: multiple chapters! I love the idea of short installments of a longer show and look forward to cuddling up with some tea and some “Feetie Heaties” and enjoying the chapters. This show is appropriate for ages 8 and up. In their own words:

Here’s to all the arts organizations who are finding ways to bring art to us this year as we stay home and stay safe.

Sending you love,

Keridwyn

P.S. Got something you want me to consider sharing in a future post? Just reach out!

My Favorite TV Shows of 2020 (Part 1): Comedies & Competition Shows

by Keridwyn Deller

I’m sliding into early February to share with you some TV shows (& a few Movies) I watched in 2020. This is “Part 1: Comedies and Competition Shows.” (To be clear, these are shows I personally WATCHED in 2020 that I recommend.)

Some of these titles might feel familiar and some might be new to you! Since I haven’t linked to streaming platforms, you can use justwatch.com to find where they are streaming. The majority of these shows are on Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video, and Disney+.

COMEDIES (or at least made ME laugh)

Flo and Joan. I want everyone to watch this comedy special! They’re goofy and witty and playful and sometimes acerbic. Comedy song writers. Like Garfunkle and Oats or Flight of the Concords, but different because they are different people. I’m already ready to rewatch this special. (It’s on Amazon Prime). It might be a bit over the top for some audiences (some adult content) but I’m guessing most of you will like it.

The Good Place. One of the best comedic shows ever! It took a few episodes for me to bite but this show gets better and better. Goofy, quirky, heartfelt, and a very satisfying series end. This show feels like a hug from a close friend.

Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist. Clever concept. Characters burst into (awesome) song and dance. The “tech” writing is bad but the character of Zoey’s neighbor Mo (played by Alex Newell) is SO good. Some tear-jerker moments but it still falls under comedy in my mind. I’ll likely go back and watch some of the group dance numbers again – a nice variety of cover songs and great choreography!

I’m Sorry. I share this show with a strong “not for the easily offended” disclaimer. I mean it! That said, I have rarely laughed out loud so much at a show. I had seen this show before but watched it again in 2020 (done via netflixparty/teleparty with a friend) and it was just as funny a second time. I’m wrecked that the third season was written and ready for production but was canceled due to Covid. Andrea Savage is one of the funniest people I have ever watched and the supporting cast is phenomenal. Hulu or Netflix would be smart to pick up season 3. But if you are offended by the show, you didn’t hear about it from me.

Palm Springs. A very funny and sweet movie. Rom Com with a focus on the Com.

The Great. This period piece (18th century Russia)’s tag line is “An occasionally true story.” I don’t usually like raunchy comedies but I like period pieces so I’m guessing that’s part of what swayed me on this one. Not for the easily offended.

Middleditch & Schwartz. Clever and unique long form improv show featuring two dudes. Self-referential. Wacky. Fast paced. I’m a big fan.

Some Good News. I sure was disappointed when this show was sold-and-then-pretty-much-cancelled. It’s likely the episodes don’t hold up now but they were really helpful for those of us who watched them while going through the early days of the Covid19 Pandemic. They came back for a 2020 Holiday special. I would totally forgive them for pausing for so long if they came back this year! 🙂

Dead to Me. Wow these ladies have great chemistry together. The writing, the timing, the weirdness of this show. I was sad when we ran out of episodes!

Upload. This was lighthearted, cute, and a cool concept. While I wasn’t super happy with how it ended (no spoilers, I promise), it was still a fun watch. I’d like a season 2!

Nate Bargatze, The Tennesee Kid. I remember liking this comedy special more than I expected to. I don’t remember details but I marked a star next to it in my journal which means I’m recommending it to you now. Maybe I’ll rewatch it and laugh all over again? 🙂

Douglas by Hannah Gadsby. Her work is amazing. Watch Nanette (her other special) first. It’s BEYOND comedy and she’s one of the best writer/performers of our time. I have watched Nanette twice and will likely watch both Nanette and Douglas again. WOW.

Noelle. This relatively new holiday movie was absolutely charming. I expected it to be bearable and was delighted. I am already planning on watching it again Dec 2021.

The Lovebirds. Cute and clever romcom movie. I liked it more than I thought I would. The actors were fun to watch together.

Frozen 2. Might be better than Frozen. There are two scenes in this movie I just adored and the rest of the movie was very good.

COMPETITION SHOWS

Sing On. Just pure, silly fun with pop and rock songs. If you like watching really good karaoke performers, this is a good show for you. No snarky judges, fun sportsmanship, some very talented singers. Fun escapism.

Win the Wilderness. I did not expect to get wrapped up in this show! BBC competition show with very little repetitive shots. Couples face Alaskan wilderness challenges – the prize is the deed to a beautiful house and property deep in Alaska (you FLY in to get there!). Loved the nature shots, the problem solving, and the personalities of the current owners and many of the contestants. It’s a very light watch for being a “wilderness competition show” – likely as it has UK not US origins.

Taskmaster. I rarely laugh so much at any show. Watch this on youtube (be sure to watch the UK version). I think the first few seasons are the best but I’m still making my way through the later seasons. Comedians compete in silly challenges. The co-hosts are hilarious, the challenges are goofy (and sometimes result in very clever solutions from the contestants). Super fun!

Making It! Oh boy, Nick Offerman & Amy Poehler are full of goofy dad jokes in this competition show for makers and crafters. The challenges are fun and the vibe is very Great British Bake Off but with glue guns instead of frosting. Some really awesome crafters are featured, including Jamie from Portland, OR who is part of the duo behind 20leagues.com. They make some of the cutest diorama kits for house plants EVER and I might have geeked out a bit when I met the two of them at a recent Urban Craft Uprising.

Great British Bake Off. You likely know it. You likely love it.

The Final Table. Supportive, interesting food challenge show. I would watch every season if they do more.

There you have it! I’ll be back in a future blog post with my favorite dramedies, dramas, and other categories.

I LOVE to chat and message about shared love of shows, so share what shows / movies YOU liked in 2020, which on my list resonated with you, or what you’re excited to check out. You can also connect w me at fb.com/keridwyn , twitter.com/keridwyn , or instagram.com/keridwyn.


If you’d like to check out my favorite fiction and non-fiction books (and audiobooks) from what I read in 2020, you can see my full post HERE.


Virtual Theatre, Networking, a Fab Movie, Pet Support & Approachable Scientists (Weekly Roundup)

It’s time for a Weekly Roundup! I’ve gathered up some stuff that I think you’ll enjoy or you’ll benefit from:

EVENTS TO ENJOY FROM HOME

Seattle Rep’s “Plays in Process.” Support this vibrant local theatre and get a behind-the-scenes look at the creative process in this 5-part video series.

MoPop “So Bad It’s Good” Movie Series. Every second Saturday, every one of this all-virtual series will “feature a special guest who will fight for the legitimacy of their favorite flop. Audience participation is highly encouraged — attendees can sound off in the chat and heckle (or praise!) the current movie.” Con Air and Catwoman are just two of the movies they’ve picked.

Want to network with others? The Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce is hosting a FREE online networking event, using breakout rooms on zoom to create an online version of their popular (and effective) “Toast of Seattle.” You’ll be in breakout rooms and go around the space sharing what you do for just a couple minutes, listen to everyone else share, then get reassigned to 2 more breakout rooms, so you leave the event having met a lot of people in a fun, effiecient way. Bonus points for this system that allows everyone time to talk! Event is January 21. Free, registration required.

TWO FOLKS TO FOLLOW ON INSTAGRAM

@KingGutterBaby. Not the IG handle you’d expect from an Infectious Disease Researcher. She’s approachable, super helpful, fun and funny, and has a wealth of knowledge around Covid19, vaccines, etc. I recommend checking out her “Stories” (round image on top left) and Highlights (round images in the center above her square posts) the most as that’s where she keeps most of the best content.

@kinggutterbaby’s posts are a highlight of my days, for real

@HubermanLab. Like approachable neuroscience? Me too. His IG lives, stories, and reels are great. BONUS NEWS: Andrew Huberman also started his own podcast this month (if you like looking at him while he talks, you can view it on his youtube channel). I also really loved his interview with Rich Roll.

Instagram Tip #1: If you hold your finger on your screen when watching stories/highlight photos, it will pause on the image you are on so you can read it!

Instagram Tip #2: You can view Instagram accounts, stories, highlights, etc without signing up for an account! Just visit the user’s url (such as instagram.com/keridwyn).

HUMANE SOCIETY HELPS WITH PET COSTS

Folks who are experiencing financial hardship and have a pet: the Seattle Humane Society has a Pet Owner Assistance Fund. More info on their Community Outreach programs can be found here. Thanks Brittany R. for sharing this with me. “Seattle Humane has a 120-year history of saving and serving pets in King County, with over 10,000 animal lives touched in 2020. This year is no different, and we are expanding our programs to help pet owners in need – to provide them with pet food, supplies, and veterinary care – so that they can keep their pet in their loving home despite hardship.”

Photo by Kasya Shahovskava


MOVIE OF THE WEEK

If you have access to Prime Video streaming service, grab a la croix or bowl of popcorn and buckle up as you hit play on the filmed version of the stage play “What the Constitution Means To Me.” It’s funny, witty, emotional, all-of-the-feels, and electric. Enjoy the brilliant writing and performances. You should absolutely watch it. I will probably watch it again (and I rarely rewatch things) with my “teleparty” crew.

Free Self-Reflection Tool

The free YearCompass is back, this time with a version specifically designed around experiences many of us faced in 2020. It is a lovely tool to reflect on the year past and look forward to the coming year. You can fill it out online or print it out to write on it and do as much or as little as you’d like. They suggest doing it all in one sitting, but I personally find that a bit tricky and have always enjoyed doing it in bite-sized increments (no surprise there!)

Photo by kristy.kate on IG

An Invitation

I’d love to invite you to join my free Facebook Group, Reframe Your Brain, where I share tips, resources and encouragement to help us live more content lives. Whether you’re looking to manage stress, lower your worries/anxiety, get motivated, or have related thought/feeling/behavior goals, it’s likely there’s something here that will help. If you’re not on Facebook, you can follow my Reframe Your Brain blog on Medium.

If there are “pockets” you’d like me to feature in a future Weekly Roundup, let me know! It can be your own endeavor or someone else’s that you just want more people to know about. Feel free to message me on Facebook or via my contact form.

Sending you love,

Keridwyn

Gift idea + support Book-It: “The Canterville Ghost” Audio Play

by Keridwyn Deller

Book-It Repertory Theatre is offering a lovely selection of audio plays this year, having pivoted to this safe style of performance during the pandemic. Their Winter Show is “The Canterville Ghost” by British wit Oscar Wilde. Consider gifting tickets/access to this audio play to your own household and friends and families who are celebrating from afar. You can even plan a time to listen together-yet-apart to bring more feelings of connection.

Three households in my family plan on listening to this audio play over the holiday week. We’ll likely be cozy in pajamas, listening by the fire (or virtual fire), with cups of hot cocoa or tea in hand. There’s something so lovely about the idea of turning off the tv and tuning into Book-it’s “The Canterville Ghost” audio play knowing so many of my loved ones are also listening, close at heart even though we are apart.

Book-It has made this play a suggested $15 and has also offered a Pay What You Can option for those on a tighter budget this year. Every dollar will help keep this wonderful theater going during these hard times.

In their own words, about the play:

He made me see what Life is, and what Death signifies, and why Love is stronger than both.”

“Oscar Wilde, one of our favorite wits and celebrated scoundrels, gives us an hilarious satire at the intersection of American and British sensibilities. Full of clever repartee and heartfelt charm, The Canterville Ghost succeeds as an amusing ghost story laced with romance and redemption.

Why We Chose This Story: For lovers of the cozy British mystery and a good holiday special, this classic ghost story is full of warmth, laughs, and great good fun.” – Book-It


Tickets here. You can also get tickets and listen to “Childfinder” by Octavia Butler or buy Season Tickets, which include access to all of Book-It’s audio plays and serials.

Gift idea: Virtual Escape Room will have them laughing and connecting

So you’re looking to support a small, local PNW entertainment business and also gift someone the gift of a unique, funny experience? Let me introduce you to Mad Genius! They are based in Portland, Oregon and create vibrant online virtual escape room experiences!


Their current escape room “The Truth about Edith” is “an hour-long, cooperative, timed adventure sprinkled with interactive theater and a good dose of humor! This game is an eccentric mix of a video game, an escape room, and a great who-done-it story.” The team at Mad Genius call their experience “unique, hilarious, and charming, nothing like you’ve seen before.” 
The game plays 4 people (they can all be in the same house or each on their own screen). Gift certificates are available now.

You may know that my husband, Brandon, is an avid escape room participant and puzzler. He’s attended over 50 in-person and online escape rooms and he has a great eye and understanding for what makes a great escape room or puzzle room experience. “The Truth about Edith” is one of his Top 5 Online Escape Room Experiences and is his top pick for family-friendly escape room experiences.

Brandon writes describes this escape room as “a fun, funny, family-friendly, feline-forward experience with a variety of puzzle types.”

Two of Brandons escape room team members are also friends of mine, so I asked them for their reviews.

Amy writes “I loved how each of the four players had a distinct role in solving certain puzzles – it promotes individual participation as well as teamwork, which is not always an easy combination to achieve.”

Paul writes “Very fun! For 60 minutes I forgot about 2020.”

That’s some pretty great reviews, friends.

Gift certificates available now. Buy this experience for a loved one…or yourself!

Virtual entertainment for you this week

“In solidarity, we distance,” my friend Angelica Kushi shared in her Facebook Live video today. While we’re physically distancing, this is an opportunity for us to socially connect  – online.  We’re staying in (unless we are one of the heroes working a front line job to keep the community alive). We’re keeping ourselves 6 feet or more away from others in the necessary times we do go out. We’re discovering new ways to experience life from indoors. We are voicing and naming our feelings, mitigating our stress and anxiety, and finding the “bright spots” where we can.

It is imperative for our wellbeing, for our own self-care and for our ability to show up for others, that we do things to relax and recharge when we can. Reach out to others and offer support. Be a helper. And prioritize your own self-care too. Take time to breathe deep throughout the day. And find ways to play, explore, and experience delight. Your brain needs you to keep these healthy, play-seeking, gratitude-seeking neuropathways going now more than ever.

I wanted to share a few free virtual events and experiences with you today:

Ebooks and Audiobooks from the Library

Got a library card? Download the Libby app and sign up with your card – you’ll be able to check out ebooks and audiobooks for free. If you need help with the technology, reach out to a friend to walk you through it over the phone (or message me if you don’t have someone to turn to and I’ll pair you with a helper).

See what the Sea Otters are up to

The Seattle Aquarium offers webcams of the Sea Otters and Harbor Seals!

CJ Casson Sea otter at Seattle Aquarium

We Heart “The Stranger” 

The Stranger has collected an awesome list of virtual events for us – check out their full list. This page shares virtual events for tonight/Friday/Saturday/Sunday and ongoing dates. You’ll want to subscribe to get future updates from them.

Free Hypnosis Session

Join me Sunday as I host a free hypnosis session online “Mindful Hands: keep your hands comfortably away from your face.” If you can’t make it Sunday, you’ll be able to watch the replay. Join my free Reframe Your Brain Facebook group here for details. (If you aren’t on FB and want access to this recording, drop me a message at keridwyn.com/contact)

Dance it out 

Dance Church is offering their next fab-energy dance workout event on March 22 at 10am. Free (donations welcome). Live stream will be here. Learn more about Dance Church here. (I’m going to be in an online class at that time but hope to make the next one – not sure what the dates are yet.) If you attend, I want to hear about it!

Reach out to others

Reach out to friends and even acquaintances that may need more connection. Think about which friends who are “distancing in solidarity” and living solo (or with a roommate situation that is tricky for them). Consider what folks of older ages you know and see how they’re doing (maybe ask if they need any support with learning how to video chat or other tech needs you can walk them through on the phone).  Seeing each other’s faces gives us more feelings of connection than just texts or even phone calls. This is the time to connect, as we distance in solidarity.

Angelica Kushi’s Online Yoga Class

My lovely friend Angelica (who I quoted at the top of this post) is hosting a yoga class ($9 suggested or pay what you can) on 3/20 and 3/23 at 9am Pacific Time on Zoom. She’s also offering great rates if you prefer a one-on-one session with her. Details here.

Which Paramount musical in 2020/2021 are YOU most excited for?

By Keridwyn Deller

The Paramount and Seattle Theatre Group have announced The 2020/2021 Premera Blue Cross Broadway at The Paramount season of musicals! The blogger team here at Seattle Pockets is likely to review most if not all of the shows at the Paramount in downtown Seattle and there are so many we’re looking forward to! Subscription renewals are on sale now and new subscriptions will be available later in March. Details here.

Here’s the lineup, in their own words:

“The season kicks off with the critically acclaimed smash-hit musical THE BAND’S VISIT, featuring the story of a band that arrives lost in a remote town to which they bring new life with their music. This is followed by the Season Option, the joyful show for all ages, BLUE MAN GROUP.

Next, the holiday season gets into gear with IRVING BERLIN’S WHITE CHRISTMAS, a lavish new production and a must-see for the holidays. Then, we ring in the new year with AIN’T TOO PROUD – THE LIFE AND TIMES OF THE TEMPTATIONS an electrifying story following the Temptations’ extraordinary rise to stardom.

The season continues with Lincoln Center Theater’s new production of a timeless classic musical, LERNER & LOEWE’S MY FAIR LADY, which is followed by another new production of an iconic musical phenomenon, JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR.

Late spring features six weeks of HAMILTON, back by popular demand. Featuring an award-winning creative team and based on the beloved 1990’s hit movie, PRETTY WOMAN: THE MUSICAL concludes the season.”

I saw Hamilton when it was in town last time and it was phenomenal. I would absolutely go see this again but since my mom, Seattle Pockets reviewer Jeanne Deller, hasn’t had a chance to see it yet, she’ll be sharing her review of the show this time around (Mom and Dad – have a blast! I know you will). 

Beyond Hamilton (the crown jewel of the season and reason alone to get a season subscription), I’m most excited to see Jesus Christ Superstar (one of my favorite musical scores of all time) and Ain’t Too Proud (I love the music of The Temptations and songs of this era and the show looks promising based on this New York Times review). I’m also looking forward to a date night with my hubby to see My Fair Lady as it will fun nostalgia for him. (Fun fact: Brandon played Colonel Pickering in his 8th grade production. Cute!)

What musicals from the Broadway at the Paramount’s season are you most excited to see? What do you know about 2018 Tony Award winner for Best Musical, The Band’s Visit? Post in the blog comments or share in the comments on Seattle Pockets’ Facebook Page. I look forward to hearing from you!

For more information, visit www.STGPresents.org/Broadway.

P.S. I’m also so stoked to see The Play That Goes Wrong in April of this year (part of the 19/20 Season)! I hear great things.

Ook33f1APictured: Ain’t Too Proud. Photo by Matthew Murphy

 

Review: “Bliss” brings a new kind of fairy tale to The 5th Avenue Theater. Now through February 23rd.

Review by Melissa Morgan

Make way for Bliss! Fun from the start with catchy tunes and hilarious dialogue, Bliss is a new original tale at The 5th Avenue Theater. It is a delightful, hilarious, and empowering new take on the princess fairy tale. With great costuming, stage design, and music, audiences are left laughing and cheering as the story unfolds.

Bliss centers around four princesses Piper (Gizel Jiménez), Faye (Kristolyn Lloyd), Carmella (Katy Geraghty) and Holly (Claire Neumann) who sneak out of their tower to explore the world. Along the way, they meet Sir Pincus Glimmermore their fairy godfather (Mario Cantone), the handsome Prince Devon (Conor Ryan), a non-magical cobbler Toby (John-Michael Lyles), and a unicorn named Stacy. The cast does a great job of entertaining while exploring what it means to be an empowered woman and a fairy tale princess. The sisters fight, make up, talk to worms instead of small birds, and help others discover that Princesses can be whatever they want along the way.

With a standout cast, great score, and refreshing take on the princess tale, Bliss is sure to be a hit for years to come. At The 5th Avenue Theatre in downtown Seattle now through Feb 23rd, 2020. Get your tickets today!

5th

Photo via 5th Avenue Theatre Facebook Page

 

Don’t miss the Children’s Film Festival Seattle, returning Feb 27 – March 8, 2020 for its 15th year.

by Keridwyn Deller

The Children’s Film Festival Seattle is the West Coast’s largest film festival for kids ages 3 – 16. Now in its 15th year, the Children’s Film Festival Seattle is a cinematic extravaganza that celebrates the best and brightest in international films for children, including animation, feature-length films, short films, and hands-on workshops. Each year, Northwest Film Forum selects children’s films from dozens of countries, reaching more than 10,000 people during festival screenings in Seattle and a subsequent festival tour of 20-25 U.S. cities.

Tickets and full schedule at http://childrensfilmfestival.org

Going to the Children’s Film Festival Seattle has been a tradition in my family for many years now, with my mom and dad taking their youngest granddaughter (who is now 13 and looks forward to this each year) to multiple movies during one of the film fest’s weekends. I invite you to start your own tradition this year, by taking the kiddos in your life (whether it’s your own kids, nieces and nephews, or family friends). Know friends who have kids? Please share this blog post with them to help get the word out about this special festival.

The films from around the world that the Children’s Film Festival Seattle includes in their lineup are both affordable and incredibly memorable.

I asked my mom to send me her thoughts on the film festival. She wrote, “The Children’s Film Festival Seattle is one of those events we never miss. Fun, stimulating, thought-provoking international films that raise awareness and benefit humanity across the globe. The Children’s Film Festival Seattle is our most treasured yearly Christmas gift for our now-teen granddaughter.”

Learn more about the Children’s Film Festival on their website and Facebook page.

filmfest

In their own words:

FEATURE FILM HIGHLIGHTS
In addition to live-action features such as “H is for Happiness,” a quirky and funny new drama from Australia, and “Rocca Changes the World,” about a young German girl who will stop at nothing to prove her independence, the following feature film programs are especially of note:

MOVING STORIES (U.S.)
Friday, February 28 – 7:00pm at Northwest Film Forum
Moving Stories, a feature film for ages 9+, tells the story of six diverse dancers from an acclaimed New York dance company, which travels the world working with at-risk youth. The film is a travelogue of world issues, with stops in Romania, South Korea, Iraq, and Israel, but it is also a gripping show-business saga, showing both novice and professional dancers working against the odds to get their performances ready in time for the curtain. The film will be preceded by an interactive and all-ages audience dance experience, leading the audience from our lobby into the theater.  WATCH THE TRAILER

TEAM MARCO (U.S.)
West Coast Premiere w/ filmmakers in attendance!
Directed by Julio Vincent Gambuto, Team Marco the story of an 11-year-old boy obsessed with electronics — who discovered the delights of real-time companionship with his father, as he introduces him to the bocce, one of the world’s oldest games.

THE KINGS OF MULBERRY STREET (South Africa)
West Coast Premiere!
This debut feature from South African director Judy Naidoo is a high energy romp through the fictional neighborhood of Sugarhill District, in South Africa. The film’s heroes are two boys of Indian heritage who are in love with Bollywood — and find echoes of that film genre’s dramatic and musical plots in their own lives as they confront a crime boss in their tight-knit neighborhood. WATCH THE TRAILER

ZARA AND THE MAGICAL FOOTBALL BOOTS (The Netherlands)
Presented in partnership with CAIR-WA
A high-energy film that tells the story of Zara, a nine-year-old girl in an asylum seeker’s refugee camp, who discovers an otherworldly way to play soccer like a pro. Outside of its well-known lead actors, the cast is made up of children who live in asylum centers in The Netherlands.  WATCH THE TRAILER

MICROPLASTIC MADNESS (U.S.)
A documentary feature that shows the passion of young people to fight climate change and protect the environment. It follows a fifth-grade classroom from Red Hook, New York, as they learn from experts about the threat of microplastics in the world’s oceans, and become dedicated activists working to reverse a very complicated and environmental threat. WATCH THE TRAILER
SHORT FILM PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS
23 amazing programs of short animated and live-action films feature bold thematic content that foster dialogue around current issues such as global migration (“Borders, Boundaries and Home”, co-presented with CAIR-WA), the environment ( “For the Planet” and “Earthwise”), and LGBTQ issues and identity (“Rainbow Roar,” co-presented with Gay City). Programs for our youngest festival audiences members will include gentle and often humorous animation in such programs as “Icing on the Cake,” “Caleidoscope,” promoting the ideals of friendship, empathy and understanding.

Review: For a thought-provoking and often quirky glimpse into the perils of catastrophic decision-making, don’t miss “The Children” at Seattle Rep.

Review by Jeanne Kinley Deller

Rife with tension and off-beat humor, “The Children” confronts a generational dilemma facing three distressed scientists. Lucy Kirkwood, Playwright, and Tim Bond, Director, have tackled one of today’s toughest, most monumental issues and brought it to the stage with a cast of convincingly strong characters.

With his usual dynamic on-stage flair, Seattle’s R. Hamilton Wright wins the audience over in his role as Robin, a man who steals away daily to tend his cows after an environmental disaster. His wife Hazel, played by Jeanne Paulsen, embraces the home front to avoid catastrophic realities on the outside.  Enter Rose, played by Carmen Roman, and you have a convoluted narrative of triangulation amid decades of monumental decision-making gone wrong.

While “The Children” speaks clearly to those who are acutely aware of a “looming climate crisis” (Director Tim Bond’s words), many fail to understand or admit that our children’s future is fraught with disaster if we continue on the familiar path. One can only hope this subtle, yet extremely complex production will travel far and wide to raise awareness of the need to act quickly. Accolades to Seattle Rep for bringing this topic to their stage – may they profoundly enlighten the Universe!

“The Children” is currently on stage at Seattle Rep, running through March 15th, 2020, for your enlightenment. Tickets here.

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Photo by Nate Watters