By Estelle Lee
In many ways, I am a part of the Yi Family: my own last name stems from the same Korean surname, I deliver messages to my grandmother through my mother, and I’m told to pray every night before bedtime. I’ve yet to befriend a Korean war veteran or work as a chicken sexer, but still every phrase and moment of “Minari” felt oddly familiar to me—and each poignant shot could make it feel like home for anyone.
“Minari” is director Lee Isaac Chung’s first partially autobiographical film diving into his childhood in the Ozarks as the son of Korean immigrants. The film grabs at parts of Chung’s boyhood but instead brings a new family into the picture: the Yis. Composed of Mr. Jacob Yi, the ambitious father; Monica, the skeptical mother; David, the youngest American-born son; Anne, the daughter of the family; and Soonja, Monica’s mother, the family navigates through their new life together on the acres of Arkansas soil that they call home. Having moved his family from California, Jacob is determined to create a “big garden,” a Garden of Eden that could save his family and make a better future for his children—Jacob’s attitude and work ethic is one that is easily recognizable when sharing an immigrant experience. But at its core, “Minari” is more than just another story about the American Dream. The film focuses on the turmoil of a family faced with tragedy and the connections that make that calamity worthwhile.
By Anya Shukla
Mario Orallo-Molinaro loves all things improv. He first immersed himself in the art form during his time at Western Washington University, where he performed with the Dead Parrots Society, and has since acted all over the city. Then, in 2020, Orallo-Molinaro replaced his "performer hat" with that of an arts administrator: he is now the Executive Artistic Director at Jet City Improv. I sat down with him to learn more about his past in theater and plans for Jet City’s future.
Q: Just out of curiosity, why improv?
A: Improv is revolutionary. You’re the actor, the director, the screenwriter, the creator all within seconds. And improvers speak secrets out loud so we can heal together. We bring the funny and then we give you some truth.
By Jessica Liu
“Poetry started as a way for me to be proud of what I am,” Jasmine Kapadia said. The sixteen-year-old poet’s freeform, lowercase poetry—enriched by her hauntingly specific word choice and versatile use of language—exemplifies her pride in all aspects of her identity
By Aaron Zhang and Anya Shukla
Angel Blue is an operatic soprano who has performed lead roles and solos at the Los Angeles Opera, the Frankfurt Opera, and the Berlin Philharmonic, among others. She has played characters such as Violetta in "La Traviata," Musetta and Mimi in "La Bohème," and Tosca in "Tosca." We spoke with her to learn more about her artistic journey.