Madelaine Bixler
Madelaine Bixler is a sophomore hailing from the Bay Area, majoring in theater and history. If you aren't careful, she'll rant about Brecht, feminism, and queer politics until the sun goes down. To send her lovely (or even not-so-lovely) messages (see if she cares), contact her at mbixler "at" stanford.edu.

Theater review: ‘Brotherhood’ confronts toxic masculinity

As Stanford’s student-written theater scene continues to steady itself on newfound legs, “Brotherhood” (an original play by Louis McWilliams ’16) has emerged as a continuation of McWilliams’ submission to Ram’s Head’s Original Winter One Acts earlier this year. Initially titled “Journey into Manhood,” the show is a foray into the world of four men struggling…

Theater review: ‘Rent’ reminds us to live for the moment

In a follow-up to last year’s critically acclaimed staging of “Hairspray,” Ram’s Head Theatrical Society’s production of “Rent” will — after much anticipation — unleash the force of some of the most talented artists and vocalists here at Stanford. A difficult piece for any group to put on, “Rent” is renowned for its discussion of…

Theater review: Outdated ‘Trouble in Tahiti’ fails to inspire

“Trouble in Tahiti,” which opened this past weekend as part of the Stanford Savoyards’ “Leonard Bernstein Double-Bill,” addresses many important issues regarding life, love and the crushing gloom that so often comes hand-in-hand with middle-class American values. Originally written by Bernstein in 1952, the show follows the story of a middle-aged married couple who, surrounded by…

Theater review: ‘White Power: A Comedy’ hits home

With a white majority demographic of 46.3% as of the start of this school year, Stanford University can only be described as an apt setting for second-year Ph.D. student Thao Nguyen’s masterful solo piece “White Power: A Comedy.” Part of the department of Theater & Performance Studies’ annual Grad Student Repertory Theatre, “White Power: A…

A Criminal Cabaret: Getting away with murder

Last Friday, the Stanford theater community saw the opening of At the Fountain Theatricals’ production of “A Criminal Cabaret,” a collection of some of the most scandalous crime-themed pieces in contemporary musical theater. Directed by Michael Whalen ‘16 and under the musical direction of the incredible Makulumy Alexander-Hills ‘16, “A Criminal Cabaret” showcases some of…

A brief history of ‘Gaieties’

As week nine inches closer and closer and our thoughts begin to wander towards midterms, Thanksgiving Break and the insufferable academic cesspool we refer to as dead week, we are granted a moment or two of pause in which to pay attention to another beloved Stanford tradition looming on the horizon. I’m talking, of course,…

Stan Shakes breathes new life into ‘Much Ado about Nothing’

William Shakespeare, arguably the most well-known playwright in the English language, has had his works produced and reproduced on and off college campuses for centuries. For each production, familiar challenges emerge: How can we keep work that is so old perpetually fresh and exciting? How can we prevent romance, in all its controversial glory, from…

‘The Life of Galileo’ fosters criticism of authority

“Truth is born of the times, not of authority!” Such is the spirit evoked by Rush Rehm’s staged reading of Bertolt Brecht’s “The Life of Galileo,” which proved this past weekend to be one of the most critically engaging shows put on by Stanford’s TAPS department this season. Part of Stanford’s Imagining the Universe series,…

Behind the Scenes: ‘The Fierce Urgency of Now’

It’s an early morning for the Chocolate Heads Movement Band. Having heard little about their upcoming show, “The Fierce Urgency of Now,” I’ve come not quite sure what to expect. Still carrying the stress of midterms and life at Stanford, stepping into the Nitery Theater feels calming. Keenan Molner ‘15, the show’s lighting designer, has…

The case for circus at Stanford

To many, the circus is a symbol of freedom and liberation in a world of limitation, where even art has become teleological. As Stanford students, this world is not far from our own reality. Even in the arts, an immense pressure to succeed pervades student life. Creativity gets overshadowed by resume-building, stressing about future career prospects and conforming to the constraints of grant provisions and feasibility. In an academic environment as competitive as this one, it can be hard to find a niche in which it is okay to be, well, weird.
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