The Oberlin Review

The cast of Oberlin Opera Theater’s production of Cendrillon, which opened in Hall Auditorium Wednesday and runs through Sunday.

‘Cendrillon’ Opera Charms with Quips, Fantasy

March 10, 2017

Editor’s note: This article contains spoilers. With its production of Cendrillon, Oberlin Opera Theater invites audiences to join them in a world of fantasy, romance and stories that live beyond their pages. In this interpretation of the classic fairytale Cinderella, a score by Jules Massenet and a French libretto by Henri Caïn weave a rich atmosphere of non-reality from the moment that the first note is played. The opera is accompanied by English superscript projected above the stage, which — asi...

Hector Aristizábal arrived in Oberlin to run several theater workshops and produce a forum play
with students and community members.

On the Record With Hector Aristizábal, Actor

March 3, 2017

Hector Aristizábal is the founder and artistic co-director of ImaginAction, a non-profit theater arts organization based in Los Angeles. ImaginAction uses techniques from Theatre of the Oppressed, Playback Theatre, Theatre of Witness, Psychodrama, traditional storytelling, mask-making, drumming, dance and creative ritual to facilitate dialogue, community-building, liberation and healing in communities worldwide. Educated as a theater artist and psychologist, Aristizábal has won numerous awards ...

Russian Documentary Highlights Narrative of Resistance

Julia Peterson, Production editor

February 24, 2017

The images from Pussy Riot’s protest performances are iconic — women in multicolored balaclavas climbing on top of subway trains and scaffolding or using iconic public places as an impromptu stage, waving flags and smoke flares, playing loud guitar riffs and singing about corruption in the Russian government. The Russian feminist punk group was founded in August of 2011, when group members Nadezhda (Nadya) Tolokonnikova and Yekaterina (Katya) Samutsevich gave a presentation on feminist art and decided that, since there weren’t enough Russian musical protest groups to talk about, they should create one. The documentary Pussy versus Putin, which was screened at the Apollo Theatre on Wednesday, was produced by the Russ...

College senior Isabelle Harari speaks at “Roots: Exploring Jewish Identity Through Family Stories & Culinary Traditions,”
an event Wednesday put on as part of the “How Do You Jew?” series.

‘Roots’ Celebrates Jewish Food, Family Trees

February 17, 2017

At first, the timing of Tu B’Shevat, the Jewish new year of the trees, seems like a strange choice. After all, it’s the middle of winter, and there are no leaves or buds to be seen. Although we can’t see it, this time of year is when root growth begins again after a period of dormancy. This theme inspired Wednesday’s event “Roots: Exploring Jewish Identity Through Family Stories & Culinary Traditions,” held in the atrium of the Adam Joseph Lewis Center for Environmental Studies. For...

College junior and Obies for Undocumented Inclusion co-chair Zurisaday Gutierrez-Avila speaks at the Immigrant Narratives Open Mic at the Cat in the Cream last Friday.

Open Mic Night Centers Immigrant Narratives

February 10, 2017

Since President Donald Trump’s inauguration, immigration has been at the forefront of his administration’s policy agenda. Trump seems to have every intention of fulfilling his campaign promise of building a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico with little regard to economic or logistical practicalities, let alone the humanitarian impact of this endeavor. When Trump signed his executive order banning immigrants and refugees from seven predominantly Muslim, protesters and lawyers rallied at ai...

From left to right, College sophomore Brian Weaver and actor George Roth perform during
Tuesday’s dress rehearsal of Peter Sagal’s Denial in Hall Auditorium.

Questions of Constitution, Morality Explored in Sagal’s Denial

February 3, 2017

Denial, by Peter Sagal, offers more questions than clarity in its portrayal of the necessity and limitations of the First Amendment. The play, which opened yesterday at Hall Auditorium, centers on the interactions between Jewish ACLU lawyer Abigail Gersten (College sophomore Marina Schwadron), and her new client, Holocaust-denying Professor Bernard Cooper (College sophomore Brian Weaver). Abigail is established in the first scene as a brilliant lawyer and an impassioned defender of the First Amen...

Music Activism Makes Waves at Oberlin, Beyond

Julia Peterson, Production Editor

December 9, 2016

Since the founding of Oberlin Conservatory in 1865, music has been one of the Oberlin community’s most powerful attributes. Now, with sociopolitical tensions from Standing Rock, ND, to the White House coming to a head, music stands to join both faculty-led and student organized conversations and movements as it becomes an increasingly potent form of activism. Last Wednesday’s teach-in, “Music Activism,” discussed this trend, and Saturday night saw another example with a student-run event called “Water is Life: Benefit Fest for Standing Rock Sioux,” which raised nearly a thousand dollars that will be donated to the Standing Rock Medic and Healer Council. On Sunday, the Army Corps of Engineers denied Energ...

Director John Beder leads a panel of Conservatory faculty at the Apollo Theatre Wednesday night after screening his
film Composed. Discussion revolved around the film’s exploration of performance anxiety in professional musicians,
hoping to shed light on a little-discussed area of the music world.

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...

The cast of OMTA’s Fly by Night, a rock fable depicting the fraught lives of an array of people living in New York City,
holds a dress rehearsal in Wilder Main Space Tuesday.

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...

“Neighborhood 3” Probes Technological, Generational Disconnect

Julia Peterson, Production Editor

November 11, 2016

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 ...

Halloween Burlesque Treats Audience, Bodies with Respect

Julia Peterson, Production Editor

November 4, 2016

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...

AMAM’s “Conversations” Explores Asian Artistic Influence

Julia Peterson, Production Editor

October 28, 2016

The Allen’s newest exhibit, Conversations: Past and Present in Asia and America challenges the popular assumption that art embodies a strict chronological progression from past to present and influence to influenced. To Curator of Asian Art Kevin Greenwood, it is a much more active process of cultural exchange. The exhibit, comprised of Asian and Asian-style pieces, presents art as a global dialogue punctuated by temporal and geographical disjuncture. It is currently on display in the John N. Stern Gallery. “I really wanted to emphasize that these artists were not passive receptors of … cultural traditions, but they were very actively engaged in picking and choosing things,” Greenwood said. “They have their own...

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