The Oberlin Review

College fourth-year and Arts & Culture Editor Aly Fogel.

Arts & Culture: A Year in “Review”

May 25, 2020

Editor's note: This article appears as part of a series in which the Review's graduating editors reflect on how their sections have evolved, the biggest stories of the year, and their time at the paper as whole. The rest of this series can be found here. This year, the Arts & Culture section chronicled Oberlin’s lively and unique creative scene, surveying what matters to Obies from a thriving fall semester to an unexpectedly remote spring. Aly Fogel, a College fourth-year and English ...

College and Conservatory Announce Optional Pass/No Entry Grading System, COVID-19 Incompletes

Aly Fogel, Associate Editor

May 6, 2020

In an effort to accommodate students affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and the transition to remote learning, the College and Conservatory have announced new grading protocols effective for the rest of the semester. The changes were announced by faculty governance committees and the Arts and Sciences and Conservatory Deans' Offices via emails sent in mid-April.  The new grading protocols shift the optional Pass/No Pass system to an optional Pass/No Entry grading model, but the default grading system for most courses remains letter grades. If a student elects to take a class Pass/No Entry and earns a grade below a C-, the course will not be listed on their official transcript. This is a change from the previous optio...

Four Union Journalists Remain After “Plain Dealer” Layoffs

Aly Fogel, Associate Editor

April 18, 2020

The Cleveland Plain Dealer, the city's 178-year-old print publication, made its latest cuts in a series of layoffs last week. Two decades ago, the paper employed around 340 union journalists. There are now only four union journalists and two non-union journalists working at The Plain Dealer. Advance Publications owns The Plain Dealer and Cleveland.com, a non-union digital publication. The paper will continue to print regularly with contributions from Cleveland.com, which employs approximately 60 non-union journalists. On April 3, 22 journalists were laid off from The Plain Dealer, including 18 union journalists and four non-union managers, leaving the paper with 14 union journalists. According to the Northeast Ohio New...

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...

Oberlin College and Spring Arbor University participants of the “Bridging the Gap” Winter Term project in front of the state Capitol in Lansing, MI before they met with elected officials to discuss prison reform.

“Bridging the Gap” Encouraged Dialogue Across Campuses

February 28, 2020

Oberlin College is no stranger to critiques of our political leftism. In an effort to reach across the aisle and encourage dialogue across difference, the Winter Term project “Bridging the Gap: Dialogue Across Campus in a Time of Political Polarization” brought together a group of 10 Oberlin students and five students from Spring Arbor University, a conservative Christian school in Michigan. Progressive philanthropist Simon Greer led the group, teaching the students dialogue techniques like active...

The Body Behind the Art: Figure Models Discuss The Job

Aly Fogel, Arts & Culture Editor

February 21, 2020

Walking through an art museum, it’s easy to find the names of the artists whose work hangs on the walls, but it’s rare that a museum-goer can name the models depicted in the artwork. Figure models serve as muses for artists, visual references that both the creator and the viewer appreciate, but these models are rarely given credit for their work. This is especially true for women of color, who have historically been misrepresented by white, male artists.  In the Oberlin art community, figure models are often Oberlin students modeling for their peers in Studio Art classes. Some of these students also model for community classes at the Firelands Association for the Visual Arts. There are still racialized and gende...

Students at Solarity last semester dancing while opener Kota the Kid performs.

Behind the Scenes: How Bookers Bring Musicians to Campus

February 14, 2020

A few weeks ago at the 2020 Grammy Awards, pop legend, self-love queen, and all-around icon Lizzo opened the show with her back turned to the audience, arms waving as she conducted the full band in front of her while the celebrity audience cheered. Lizzo won three Grammys in this ceremony. Just over a year earlier, Lizzo headlined Oberlin College’s free rave-style concert, Solarity, in the Heisman Club Field House. This isn’t the only case in which Oberlin has booked musicians just...

College third-year James Dryden and College second-year Sophie Falvey performing in The Size of a Fist.

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...

Frank Dawson.

Frank Dawson, “Agents of Change” Director

November 22, 2019

Frank Dawson is the current dean of the Center for Media and Design at Santa Monica College. He’s had a long career in entertainment, working as an associate programming executive at CBS and a production executive at Universal’s Television Division. Dawson earned his Bachelor’s in Sociology from Cornell University and his Master of Science degree in Television and Radio from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School. During his time at Cornell, Dawson and other student activists made national ne...

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...

In-State Students Discuss Culture Shock, Cancel Culture

Aly Fogel, Arts & Culture Editor

November 1, 2019

 Oberlin College is so distinctive from Northeast Ohio that driving just 10 minutes away can feel like entering another world. An oddball-liberal college in a state that voted red in 2016, Oberlin is uniquely positioned. For students who come from conservative areas in Ohio, the transition to Oberlin College culture can be a disorienting experience, despite their hometown’s geographical proximity.  “It’s so crazy how different it is,” said Paige Monyak, a second-year College student from Elyria. “When people say it’s like a bubble here, it’s like an actual bubble. … Right when you pass the [Allen Memorial] Art Museum [and step] on campus, it’s just completely different.”  College fourth-year S...

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