[Seattle, Wash., February 1, 2021]— Book-It Repertory Theatre (Book-It) presents its first serialized, all-audio production with the adaptation of Mañanaland, a magical tale for audiences eight-years-old and up by award-winning author Pam Muñoz Ryan. Listeners will be taken on an epic adventure over the course of four weeks. Mañanaland was adapted by Book-It’s Arts Education team, Gillian Jorgensen (she/her) and Jordi Montes (she/her/they/them), and directed by Arlene Martínez-Vázquez (she/her).

For the first time this season, Book-It presents an audio play with multiple chapters. A new episode will be released online each week for four weeks, offering audiences more time to invest in the characters, their relationships, and their revelations. At the heart of the story, we meet a boy who wants to grow up faster than his Papá is ready for. What happens when that boy discovers a world beyond anything he ever could have imagined? We can all relate to this struggle growing up—wanting to be seen as we believe ourselves to be, even as we are still learning exactly what that is.

Co-adapter Jordi Montes, who is also playing the role of the protagonist, Maximillian Córdoba, looks forward to sharing these questions with a broad audience. “I hope listeners walk away realizing that there isn’t one answer to who you are, and that’s okay, that’s good. Life is broad,” they observe.

Writing this play for those confronting these existential questions for the first time was vital, as well. “It’s crucial to include middle readers/middle grades,” remarks Jorgensen, “because they are so often left out in all things, and this is the time they’re trying to figure out who they are in the world.”

Equally important for Book-It is offering families an accessible way of experiencing this story together. To address the challenges many are continuing to face at this unique time in our world, Book-It is offering this audio play with a Pay What You Can option.

Additionally, both adapters are passionate about telling stories that are habitually neglected in society. “I don’t often get to recognize my experience in a larger world, feel like I’m included, connected, valid,” Montes shares. In this collaboration, the two brought their differing experiences in the world along with their varying experiences with theatre and Book-It. Jorgensen offers a deep familiarity with playwrighting, having written over two dozen scripts for youth and families, and Montes contributes a rich knowledge of theatre and the Book-It style from their decade plus working both on- and back-stage in Seattle. The team’s pre-existing relationship as partners in Book-It’s Arts education program also helped the adaptation process move smoothly into and throughout the production of the audio play. Working with a talented slate of artists always enlivens the development of both character and overarching storytelling.

The cast includes Jordi Montes, Beth Pollack (she/her), Alan Garcia (he/him), Michael D. Blum (he/him), Rose Cano (she/ella), Sophie Franco (they/them), Keagan Estes (he/him), Carolina Lora Ramirez (she/her), and Jason Treviño (he/him). The story was adapted by both Gillian Jorgensen and Jordi Montes; directed by Arlene Martínez-Vázquez; stage managed by Antonieta Castillo Carpio; the sound was designed by Patrícia Mazuela (she/her); Michael D. Blum was dialect coach; Benjamin Radin (he/him) was the recording engineer; Kyle Thompson (he/him) the associate audio engineer; and the Audio Book-It theme music was composed and performed by Leanna Keith (she/they).

Mañanaland will be released to stream or download on February 15, 2021 and is accessible until June 30, 2021. Single tickets to this show are available beginning February 1, 2021 and cost $25 or Pay What You Can.

Subscriptions for the 2020-2021 season are available from September 1, 2020-June 1, 2021 by phone and online. There is one subscription package at $100, which gives you access to all titles in the season, plus exclusive additional content. Single tickets will go on sale two weeks before each show’s start date. Prices are $15 for a full-length title (ChildfinderThe Canterville GhostThe Effluent Engine) and $25 for a serialized title (Mañanaland and The Mandala of Sherlock Holmes). Two of the titles will also be available at Pay What You Will pricing. Teachers may buy any title for their class of up to 30 students for $30. Purchase at book-it.org or by calling the box office at 206.216.0833.

The Audio Book-It season includes Childfinder, the story of a woman’s mission to protect children the system discards, by seminal science fiction author Octavia E. Butler; The Canterville Ghost, a comic ghost story with all the charm and wit you expect from Oscar Wilde; Mañanaland, an inspiring all-ages adventure by Newbery Honor recipient Pam Muñoz Ryan; N.K. Jemisin’s The Effluent Engine treats us to a speculative fiction spy-thriller and The Mandala of Sherlock Holmes, by Jamyang Norbu, is an exciting Holmesian pastiche.

Book-It Repertory Theatre, a leader in the narrative theatre movement, was founded in 1990. Book-It is a non-profit organization with a dedication to great literature and quality theatre experiences employing simple, sensitive and imaginative production techniques, and inspiring its audiences to read.


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