Local Art News
Seattle Times theater critic Misha Berson writes:
The Seattle theater community is saddened this week by the Thursday, Jan. 29, passing of director, actor and arts administrator Christopher Zinovitch, the former artistic director of ArtsWest Playhouse and Gallery in West Seattle.
Mr. Zinovitch died in Bismarck, N.D., where he was artistic director of Dakota Stage Limited. The cause of death was aggressive brain cancer, diagnosed last December. He was 43.
Mr. Zinovitch hailed from Las Vegas, Nevada, and studied at Chapman University in California.
He worked at ArtsWest in different capacities for 13 years, ending with a three-year stint as artistic head of the West Seattle cultural center between 2011 and 2013. Under his leadership, ArtsWest staged dozens of musicals and plays, many of them directed by Mr. Zinovitch.
An outgoing, theatrical jack-of-all-trades who was passionately dedicated to his craft, Mr. Zinovitch also ran successful educational drama programs for children at ArtsWest, and he was proud of his role in securing national funding for the company's productions as well as a 2012 National Theatre Company Award from the American Theatre Wing.
Mr. Zinovitch left ArtsWest in 2013, after the board of directors pressed for his resignation. Mr. Zinovitch told the Seattle Times that he had disagreements with the board over the future direction of ArtsWest, but the move took him by surprise.
He became artistic director of Dakota Stage Limited in February 2014, and his final production there opens this week with a set he designed. Mr. Zinovitch's Facebook page also lists his profession as actor with the Spokane Interplayers in Spokane, Wash., since 2013.
Mr. Zinovitch is survived by his parents, three brothers and a sister, and several nieces and nephews. Information about funeral arrangements has not been announced.
Seattle Times theater critic Misha Berson writes:
How time flies when you’re making theater.
Now in its 28th year, Annex Theatre just keeps on trucking along, on an eternal mission to present offbeat new works with an emphasis on scripts by Seattle playwrights.
Annex’s 2015 mainstage season kicks off Jan. 30-Feb. 21 at the company’s lovably scruffy, two-flights-up fringe outpost on Capitol Hill with the world premiere of “Zapoi!,” the story of a Russian composer fleeing persecution, authored by noted Seattle stage actor and Satori Group member Quinn Armstrong. In the Tuesday-Wednesday night slot, Marcus Gorman’s “Natural” the “messy urban lives” of six young Seattleites takes up residence Feb. 3-18.
There’s lots more coming, including works by Scotto Moore, Keiko Green, Brandon J. Simmons and Caitlin Gilman, along with the ongoing Spin the Bottle new works series, The Mad Scientist Cabaret and something called the Zig Zag Festival. For all the skinny, go to annextheatre.org.
Inner City Romance at Fantagraphics Bookstore on Valentine’s Day – Saturday, February 14 from 6:00 to 9:00 PM
Soil: Oscar Wilde’s reputed last words: “My wallpaper and I are fighting a duel to the death. One or other of us has got to go.”–Bed Bath & Between
Coca! Call for Emerging & Experimental Art Proposals: Deadline February 6! Congratulations Nichole and Lynn on your new positions!
A Tale of Two Urinals – The Duchamp Syllogism–and the split personality of Marcel Duchamp–Some Reflections on the Seattle Art Museum Talk by Thierry de Duve
The fourth annual Gypsy Rose Lee Awards for Seattle theater excellence have been announced, with the most honors (5) going to ACT Theatre.
This year the two top prizes for 2014 productions, awarded by a group of blog and freelance print critics, went to ACT for a dramatic work ("The Invisible Hand" by Ayad Akhtar) and for a musical theater show ("The Little Shop of Horrors," co-produced with 5th Avenue Theatre).
The excellence in local playwriting award went to Stephanie Timm for her political tale, "Tails of Wasps" (produced by New Century Theatre Company, at ACT). And Robert Schenkkan was also recognized with a special playwriting honor for his two-play LBJ chronicle, "All the Way" and "The Great Society" (at Seattle Repertory Theatre).
Among the acting prizes were those recognizing the entire performing ensembles in "Tails of Wasps," and in "Gidion's Knot" at Seattle Public Theater.
A full list of honors, including for individual acting, directing and design achievements, can be found at facebook.com/SeattleTheaterWriters, a site that posts a wide range of reviews and articles about Seattle theater. This year's judges for the Gypsy Rose Lee awards were:
Jose Amador (www.seattlestar.net), Candace Brown (goodlifenw.blogspot.com), Miryam Gordon (Seattle Gay News and miryamstheatermusings.blogspot.com), David-Edward Hughes (www.talkinbroadway.com/regional/seattle), Rosemary Jones (www.examiner.com/theater-in-seattle/rosemary-jones), Alice Kaderlan (blog.seattlepi.com/feetfirst), Dusty Somers (blogcritics.org/author/Dusty-Somers), and Michael Strangeways (www.seattlegayscene.com/).
The National Book Critics Circle has announced finalists for six prizes given to the best books of 2014. They include fiction by Marilynne Robinson, a graphic memoir about caring for her aging parents by cartoonist Roz Chast and one book, "Citizen" by Claudia Rankine, that's a finalist in two categories, poetry and criticism. The NBCC board picked the finalists last weekend in New York City; they were announced yesterday.
Author Toni Morrison, 83, received the Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award. Phil Klay’s short story collection "Redeployment" (Penguin Press), based on the author's experiences serving as a U.S. Marine in Iraq, is the recipient of the John Leonard Prize, established in 2014 to recognize outstanding first books in any genre.
Here are the finalists (full disclosure that this writer is a board member and chair of the biography committee):
"An Unnecessary Woman" by Rabih Alameddine (Grove Press); "A Brief History of Seven Killings" by Marlon James (Riverhead); "Euphoria" by Lily King (Atlantic Monthly Press); "On Such a Full Sea" by Chang-rae Lee (Riverhead); "Lila" by Marilynne Robinson (Farrar, Straus and Giroux).
"The Problem of Slavery in the Age of Emancipation" by David Brion Davis (Knopf); "The Zhivago Affair: The Kremlin, the CIA, and the Battle over a Forbidden Book" by Peter Finn and Petra Couvee (Pantheon);"The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History" by Elizabeth Kolbert (Henry Holt); "Capital in the Twenty-First Century" by Thomas Piketty, translated from the French by Arthur Goldhammer (Belknap Press/Harvard University Press); "Deep Down Dark: The Untold Stories of 33 Men Buried in a Chilean Mine, and the Miracle that Set Them Free" by Hector Tobar (Farrar, Straus & Giroux).
"The Splendid Things We Planned: A Family Portrait" by Blake Bailey (W.W. Norton); "Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?" by Roz Chast (Bloomsbury); "The Other Side" by Lacy M. Johnson (Tin House); "Little Failure" by Gary Shteyngart (Random House); "There Was and There Was Not" by Meline Toumani (Metropolitan Books).
"William Wells Brown: An African American Life" by Ezra Greenspan (W.W. Norton); "Rebel Yell: The Violence, Passion and Redemption of Stonewall Jackson" by S.C. Gwynne (Scribner); "Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh" by John Lahr (W.W. Norton); “Literchoor Is My Beat”: A Life of James Laughlin, Publisher of New Directions" by Ian S. MacNiven (Farrar, Straus & Giroux); "The Crusades of Cesar Chavez: A Biography" by Miriam Pawel (Bloomsbury).
" On Immunity: An Innoculation" by Eula Biss (Graywolf Press); "Geek Sublime: The Beauty of Code, the Code of Beauty" by Vikram Chandra (Graywolf Press); "Citizen: An American Lyric" by Claudia Rankine (Graywolf Press)' "What Would Lynne Tillman Do?" by Lynne Tillman (Red Lemonade); "The Essential Ellen Willis," by Ellen Willis, edited by Nona Willis Aronowitz (University of Minnesota Press).
"Prelude to Bruise" by Saeed Jones (Coffee House Press); "The Essential Hits of Shorty Bon Bon" by Willie Perdomo (Penguin Books); "Citizen: An American Lyric" by Claudia Rankine (Graywolf Press); "Once in the West" by Christian Wiman (Farrar, Straus & Giroux); "Abide" by Jake Adam York (Southern Illinois University Press).
The Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing award went to Alexandra Schwartz, an assistant editor at the New Yorker.
1000 Origami Vaginas Fundraiser — Local Artists coming together for Cervical Cancer Awareness–On Sunday, January 25th from 4 pm to 8 pm, the LoFi Performance gallery has donated its space for the Second Annual 1000 Origami Vagina Fundraiser
Seattle Symphony associate conductor Stilian Kirov is one of the 24 conductors chosen for the Malko Competition in Copenhagen, Denmark. Open to conductors ages 20-35, the Malko requires competitors to lead the Danish National Symphony Orchestra in front of a panel of conductors, musicians and other arts figures. The prize is worth the anxiety: 20,000 Euros (about $23,000) plus guaranteed conducting gigs for 34 European orchestras, including the Vienna Philharmonic. (Also possibly anxiety-producing is the caveat in the Malko rules that states "It is agreed upon and it will be announced upfront that if there according to the jury is no candidate in the finale who has the quality of a world class conductor of tomorrow, there will be no winner." No pressure there.)
The competition takes place April 25-May 1.
A list of all the competitors, plus an interesting take on the Malko, is on Norman Lebrecht's Slipped Disc blog. Be sure to scroll down to the comments.