Vagina Monologues at Bailey Hall on February 9th, 2019. (Boris Tsang / Sun Assistant Photography Editor)

An Empowering Classic

The events portrayed within The Vagina Monologues are true. They illustrate stories of hardship and triumph that occur on a daily basis in the lives of women across the globe.

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Love and Lust in a Burning Forest

“There was a cabaret and there was a master of ceremonies and there was a city called Berlin in a country called Germany. It was the end of the world…” So writes Cliff Bradshaw, the starry-eyed American novelist whose search for love and adventure in 1930s Germany frames John Kander and Fred Ebbs’s Cabaret. In the haze of the Kit Kat Klub, a haven for stockings, lipstick, and high-heeled performers, Berlin is in full-view, beautiful in its celebration of self and doomed by the rising political waves that would ultimately engulf Europe. Ithaca College’s production of Cabaret was an astounding success, executed with masterful design, orchestration, choreography and particularly amazing talent. Designed to bring the audience into the nightclub, with red “Ausgang” signs, dim lights and the orchestra dressed as a cabaret band, Clark Theatre brought the tantalizing Kit Kat Girls and Gals as close to the audience as possible.

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YANG | This One’s for the Theater Kids

When the trailer for NBC’s new series, Rise, popped up on my news feed a few weeks ago, I cursed Facebook’s advertising algorithm and made a mental note about the pilot airing date simultaneously. I mean, a show about a high school theater troupe putting on Spring Awakening, starring Josh Radnor (How I Met Your Mother) and Auli’i Cravalho (Moana) and produced by Jeffrey Seller (Hamilton)? It practically has my name written all over it. So naturally I had high expectations going in, but I also worried that Rise might fall into the dangerous trap of clichés. And I believe I was right to a certain degree.

Festival 24: The Epitome of Creativity

What did you do in the 24 hours starting from Friday at 6:30 p.m.? A group of students were creating something incredible from scratch. Festival 24, which started in 2008 with only theatre productions, recently added film and dance performances to showcase the work of other students in the Performing and Media Arts department. Festival 24 challenges students to produce a story from a  one-word theme in 24 hours. Playwrights stayed up all night to write a 10-minute play.

Folami Williams and Bryce Michael Wood in Smart People at the Kitchen Theatre.

Smart People: What We Talk About When We Talk About Race

“Maybe it’s a fact we all should face / everyone makes judgments based on race”. This lyric, from the musical Avenue Q, was one of the first things that popped into my mind as I walked out of Smart People at the Kitchen Theatre — a play that delves unreservedly into the difficult, yet ever so relevant conversation of race, prejudice and, most importantly, our fear of that conversation itself. Written by the award-winning playwright Lydia R. Diamond and directed by the talented Summer L. Williams from Company One Theatre in Boston, Smart People is wildly funny, gripping and remarkably thought-provoking at its core. It dares us into the daunting task of thoroughly reevaluating ourselves and the world around us. With an innovative opening sequence involving projections of various news headlines and the voice recording of Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign announcement, the play unfolds around four main characters: Brian, a white neuroscience professor at Harvard who has dedicated himself to finding a neurological explanation for racism and prejudice; Ginny, Brian’s fellow psychology professor at Harvard who studies and counsels Asian American women suffering from anxiety and depression; Jackson, Brian’s best friend, a black surgeon in residency; And Valerie, a young black actress who participates in Brian’s study and later works for him as a research assistant.

Peter and the Starcatcher: A Magical Experience

During the opening night of Peter and the Starcatcher, the Kitchen Theatre Company once again proved its ability to transcend the intimate confines of a performance stage and draw the imagination to the most distant and dazzling settings: faraway lands with vibrant, animate characters. On this particular evening, the audience was invited to imagine 19th-century British sailing ships containing noble statesmen, rugged sailors, sinister pirates and adventurous children, as well as a tropical island complete with its own boisterous inhabitants. Peter and the Starcatcher is based on the novel by Dave Berry and Ridley Pearson, which tells the backstory of Peter Pan and serves as a prequel to Peter and Wendy. Lord Leonard Astor and his daughter, Molly, are starcatchers — a secret group appointed by the queen to protect “starstuff,” a magical, extraterrestrial substance that grants those who touch it their fondest dreams, whether good or evil. Starcatchers must destroy starstuff when it appears on Earth to avoid the havoc that could be created should the magical substance fall into the wrong hands.

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GUEST ROOM | Being an Actor of Color at Cornell

I’m confused. Why is a decidedly white English man portraying Michael Jackson in a new television movie entitled Elizabeth, Michael and Marlon later this month? Can anyone provide any insight? Maybe this is where you stop reading. Haven’t I been subjected to enough media about #Oscarssowhite, #Cornellsowhite, #WorldSOGODDAMNwhite already?

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EDITORIAL: Don’t Betray Cornell Cinema, Again

Last week, Cornell Cinema was unable to secure the number of votes needed from the Student Assembly to raise the amount of byline funding the organizations receives each year. The vote follows a recommendation from the Student Assembly Appropriations Committee that urged the S.A. not increase the Cinema’s funding. While the committee suggested that Cornell Cinema further reduce its costs, additional cuts adversely affect the programming and benefits the organization provides for the campus community. We urge the members of the S.A. to reconsider their decisions to ensure the vitality of Cornell Cinema for future Cornellians. In its recommendation, the Appropriations Committee argued that Cornell Cinema should not be granted an additional $1.40 per student increase, raising its byline funding amount from its current $10.60 to $12 per student.

A Critical Mass

In order to portray a hope-filled celebration of faith that doesn’t seem hopeless naïve, Bernstein’s Mass confronts the social upheavals and secular pluralism that have torn apart established beliefs. Now playing at the Schwartz Center through April 26, it is a deliberately unwieldy hybrid, intermingling diverse musical and theater traditions to interrogate each other. Originally commissioned for the inauguration of the Kennedy Center in 1971, the demands of its massive cast — which includes a chorus of over a hundred student singers as well as a children’s choir, dance troupe, pit orchestra and several soloists — have prevented it from being widely staged as it was conceived, as a “theater piece for singers, players, and dancers.”