Dep't of I've-Got-a-Barn-Let's-Put-on-a-Show: Blood Ensemble made its debut in 2012 with Nevermore, a horror-play riff on the life and work of Edgar Allen Poe—the whole drama, which involved both sex and death, happened in a tiny basement room, smaller than a studio apartment, with the audience sitting shoulder-to-shoulder in chairs lined against the walls. Now, in the tradition of scrappy kids using barns to put on shows, Blood Ensemble has announced its next show will literally happen in a barn they found in Marysville and will be about the real history of the barn itself, with transportation of the audience to and from Seattle, plus a "communal meal" for each performance. Immersive and promenade performance (where there is no meaningful separation between the audience and the set) has become a strong trend these days: Attempts on Her Life by Horse in Motion at University Heights Center, Tails of Wasps by New Century Theatre Company at ACT, several shows (including reWilding) by Satori Group. Maybe some of those companies are inspired by the success of Sleep No More in NYC, though we have an independent tradition of immersive/promenade performance in Seattle. Implied Violence, for example, made most of its shows in alleyways, warehouses, fields, barns, huge and loft-y rooms in SoDo, and other found spaces. Maybe young Seattle companies are just excited about theater but bored with theaters.
Amazon Continues Holding Authors Hostage: Amazon continues to delay shipments of Hachette's books. (Hachette, which used to be the publisher known as Time Warner Book Group, publishes roughly a third of all books in America.) This is hurting authors a great deal. Melville House has more:
Amazon may have hoped that cutting orders and raising prices would sow disaffection among Hachette’s authors—that authors would see falling sales numbers and push their publisher to cut a deal, any deal, with the retailer that sells far more books than any other. But, while some authors have blamed both parties and expressed frustration with Hachette and Amazon, it appears that many are sticking with their publisher.
A Festival for the Rest of...Y'all: As we continue to gear up for SIFF, other local cinemas are planning more modest-scale festivals, too: In June and July, the gorgeous Ark Lodge Cinemas in Columbia City will present the Kidsummer Film Festival, featuring a bunch of recent kids' movies at a matinee price of three dollars apiece. Take a look at the June films here.
Herman Melville: Loser? At The Outlet, Lacey Jane Henson writes about a man who considers Moby Dick to be a failure:
Henkle’s dissertation, “The Architecture of Failure,” celebrates literature by writers who seem to struggle with the limitations of genre and even language itself. Henkle uses Moby Dick as an example: “For 250 pages or so, Melville is writing pretty straight narrative and then it’s like he gets bored, or loses his mind." As if you can see him start fighting against the structure he had spent the whole first part of the book trying to create. “The narrative breaks apart, Ishmael and Ahab kind of drop away, and then it’s all essays, plays, meditations on every parts of the ship, parts of the whale, there are big chunks of plagiarism, that kind of thing.”
Two Days of Cinnabon: Author Michael Seidlinger will celebrate the release of his new book by spending 48 hours in an airport.
Spring Blumes: Judy Blume's books are getting attractive new covers.