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Steve Rathje

Previewing the 2015-2016 campus theater season

This is going to be a big year for Stanford Theater. With 12 Theater and Performance Studies (TAPS) shows and student-group productions like Ram’s Head’s “Rent,” Asian American Theater Project’s “Into the Woods” and Stanford Shakespeare Company’s “Antony and Cleopatra,” there will be no shortage of great theater on campus this year. TAPS’ season includes…

AATP’s Heartwarming and Heartbreaking “Stop Kiss”

This weekend, the Asian American Theater Project produced Diana Son’s moving play “Stop Kiss” in the Elliott Programming Center. This tender love story follows the story of Callie (Megan Gage ‘15), a disillusioned radio traffic reporter in New York who has agreed to watch the cat of her mutual friend Sara (Hye Jeong Yoon ‘15), an…

Oprah on performing and producing theater and film

At an intimate, invite-only event at the Black Community Services Center on Monday, “Performing and Producing Theater and Film,” Oprah commanded an audience of about 30 people, speaking with the same sense of charisma and energy that propelled “The Oprah Winfrey Show” into fame. Yet the charisma and generosity embodied in her television persona rang authentically…

Campus arts groups marred by lack of performance space

Stanford has made a very visible effort to grow its arts scene recently, creating the Stanford Arts Institute, the Anderson Collection, the Bing Concert Hall and ITALIC, a year-long immersion in the arts program for freshmen. But despite Stanford’s growing investment in these expensive arts resources, performing arts groups have been facing difficulty with something crucial:…

Rainn Wilson delivers joke-laden sermon

At the beginning of his performance at Cemex Auditorium this past Friday, “Soul Pancake with Rainn Wilson,” Wilson told us to “throw out all expectations” of what we thought his show was going to be about. Wilson was right. I was expecting a comedic performance  — he is famous for portraying comedic figures on television…

‘Watsonville’ creatively asserts immigrant identity

For the 28th year in a row, Casa Zapata put on a dorm play to “create a space to explore identities not explored in classes.” This year, Casa Zapata produced “Watsonville: Some Place Not Here,” written by artist-in-residence Cherrie Moraga, in lieu of its usual play — “Zoot Suit” by Luis Valdez. “Watsonville” chronicles the lives…

AATP’s ‘Stanford Monologues: Beyond the Bubble’ tries to fight against Stanford Duck Syndrome

“Stanford Monologues: Behind the Bubble,” which played last week at the Elliot Programming Center, features nine actors reading compelling stories by real Stanford students — about issues such as race, gender, sexuality, religion and disability — compiled by playwright Joseph Lee '17 into a piece of theater that tries to make us understand the diverse perspectives of Stanford students.

Stanford Repertory Theater’s “Words to End All Wars” seeks to remember atrocities of World War One

“In a thousand years, this war will be utterly forgotten,” says actor Thomas Freeland about World War One in “Words to End All Wars.” Last weekend at Pigott Theater, Stanford Repertory Theatre premiered a staged reading of the beautiful and haunting new work “Words to End All Wars,” compiled and directed by Rush Rehm, as an effort to make sure the atrocities of World War One are not forgotten.

Stanford Theater Laboratory presents a poignant production of Pulitzer-Prize winning play ‘Proof’

“There’s a fear that creativity peaks at age 23,” says Hal (Patrick James Lawhon) to Catherine (Jessica Waldman), the 25-year-old daughter of the now-deceased, famed mathematician, Robert (Matthew Libby), who made his greatest discoveries in his early 20s. Catherine deals with living in the shadow of her father’s success and grapples with his death, the world…

Julia Starr’s new play “The Long Way Around” shines in intimate, immersive production

The play is a bold and original new work with well-crafted characters and poetic, evocative language, which particularly shines during Addie’s soliloquies. Starr fluidly tackles the potential challenges of combining so many dissonant characters and storylines by grounding them around the relationship between Addie and Luce, whose scenes adeptly portray the fragility of human contact and the tenuousness of relationships. Carefully crafted moments of connection between Addie and Luce combined with humorous one-liners allow Starr to tackle weighty and complex themes with buoyancy.

Spotlight on playwright and director Amy Freed

“Daring to be authentic.” That’s the way Amy Freed approaches the theater she creates, both as a playwright and as a director. Next quarter, she’ll be tackling Tom Stoppard’s “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead” in conjunction with Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” for the Department of Theater and Performance Studies’s (TAPS) annual Undergraduate Acting Project.
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