The Oberlin Review

Open Mic Culture Provides Performance, Community

Carson Dowhan, Senior Staff Writer

February 15, 2019

The lights go dim and the night begins with the sound of the emcee announcing the first act — welcome to the open mic. Here, you’ll see the creative headspaces of students come to life on the stage through slam poetry, diary readings, a capella covers, instrumental pieces, and original songs. Deep down, everyone is nervous to share their work — yet they still summon the courage to do exactly that.  The open mic is a positive atmosphere in which people can exercise their right brains, and where artists of all backgrounds can perform in a safe, low-pressure environment. Oberlin is lucky enough to have one held at the Cat in the Cream every month or so, with other themed nights springing up around campus sponsore...

’Sco Seniors Reminisce, Appreciate Campus Community Space

’Sco Seniors Reminisce, Appreciate Campus Community Space

February 15, 2019

The Dionysus Disco — or as it is best known, the ’Sco — is one of the most notorious and beloved spaces on Oberlin’s campus. Dionysus was the Greek god of the grape harvest, fertility, theater, wine, ritual chaos, and religious ecstasy. I don’t know about harvesting grapes or fertility, but anyone who has turned out for a Wednesday night Splitchers has participated in a kind of ritual chaos and can attest to the religious ecstasy of this hallowed ground.  It follows, then, that the energy behind the ...

Science Gets a Theatrical Spin with “Copenhagen”

Science Gets a Theatrical Spin with “Copenhagen”

November 30, 2018

Copenhagen, a play by Michael Frayn that explores a mystery of modern history, debuted yesterday in South Studios, and will run through Saturday, Dec. 1. In the play, the spirits of Werner Heisenberg, Niels Bohr, and Niels’ wife Margrethe discuss why Heisenberg went to Copenhagen to meet Bohr during the height of WWII. Heisenberg, the lead physicist for the Nazi nuclear project, risked his life to visit his friend and mentor Bohrs, a Jewish physicist with ties to the Allied powers. In the af...

Annika Hansteen-Izora, Poet

Annika Hansteen-Izora, Poet

November 9, 2018

Annika Hansteen-Izora, OC ’17, returned to Oberlin this past weekend to perform poetry at the Cat in the Cream as the opening act for Porsha Olayiwola. While a first-year at Oberlin, Izora founded OSlam, now one of campus’ most influential organizations, which turned five this year. To quote the event description, she “is a queer Black poet, artist, and activist. She believes in the power of Black joy, of protecting Black girl rage, and uplifting the stories and magic of the women before he...

Students Bare Innermost Thoughts During Diary Reading Open Mic Night

Students Bare Innermost Thoughts During Diary Reading Open Mic Night

September 21, 2018

Brave students recited their diary entries aloud to the audience of the Cat in the Cream at the Diary Reading Open Mic last Friday night. The excerpts could be from any time period in their life. Some entries were funny, others emotional; still others were deeply poetic or revealing. Each one was a window into how exactly self-reflection works when we don’t particularly believe anyone will see. Jordan Bettencourt  College junior This is an excerpt of a diary entry from my junior year of h...

Oslam Open Mic Highlights Talent of New Poets

Kate Fishman, Arts & Culture Editor

September 14, 2018

Each time a poet took to the stage and announced their name and pronouns followed by “I’m a first-year,” the audience erupted into a chorus of snapping and cheering. This was “Back 2 School Open Mic,” hosted by OSlam, Oberlin’s poetry collective. The event, which occurred last Friday at the Cat in the Cream, was the first opportunity this academic year for Oberlin students to hop on stage alongside OSlam’s three current members and share some of their work. “I’ve worked a lot of open mics because I work at the Cat in the Cream, and it can be really hard,” College junior Amy Sahud said. “The energy can definitely dip, [but] I feel like we sustained it. I thought [the audience] was really supportive,...

“Voices Against Human Trafficking” Combines Education, Performance

“Voices Against Human Trafficking” Combines Education, Performance

November 3, 2017

Editor’s note: This article contains discussion of human trafficking. Voices Against Human Trafficking, which combined musical and poetry performances with education about human trafficking, drew a large crowd to the Cat in the Cream for its fourth iteration last Friday night. Project Unbound, Oberlin’s anti-human trafficking advocacy group, organized the event and raised $480 in donations for the Human Trafficking Collaborative of Lorain County. Project Unbound’s work addresses an issue that has...

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