The Oberlin Review

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...

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...

Nuanced Adaptation of “All This Intimacy” Opens in Kander

Nuanced Adaptation of “All This Intimacy” Opens in Kander

October 11, 2019

A poet who commits a string of infidelities, conceiving three children with three different women in the process, is certainly an interesting set-up for a student performance. Oberlin’s production of Rajiv Joseph’s play, All This Intimacy follows protagonist Ty Greene through the above events with a re-imagined tone. Brought to life by fantastic performances under the direction of College fourth-year Abigail Bowman, the play is a fundamentally human drama, full of genuine and flawed characters. All This Inti...

Art and Gender: Behind Japanese Noh Theater

Carson Dowhan, Senior Staff Writer

September 27, 2019

Last weekend, Oberlin students and residents had the chance to experience Japanese Noh theater, presented by Hisa and Hikaru Uzawa, during the mother-daughter duo’s college campus tour. On Wednesday, they also led a Noh music workshop that taught chant notation, breathing, and posture. Developed by Zeami Motokiyo, Noh theater has been around since the late 14th century. Noh stages, constructed with Japanese cypress, are tailored specifically to the needs of the play. A bridge called a hasigakari protrudes from stage right, where actors walk onstage through a curtain called an agemaku. There are three pine trees in front of the hasigakari which lead to the butai, the main stage, designed to give a sense o...

A Look Behind the Scenes: Choreographing Physical Intimacy

A Look Behind the Scenes: Choreographing Physical Intimacy

September 13, 2019

 As a younger actor, I remember times when I sat across from the actor playing my romantic interest, each of us stumped by the next line in the script: “The two share a passionate kiss.”  “Let’s skip that part,” I’d suggest, timidly. While it’s possible to side-step around this stage direction for the first few weeks of rehearsal, the moment inevitably comes when the intimate scene must get staged. In my experience, what follows has ranged from giggling teenage awkwardness t...

OMTA’s Spamalot Presents Hilarious Monty Python Adaptation

OMTA’s Spamalot Presents Hilarious Monty Python Adaptation

May 3, 2019

A student production of Spamalot, a musical based on the 1975 film Monty Python and the Holy Grail, opens this Friday, May 3 in Wilder Main Space. I was able to watch one of the final rehearsals of the show, and found it a thoroughly enjoyable experience with a talented cast and ensemble that engaged the audience in some lighthearted and escapist fun. Holy Grail is a comedic parody of King Arthur’s quest for the Holy Grail, and Spamalot follows the same path.  “There is a lot maintaine...

“Songs From My Mother’s Seashore” Celebrates Black Trans Woman Love

“Songs From My Mother’s Seashore” Celebrates Black Trans Woman Love

April 5, 2019

A woman in white and gold walks on stage, caressing a framed portrait of a Black woman shrouded in white cloth who stares defiantly at the viewer with one breast exposed. Over the sound of gentle waves in the distance, she wonders aloud, “If God were to stand before us, would we recognize her magnificence?” Songs from My Mother’s Seashore is an original work written and directed by College senior Nani Borges, who also plays the lead in the show: a character with Borges’ name who repres...

OMTA Ushers in Hilariously Self-Deprecating “[title of show]” This Weekend

Delaney Kelly

February 22, 2019

What affords us the ability to create? What can we learn from our artistic idols? [title of show], a one-act musical with a book by Hunter Bell and lyrics by Jeff Bowen, demonstrates that the creative process isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. It’s a realistic, self-aware, and hilarious look at what happens when four friends with a dream set out to write an original musical. The finished product is, of course, the very show that audience members have come to see, which frequently pokes fun at this meta narrative. The show also features “Nine People’s Favorite Thing,” an anthem for the creative underdogs, asserting that they’d rather be “nine people’s favorite thing than a hundred people’s ninth ...

B.J. Tindal, OC ’16, Playwright

B.J. Tindal, OC ’16, Playwright

February 8, 2019

B.J. Tindal, OC ’16, wrote the upcoming theater mainstage production, What We Look Like. At Oberlin, Tindal majored in Theater and Africana Studies before earning his MFA at Northwestern University’s Writing for the Screen and Stage program. Tindal won the 2019 Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition with his Oberlin senior capstone project, Goodnight, Tyler, which will go up at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta this month. What We Look Like is the first play that Tindal wrote ...

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...

“The Glass Menagerie” Set to Open Next Weekend

“The Glass Menagerie” Set to Open Next Weekend

November 9, 2018

Glass is fragile, and yet — when it shatters — it cuts deep and leaves behind scars that often refuse to fade with time. Glass allows us to see through walls and reflect on our appearances, but also distorts light and inhibits us from truly seeing things as they are. Memory works in much the same way: Sometimes we remember most vividly not the truth, but rather an amalgamation of events and our associated emotions. Such is the setup of The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams, the Oberlin...

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