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Its Not in the P-I: A Living Newspaper About a Dying Newspaper
North Seattle Community College Stage I Theater
Seattle, WA
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Event

Its Not in the P-I: A Living Newspaper About a Dying Newspaper
LATE BREAKING ANNOUNCEMENT
November 14, 2009
Because we've been selling out, we need to remind folks that it is standard procedure at any theater, including NSCC, to release unclaimed tickets 5 minutes prior to curtain.

So even you're reserved your tickets here, PLEASE SHOW UP AT LEAST FIVE MINUTES PRIOR TO CURTAIN to claim them.



LATE BREAKING ANNOUNCEMENT
November 12, 2009
Is the performance you're looking to attend sold out?  Don't despair.  Because of the pay-what-you-can policy, approximately 25% of the seats in the theater are held in reserve for availability for walk up audience.  COME TO THE BOX OFFICE A HALF HOUR BEFORE CURTAIN AND YOU WILL HAVE A BETTER CHANCE OF GETTING A SEAT.

If you really must reserve your tickets in advance, please do consider attending a performance that is not sold out.

Thanks!
NewsWrightsUnited


November 11, 2009
LATE BREAKING NEWS

After agreeing to join the post play Media panel, Misha Berson has since withdrawn.  She offered no public reasons.  She will be missed.

November 9, 2009
EXTRA EXTRA!  Special Media Event this weekend, November 13-14!

Featuring Dave Horsey, Pulitzer Prize winning Cartoonist for The Seattle P-I,
Misha Berson, Theater Critic for The Seattle Times.  (
Paul Constant, Book Editor and Critic for The Stranger,
Jim Simon, Assistant Managing Editor at The Seattle Times,
Chris Grygiel,  Newsgatherer / Blogger for The Seattle PI Online,
and many more experts from old news and new.

SEATTLE  On Friday and Saturday, November 13 and 14, North Seattle Community College, in collaboration with NewsWrights United, will present panel discussions to explore the future of news reporting in the Pacific Northwest after the demise of the print version of The Seattle Post-Intelligencer newspaper.  The panels, which will begin immediately after performances of the play, Its Not in the P-I: A Living Newspaper About a Dying Newspaper, will be moderated by Tom Paulson, former P-I Science Reporter and Co-Executive Producer of Its Not in the P-I.

Panelists include Paul Constant, Book Editor for The Stranger, Chris Grygiel, SeattlePI.com reporter and editor, Dave Horsey, Cartoonist for Hearst Newpapers, Nancy McSharry Jensen, Instructor of Software Product Management at The University of Washington and former web platforms Product Manager at Microsoft, Mike Lewis former P-I Columnist and current tavern proprietor, Jim Simon, Assistant Managing Editor at The Seattle Times, and Lisa Stiffler, former Environmental Reporter for the P-I.


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SEATTLE  On Friday, November 6, 2009, North Seattle Community College in collaboration with NewsWrights United will present the world premiere of Its Not in the P-I: A Living Newspaper About a Dying Newspaper.  Six of the Pacific Northwests best playwrights joined forces to investigate, write and stage a living newspaper, theatrically reporting on the recent demise of the print version of Seattles beloved daily newspaper, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.  This innovative play explores how journalism is evolving and what that evolution means for our culture and community, city-wide, nationwide and world-wide.  NSCCs own Dawson Nichols directs this world premiere which includes articles filed by Scot Augustson, Kelleen Conway Blanchard, Pam Carter, Paul Mullin, Bryan Willis, and Nichols himself.

I hate to sound clich, says playwright Paul Mullin, Especially since were talking about a playwright and a reporter, but it all started with Tom and I commiserating over beers. He was telling me all these great war stories from the  P-I and we agreed it would make a great play.  But I had no interest in doing it by myself: too hard and Im too lazy.  But it would also take too long, and if we were going to cover this story, I wanted to do it with something approaching the speed of journalism.  Mullin reached out to his long-time colleague, Dawson Nichols, and a plan was hatched to recruit several of their favorite local playwrights to go out, interview reporters, editors, and other folks affected by the P-Is demise in order to collect articles for a living newspaper.

The living newspaper was a theatrical form employed widely in the U. S. by the Federal Theatre Project in the 1930s, during the last major depression, Professor Nichols explains, But it was actually invented earlier in the Soviet Union, in order to disseminate news and propaganda to a largely illiterate population.  

The resulting show contains pieces exploring the 100 year-plus history of the P-I from fool-hardy writer-explorers of the Olympic Mountain range to the more recent Joint Operating Agreement (JOA) with the Seattle Times and the ultimate decision by the Hearst Corporation to shut down the paper on March 17, 2009.  A collection of short plays or articles weave together, covering the same beats the P-I itself covered: local politics, sports, music, and yes, even Seattles local theatre scene.  Tom Paulson, former science reporter for the P-I explains why he believes these stories need to be told: The community has just lost over a hundred people who, every day, called up politicians, police captains, business leaders and others and made them answer questions.  Anybody can blog, post or pontificate. But only a newspaper has the clout to make powerful people accountable. As goofy as the PI was --and it was--, we made Seattle a better place by making people answer questions.

Nichols, Mullin and Paulson shopped this show to some of Seattles prestigious regional theatres, but ultimately decided that those venues were not nimble enough to produce the piece.  Says Mullin, The big houses were very gracious and unequivocally praised the piece, but unfortunately as institutions they are piloted like supertankers.  They cant make a turn unless they plan to do so a year ahead.  We were determined to treat this project like journalism, not history.  Its sad that Seattles biggest and best known  theaters cannot respond to whats happening in the community in real-time, but that is currently the nature of the theatrical beast in this town.

The producers have not ruled out subsequent productions or editions of the Its not in the P-I.  The world is changing, says Mullin  Who knows?  If newspapers and other conventional news media are no longer equipped to cover important local stories, maybe theatre artists will find themselves taking up the slack.


WHERE:  

Stage 1 Theater - North Seattle Community College - NW corner of campus
9600 College Way N., Seattle, WA  98103

WHEN:

Fridays, November 6, 13, & 20 at 7:30
Saturdays, November 7, 14, & 21 at 7:30
Sunday matinees, November 15 & 22 at 2pm
Special Wednesday matinee at noon on November 18

More information about the world premiere of Its Not in the P-I: A Living Newspaper About a Dying Newspaper can be had by contacting Paul Mullin at paulmullin@att.net, or 206-679-5947.


# # #


About the NewsWrights United
NewsWrights United was founded in the Spring of 2009 by playwrights Paul Mullin and Dawson Nichols along with Tom Paulson, former Science Reporter for the Seattle P-I, to generate journalistic theatre to  tell the stories not being told in the traditional, or even non-traditional, news.  Members include celebrated Pacific Northwest playwrights Scot Augustson, Kelleen Conway Blanchard, Pam Carter, Paul Mullin, Dawson Nichols, Bryan Willis.


About the NSCC Theater
The Theater Department at NSCC offers students the opportunity to learn the various disciplines of theater in the context of producing works for the stage. We offer a full range of theater courses which are based around production work. Whether studying acting or design, playwriting or stage management, our students have the opportunity to take their work from conception to performance. Students also have the option to pursue work in film, television, and online media through department and campus resources as well as through collaboration between the Theater Department and the on-campus studios of SCCtv.


Photo by Joanne Conger.  

Discussion

Location

North Seattle Community College Stage I Theater
9600 College Way N.
Seattle, WA 98103
United States


Categories

Arts > Theatre

Kid Friendly: No
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: No
Wheelchair Accessible: No

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