Courtesy of Cornell University

This Year’s 10-Minute Play Festival Is Both Funny and Brutally Honest

The Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts was shut down on Monday and Tuesday of this week to deal with a mold problem. Because of this, it would be understandable if the actors of this year’s 10-Minute Play Festival were under-rehearsed, or unfamiliar with the space in which they performed, but the opposite was true. At the festival on Thursday night in the newly mold-free building, I was impressed by the range and depth of the productions. None of the plays shy away from hard topics, and I should issue a warning that the second play, Tian, gets heavy, covering sexual abuse and abortion. The festival took place in the Black Box Theatre, a dark room in a sub-basement of the Schwartz Center.

Homecoming 2018: A Tale of Two Acts

Whenever someone asks me if homecoming weekend is fun, I say, “It’s overrated. If you have work to do, just do that instead. It happens every year and you won’t miss much.” While I skipped all other homecoming activities this weekend, the only one I thought was worth getting out of bed for was the concert — and not just because I had a free ticket. Back when the lineup was announced for the homecoming concert, I could not believe that Cornell students chose CupcakKe to headline such an important event. CupcakKe is a female rapper from Chicago and her sexual, vulgar lyrics are unlike anything else (perhaps her most popular song is called “Deepthroat”).

Roomful of Teeth performed in Bailey Hall, pictured above

Hold On to Your Dentures: Roomful of Teeth at Bailey Hall

The small a cappella ensemble brought their big guns right away, with each member speaking in rhythm, creating a wall of chatter that in an instant, gave way to raucous polyphonic vocals. After a few iterations, rhythmic spoken word became interspersed with small vocal phrases. The piece was chugging along and it was clear that Roomful of Teeth had a very important message to share with the audience that evening. Roomful of Teeth, the Grammy-winning vocal octet, visited Bailey Hall on Friday night to kick off the Cornell Concert Series 2018-2019 season. The group was founded in 2009 with a goal to explore the expressive potential of the human voice.

Cornell’s Fifth Centrally Isolated Film Festival Showcases Student Films

Ithaca is often considered to be in the middle of nowhere, but the work of student filmmakers from across the Northeast were on display at the fifth Centrally Isolated Film Festival at the Schwartz Performing Arts Center last weekend. A wide variety of short films ranging from documentary to animation to live-action narrative by students from more than a half-dozen schools were screened. “In this area, there aren’t a lot of film festivals, especially for student filmmakers, which is the entire idea of the Centrally Isolated Film Festival,” student organizer Isabel Pottinger ’19 said in an interview. “This year we made a very concerted effort to be in contact with a lot of different schools to try to get as much diversity in terms of the people involved in the film festival as possible, and we really reaped the rewards of that.”

The student organizers from the Film Festival Production Lab course, which focuses on running the film festival, including learning how to objectively judge films, pared down a list of over 100 submissions. “We talk about things like: is the sound good, is the cinematography good, does the director accomplish their artistic vision, do we know what their artistic vision is?” Pottinger explained.