[Seattle, Wash., April 6, 2021]— Continuing their all-audio season with an adaptation of a short story by science fiction’s powerhouse author, N.K. Jemisin (she/her), Book-It Repertory Theatre (Book-It) presents The Effluent Engine. This steamy tale, adapted and directed by Jéhan Òsanyìn (they/them), is a taut work of speculative fiction by one of the masters of the genre.

Jemisin is well-known and beloved for both of her multiple-award-winning series: Inheritance Trilogy and Broken Earth Trilogy. In fact, Jemisin is the first author to win three consecutive Best Novel Hugo Awards (a renowned science fiction/fantasy literary honor). This 2020 MacArthur Fellow has always been a self-styled geek, loving her late summer nights watching Twilight Zone and Star Trek with her father. However, she always felt a sense of alienation from these stories. “Why did I have to travel to the margins of speculative fiction to see anything of myself? Why was it easier to find aliens or unicorns than people of color or realistic women? … I just wanted fantasies of exploration and enchantment that didn’t slap me in the face with you don’t belong here messages. I just wanted to be able to relax and dream.”

It is this sense of escape, wonder and belonging that Book-It hopes to offer with their fourth audio play of the season. A spy story at its heart, The Effluent Engine offers danger, cunning and romance as a respite for our everyday challenges. Artistic Director Gus Menary (he/him) tapped Òsanyìn, a playwright/director/performer/teaching artist/activist to shepherd this project. Their experiential work investigating racialized identity is invaluable at this time in our cultural landscape.

Menary notes, “It is an incredible honor to present such a beautiful audio experience! The combination of N.K. Jemisin’s words and Jéhan Òsanyìn’s adaptive and directorial prowess have gifted us a thrilling tale filled with intrigue, excitement and romance. The spirit of adventure contained within the piece, and exhibited by this indomitable team of artists, is a well-accomplished endeavor to create something truly special in especially difficult times. It is a testament to the determination towards the survival of theatre, the community and ourselves.”

The cast includes Naa Akua (they/she), Taece Defillo (she/her), Arlando Smith (he/him), Nik Doner (he/him), BRACE EVANS, and Dedra D. Woods (she/her). The production team includes sound designer Erin Bednarz (she/her), dialect coach Arlando Smith (he/him), recording engineer Ben Radin (he/him), associate audio engineer Kyle Thompson (he/him), rehearsal stage manager Michelle Chesley (she/her), and the 2020-2021 season Audio Book-It Season theme was composed and performed by flautist Leanna Keith (she/they).

The Effluent Engine will be released to stream or download on April 15, 2021 and is accessible until June 30, 2021. Single tickets to this show are available now and cost $15.

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. Single tickets will go on sale two weeks before each show’s start date. Prices are $15 for a full-length title (Childfinder, The Canterville Ghost, The 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 Can 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.


Press Contact:
Torrie McDonald (she/her), Marketing & Communications Director