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?

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.”

Making Waves in Feminism at Risley

All male playwrights are necessarily chauvinists. On the one hand, if they write plays without leading female characters, they are obviously enthralled with perpetuating the imbalance of roles in favor of men in a profession where the number of actresses outnumber their male counterparts. On the other hand, if they do write leading female characters, those characters are inevitably neurotic, damaged, benighted, angry, difficult and depressed.

Singing the Body Eclectic

Directed by Emily Ranii ’07, the play is inspired by a book by Prof. Emeritus Joan Jacobs Brumberg, human development, of the same name. With humor and incredible poignancy, The Body Project initiates a much needed dialogue on body image issues by exploring how contemporary women’s negative views of their bodies can have an increasingly toxic effect on their relationships with other people.

Shakespearean Mood Swings Confound Performance

Love’s Labors Lost is one of Shakespeare’s wordiest and most intractable plays. Ostensibly a comedy — if we trust the original folio’s title page — it yet fails to end with any marriages. The play is more of a learned satire, pillorying debates from the Elizabethan period about issues of rhetoric, law, and questions of sovereignty. And yet again, as intellectual as all that sounds, Love’s Labors Lost has more penis jokes than one can shake a stick at. The play is essentially about words and about word play — about how there is no about when words come unhinged from what they seek to signify.

Schwartz Center Auditions: Taking A Shot at the Big Time

There were several reasons I thought I could be a successful actor.
First, Keanu Reeves. He just sort of stands there and looks pretty, both of which I’m good at, and he’s a star. Plus, he plays Ted in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, so …
Second, my impromptu performances in front of the bathroom mirror have garnered rave reviews. Amidst the fog of just-finished hot showers, I’ve done everything from remorseful sinner to dying soldier and, let me tell you, I bring down the house every time.

Risley's Production of Hocus a Razor-Sharp Treat

True to the connotations of the production’s title, deceptiveness, shiny exteriors and kitsch were at the heart of Hocus, which was performed this past weekend at Risley Theatre. Wrapped around it all — or, perhaps, at its core — is a stab at the commercial, materialistic and altogether unnatural and exploitative tendencies of Americana, undertaken in an offbeat, darkly humorous style akin to Kurt Vonnegut in the ’70s. Playwright and director Will Cordeiro (current Risley Artist-in-Residence) targets advertising, technology and politicians — a move that, by today’s standards, is hardly considered revolutionary.

Schwartz Center Puts On Alumna's Original Drama

When a mother tells her daughter that, on the night of her birth, “it was snowing and raining at the exact same time,” it is impossible to believe that Jenny Schwartz ’95, the writer of God’s Ear, was not inspired by the weather of her dear alma mater.
A play originally performed off-off-Broadway, God’s Ear is unlike any other. It seems impossible that a piece of theater could captivate you and make you want to cover your ears at the same time. The Schwartz Center’s production of the work, however, does exactly that.

Bravura Performance Highlights Happy Days

Samuel Beckett isn’t for everyone. His novels are vast, nearly un-peopled monologues, an obsessive-compulsive’s droning echo chambers, which depict the struggle to keep oneself upright and hygienic in a bleak, mundane, thoroughly contaminated solipsistic mindscape. Admittedly, I have tried to read several of Beckett’s novels, only to abandon them half-way. Each time I begin one anew, I start to feel like one of his characters: haggardly trying to go on with a dim resolve, keeping a faith that I know will fail me, waiting for something (anything!) to happen.