The Oberlin Review

Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night Receives Queer Update

Ivan Aidun

February 3, 2017

Filed under ARTS, Theater & Film

The twang of a banjo was the first of many surprises in Monday night’s presentation of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, directed by College senior Jenny Kneebone in the Little Theater. The play follows Viola (College sophomore Ronit Schorr), a shipwrecked girl who disguises herself as a boy named Cesario, and enters employ as a messenger for the local Duke Orsino (College first-year Quentin Nguyen-duy). As the Duke’s messenger, she delivers missives of his love to the Countess Olivia (College first-year Christine Impara), who ends up falling in love with Cesario. Though the play is more than 400 years old, this production felt remarkably fresh, something that something that Kneebone deliberately emphasized. “I wan...

Flaharty’s Spring Awakening Ethereal, Relevant

Brendan Eprile, Staff Writer

December 9, 2016

Filed under ARTS, Dance, Music, Theater & Film

The Oberlin College Theater Department presented a stunning and poignant rendition of Spring Awakening over the weekend. The musical is an exploration of the emotional turmoil of teenage sexuality, love and angst. Despite its late 19th-century setting, several of the themes it addresses — such as abortion, sexual and domestic violence, depression and suicide — remain highly relevant to today’s social and political discourse. While the societal climate surrounding many of these issues has shifted drastically over the last century, the narrative still speaks to the persistence of violence and repression today and serves as a reminder of just how far from solved these issues are. The story’s emotional impact was enhance...

Beder’s “Composed” Sheds Light on Stage Fright

Beder’s “Composed” Sheds Light on Stage Fright

December 2, 2016

Composed, a new documentary by John Beder, features interviews with professional musicians exploring their experiences with being affected by and coping with performance anxiety. The film had a screening at the Apollo Theatre on Wednesday night, followed by a panel discussion with Beder and Conservatory faculty members. Although musicians may be reluctant to discuss performance anxiety, the film emphasizes that it is a very common phenomenon. “With the documentary, I am hoping that people will understand...

Miranda’s Score Elevates Moana to Excellence

Miranda’s Score Elevates Moana to Excellence

December 2, 2016

Decades ago, Walt Disney Animation Studios perfected the art of fantasy. The studio has always endeavored to craft worlds that the viewer aches to live in; the timeless, dreamlike quality of its tales of princesses and castles has given them the power to endure. Looking back, though, it’s hard to reconcile the glimmering surface of Disney’s animated worlds with the fundamental whiteness and rigid patriarchy that comprise their conceptual frameworks. Even Frozen, for all that it eschews standard ...

Spring Awakening Interrogates Taboo

Spring Awakening Interrogates Taboo

December 2, 2016

Oberlin Musical Theater Association presents Spring Awakening, a rock musical adapted for Broadway in 2006 from Frank Wedekind’s 1906 play of the same name. Controversial at the time due to its unflattering portrayal of late 19th century Germany, the play presents a powerful critique of a societal structure that insulates its young people from reality for their supposed protection. The story follows a cast of teenagers grappling with misinformation and taboos surrounding puberty and sexuality as wel...

OMTA Looks from Stage to Stars in “Fly By Night”

OMTA Looks from Stage to Stars in “Fly By Night”

November 18, 2016

Oberlin Musical Theatre Association’s rendition of the 2014 Off- Broadway musical Fly By Night raises questions of cosmic significance and the vicissitudes of fate. The production will take place in Wilder Main Space this weekend. The play’s narrative centers on Harold, a New York City sandwich maker played by College sophomore David Kaus; Daphne, an actress who wants to be a Broadway star, played by College first-year Talia Roland- Kalb; and Miriam, Daphne’s sister, played by College sophomore Sa...

“Arrival” Speaks Its Own Language

Christian Bolles, Arts Editor

November 18, 2016

Filed under ARTS, Theater & Film

Think twice before reading this review. To discover director Denis Villenueve’s Arrival unspoiled, with no impression of its sweeping scale, intimate emotional core and mind-blowing final act, is an experience to be cherished. A science fiction thriller with a beating heart, based on the novella Story of Your Life by Ted Chiang, Arrival is a response to the swaggering bravado of its fellows in the celebrity-studded space film vein — Gravity, The Martian and Interstellar, to name just a few. In the film’s boundless grace, Arrival matches its peers in scope, puts their human dramas to shame and provokes more thought than even Nolan’s space odyssey, all while making objective sense, a feat that other high-conce...

Femininity Dismantled Fascism in “Pan’s Labyrinth”

Christian Bolles, Arts Editor

November 11, 2016

Filed under ARTS, Theater & Film

Nowhere is oppression more boldly confronted than in our attempts to escape it. The worlds we build on the page and before the camera serve as intrinsically subversive pathways, telling stories that lift us from the grasp of dark forces while lending perspective to their machinations. Few periods of history are better acquainted with these forces than the nearly three-year Spanish Civil War (1936-39), which culminated in the crushing defeat of a left-wing movement at the hands of a ruthless fascist counterrevolution under the iron grip of General Francisco Franco. In the aftermath of the atrocity-ridden conflict, the remaining leftist rebels who could still muster the will to fight resorted to guerilla warfare, stag...

“Neighborhood 3” Probes Technological, Generational Disconnect

Julia Peterson, Production Editor

November 11, 2016

Filed under ARTS, Features, Theater & Film

The Oberlin Student Theater Association opened its three-day run of Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom, a play set in a world where the line between a zombie-infested video game and real-life suburbia blurs, in Wilder Main Space Thursday night. The play follows the in-game interactions between numerous characters, depicted by four main cast members, in a seemingly idyllic suburban neighborhood. The final level incorporates a game map based on their own subdivision and zombie adversaries that bear striking resemblance to the teens’ parents, resulting in a chilling convergence between gameplay and reality. Performances of Neighborhood 3 will continue tonight and Saturday 8–10 p.m. The narrative plays out mostly in ...

In Absurdist Operas, Field Reckons With Gender Roles

In Absurdist Operas, Field Reckons With Gender Roles

November 4, 2016

Audiences can expect temperamental divas, babies coming out of ovens, stage moms and balloons from The Oberlin Opera Theater’s double-billed staging of Gaetano Donizetti’s Viva la mamma and Francis Poulenc’s Les Mamelles de Tirésias. The shows provide an evening filled with farcical and absurdist humor that confronts and contrasts historical and modern perceptions of gender roles, playing today and tomorrow at 8 p.m., with a 2 p.m. matinee Sunday. Both pieces will be performed in English. T...

Halloween Burlesque Treats Audience, Bodies with Respect

Julia Peterson, Production Editor

November 4, 2016

Filed under ARTS, Dance, Features, Theater & Film

The Oberlin Burlesque Halloween-themed performance was a treat — quite literally, since the show opened with the audience being pelted by candy. The team took the stage in front of a packed ’Sco at 10 p.m. Monday to deliver a performance that both capitalized on the evening’s spooky theme and celebrated the multiplicity of body expression. According to College junior Russell Jaffe, who danced in Monday’s show, the variety of acts on display is at the core of burlesque. “I’d say that [burlesque is] a seductive dance in a really specific art style that’s one part cabaret, two parts seduction, a dash of variance and maybe a ... touch of stripping,” Jaffe said. College sophomore Katya Bouazza-Salva, who...

Black Mirror’s Abyss Stares Back

Black Mirror’s Abyss Stares Back

October 28, 2016

Science fiction has always been fascinated by the cost of progress. Legendary genre writer Isaac Asimov’s pioneering I, Robot explored the murky line between artificial intelligence and humanity, proving that some of our deepest fears can be extracted by plumbing the uncanny valley. Black Mirror, Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones’ Twilight Zone-esque television show examining that Asimovian divide, uses chillingly plausible technological advancements to paint visions of futures gone awry. Bett...

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