The Oberlin Review

Canceled Productions: Art in a Time of COVID-19

Aly Fogel, Arts & Culture Editor

March 13, 2020

The night before Così fan tutte was scheduled to open this past Wednesday, the entire cast, crew, orchestra, creative team, and every voice faculty member gathered on the stage of Hall Auditorium as Dean of the Conservatory William Quillen officially announced that the opera would be closed to the general public. The show must go on — even if the audience is banned from attending. Aside from the two tickets that every cast member is allowed to give friends and family, Hall Auditorium will be empty as the show is performed. The audience, instead, will be watching the show from computers or TV screens as it is livestreamed tonight at 8 p.m. In the age of COVID-19, the question we are all forced to ask is a new version o...

Behind the Scenes: “Cosi Fan Tutte” Opens This Wednesday

Casey Troost, Staff Writer

March 6, 2020

Beginning Wednesday at 8 p.m., the Oberlin Opera Theater will continue to uphold a tradition that’s at least four decades old: producing Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutte once every 10 years.  First performed in 1790, Cosi Fan Tutte is set in Naples and centered around a scheme between three military officers and a maid, Despina, to test the fidelity of two of the officers’ lovers. The eldest officer, Don Alfonso, bets against the younger Ferrando and Guglielmo that, by the end of the day, he will prove that their sweethearts, Dorabella and Fiordiligi, aren’t eternally loyal to them.  “It can be a harsh and bitter comedy,” said Costume Designer Chris Flaharty. “At the beginning of its life, it was taken as a...

“Parasite’s” Success is a Triumph for Expanding Global Cinema

Jaimie Yue, Arts & Culture Editor

February 28, 2020

Editor’s note: This article contains spoilers for Parasite. It’s no secret that Parasite, the latest film from South Korean director Bong Joon-Ho, has swept the globe. With its shocking twists, its meditated commentary on wealth inequality, and its historic accolades, Parasite is not only a critical and commercial success, but also a personal win for its Asian and Asian-American fans at Oberlin. This past Saturday, College fourth-years and East Asian Studies student representatives Will Cramer and Liam Hefta organized a free dinner and discussion followed by a group screening at the Apollo Theatre, with support from the East Asian Studies Department, Oberlin Korean Student Association, and Asian American Alliance...

Theater Degrees Lead Students to a Wide Variety of Careers

Casey Troost

February 21, 2020

It is easy to argue that certain humanities degrees are marketable. English, History, Politics, and several other “scholarly” fields cultivate strong writing and research skills. But for creative majors, like Theater, doubts over financial security sometimes hover on the horizon. However, Assistant Director of Career Development Center Josh Koller, OC ’18, who runs the Arts and Creative Professions Career Community, attests to Oberlin Theater majors’ versatility in the job market. “We have Theater majors working in the business and marketing world, writing, developing websites, doing data science, and entering law school,” said Koller. “You have so many skills that you’ve developed in that major. You’ve...

Neo-Futurist Member Teaches Obies Non-Illusory Performance

Jaimie Yue, Arts & Culture Editor

February 7, 2020

A scathing monologue about the zodiac signs. A somber mathematical proof about the square root of two and the mysteries of human behavior. A carefree dance to “Shark Smile” by Big Thief. An unabashed cover of “Somebody to Love” by Queen, but performed in a pitch-black room. All these and more were the 38 short performances in Staging the Real, an on-campus Winter Term project and that went up for one night only on Jan. 31. Staging the Real incorporated the principles of neo-futurism and non-illusory performance. Both styles embrace the limitations of theater and do not attempt to project the illusion of a character or setting. Joey Rizzolo, OC ’97, was the project facilitator leading the 16 ...

“Godot” Cancellation Inspires Provocative Queer Play

“Godot” Cancellation Inspires Provocative Queer Play

February 7, 2020

It seems appropriate that Oberlin’s production of the queer feminist play-within-a-play Collective Rage was born of unfortunate patriarchal circumstance. About three months ago, guest director Tlaloc Rivas cast five female students in Waiting for Godot, subverting expectations for the all-male play. However, the Oberlin Theater department changed plays for the Winter Term show after receiving a letter from playwright Samuel Beckett’s estate stating that they did not authorize Oberlin’s all-f...

“The Mandalorian” Proves Promising for Disney+

Kabir Karamchandani, Staff Writer

December 13, 2019

The Mandalorian, a Star Wars space-western, recently premiered on the new streaming platform Disney+. So far, five out of eight episodes have been released, and the series is easily the biggest attraction on the still-new site. An engaging show, The Mandalorian has lived up to the hype so far and is a good sign for the original Disney content to come. While obviously set in the Star Wars universe, The Mandalorian has been largely independent of the movies’ story. Set between episodes six and seven, the show follows the eponymous Mandalorian, a stoic bounty hunter played by Pedro Pascal, as he completes a set of jobs. Pascal’s performance encapsulates the broody western perfectly. We see little of his emotions...

Cyril Amanfo, “Equilibrium” Student Playwright, Director

Cyril Amanfo, “Equilibrium” Student Playwright, Director

December 6, 2019

College second-year Cyril Amanfo is a Neuroscience and Theater double major from Lowell, MA. Last year, Amanfo was the assistant stage manager for Professor of Theater and Africana Studies Caroline Jackson Smith’s staging of BJ Tindal’s, OC ’16 play, What We Look Like, an experience that inspired Amanfo to try his hand at putting on a play. Amanfo is writing, directing, and acting in the resulting show alongside a cast of nine and design team of seven. The result is a bold fusion of dance ...

“Urinetown” Takes a Comedic Look at Dark Societal Issues

“Urinetown” Takes a Comedic Look at Dark Societal Issues

December 6, 2019

Described in the director’s note as “an eerily relevant takedown of Capitalism’s worst case scenario,” the Oberlin Theater Department’s production of Urinetown, a darkly satirical 2001 musical, is still uncomfortably applicable to our political and social climate today. The production deals with a variety of heavy themes, including the dangers of capitalism run amok, as well as racially-charged violence, climate change, and more.  Yet the show itself is anything but dreary — filled...

Dystopian Play “The Size of a Fist” Explores the End of the World

Dystopian Play “The Size of a Fist” Explores the End of the World

November 22, 2019

In the dark of Kander Theater, Bee, an adolescent girl, sits on the floor, trying to draw a tree. Behind her, a ladder in the back of the room stretches from floor to ceiling, making the audience feel as if they too are underground. Bee’s father peers at his daughter’s drawing, perplexed and disappointed by its inaccuracies. Bee explains she’s never seen real trees to reference. Deep in a small ’50s bunker, designed to weather nuclear fallout, the two characters in The Size of a Fist li...

All-Female “Waiting for Godot” Cancellation Sparks “Collective Rage”

Aly Fogel, Arts & Culture Editor

November 15, 2019

 Two weeks ago, communication with Samuel Beckett’s estate halted Oberlin’s production of Waiting for Godot due to its all-female cast. The script calls for a cast of five men, and Samuel Beckett’s estate has a long history of putting an end to female versions of Godot, often taking theaters to court over the issue.  Months before the production was cancelled, designers had begun working on the show — the set design had been finalized, costumes were set, and the director had developed his concept. However, when auditions came around, only two men expressed interest, and the Godot team cast the best actors for the roles — all of whom were female. Due to complications with the Beckett estate, the same c...

Student-Written Play MOIRAI Reimagines Greek Mythology

Casey Troost, Staff Writer

November 15, 2019

MOIRAI, College fourth-year Giulia Chiappetta’s debut as a playwright, follows the classical Greek Fates Atropos, Clotho, and Lachesis as they seek to reclaim Atropos’ scissors from a thief in the modern world. The project is Chiappetta’s playwriting debut, and was directed by College fourth-year Maddie Henke. MOIRAI is a dark comedy, exploring themes of mortality, sisterhood, and traveling. The production is being put on with support from the Oberlin Student Theater Association, and is entirely student-run.  MOIRAI reflects Chiappetta’s interest in humanizing legendary mythological characters. “I was interested in expanding and giving these staple characters who are part of this canon … a voice,” sh...

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