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img November 09, 201711:31 amimg 1 Comments

Bwoggers Levi Cohen and Aliya Schneider went to the final dress rehearsal of KCST’s production of Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure, directed by Sylvia Korman, BC ’18, and produced by Tina Simpson, BC ’19. The play opens tonight at 8 pm in the Glicker-Milstein Theater and runs through the 11th; tickets are currently sold out, but if you go to the box office at 7 pm, you can get on the waitlist and likely get a seat. Tickets are free!

Measure for Measure isn’t the most heralded of Shakespeare’s works. One of the so-called “problem plays,” its tone veers from comedy to tragedy, from courtroom accusations to marriage proposals. This relative instability can lead to a scattered or incohesive production, where the whole is weakened by conflict between its parts. Luckily, KCST’s latest effort mostly avoids that fate.

Sylvia Korman, BC ’18, ably directed the all-female cast within the space, using the thrust setup to make the action seem less staged in one audience-facing direction and more natural. While every side of the audience will be able to see the stage equally well, the experience changes a little based on where you end up sitting: a scene between a duke and a petitioner plays very differently depending on if you sit behind the former or the latter. That’s a feature, not a flaw, of the thrust stage, and it makes the show that much more exciting.

Journey to Vienna below



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img October 21, 20174:29 amimg 2 Comments

Immediately after taking this picture, I tripped on the cobblestones

People care about public spaces, and maybe nowhere as much as in New York. Columbia’s most prominent public space, and definitely its most photographed, is the Low Steps.

Where other universities might have wide open spaces and vast lawns, Columbia students perch, like the characters of Gossip Girl on the steps of the Met, on a cold stone stairway. By day, the steps double as “Low Beach”—you can find people sunning themselves, hunching over their laptops, or eating their favorite Sweetgreen salad next to Alma Mater.

But what about at nighttime? Whenever I’m out on the weekends, I always see clusters of people sitting on the steps, huddled together against the breeze from College Walk. I’ve been those people a few times; once, after a brutal Latin class (it ends at 8 pm!), I had to go and meditate for a little while.

What I wanted to learn, though, was why people regularly chose Low Steps as their late-night place of congregation. So, having completed two of my three midterms and armed with nothing other than a pen and notepad, I left my dorm at 11:30 pm to get some answers.

Make friends with strangers below



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img October 12, 201712:00 pmimg 4 Comments

Pictured: seagull. Not pictured: Overwhelming Russian despair

Last night, the new Lenfest Center for the Arts premiered the opening performance of Anton Chekhov’s “The Seagull,” directed by Andrei Serban. It was the first performance in the Lenfest Center’s Flexible Performance Space, and the first in this year’s season of Acting Thesis productions. Running in repertory (that is, in alternation) with “The Seagull” is Caryl Churchill’s “Mad Forest,” directed by Pirronne Yousefzadeh, School of the Arts ’09. New Bwogger Levi Cohen attended the play and reviews it below. 

“The Seagull” is presented in four acts, with an intermission between the second and third; altogether, you’re looking at committing three hours to this classic Russian drama. Director Andrei Serban says in his program notes that the goal was to “take this so-called realistic play in a totally new direction.” Truer words have rarely been spoken: this production is wildly, often appealingly, performed at an emotional fever pitch.


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