This March, San Francisco’s Cutting Ball Theater stages a new translation of Sophocles’ “Antigone.” Directed by Paige Roberts, the production is visually dynamic and creatively staged, but both of those elements occasionally overwhelm and distract from the story itself.
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.
Topics in Opera Stagecraft (Music 184B) is a class instructed by professional musician and lecturer in Stanford’s music department, Marie-Louise Catsalis. The course takes students trhough the process of producing and performing an opera, and has been taught every winter quarter since Catsalis’s arrival in 2010.
It starts with four women dressing themselves as men, applying facial hair onstage and setting up the stage. It ends with them arguing about the point of the story they just told as they leave. That story is “The Downfall of Egotist J. Fatzer,” a TAPS production directed, translated and adapted from Brecht by Ph.D. student Jessi Piggott, and one of the most engaging productions at Stanford.
Last Monday night, Roger Grunwald – the child of a Holocaust survivor – brought his thought-provoking one-man play “The Mitzvah” to Hillel on Stanford campus. Presented the day before the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, the play and the lecture following it resonated academically and personally with many in the audience. In particular, Grunwald…
2014 brought with it a staggering increase in the amount of theater produced on Stanford’s campus. We at the Daily were thrilled to see these innovative, exciting, and touching shows. In particular, these five productions stood out to us.
“We were really hoping to find a way to do the show in a way that would promote dialogue and not hurt people, but it would not be possible. None of us wanted to feel responsible for hurting other students or making them feel attacked in a place that’s supposed to be their home.”
“Ching Chong Chinaman” — the title is shocking, invoking a pejorative term used towards Asians. The play is meant to be controversial, to make a statement. Directed by Saya Jenks ’16, the Asian American Theater Project’s (AATP) brave production of Lauren Yee’s play in Roble Dorm Theater this past weekend had many entertaining moments, but the production doesn’t quite make it clear what statement it wants to make or what story it wants to tell about race relations.