The Oberlin Review

Performance-Based Courses, Capstones Transition Online

Kate Fishman, Associate Editor

May 3, 2020

Transitioning to online learning in March was disruptive across departments, and for many graduating Dance majors the transition to online learning meant drastically changing their visions for final capstone performances. On top of the energy depletion that comes with being away from Oberlin, plans for these performances — which are a key part of students’  farewells to Oberlin — needed to be significantly altered as a result of social isolation and the shift to digital communication. “It is difficult to readjust to a new normal without first taking a moment to acknowledge our original hopes and expectations for this time,” Puma Guerrero, a fourth-year Dance major who has returned home to Pennsylvania,...

A Note of Thanks from OSTF’s Producing Artistic Director

Paul Moser, Professor of Theater OSTF Producing Artistic Director

March 6, 2020

 The Oberlin Summer Theater Festival is closing its doors and will not be offering a 2020 summer season. Nagging fiscal and staffing problems that we’ve found increasingly challenging to overcome have finally come to a head and made the operation unsustainable.  A group of us started OSTF in 2009 as an experiment. It had a clear mission to present professional productions of great masterpieces of our theatrical heritage in rotating repertory; to make admission free, so we could attract a diverse audience of all ages and socioeconomic backgrounds; to develop a core company of talented theater artists, including Oberlin alumni; to provide a professional venue associated with the College’s Theater department; t...

Head Women’s Soccer Coach Dan Palmer.

Dan Palmer, Head Women’s Soccer Coach

February 28, 2020

Head women’s soccer coach Dan Palmer has led the women’s soccer team to some of its best seasons ever, including the most successful four year stretch in team history between 2014 and 2017. Despite his impressive résumé, Palmer and the Yeowomen struggled this season, posting a 4-14-1 record. Still, Palmer is excited about the future of the program. While he is known for his work with the team, Palmer is also widely active in other aspects of campus life. Palmer currently works with the horseba...

Theater Degrees Lead Students to a Wide Variety of Careers

Casey Troost

February 21, 2020

It is easy to argue that certain humanities degrees are marketable. English, History, Politics, and several other “scholarly” fields cultivate strong writing and research skills. But for creative majors, like Theater, doubts over financial security sometimes hover on the horizon. However, Assistant Director of Career Development Center Josh Koller, OC ’18, who runs the Arts and Creative Professions Career Community, attests to Oberlin Theater majors’ versatility in the job market. “We have Theater majors working in the business and marketing world, writing, developing websites, doing data science, and entering law school,” said Koller. “You have so many skills that you’ve developed in that major. You’ve...

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...

College fourth-year Lily Battino and College third-year James Dryden perform in All This Intimacy.

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...

College sophomore Gina Fontanesi sings in this weekend’s production of Spamalot.

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...

College seniors Elijah Aladin and Nani Borges rehearse Songs from my Mother’s Seashore before opening night Thursday.

“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...

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