Melodramatics Theater Company’s West Side Story at Schwartz

This past weekend, a few hundred lucky people had the privilege of seeing something truly special at the Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts. I, like most people, had heard of West Side Story but had never seen it. I had hopes of being treated to an entertaining production, something a little more fun and high energy than the highbrow, somewhat pretentious theater you would usually encounter at the Schwartz. (Full disclosure: I adore that type of theatre.) But I knew that this was not an official Cornell-sponsored production, but rather a largely student run and conceived show, with students from both Cornell and Ithaca College coming together as part of Melodramatics Theatre Company to present their vision. Add in the fact that these students had but a short two months to bring this classic production from conception to the stage and, needless to say, I was not expecting anything too grandiose.

COURTESY OF THE JOHNSON MUSEUM

Creative Chaos: Cornell Art Faculty Show 2016

Art is ambiguous, much like the standards that define it. It can require great effort, but is often accused of being superfluous. It can push boundaries and the limits of the imagination, but is often accused of being derivative or irrelevant. In our world, virtually no art is being produced which is not self-reflexive or at the very least self-conscious, and this is reflected at every turn in the Johnson Museum’s Cornell Art Faculty Show 2016. The varied collection deals heavily with the problems and difficulties which representation faces in the 21st century, and you will be hard pressed to find anything that truly challenges the norms and beliefs of modern art culture.

COURTESY OF STUDIO GHIBLI

Memory Drips Down: Only Yesterday at Cornell Cinema

Animation has always held a distinct position within the realm of film, enchanting viewers with its unique advantages. One of its most powerful capabilities is its ability to infuse fantastical elements into otherwise totally realistic settings. Before the advent of CGI, animation was pretty much the only way to create convincing epic fantasy worlds such as those we see in contemporary blockbusters like Avengers or Lord of the Rings. When it comes to the history of western animation, Disney towers above almost everyone else. Virtually every American child in the 20th century has come into contact with the ideals expressed in films like The Lion King.

Experimenter

Experimenter Analyzes Human Morality

I like to think that I am a good person. But when I honestly think about it, there is no reason for me to believe that this is due to anything but sheer luck. I have lived a privileged life, and I have no idea what I would be capable of if circumstances ever pushed me to the edge. It is easy to assume that the horrors of this world are the handiwork of deranged, unstable people, but the evidence of history, full of genocide, mass murder and ethnic cleansing shows this to be a dangerous misconception. How is this possible?

Clockwise, from top-left: Ezioma Asonye, '16, Christian Kelly, '16,  Julie Locker, '16, Sam Morrison, '17, Jacob Kuhn, '18.

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) [Revised] at Schwartz

There is no artistic experience quite like going to the theatre. Each performance of a show functions as a unique entity, and there is a challenge in recreating it night after night with consistency. Part of this challenge naturally involves exploration of the many ways in which the audience can connect with the living, breathing actors who are the true substance of the play. At its best, a show can engage with the spectator in intimate ways that no other medium can match. The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) [Revised] — which played on Feb.