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Well-executed ‘Machinal’ delves into a 1920s murder trial

The TAPS production of Sophie Treadwell’s 1928 play this past weekend at the Nitery Theater was indeed mechanical — well-executed and smartly designed. Directed by Sammi Cannold ’16 and produced by Christina Medina ’15 as her senior project for TAPS, the show efficiently tells the story of a woman, Helen Jones (Elisa Vidales ’18), accused of murdering her husband and the path that led her there. Often symbolic rather than personal, we understand Helen’s journey intellectually without necessarily connecting emotionally.

Swan Lake Recalibrated: a vaporous performance

A calming moisture levitated in the cool air last Friday evening as I locked up my wet bike and headed towards the side entrance of Memorial Auditorium. I walked up a small set of stairs and through a set of large wooden doors into a small room packed with people, all waiting expectantly for the doors to open to the Theater and Performance Studies (TAPS) performance of Swan Lake Recalibrated, as choreographed by Alex Ketley.

‘The Crucible’ showcases Stanford acting, design talent

You’re probably already familiar with “The Crucible”. The play, written in 1953 by Arthur Miller, is his most frequently produced work worldwide and a commonly read text in high school literature classes. Even if you’re already familiar with the play, it’s definitely worth coming out to see the Stanford Theater & Performance Studies (TAPS) production, which provides some interesting fresh takes on the play. For those unfamiliar with the story, “The Crucible” is a dramatization of the 17th-century Salem Witch Trials; it also serves as an allegory for the House Un-American Activities Committee anti-communist investigations that were taking place at the time Miller wrote they play and under which he was questioned. Although the connections between the two events are clear, the story is easy to understand even without any context.