Macaulay Seminar One at Brooklyn College
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Mohammed’s Radio

Mohammed’s Radio was a great play. I absolutely love how it managed to touch upon women’s rights, the disadvantages of being close-minded, unfair stereotypes, and family morals in just a few short scenes. The plot was fantastic. I was never bored or confused by what was going on, and when I read it for the first time everything clicked and seemed to make sense. The staged reading of the play was also nice, but I didn’t enjoy it so much. The acting was believable and it brought the play to life, but I would rather just read the play to myself or see the full, finished version of it. I think that I would have been able to offer more insight if I saw the play being physically acted out instead of just listening to actors as they sat in front of us on chairs. I did, however, enjoy the Question and Answer panel at the end. It was exciting for me to learn about a work of art from the person who poured so much of their talent into creating. I figured that we would only be talking to the playwright, so I was pleasantly surprised when all of the actors started chiming in to the discussion.  I was also excited to learn that my theory on Little Joe representing hope for the future was correct!

November 24, 2013   No Comments

Big Fish

A few weeks ago, on my birthday, my mother and I went to see the musical “Big Fish” on Broadway. The entire afternoon was pretty exciting! Being that we’re both college students, we decided that we would try to get student rush tickets to see the performance. We got to the box office about twenty minutes before the performance, and got a great discount on last minute tickets. I highly recommend that everyone take advantage of student rush tickets. They’re great!

The performance was spectacular. Having performed in about six musicals when I was much younger, I developed a strong appreciation for the over the top-ness of a Broadway musical. The story is about a cynical son who seeks to learn the truth behind his father’s imaginative life stories. He is about to have a son of his own and wants to make sure that he has his family history straight before his father dies from a terminal illness.

While I was watching the musical, I was transported into a fairy tale world. Every aspect of the performance was mind-boggling. I watched giants, mermaids, witches, and werewolves sing and dance, and the extravagant, dynamic scenery blew my mind away.

However, what I appreciated the most was watching every single move that the performers made be filled with emotion. Every lyric, dance move, and even background movement was jam packed with emotions so tangible that for a second I thought they were true. Big Fish is a fantastic musical that I hope you all get a chance to see!

November 16, 2013   No Comments

“Ballet Theater”

Going to the American Ballet Theater, aka the “Ballet Theater” for all of us cultured people, was an interesting opportunity. It was also a valuable experience for me because I don’t think I would have otherwise ended up at a ballet just for the sake of going to enjoy myself. I love going to theaters, museums, memorials, and exhibits in my free time, but it never occurred to me that dance is also a highly appreciated form of art.

Part one of the ballet was what I imagined the entire performance would be like. All of the stereotypical elements were there-the tutus, men in tights, and poised dance moves. I wasn’t as impressed as I thought I would be. Given that our threshold for appreciation of the body and its capabilities has been set so high due to all of the crazy extreme sports and events we are exposed to, I found the first third of the performance rather boring.

However, when the curtains opened for the second part, my breath was taken away by the intricacy and complexity of the new set. I loved watching that entire portion of the performance tie together so beautifully. It was just like watching a play but without any words! I never knew it was possible to be so emotionally absorbed in somebody else’s dance moves.

The third part of the ballet was also pretty good. I didn’t like it as much as the second, but after we read the critics’ reviews in class I developed a newfound appreciation for that third of what we saw. I enjoyed toying around with the idea that every detail of the performance related back to Soviet Russia’s authority (the two colored bodysuits, the red objects hanging from the scenery, the music, the dance moves, etc.).

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed our night!

November 16, 2013   No Comments

The Memorials

On 9/11/01 I was in first grade. I remember leaving the back exit of school and being rushed home with my father. The only other thing I can remember from that day is collecting pieces of burned paper and metal that traveled to my front yard from Ground Zero. I was living in a naïve child’s world. I didn’t understand anything until a few years later when I met people that lost loved ones in the crash.

When I went to visit the 9/11 Memorial last year with my senior class, we were each assigned the name of a victim to research so that we could all feel more personally connected to our surroundings. One by one, we all read several short lines for each victim that will forever be the legacy of those who perished in the brutal terrorist attack a few short years ago. The memorial’s vastness made me feel tiny and helpless in comparison. The rushing water drowned out my senses and all I could hear was static all around me. I remember feeling upset, confused, and overwhelmed.

Contrary to what I was expecting, I felt similar emotions when we visited the Vietnam Memorial last Thursday. Having no personal connection to Vietnam whatsoever, I thought all we would be seeing were some gruesome pictures and memorabilia from the war. I thought wrong.

At first, I didn’t even realize that I was in the memorial. I thought we were in a park and we had to find a pathway to get to the memorial. That’s when I noticed the big block wall that had hardly legible letters etched onto it. One by one, Viviane and I tried to read every letter on the wall. Some were sad, some were heartbreaking, some were gruesome, and some made me cringe. I rememeber feeling upset, confused, and overwhelmed, but for a whole different set of reasons than before.

I could hardly read most of the letters because they fell off of the wall and I got the sense that people didn’t care as much about what happened in Vietnam. Most people nowadays don’t personally connect to it, but I still believe that it should be viewed in a similar light to the 9/11 Memorial. After all, countless people died and in the end all that matters is that everyone and anyone who died for their country deserve to be remembered.

November 3, 2013   No Comments

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

I was unexpectedly blown away by the opera experience that we shared together last Tuesday night. Aside from being amazed by an emotionally charged, passion infused performance, I was also pleasantly surprised by the atmosphere in the Metropolitan Opera house throughout the entire night.

After meeting up with everyone by the fountain I took a few minutes to observe my surroundings. Everywhere I looked people were classily dressed. There was a relaxed atmosphere, and most people had smiles on their faces as they entered the building. The opera house’s deep red carpeting, spiral staircases, ornate chandeliers, and on-display costumes all contributed to the classy feel of the night.

I was expecting the actual performance to be dull and confusing. I couldn’t follow the synopsis the first few times I read it, so I wasn’t looking forward to hearing people sing it out for four hours. However, once the lights dimmed and the curtains were drawn back, I was immediately sucked into the opera. Time flew by, and for the duration of the opera I sat upright in my seat anticipating all of the performers’ next moves.

Although I had an excellent experience and will probably go back to watch a few more operas, there were some things that disappointed me. I don’t know why, but I was expecting the opera to be kind of like a musical so I was let down by its relative simplicity. The plot was a bit confusing to follow, and the scenery was a little too abstract for my liking (even though it did do its and draw more attention to the performers).  However, my biggest complaint is that I didn’t get to see a fat lady sing!

October 21, 2013   No Comments