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The Oberlin Review

Emeka Directs Nuanced, Musically-Textured Production of “Bluest Eye”

Emeka Directs Nuanced, Musically-Textured Production of “Bluest Eye”

December 1, 2017

The Bluest Eye, Lydia Diamond’s stage adaptation of Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison’s 1970 novel about a young Black girl who prays for blue eyes, opened last night in Hall Auditorium. The production, directed by Associate Professor of Theater and Africana Studies Justin Emeka, OC ’95, is a richly textual and musical experience that tests the boundaries between prose and stage. One of the reasons that this play is especially resonant with Oberlin communities is that The Bluest Eye ...

“Heathers” Explores Dark Elements of High School

“Heathers” Explores Dark Elements of High School

December 1, 2017

Editor’s note: This articles contains spoilers for Heathers: The Musical, as well as mention of murder, suicide, homophobia, sexual assault, and intimate partner violence. Heathers: The Musical, the darkly funny teen musical awash with ’80s references and pithy one-liners, opened Nov. 17 in Wilder Main Space and ran throughout the weekend. Though ostensibly a comedy, the musical — based on the 1988 movie of the same name — deals with a array of serious themes including suicide and murder...

Blood, Lineage Play Significant Roles in Pixar’s Coco

Ananya Gupta, Arts & Culture Editor

December 1, 2017

Filed under ARTS, Theater & Film

Editor’s note: This review contains spoilers for Coco. Though the idea of blinking out of existence once forgotten by the living is terrifying, Pixar presents it with cute skeletons and masterful, vibrant animation in Coco, which was released Nov. 22. Co-directed by Lee Unkrich and Adrian Molina, Coco is the story of a Mexican family broken apart by a father who chose to follow his musical passion over his wife, Imelda, and daughter, Coco. Heartbroken and angry, Imelda develops a hatred for music that spreads throughout generations of the Rivera family, banning it from their home and lives for centuries to come. The protagonist of the film is Imelda’s great-great-grandson, 12-year-old Miguel, who harbors a se...

“Women of Will” Strikes Socio-Political Chord

“Women of Will” Strikes Socio-Political Chord

November 17, 2017

Editor’s note: This article contains mentions of sexual and physical abuse. Women of Will, an original one-act play written and directed by College senior Sam Marchiony, premiered as a staged reading in StudiOC last weekend. The play — produced by an all-female cast and crew and written entirely in iambic pentameter — featured six of William Shakespeare’s female characters: Rosalind from As You Like It (Marchiony), Lavinia from Titus Andronicus (community member Aliza Weidenbaum), Hero fr...

Supreme Court Justice Biopic Thrills with Legal Twists, Turns

Russell Jaffe, Staff Writer

November 3, 2017

Filed under ARTS, Theater & Film

Editor’s note: This article contains mention of sexual assault, violence, racism, and anti-Semitism. In a thrilling biographical legal drama, Marshall tells the story of the Supreme Court justice and civil rights lawyer, Thurgood Marshall, as he confronts one of the first and lesser-known cases of his prolific career. When a wealthy socialite accuses her Black chauffeur of sexual assault and attempted murder, Marshall must join forces with local insurance lawyer Sam Friedman to uncover the truth and defend the chauffeur from a town that has already presumed his guilt. This films stands out from the typical biographical drama, as it avoids the usual attempts to glorify an individual by focusing on their greatest...

Original Student Musical “The Odds” Plays with Tropes, Humor

Original Student Musical “The Odds” Plays with Tropes, Humor

November 3, 2017

Fun, cliché Hollywood tropes about high school find a new face in Conservatory sophomore Jacob Britton’s jazz musical, The Odds. Overall, the performance feels like two Zac Efron movies melded into one: a feel-good, low-budget take on High School Musical and Seventeen Again. The musical, set in the 1950s, engages with the struggles and anxieties faced by high school freshman, Aaron Baker (College first-year Tom Lovoi). Aaron ditches class for the first time, develops a crush on a nerdy girl, an...

Conference Addresses Intersections of Race, Aesthetics

Conference Addresses Intersections of Race, Aesthetics

October 6, 2017

“Exploring Beauty and Truth in World of Color,” a conference which took place over last Friday and Saturday, highlighted new and groundbreaking work on the subject of race and aesthetics from Oberlin academics and scholars from many other institutions. The two-day conference, which had wide community appeal, explored essential conversations about the role of Blackness and Black aesthetics in diverse art forms. For Associate Professor of Africana Studies Charles Peterson, the driving organizin...

“Deej” Highlights Interdependence, Challenges Assumptions

“Deej” Highlights Interdependence, Challenges Assumptions

October 6, 2017

The lights dim. An image of hands typing on a laptop keyboard appears on the screen. A digital voice narrates the scene as it dissolves into an animation of a poem. This is Deej, the autobiographical documentary by DJ “Deej” Savarese, OC ’17, whose art speaks to autistic civil rights and universal inclusion. Dye Lecture Hall was nearly full Sunday night, when the film made its Oberlin College debut. Afterward, Savarese answered questions about the film, his life, and work. Throughout the fil...

Queer Romance, Intimate Staging Elevate “Circle Mirror Transformation”

Julia Peterson, Arts & Culture Editor

October 6, 2017

Filed under ARTS, Theater & Film

Circle Mirror Transformation, the first play in the 2017 — 2018 series of the Oberlin College Theater Lab Series, opened yesterday evening in Warner Main Space. The play tells a meta-theatrical narrative about five people in small-town Vermont who have come together for a community theater class. Over the six weeks that they are together, friendships are made, relationships form and fail, and the newfound classmates engage in some very silly acting games — telling stories where everybody can only add one word at a time, or “passing” words and motions around in a circle, changing them slightly every time. This exercise is where the name of Circle Mirror Transformation originates. “[The play] is so unique,” sai...

“Discovery” Takes Star Trek Franchise to New Frontiers

Indrani Kharbanda

September 29, 2017

Filed under ARTS, Theater & Film

Sunday marked the premiere of Star Trek: Discovery, the first Star Trek television program since 2005 and one of the most anticipated shows of 2017. Speculation has abounded as to whether it would live up to the standards set by past series and high fan expectations; fortunately, Discovery delivers. Though the pilot episode eschews the earnest idealism of previous Trek installments in favor of the darker fare that’s more in line with the rebooted films and the sociopolitical situation America finds itself in today, the new series is enjoyable to watch for newcomers and returning fans alike. The series was slated to debut in January 2017, but was delayed due to conflict between CBS and then-showrunner, co-creator Bry...

Successful King Adaptation “It” Combines Horror, Heart

Christian Bolles, Editor-in-Chief

September 15, 2017

Filed under ARTS, Theater & Film

It’s the great cinematic whodunit of the past few years: who killed mainstream horror? Despite critical darlings from breakout directors like David Eggers (The Witch), Jennifer Kent (The Babadook), and David Robert Mitchell (It Follows) — all independent films that scored modest, unimpressive box office returns — the world of big-budget filmmaking has lately seen few horror movies worth their salt. Most of what has been on offer, such as Lights Out, Ouija, and Unfriended, rely on gimmicky premises designed to lure audiences into theaters without much caring if they enjoy the ensuing bloodbath. Gone are the Halloweens and Nightmare on Elm Streets of the world. The best recent mainstream horror has played with t...

Peanut Sauce Film Project Explores Thai Education System

Peanut Sauce Film Project Explores Thai Education System

September 8, 2017

The Peanut Sauce Project 2560, a documentary project with an eye toward the education system in Thailand and the marginalized groups within it, presented three documentaries in the Birenbaum Innovation and Performance Space Friday night. The project was organized by double-degree fifth-year Thanisa Durongkaveroj, who was joined by Matt Blankinship, OC ’17, Anna Treidler, OC ’17, and collaborator Bitong Suchritt. Durongkaveroj, Blankinship, and Treidler were all in attendance at Friday night’s ...

Established 1874.