The Oberlin Review

OSTA’s “Bright Half Life” Explores Intersectional Identities

OSTA’s “Bright Half Life” Explores Intersectional Identities

April 7, 2017

Cascading baubles of multicolored lights and hanging photographs of the cast and crew border the walls of a cozy South Hall studio, creating an intimate setting for Bright Half Life, an Oberlin Student Theater Association production exploring the trials of love. The non-linear narrative is centered around an interracial lesbian couple’s nearly 50-year relationship, jumping between milestones like their first breakup, first child and first date as well as smaller, quiet moments that capture th...

Drag Ball Goes to Hell and Back with New Theme, RuPaul Performances

Julia Peterson, Production editor

March 31, 2017

Filed under ARTS, Dance, Features, Theater & Film

Drag Ball has been one of Oberlin’s most iconic annual events since the 1980s. A celebration of the queer community and drag performance and culture, Drag Ball will take over the basement of Wilder Hall — encompassing the ’Sco, the Rathskellar and DeCafé — on April 22. This year, Drag Ball will feature a lineup of nationally recognized musicians and drag performers, along with local talent. Latrice Royale, of RuPaul’s Drag Race season four and RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars, will be performing. Rapper and drag queen Big Momma will be performing, as will M. Lamar, who, according to College senior and Drag Ball organizing committee Head Em Westheimer, is a “radical queer Black afrofuturist neo-goth singer, pia...

First Church, Family Promise Host 11th Annual Homelessness Benefit

Quentin Nguyen-Duy and Daniel Markus

March 31, 2017

Filed under ARTS, Features, Music

Family Promise of Lorain County has partnered with the Conservatory for more than a decade to host annual classical music concerts to raise money for the county’s homeless population. This year, the series’ 11th installment, taking place this Sunday at the First Church in Oberlin, will feature a quartet of notable Oberlin jazz musicians instead of the typical classical ensemble. Lois Pozega, the organization’s executive director, said the shift was made as part of a concerted effort to revitalize the event. “Last year the attendance was down, so the [planning] committee got together [and] asked, ‘What can we do differently?’” The result was a decision to change the event’s typical program, which ha...

Award-Winning Composer Assesses State of Contemporary Music

Award-Winning Composer Assesses State of Contemporary Music

March 31, 2017

The recently set concrete walls of the Birenbaum Innovation and Performance Space accommodated musicians and music enthusiasts Tuesday evening for a talk on contemporary classical music, given by British-American composer Bernard Rands. The room buzzed as people filed in, and quiet conversation pervaded the space as people eagerly waited for Rands to begin. Titled “State of the Art,” the event was a discussion and question-and-answer session that dove into the trends and trajectory of contempora...

On the Record with Ethnomusicologist Aaron Fox

March 31, 2017

Aaron Fox is an associate professor of music and ethnomusicology and the director of the Center for Ethnomusicology at Columbia University. His educational background demonstrates the intersection of fields in which he works; he holds a bachelor’s degree in Music from Harvard University and a Ph.D. in Social Anthropology from the University of Texas at Austin. Fox collaborates with Oberlin Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies Chie Sakakibara on repatriating recorded Native music and has wr...

Trump Administration Threatens Oberlin Arts Funding

Trump Administration Threatens Oberlin Arts Funding

March 10, 2017

Before President Trump took office in late January, multiple publications reported that his transition team had begun compiling a list of federal programs to eliminate in an effort to trim domestic spending. According to The New York Times, that list is expected to be finalized by the Office of Management and Budget next week as part of the President’s first federal budget proposal. According to ABC News, the forthcoming budget draws heavily on budget outlines produced by the Heritage Foundation,...

‘Night in the Woods’ Navigates Complex Emotional Landscape

‘Night in the Woods’ Navigates Complex Emotional Landscape

March 10, 2017

Night in the Woods, released February 21, provides an intimate window into a microcosm of human narrative drawn directly from real-world struggles. The game presents an unassuming but enjoyable experience centered around character interactions, rather than grand story lines and epic battles. The early and middle sections of the game don’t cry for attention or churn out one plot device after another to drive the character forward. That’s not what the creators care about. Behind the stylized town a...

Sharpley’s Retirement Leaves Dance Diaspora’s Future Uncertain

Sharpley’s Retirement Leaves Dance Diaspora’s Future Uncertain

March 3, 2017

“Black Love: The Incarceration of the Spirit,” Dance Diaspora’s last performance at Oberlin with its original founder, will be held at Warner Main Space today and tomorrow from 8–10 p.m. A semi-professional dance group founded by Africana Studies Artist-in- Residence Adenike Sharpley, Dance Diaspora has performed at elementary schools, high schools, Tufts University, Georgia State University and the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit. The group performs repertoire an...

TIMARA Hosts Expansive Sendoff for John Talbert

TIMARA Hosts Expansive Sendoff for John Talbert

March 3, 2017

John Talbert, who for 38 years has run a tight ship as the technical director of the TIMARA department, will retire this spring. The department has organized a weekend festival that kicked off yesterday and will run through Saturday evening to honor his decades behind the scenes, maintaining vintage equipment, keeping the department stocked with the latest and greatest technology, running tech support for events and teaching students integral skills from circuit design to interface building. ...

Intersectional Comedian D’Lo Brings Variety Show to Oberlin

Intersectional Comedian D’Lo Brings Variety Show to Oberlin

February 24, 2017

A unique blend of stand-up comedy, poetry and storytelling awaits guests at the Cat in the Cream Sunday as actor and comedian D’Lo brings his touring variety show, D’FaQTo Life (pronounced “de facto”) to Oberlin. The show will be his first in Oberlin since 2013, when he performed as part of Colors of Rhythm, and he’s since gone on to perform roles in HBO’s Looking and the Netflix original series Sense8. Co-sponsored by the South Asian Students Association, International Students’ Organi...

Femme Musicians of Color Confront White Male Industry Dominance

Femme Musicians of Color Confront White Male Industry Dominance

February 24, 2017

When people think of electronic music, their minds often go reflexively to a handful of middle-of-the-road, white male DJs and producers such as Diplo, Calvin Harris or David Guetta. One group on Oberlin’s campus, Femme Artists Breaking Boundaries, founded last year by College juniors Rayna Holmes and Hannah Halpern, is looking to subvert the norms of electronic music culture by showcasing women, people of color and queer people who are doing innovative work in the field. According to the gro...

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