The Oberlin Review

Oberlin Emeritus Professor Recognized for Grafton Productions

Roman Broszkowski, Senior Staff Writer

February 8, 2019

 The Ohio Arts Council recently announced that Phyllis Gorfain, Oberlin Professor of English Emerita, had won its 2019 Ohio Arts Administration Award. This award is one of several categories of the Governor’s Award for the Arts in Ohio. Gorfain was nominated for her role in founding Oberlin Drama at Grafton, a theater group that operates within the Grafton Correctional Institution, located about 20 minutes from Oberlin.  ODAG helps to put on inmate-acted plays inside Grafton, providing incarcerated people the opportunity to engage with theatrical works in collaboration with Oberlin students and volunteers. While the group grew from Gorfain’s earlier work, she is quick to insist that its roots come from all it...

Best Picture Countdown: A Star Is Born

Liz Stewart

February 8, 2019

In today’s cinematic era riddled with countless mediocre remakes and sequels, Bradley Cooper’s directorial debut A Star is Born has refreshed Hollywood’s current creative dry spell by subverting the standard remake. Cooper knows how to properly recreate a timely classic, adding even more purpose and heart to a screenplay that was already laden with emotion — A Star is Born is a necessary deviation from our tragic status quo. Cooper presents familiar material with a new twist, allowing the film to stand alone from its predecessors. It still tells the story of an impulsive rockstar, whose fame declines while his formerly working-class girlfriend ascends to stardom. However, 2018’s A Star is Born is more int...

Best Picture Countdown: Black Panther

Kabir Karamchandani

February 8, 2019

Marvel Studios is notorious for churning out movies that are fun to watch but lack substance and depth, which makes Black Panther a pleasant surprise. The film sets a new bar for the genre, with a compelling villain and a semi-nuanced debate of a politically relevant issue. In a time rife with xenophobia and immigration issues, Black Panther tackles serious questions about whether a country’s responsibilities extend beyond its borders and whether those in power have a responsibility to help those who are not. The film handles these issues with surprising tact, painting them as a debate rather than the black-and-white depiction of disagreements usually found in superhero films.  Despite this, the film still remains somewhat hamstrung by its g...

Best Picture Countdown: Bohemian Rhapsody

Kabir Karamchandani

February 8, 2019

A music-packed ode to Freddie Mercury, Bohemian Rhapsody is, unfortunately, more style than substance. While the score is sure to entertain any Queen fans, the biopic is far from true to its source material and lacks coherence and a consistent story thread. The movie is scattered from the opening. Within the span of a few minutes, the focus quickly switches from scenes of Mercury’s home life to a musical performance, to his introduction to his future band-mates, and finally to his first meeting with his future wife. The beginning chaotically sets up up various elements of the plot that never quite come together. Instead, the film jumps from song to song for the majority of its runtime — which isn’t actually a bad ...

B.J. Tindal

B.J. Tindal, OC ’16, Playwright

February 8, 2019

B.J. Tindal, OC ’16, wrote the upcoming theater mainstage production, What We Look Like. At Oberlin, Tindal majored in Theater and Africana Studies before earning his MFA at Northwestern University’s Writing for the Screen and Stage program. Tindal won the 2019 Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition with his Oberlin senior capstone project, Goodnight, Tyler, which will go up at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta this month. What We Look Like is the first play that Tindal wrote ...

College sophomore Lauren Elwood choreographed Cabaret, which will be the first show performed in the new Irene & Alan Wurtzel Theater.

Lauren Elwood, Choreographer

December 7, 2018

Lauren Elwood is a College sophomore from Bangor, Maine, who’s making her Oberlin mainstage debut as choreographer of —and a dancer in — the acclaimed musical Cabaret. Elwood, a Dance and Theater double major, also performed in Oberlin Musical Theater Association’s Heathers last year as a member of the ensemble. Cabaret is based off a book by Joe Master. The music for the show was written by John Kander, OC ’51, with lyrics by Fred Ebb. Cabaret centers on the relationship between Cliff...

College junior Hartley Wise stars in Copenhagen, an Oberlin College Theater production with performances tonight and Saturday.

Science Gets a Theatrical Spin with “Copenhagen”

November 30, 2018

Copenhagen, a play by Michael Frayn that explores a mystery of modern history, debuted yesterday in South Studios, and will run through Saturday, Dec. 1. In the play, the spirits of Werner Heisenberg, Niels Bohr, and Niels’ wife Margrethe discuss why Heisenberg went to Copenhagen to meet Bohr during the height of WWII. Heisenberg, the lead physicist for the Nazi nuclear project, risked his life to visit his friend and mentor Bohrs, a Jewish physicist with ties to the Allied powers. In the af...

“A Man In the House” Celebrates Family Ties

November 30, 2018

This weekend will mark the opening of A Man In the House, an Oberlin Student Theater Association production. Written by Elinore Siminovitch, the play takes place in 1937 Montreal and chronicles the lives of Lily, a progressive trade unionist, her daughter Jenny, who rejects her mother’s aspirations for her to attend medical school, and Lily’s mother, who cares deeply about her family but resists progress. A boarder comes to live with them as the first man in their house and the strikes up a romance...

“Crimes of Grindelwald” Falls Short of Predecessor

Kabir Karamchandani

November 30, 2018

There are few franchises with a stronger fan base than J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World — particularly among our generation of 20-somethings who grew up dreaming of centaurs, phoenixes, dragons, and hippogriffs. This is why the lackluster Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Crimes of Grindelwald came as such a disappointment. From the get-go, The Crimes of Grindelwald is a darker movie than its predecessor. The focus is no longer on colorful creatures — instead, the opening is a gruesome scene of a captive Grindelwald, played by Johnny Depp, chained and allegedly voiceless. He predictably doesn’t remain quiet for long, and much of the film follows his deadly exploits. Low-lit shots and stark colors ...

A still from one of filmmaker Luther Price’s short films, screened Tuesday in the Clarence Ward '37 Art Building.

Experimental Arts Films Screened in Conjunction with AIDS Talk

November 30, 2018

What do surgery footage, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, hardcore pornography, and paint have in common? Visiting Assistant Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art History James Hansen ran all of them through his personal Super 8mm film projector on Tuesday in a presentation of seven original films by Boston artist Luther Price. This coincided with a Convocation address by Jesse Milan Jr., the president and CEO of AIDS United. Price, an interdisciplinary experimental artist with a rich...

“You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown” to Run This Weekend

Katherine MacPhail, Production Editor

November 16, 2018

An Oberlin Musical Theater Association production of the musical comedy You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, inspired by Charles Schulz’s Peanuts comic serial and written by Clark Gesner, goes up Thursday, Nov. 15 through Saturday, Nov. 17 in Wilder Main. The musical brings the funny and existential comics about childhood to the stage with rousing musical numbers and snapshots of the zany, melancholic, and touching moments between characters that endeared Schulz’s work to many. “It’s about these cartoon characters, these kids who have grown-up emotions, dealing with problems both fantastic and actually accessible for people our age,” the show’s director, College senior Keifer Ludwig, said. “It’s all...

The Glass Menagerie, directed by College senior Alex Kohn, explores themes of family dissonance and fragility — notably, Oberlin’s production modernized representations of disability and gender that are a prominent theme in the play.

“The Glass Menagerie” Set to Open Next Weekend

November 9, 2018

Glass is fragile, and yet — when it shatters — it cuts deep and leaves behind scars that often refuse to fade with time. Glass allows us to see through walls and reflect on our appearances, but also distorts light and inhibits us from truly seeing things as they are. Memory works in much the same way: Sometimes we remember most vividly not the truth, but rather an amalgamation of events and our associated emotions. Such is the setup of The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams, the Oberlin...

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