Established 1874.

The Oberlin Review

Queer Romance, Intimate Staging Elevate “Circle Mirror Transformation”

Julia Peterson, Arts & Culture Editor

October 6, 2017

Filed under ARTS, Theater & Film

Circle Mirror Transformation, the first play in the 2017 — 2018 series of the Oberlin College Theater Lab Series, opened yesterday evening in Warner Main Space. The play tells a meta-theatrical narrative about five people in small-town Vermont who have come together for a community theater class. Over the six weeks that they are together, friendships are made, relationships form and fail, and the newfound classmates engage in some very silly acting games — telling stories where everybody can only add one word at a time, or “passing” words and motions around in a circle, changing them slightly every time. This exercise is where the name of Circle Mirror Transformation originates. “[The play] is so unique,” sai...

On the Record: Heather Marlowe, Playwright

On the Record: Heather Marlowe, Playwright

May 5, 2017

Editor’s note: This article discusses sexual assault. Playwright, actor and activist Heather Marlowe graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2009 with a degree in art history before moving to San Francisco, where she dedicated much of her time to theater classes. Motivated by her own experiences with the criminal justice system after being raped, Marlowe has worked with the survivor-advocacy organization People for the Enforcement of Rape Laws and produced a solo show, The...

OMTA’s “Assassins” Balances Levity, Seriousness

OMTA’s “Assassins” Balances Levity, Seriousness

April 28, 2017

When the legendary Stephen Sondheim and librettist John Weidman first debuted Assassins in 1990, it was one of the most controversial musicals in recent history. The musical compiles its character list from the select community of historical figures connected to the assassinations and attempted assassinations of U.S. presidents. Several easily recognizable characters include Lee Harvey Oswald, who shot and killed President John F. Kennedy in 1963; Samuel Joseph Byck, who attempted to hijack a 747 and ...

“for colored girls…” Celebrates, Honors Black Women

“for colored girls…” Celebrates, Honors Black Women

April 14, 2017

Editor’s note: This article contains references to topics including suicide and sexual assault. Ntozake Shange’s for colored girls who have considered suicide / when the rainbow is enuf, which opened yesterday night in Hall Auditorium, is an evocative production spotlighting the experiences of Black women and femmes in the U.S. The piece is comprised of poetic monologues brought to life and woven together through dance and music. The different modes of performance in the piece make it difficult...

OSTA’s “Bright Half Life” Explores Intersectional Identities

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...

Melancholy Play Provides Funny, Lyrical Discussion of Sadness

Melancholy Play Provides Funny, Lyrical Discussion of Sadness

March 3, 2017

The five actors in Sarah Ruhl’s Melancholy Play are all preoccupied with lost arts like a talent for melancholy and the carrying of handkerchiefs. Directed by College senior Zoë DePreta, Melancholy Play follows Tilly (College sophomore Paige Baskin), a bank teller who suffers from a depression that attracts everyone around her. This theme is one that DePreta found relevant to Oberlin’s culture. “I think it’s good to do on a college campus because it talks about the way that people fetishize ...

On The Record with Professor Justin Emeka

On The Record with Professor Justin Emeka

February 24, 2017

Associate Professor of Theater and Africana Studies Justin Emeka, OC ’95, discovered acting at a young age, but racially restrictive casting drove him more toward directing. He graduated with a master’s degree in directing from the University of Washington School of Drama in 2005 and has been extensively involved in staging works of classical theater productions with Black casts for many years. Emeka hosted an event called “Re-imagining Classical American Theater” at the Playhouse Square...

Children’s Shakespeare Project Brings ‘Hamlet’ to Wilder Main

Children’s Shakespeare Project Brings ‘Hamlet’ to Wilder Main

May 6, 2016

This year may mark the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death, but the Oberlin Children’s Shakespeare Project has set out to make his plays young again. On Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. in Wilder Main, the OCSP’s cast of elementary and middle school students will be performing Hamlet, directed by Annie Rasiel, OC ’15, who founded the project during her senior year at Oberlin. “I did children’s theater growing up,” Rasiel said. “I was a weird kid and theater was my refug...

Wright Directs Comedic Play to Celebrate Gay Culture

Wright Directs Comedic Play to Celebrate Gay Culture

April 15, 2016

For anyone acquainted with the cinema of the early 1960s — with its psycho thrillers, horror films and beach party movies — Psycho Beach Party will feel familiar. And it will also feel a little ridiculous. This makes sense, given that Pscyho Beach Party is a send-up of all those genres. The play, which will be performed in Hall Auditorium tomorrow and Sunday, is an examination of the U.S. post-WWII and pre-Vietnam. During this time, when teenagers increasingly participated in consumerism, t...

Plath Resurrected in ‘Feels Like Hell’

Louise Edwards, Arts Editor

March 4, 2016

Filed under ARTS, Theater & Film

College senior Anna Gelman first got the idea to write the play I Do it So it Feels Like Hell when she studied Sylvia Plath in the class Six Poets: 1945– Present, taught by her advisor and Associate Professor of English DeSales Harrison. She took the class during her sophomore year, and now the play, which tells the story of Plath’s life in just over an hour, will finally be performed in Little Theatre Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Gelman did not devise the performance alone, however. About a year ago, she asked two of her close friends if they would join in the creative process with her. College senior Ariana Silvan-Grau, who plays the role of Plath, and College junior Zoë DePreta, who is t...

First Love, Then Alienation in Tolstoy Production

First Love, Then Alienation in Tolstoy Production

February 12, 2016

One might expect the play Family Happiness, based on a novella by Leo Tolstoy, to iclude period costumes, cherry orchards and classic dacha drama, but the empty Hall Auditorium stage immediately suggested this would not be the case. A minimal layout of platforms and columns graced the floor, while two floor-to-ceiling curtains hung in the background. In the program, each role was described the same way — “Masha’s younger sister ... also Masha,” or “Masha’s governess ... also Masha....

Feature Photo: ‘Goodnight, Tyler’

Feature Photo: ‘Goodnight, Tyler’

February 5, 2016

College senior Axandre Oge, who plays the title character in College senior B.J. Tindal’s play Goodnight, Tyler, rests on a couch. The play, performed Jan. 30 to Feb. 2, tells the story of a young Black man, Tyler Evans, who was murdered by a police officer. Tyler’s ghost haunts Davis, Tyler’s white best friend, as details of Tyler’s murder are revealed throughout the play and his friends and family grieve. Tindal created tension between how Tyler was perceived during his life and how he i...

Established 1874.