REVIEW: Art, crime and survival: ‘Awaiting Oblivion’ seeks hope in hopelessness Feb 27, 2017

Originally published February 18, 2017 at 8:00 am
Updated February 19, 2017 at 9:37 pm

By Brendan Kiley
Seattle Times staff writer

After his arrest at Occupy Seattle, a local actor and youth homelessness worker corresponded with “AO” — a mysterious graffiti/street artist or artists who mailed him art-based “temporary solutions” to stave off despair. The result, “Awaiting Oblivion,” opens at On the Boards.

“The first step in resistance: Don’t kill yourself.”

That “instruction” was mailed in a cigar box last October by “AO,” an anonymous Seattle street artist and activist — who might be an individual art-vandal or might be a group. The box was sent to theater-maker and homeless youth outreach worker Tim Smith-Stewart.

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Awaiting Oblivion - Performance Review Feb 27, 2017

by Elissa Favero

            An indicator species is a plant or animal sensitive to changes in the environment. Biologists track these species to monitor ecosystems for adversity, studying them so as to be alert to conditions like disease or contamination.

            In our own communities, there are populations who are likewise susceptible to harmful change, the first to suffer from what will eventually poison us all. They’re sometimes immigrants vulnerable to waves of xenophobia, or people of color at the greatest risk for police brutality, or queer communities finding it harder and harder to afford rent in Seattle, or a population of homeless youth whose ranks grow, whose existence is made illegal.

            None of this, of course, is news. For many of us the alarm has already sounded...

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A conversation with Tim Smith Stewart Feb 9, 2017

by NKO Rey

I confess I like meeting new people though I’m socially awkward and shy. Talking with Tim Smith-Stewart it becomes apparent almost immediately that he’s smart, but not pushy about his knowledge. His natural ability to facilitate shared space made the conversation easy, and he revealed himself as a moral and thorough thinker. Our conversation at the BASE studio in Georgetown led us down many paths; the value of political gestures in the surveillance state, establishing an inherent sense of personal worth not tied to production, systemic oppression in social response to problems like addiction and homelessness, the dehumanizing effect of capital, the value of recognizing and sharing alternative histories, alienation of social media, and the danger inherent in engaging with the non-profit industrial complex.

& I’m like, Tim’s REAL smart...

Also well read. It was a pleasure to talk for a couple of hours...

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Oil Pressure Vibrator Jan 30, 2017

by Koushik Ghosh

What liberty might we know if could collapse the duality of gender? Geumhyung Jeong’s hour-long exploration on this theme gives us Oil Pressure Vibrator. I am sure you will leave asking questions, or wishing that you could sit down with the artist or spend some time with her.

Jeong takes us down a path, where knowing the terrain of desire involves decisions, and constant, obsessive observation. Knowing, what feels good. Knowing what does not. Knowing that we get bored. Knowing, that there can even be evolution. Jeong’s work is about knowing something in us that never quite leaves us.

Jeong makes friends with an urgency in her, and allows it to take her places, places in the natural world, places in the inanimate world of objects, places that are not so familiar and yet so. She never takes us back to society, or another human being. 

Machines and nature make love in a world where...

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CPR Practice Jan 27, 2017

by NKO Rey

nko ticket


CPR Practice could be reduced to commentary on the failure of eroticism, but I think it’s more than that. There is a sense of emergency - of trying to find a way out through a number of technological means, all of which fail the performer. The increasingly frenetic physical pace, contrasted by the essential inaction of the props, accurately reflects our individual and social values. If we continue down this path, there is no way out…

CPR Practice, by Geumhyung Jeong begins with an erotic dance between a human performer and a CPR dummy and ends in a crisis. Our eroticism of technology, the interplay between reality and (science) fiction, human fascination with life extension via medicine, and our inability to relate are questioned in the course of the hour solo performance.

On a literal level...

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BY HEART: Trailer Jan 4, 2017

by Betsey Brock

In By Heart, Portuguese playwright and actor Tiago Rodrigues teaches a poem to 10 people.

While teaching them, Rodrigues unfolds a mix of stories of his soon-to-be-blind grandmother and stories of writers and characters from books that are, somehow, connected both to the old lady and himself. The books are also there, on stage, inside wooden fruit crates. And as each couple of verses is taught to the group of 10 people, improbable connections emerge between Nobel prize winner Boris Pasternak, a cook from the north of Portugal and a Dutch TV program called Beauty and Consolation, and the mystery behind the choice of this poem is slowly solved.


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Colors and Queens: House of Dinah Dec 9, 2016

by Elissa Favero

“What do they know about colors?

What do they know about Queens?”


Mother Tamika, the beloved grande dame of the House of Dinah, poses these questions in the opening monologue of Jerome A. Parker and Andrew Russell’s show, playing through Sunday at On the Boards. She tells us here her story of hard work, exploitation, and ultimate deliverance and introduces us to the person and music of Dinah Washington, the so-called “Queen of the Blues.” Mother Tamika’s questions stayed with me through the next hour and a half as I took in fierce costumes and performances, as I listened to the backstories of the House of Dinah’s other sisters, as these womxn of color told of both trauma and triumph. What, indeed, do I know? I’m admittedly an outsider to this world, a white, cisgender girl. I remembered the sacred space of the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in...

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HOUSE OF DINAH Dec 9, 2016

by Michelle Peñaloza

Child, what could I say to you
so that you would understand?

This is and is not for you.
Now you say you're lonely.

You've cried the whole night through.
You are invited, of course, but

make no mistake: this house is our house,
not yours. A family is a hierarchy,

a house of strength and knowledge, past and present.
You think you know something? Do you

know your way in and out of the world? The storm
outside ain't gonna go away. This bitter earth

what fruit it bears
. The president won't be your savior.
You need queen mothers—no shit and all riot.

Here we are. Within this mystic diner of our own making:
drink the whiskey of our own made milk.

Child, what could I tell you about being
black and queen and faggot and survivor?

What a difference a day makes. Find your own
answers on this...

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