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Neena Arndt

An Epic Odyssey for a New Era

An epic journey. Lyrical language. A devoted dog. These are a few recognizable elements from the famed poem, The Odyssey, which playwright Suzan-Lori Parks uses as loose source material for Father Comes Home From the Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3). A staple of high school curricula for generations, The Odyssey is one of the…

About Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens was born February 7, 1812, the second of eight children. His father, John Dickens, worked as a naval pay clerk, but his poor financial habits landed him in debtor’s prison when the younger Dickens was 12. While the rest of his family was imprisoned with his father, Charles was forced to work in…

Lies, Truth and Theatricality: Thornton Wilder’s Vision

Nearly each day of the year, somewhere in America, an actor strides on stage and declares, “This play is called Our Town…The name of the town is Grover’s Corners, New Hampshire—just across the Massachusetts line: latitude 42 degrees 40 minutes; longitude 70 degrees 37 minutes.” ...

A Different Kind of Matchmaking: Pairing Actors with Their Roles

“If Juliet is represented as a girl ‘very like Juliet’…..moving about in a ‘real’ house with marble staircases, rugs, lamps and furniture, the impression is irresistibly conveyed that these events happened to this one girl, in one place, at one moment in time. When the play is staged as Shakespeare intended it, the bareness of…

Prison Pageantry: Inside Buen Pastor’s Annual Beauty Competition

The women pose seductively, hands on hips, mouths stretched into toothy smiles. Their sequined bustiers and miniskirts glisten as the two-foot-tall feathers on their headdresses shift lightly in the breeze. They would be at home on the Las Vegas Strip. Instead, they are inmates in Buen Pastor Prison in Bogotá, Colombia. And for a brief…

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