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The New New News: A new Seattle play on media turmoil

Do you ever wonder what the heck is going on with the media these days?

Twitter Symphony, The New New News

I know I do and I am in the middle of it as a blogger-journalist here at KPLU’s Humanosphere.

This is not a photo of NPR folks hard at work. It’s a scene from a play, The New New News, that I helped a couple local thespians produce aimed at informing and entertaining you about the current state of the news media. Starts its run at Seattle’s Erickson theater Thursday.

Why do a play about new media?

Well, why are people who post comments on Facebook and Twitter now regarded as news “sources?” Are bloggers journalists? What exactly is a blog? What exactly is journalism?

How did the Seattle Times use Twitter to win a Pulitzer and also complicate the police manhunt for cop-killer Maurice Clemmons? How did Art Thiel navigate the awkward waters of entrepreneurial journalism — seeking financial support from the very sports organizations he so famously skewers as a sports columnist?

What are those people doing in the blue bird suits?

These questions and many more are examined — based on real news events, and some not so real — in this new drama written by local playwrights Dawson Nichols and Paul Mullin.

Dawson also directs the play, which this week begins its run, starting 7:30 p.m. Thursday, at Capitol Hill’s Erickson Theatre at Seattle Central Community College. (I’m a co-producer with Paul and Dawson, the play’s journalist-consultant, but I don’t really do anything important so I can praise it without being accused of too much bias.)

Here are some articles and reviews (so far) of this great new piece of local theater and media analysis:

Monica Guzman at Intersect

KUOW Tweeting the Manhunt

My pitch for Seattle Post Globe

City Arts

We expect more previews and reviews soon from The Stranger, KPLU and other media. We did this on a shredded shoestring, so don’t expect a lot of marketing. Come, tell your friends to come!

Below are the details, contained in an invitation from Dawson, for this weekend’s show at the Erickson:

I want to remind you that this weekend is your only chance to see The New New News at Centrals own Erickson Theater!

Don’t live with regret.  Next week you may see excerpts from the show on King TV’s Evening Magazine or KCTS or online at The Huffington Post.  You’ll want to be able to say ‘I saw that show’ rather than ‘Dang, I wish I’d seen that.’

So come! – with your friends and students!
Where:          The Erickson Theater
When: Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, February 24-26 at 7:30pm
Sunday matinee, February 27 at 2pm
Reservations:   Not neededPay-What-You-Can at the door
Or you can reserve a seat through Brown Paper Tickets.
I’ll see you there.
Dawson Nichols

About Author

Tom Paulson

Tom Paulson is founder and lead journalist at Humanosphere. Prior to operating this online news site, he reported on science,  medicine, health policy, aid and development for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Contact him at tom[at] or follow him on Twitter @tompaulson.