arts

An obscure but riveting genre of theater is being revived in New York City.

They're called "anti-lynching plays." Most were written by black playwrights during the early 1900s to show how lynchings devastated African-American families.

An Orca performs at a SeaWorld location in 2008.
Flickr Photo/Jeff Kraus (CC-BY-NC-ND)

John Hargrove was an Orca trainer for 14 years, mainly at SeaWorld. Shortly after quitting the company he gained attention for his part in the documentary "Blackfish." The film chronicles conditions at SeaWorld theme parks and the death of Dawn Brancheau, a SeaWorld trainer killed by an Orca in 2010.

Donnie Wilburn, who is blind, and her husband Bob Wilburn observe a depiction of the Battle of Little Bighorn at the Seattle Art Museum with the help of a vivid description from museum docent laureate Suzanne Ragen.
KUOW Photo/Kara McDermott

Camille Jassny listens raptly as docent Suzanne Ragen creates a mind’s-eye picture of a work at the Seattle Art Museum.

Jassny is vision-impaired – it’s not easy for people like her to access the rich history and cultural  legacy handed down through art, from Roman statuary to Native American beaded moccasins.

“I can’t independently go into a museum. I can’t really read anything. I can’t walk along and look,” she says. “So for me, the difference is the docent brings each piece of art to life.”

Reinier Valdes, owner of the dance studio La Clave Cubana.
Courtesy of Reinier Valdes

Jeannie Yandel speaks with Reinier Valdes, owner of the dance studio La Clave Cubana, about his effort to bring Cuban dance to Seattle.

Author Sherman Alexie in the KUOW studios.
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Marcie Sillman talks with author Sherman Alexie about his novel, "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian," and its place on the American Libraries Association list of most frequently banned and challenged books.

Marcie Sillman talks with librarian Nancy Pearl who has a reading recommendation for those who have exhausted all of John LeCarre's thriller novels: "All the Old Knives," by Olen Steinhauer. 

File Photo: Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank at a USDA event in 2012.
Flickr Photo/USDAgov (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks to former Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank about his new memoir, "Frank." 

Novelist Günter Grass, the Nobel laureate who is perhaps best known for his novel The Tin Drum and who shocked his country when he revealed in 2006 that he had been a member of the Waffen SS in the last months of World War II, has died. Grass was 87.

The news was announced by his publisher, Steidl Verlag, in a statement on its website. The publisher said Grass died at a clinic in the town of Lübeck, Germany. It did not provide a cause of death.

Tina Packer has spent a lifetime researching Shakespeare and his plays, both as an actress and as a director. And as she focused on the role that women play in his works, she noticed a progression.

Consider Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew, one of his earliest plays, which centers on a man breaking a defiant woman's spirit. Strong-willed Kate is a harridan; her compliant sister, meanwhile, says things like, "Sir, to your pleasure humbly I subscribe."

Alex Guy stands in the kitchen of her South Lake Union apartment, one of the last affordable apartments in the neighborhood.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Seattle can be a frustrating place to live. There’s the rising rents, and the constant noise from construction sites and traffic. Despite all that, we choose to live here.

Alex Guy is a musician with the band Led To Sea. One of the things that keeps her here is the vibrant music scene.

Patton Oswalt
Flickr Photo/Jason Carlin (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Patton Oswalt is an American writer, actor and comedian. You may have read one of his books, seen him on film or television, heard him as the voice of Remy in the movie "Ratatouille" or become one of his millions of followers on Twitter. The L.A. Times called him “the dean of nerd comics.”

On this episode of Speakers Forum, Oswalt reads from his new book "Silver Screen Fiend: Learning About Life from an Addiction to Film." He calls it “the dorkiest addiction memoir ever.” 

Seattle Arts and Lectures presented this event featuring Oswalt at Town Hall Seattle on Jan. 31. He was joined on stage by George Meyer, a producer and writer for The Simpsons. Thanks to Jennie Cecil Moore for this recording. 

A still from the music video Mississippi Misfit by Seattle band INLY.
INLY / Vimeo

The camera pans across four bathroom stall doors, revealing a set of legs in each.

It stops at the last stall, where no legs are visible. Instead, a muscular arm reaches down, and Seattle musician Mindie Lind lowers her body to the floor, to the beat of the tune she wrote, “Mississippi Misfit,” performed by her band INLY.

It’s part of Lind’s not-so-secret strategy to create a public conversation about what she calls “Crip Culture” – the issues that people with physical disabilities face every day.

Ivan Doig, the award-winning writer, most often wrote about his home state of Montana. He was 75 when he died on Thursday.
University of Washington Photo/Anil Kapahi

Award winning writer Ivan Doig died Thursday at his Seattle home. He was 75.

Doig was one of the most respected writers of the American West and often wrote about his native state of Montana.

He wrote 16 books, including the so-called McCaskill trilogy, three novels about a fictional Montana family covering the first 100 years of state history.

Moodette Ka'apana in a photograph taken at her 60th birthday celebration.
Courtesy of KaLehua Ka'apana

To people who knew Moodette Ka’apana, she was Aunty Moody.

“There’s a saying in the Hawaii community: ‘Huiiii, Aunty! How you?’” said Stephen Gomes, a friend.

“Everybody knew Aunty,” Gomes said, “they knew Aunty Moody.”

Michael Lionstar

Elizabeth Austen speaks with Jane Hirshfield, a fellow poet and long-time practitioner of Zen Buddhism. Hirshfield is the author of eight books of poetry, two collections of essays and several volumes of translations. She reads from her new books: a collection of poems, "The Beauty" and "Ten Windows: How Great Poems Transform the World."

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