Macaulay Seminar One at Brooklyn College
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Category — Oral Performance

Late Radios and Symphonies

This a late post about Mohammed’s Radio and the Selected Shorts at Symphony Space.(Sorry Guys!)

To start off, the stage reading of Mohammed’s Radio was awesome! All of the actors had great emotion and they knew how to use dramatic pauses to their advantages. I feel that this play is very well written because it doesn’t answer all of you questions. I think that’s good because it forces you to think about the sensitive subjects brought up in the play. It also makes you want to go and find answers to questions you might have. Luckily, we had the chance to ask the crew and playwright about the play. I asked the about whether or not Kelly’s conversion was genuine or not and the answer was what I had thought; it was genuine in that she wanted an immediate escape from her problems and Islam could do that for her, but it wasn’t because she wanted to be truly involved in the Muslim Culture.

Another reason I like this play is because of how accurate it is. I felt like I could’ve known Kelly because I know teens who do things spontaneously like change religions and sexual orientations because they don’t want to deal with people shunning them or treating them a certain way. I feel that the playwright did a great job of portraying that aspect of a teenager.

Next up, Symphony Space. This was, in my opinion, not a good event to end our awesome first semester. Coming in I had no clue was this was supposed to be about. I thought it was gonna be famous people talking about food, but it turned out to be famous people reading food related stories. Uh, ok then. I found this fairly boring and wacky. I was following along with the stories, lost as to what relevance they had to anything. I fell asleep during some of the reading because I found the stories boring and the readers did nothing to keep me engaged. As for the wackiness, there was a story that was apparently about evil mushrooms making soup and killing each other with swords and guns…..what? The stories were weird, and boring to me.

This event was not for me, which is fine, but I’m glad that I got to experience it even though it wasn’t my cup of tea.


As my last post, I would like to say that I thoroughly enjoyed your class Professor Ugoretz, it was a bunch of fun and I appreciate art way more that I did. I also learned a lot more about art forms that I hadn’t experienced, like opera and ballet. Thanks!!

December 18, 2013   No Comments

Symphony Space

Our most recent trip to the city to attend Selected Shorts, wasn’t the greatest trip we had, in my opinion. Primarily, I wasn’t sure what the trip was about so I didn’t know what to expect. When I did realize what the night would consist of, I must say I was very disappointed. The whole purpose of the event, where distinguished members of the art world, read to us, felt like a waste of time. The reason I felt this was a waste of time was because they would keep tripping up the words, and some would keep going for a while before realizing their mistake and correcting themselves. When they would trip up, the whole idea around what they would be saying changes. For instance, I like to imagine what I read or hear in my head. When the readers mess up, and don’t realize, what I picture in my head is what they would say. When they realize their mistake and correct themselves, the entire picture I had would change, and therefore, everything else that happens moving forward changes as well.

I still don’t understand the purpose of Selected Shorts. I believe that reading is an art form, one that has been around since the development of writing. To see this form of art being butchered, was saddening to watch.

December 16, 2013   No Comments

Symphony Space

I wasn’t really sure what this event was or why we were going. All I knew was that it was the week before finals and I had to make the long trek to and from the city- so I might as well make the most of it. And that’s what I did. I didn’t really understand the whole point of people reading to us. Some of the stories were interesting, some were long, short or boring. I actually really like the long story (forgot what it was called). It was cool to have someone paint a picture for me and read me a story. I was interested in it, and while I didn’t fully understand the meaning behind the story I really like it. Other poems were short and I didn’t really connect to them.

A few things really stuck out to me in a bad way.

1. The readers could not read. every few sentences they’d say “whoops sorry that’s not right” and go back and fix themselves. In my opinion- if you’re reading an audience a story – you should be a good reader.

2.  There should be no reason that the person was eating on stage! and not only was he eating, he was eating and talking and almost practically choked on his food. That kind of made me nauseous.

Maybe I like more formal plays and ballets because this just didn’t do it for me. Yes, there was some funny points, but overall it was probably my least favorite event, especially with the timing.

December 16, 2013   No Comments

Symphony Space

I attended this event with an open mind, with some knowledge about food and cooking that I have gained from friends, family, cookbooks, and the internet. Initially, I had no idea what Symphony Space was until I got there and saw the show.

I was unaware that a food magazine of this caliber existed, especially one so big with extraordinary accounts involving food published within it. I will buy a copy of the magazine to read when I have the opportunity.

My favorite story was the one about the snake covered in red spicy ingredients. I found it incredibly interesting because of the strange ingredients and because had I ingested that many spices, I would have had the same reaction that the author did.

I enjoyed listening to the stories where the readers made mistakes and then proceeded to make a joke out of it.

Furthermore, seeing Mario Batalli in orange crocs brought about a feeling of Deja-vu. My biology professor loves to wear the same orange crocs, as well as one of my friends. Whether there is a connection between the three or not remains to be an interesting thought.

Although this was not my favorite event that we have attended, I will pick up a copy of the Lucky Peach.

December 16, 2013   No Comments

Storytelling at Symphony Space

I was pretty excited to go to Symphony Space because a. It was about food and b. it had people that I had actually worked for (David Cross and BD Wong from Law &Order:SVU).

Unfortunately, I was not so excited about the traffic that day, which unfortunately resulted in me missing part of the show. I hadn’t realized that we would be hearing stories though, but after hearing in class that it was for a radio show, it made a lot more sense.

Overall, I did like the experience. I noticed that the person reading the story and what type of story it was determined my level of enjoyment. my favorite reader was David Cross (maybe because I really enjoyed his movies). I think the way he read the stories brought it to life whereas some stories were not as good, maybe because I didn’t understand them or the topic didn’t really grasp my attention. I also realized how much detail they put into their stories. When your looking at a painting or watching ballet, there are very few if any words. In the storytelling, they needed a lot of detail in order to help let the audience visualize the scene. This really made me think of how a picture paints a thousand words, which I definitely think is true.

All the events we’ve gone to have really changed my view on art and I’m glad we had this seminar. I’m looking forward to seeing how peopling of New York will impact me.

December 16, 2013   No Comments