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Book-It Repertory Theatre facts for kids

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Book-It Repertory Theatre (often shortened to "Book-It") is a regional theatre located in Seattle, Washington. It is a 501-c(3) registered nonprofit corporation, and is devoted to "transforming great literature into great theatre through simple and sensitive production and to inspiring its audiences to read". Founded in 1987, it is now led by Co-Artistic Directors Jane Jones and Myra Platt, and is a 2012 Governor's Arts Award winner and 2010 Mayor's Arts Award winner. It is a member of Theatre Puget Sound and a part of The Kennedy Center's Partners in Education Program.

History

Seattle Center

Book-It Repertory Theatre's history begins in 1986, when Co-Artistic Director Jane Jones led the 29th Street Project in New York City, an artistic collective that comprised graduates and company members from the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco, to experiment with performing short stories for the stage.

After moving to Seattle in 1987, Jane Jones, Tony Pasqualini, Mark Jenkins, Robyn Smith, and Sarah Brooke, among others, formed The Collective at the Pasqualini/Smith acting studio in a three-story walk-up on Pine Street in Seattle's Capitol Hill. Myra Platt, Book-It's future Co-Artistic Director, joined The Collective in 1988. Members of The Collective began to experiment with the concept of Book-It by adapting literature into theatre. They began by experimenting with the performance of short stories. It became an official registered nonprofit under the name Book-It in 1990, and at this time mainly toured to schools and libraries with its performances. Book-It established its first main stage home in 1995, in a 50-seat theatre on Westlake Avenue. Several early shows were performed on Seattle Repertory Theatre stages, until in 2000 Book-It was able to move to their current location at Seattle Center.

When Book-It first moved to Seattle Center, their location was called the Center House. It is now known as The Armory.

In 2019, Book-It announced that founding co-artistic directors Jane Jones and Myra Platt would step down from their roles in summer of 2020.

Book-It Style

All of the shows produced by Book-It adhere to a specific style called "Book-It Style," which preserves the author's exact words in the script rather than changing them for the stage. The words and phrases in the book are acted out in dialogue on stage, including descriptions and even taglines. The Book-It Style doesn't rely on a designated narrator for these moments but instead distributes the narrative: descriptions, inner thoughts, etc., among the characters, giving the audience clues about a character based on "point of view."

Arts and Education Program

Book-It Repertory Theatre's Arts and Education Program (formerly called "Book-It All Over") involves a host of different activities aimed at promoting literacy and a love of reading in children. Book-It was able to expand this program thanks to a grant from the Hearst Foundation.

Touring series

The touring series involves several adaptations of books for children or young adults, and travels to libraries, community centers, and schools in the Seattle area. These performances include a book for each student as well as a study guide and interactive workshop. One of the shows that tours every year is called "Danger: Books!" and features actors reading from books that have been banned or challenged in the US.

Family Fun Series

This series takes place on the main stage, and usually hosts about three shows per season. They include a short play based on a children's or young adult book, a book-themed craft project, and workshops for younger and older children to participate in after the performance. Parents are encouraged to attend these performances with their children.

Student Matinee Series

Seattle Repertory Theatre Education Program
"Bringing Theatre into the Classroom" participants working with Book-It, Seattle Children's Theatre, and Seattle Rep teachers.

Like many theatres, Book-It hosts student matinees for some of their (audience-appropriate) main stage shows, offering a low-cost option for teachers to bring students to the shows on school trips.

Residencies

Book-It describes a teacher residency as a "long-term customized program designed with classroom teachers to address specific curricula, academic standards, and students' needs." These programs include a touring series production as well.

Teacher training

Book-It offers workshops for groups of teachers and also participates in a five-day summer program in collaboration with other Seattle area theatres called Bringing Theatre into the Classroom.

Mainstage Productions

1999-2000

2000-2001

2001-2002

2002-2003

2003-2004

2004-2005

2005-2006

2006-2007

2007-2008

  • Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson
  • Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie
  • Persuasion by Jane Austen
  • The Highest Tide by Jim Lynch

2008-2009

2009-2010

  • A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
  • Emma by Jane Austen
  • The River Why by David James Duncan
  • The Cider House Rules: Part 1 by John Irving and adapted by Peter Parnell

2010-2011

2011-2012

  • Owen Meany's Christmas Pageant by John Irving
  • Prairie Nocturne by Ivan Doig
  • The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

2012-2013

  • Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
  • Owen Meany's Christmas Pageant by John Irving
  • Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  • Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  • The Financial Lives of the Poets by Jess Walter

2013-2014

  • She's Come Undone by Wally Lamb
  • Frankenstein; Or, the Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley
  • Truth Like the Sun by Jim Lynch
  • The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon

2014-2015

2015-2016

2016-2017

2017-2018

2018-2019

  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
  • My Ántonia by Willa Cather
  • American Junkie by Tom Hansen
  • Returning the Bones by Gin Hammond
  • Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue

2019-2020

  • Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer
  • Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
  • The Turn of the Screw by Henry James
  • The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski

Circumbendibus

The new Circumbendibus series is an off-the-main-stage series featuring non-traditional texts. Book-It started this series in the fall of 2012 with three shows: one based on food writing and cookbooks, one based on geek literature and graphic novels, and one based on a collection of short stories. The short story collection was Jesus' Son by Denis Johnson, and this was expanded and re-located for the second Circumbedibus series in 2013.

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