The Oberlin Review

College second-year Cyril Amanfo.

Cyril Amanfo, “Equilibrium” Student Playwright, Director

December 6, 2019

College second-year Cyril Amanfo is a Neuroscience and Theater double major from Lowell, MA. Last year, Amanfo was the assistant stage manager for Professor of Theater and Africana Studies Caroline Jackson Smith’s staging of BJ Tindal’s, OC ’16 play, What We Look Like, an experience that inspired Amanfo to try his hand at putting on a play. Amanfo is writing, directing, and acting in the resulting show alongside a cast of nine and design team of seven. The result is a bold fusion of dance ...

Student-Written Play MOIRAI Reimagines Greek Mythology

Casey Troost, Staff Writer

November 15, 2019

MOIRAI, College fourth-year Giulia Chiappetta’s debut as a playwright, follows the classical Greek Fates Atropos, Clotho, and Lachesis as they seek to reclaim Atropos’ scissors from a thief in the modern world. The project is Chiappetta’s playwriting debut, and was directed by College fourth-year Maddie Henke. MOIRAI is a dark comedy, exploring themes of mortality, sisterhood, and traveling. The production is being put on with support from the Oberlin Student Theater Association, and is entirely student-run.  MOIRAI reflects Chiappetta’s interest in humanizing legendary mythological characters. “I was interested in expanding and giving these staple characters who are part of this canon … a voice,” sh...

The cast of A Nacht A Sheyne, in rehearsal for their show. The production runs Thursday, Feb. 14 to Saturday, Feb. 16 in Wilder Main Space.

Student-Written OSTA Play Discusses Yiddish Culture

February 15, 2019

Dressed in their 1920s best, Oberlin Student Theater Association actors took the stage last night for the opening performance of College senior Claire Abramovitz’s original period piece play A Nacht A Sheyne. The Yiddish-inspired dramatic comedy explores the generational tension between traditionally minded parents and their assimilationist children as both groups attempt to navigate early 20th-century America.  A Nacht A Sheyne revolves around a night in the Resnik family home and is filled w...

“A Man In the House” Celebrates Family Ties

November 30, 2018

This weekend will mark the opening of A Man In the House, an Oberlin Student Theater Association production. Written by Elinore Siminovitch, the play takes place in 1937 Montreal and chronicles the lives of Lily, a progressive trade unionist, her daughter Jenny, who rejects her mother’s aspirations for her to attend medical school, and Lily’s mother, who cares deeply about her family but resists progress. A boarder comes to live with them as the first man in their house and the strikes up a romance...

Students present scenes from original student plays written during Winter Term at the Cat in the Cream Sunday night.

Winter Term Playwriting Project Ends with Varied Performance at Cat

February 16, 2018

A student returns to her room with a body bag, having accidentally killed a professor as a result of her plan to get expelled from school. Divine beings or “winds” commiserate, as they recount their stories of human beings from their heavenly vantage point, or “views from above.” An elderly woman tricks a young volunteer into aiding her to plan a crime, hoping to get caught and incarcerated in order to escape a nursing home. These are three of the scenes that played out on stage at the Cat ...

College sophomores Imke Hart and Hanna Shykind perform in OSTA’s production of Bright Half Life,
directed by College senior Alex Bernui, which opened yesterday in South Studios and runs through

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...

“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 ...

College junior Erin Amlicke played Paulina Salas, the troubled female protagonist in Death and the Maiden. The show ran in the Little Theater from April 10–13 and explored issues of truth and morality.

‘Death and the Maiden’ Examines Insanity, Gender Roles

April 18, 2014

The theory of Chekhov’s gun states that in storytelling, a loaded gun should not be mentioned if it never goes off. This dramatic principle emphasizes the importance of details and their resolution — why have the gun in the first place if it’s never going to be shot? In Death and the Maiden, a play that ran at the Little Theater from April 10-13, there is a loaded gun that never goes off, both literally and metaphorically: a trial that does not get a conviction. The result was a tension-rife, suspen...

OSTA’s Shakespeare Production Confronts Rape Culture

Annelise Giseburt, Production Editor

April 18, 2014

William Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure: In fair Vienna do we lay our scene, where, due to the negligence of the city’s Duke (played by College junior Luke Taylor), debauchery and venereal disease have run rampant for the past 20 years. The Duke decides the time has come to make his city right again, and so he puts his deputy Angelo (College sophomore Peter Elgee) in charge while the Duke disguises himself as a friar and tries to solve Vienna’s problems from the ground up — or is he just messing around? Angelo implements the strict laws that have fallen by the wayside during the Duke’s reign: Brothels are pulled down, and anyone caught having sex out of wedlock will be put to death. One such offender is Cla...

Despite Talented Performances, OSTA’s Fall Showcase Proves Disappointing

Anne Pride-Wilt, Staff Writer

October 11, 2013

This years’s Oberlin Student Theater Association Fall Showcase, which ran from Oct. 3–5 at the Cat in the Cream, was disadvantaged in design. As the showcase consisted of a series of six short scenes written, directed and performed by Oberlin students, no one was expecting a professional production, but the patchwork sensibility — or rather, the lack of any unifying sensibility whatsoever — left the audience reeling from the disorienting inconsistency in the quality of writing and performance. While a valiant effort appears to have been exerted by all involved, the showcase’s strengths could not overcome its weak foundation, resulting in a production that was intriguing and occasionally excellent but frustratingly...

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