2012 Governor’ s Arts Award-winner and 2010 Mayor’s Arts Award-winner, Book-It Repertory Theatre was founded 24 years ago as an artists’ collective, adapting short stories for performance and touring them throughout the Northwest. Today, with over 90 world-premiere adaptations of full-length novels to its credit–many of which have garnered rave reviews and gone on to subsequent productions all over the country–Book-It is widely respected for the consistent artistic excellence of its work.
In 2008, The Seattle Times feted Co-Artistic Directors Jane Jones and Myra Platt with an Unsung Heroes and Uncommon Genius award describing Book-It as a “Seattle treasure” and co-Artistic Director, Jane Jones, was honored with a Brava Award from the Women’s University Club of Seattle for her outstanding contributions to the community.
Book-It was invited to become a member of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts’ Partners in Education program, and received funding from the national grant program MetLife/TCG Aha! Think-It! Do-It! to investigate the impact of its mission and the intersections between its work and literacy.
Book-It Repertory Theatre is a non-profit organization dedicated to transforming great literature into great theatre through simple and sensitive production and to inspiring its audiences to read.
Book-It Repertory Theatre’s vision is to be a nationally-known theatre arts center where Book-It’s partnership of theatre, literature and education nourishes literacy and the artistic vitality of our community.
Literacy is a multi-dimensional enhancement to life, yet illiteracy is a fundamental obstacle for one third of King County. In a nation where 46% to 51% of adults read so poorly that they earn significantly below the threshold poverty level for an individual*, Book-It’s mission to inspire people to read becomes increasingly more important.
In a world of growing automation and interactive multi-media, the American Theater is being overwhelmed by the competitive need to produce cinematic-scaled designs on stage. The bombardment of violent images and constant noise on movie and television screens is robbing us of our sensitivity and our attention spans.
Audiences are rarely challenged to participate. Active listening is becoming an endangered skill in our society. Book-It recognizes the need to go beyond the quick-fix entertainment mentality and has garnered a devoted audience of people who love to read. More importantly, Book-It has drawn in people who do not or cannot read, and who leave a performance wanting and needing to change that fact.
*A First Look at the Literacy of America’s Adults in the 21st century | PDF,
National Center for Education Statistics, 2006
Book-It creates world-premiere adaptations of classic and contemporary literature for the stage, preserving the narrative text as it is spoken, not by a single “narrator” but as dialogue by the characters in the production. This technique was developed over the last 20 years and continues to be developed by Book-It artists led by Founding Co-Artistic Directors, Jane Jones and Myra Platt. Performing books instead of plays allows the Book-It theatre experience to spark the audience’s interest in reading and to challenge the audience to participate by using their imaginations. Book-It’s unique style of acting and adapting books is trademarked, known as the Book-It Style™.
Book-It has produced more than 90 world-premiere adaptations of literature. All adaptations are copyrighted.