Notes from the Faculty

Comic Twins and Surrealism: Old and New

Comic Twins and Surrealism: Old and New Dr. Morrison In the Marx Brothers’ film Duck Soup (1933), Harpo presents himself as a second Groucho in the famous mirror scene. Harpo’s attempt to impersonate Rufus T. Firefly (Groucho’s character) is met by Groucho’s series of increasingly challenging tests to prove that the reflection he sees [...]

By |2018-12-01T22:45:20-04:00October 20th, 2018|Centre News, Notes from the Faculty|

The Dark Knight and the Robber Barons

In the most recent Batman film, Justice League, he is teamed up with demigods, cyborgs, and mutants to save the world.  When asked what his super-power is, what entitles him to be special enough to play in this league, he responds simply “I’m rich.”  It is played as a laugh line, but is the [...]

By |2018-10-08T13:53:22-04:00May 3rd, 2018|Centre News, Notes from the Faculty|

Happily Ever After, Right?

For centuries, Cinderella has offered audiences a dream-like escape from reality. Perhaps you enjoyed Walt Disney’s animated classic from 1950. I certainly did. With its catchy bibbity-bobbity-boo and adorable mice, Disney’s version draws heavily from French writer Charles Perrault’s story of Cendrillon in his collection, Tales of Mother Goose or Contes de ma mère [...]

By |2018-10-08T13:54:16-04:00February 19th, 2018|Centre News, Notes from the Faculty|

Music that Transcends Borders

Music, the universal language, is indeed a platform that allows for the transcendence of language via movement and sound. Places where multiple languages and cultures find contact with one another often become hotbeds for musical creation. Chicano artists (like Santana, Los Lobos and Lila Downs to name just a few), who have their origins [...]

By |2018-10-08T13:55:32-04:00February 15th, 2018|Centre News, Notes from the Faculty|

Torn Apart: A History of RENT

By the time it had closed its run on Broadway in 2008, Rent had received a host of accolades. It had played for just over a dozen years—since April 1996. It had helped to rejuvenate the Broadway musical, with its piercing lyrics and beautifully arranged rock scores. It was one of the first musicals [...]

By |2018-10-08T13:56:11-04:00February 5th, 2018|Centre News, Notes from the Faculty|

Soldier’s Heart

With PERSONAL REFLECTIONS OF WAR: IN WORDS AND MUSIC, The American String Quartet, war journalist and poet Tom Sleigh, and National Book Award winner and Marine Veteran Phil Klay offer Norton Center audiences a unique  experience that is at once challenging, provocative, and deeply personal. These remarkable musicians and writers create an intense meditation [...]

By |2018-10-08T13:57:37-04:00January 29th, 2018|Centre News, Notes from the Faculty|

Photography and Collective Memory

In the central square of a seaside village south of Rome, a stone slab stands as a monument to i cadutti, that is, to the citizens of the town who were killed in WWII. The town is Terracina, my father’s hometown. Dozens of names are etched into the monument, including those of my widowed [...]

By |2018-10-08T13:59:28-04:00January 22nd, 2018|Centre News, Notes from the Faculty|

Collaborate and adapt: bringing centuries old motives to the stage today.

Most musicals – some would say all musicals – are adaptations. All, certainly, are highly collaborative, with directors, choreographers, and producers leading creative teams that might include separate book writers, lyricists, and composers. Certainly, tonight’s musical has plenty of parents. A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder (2014) is pretty tightly based on Kind [...]

By |2018-10-08T14:03:51-04:00October 30th, 2017|Notes from the Faculty|

Some things can’t be taught, they must be learned.

It would be a stretch to think that juggling can be taught.  The instructions would be to throw up the ball and catch the falling ball.  Repeat forever.  The juggler must learn for themselves how to perform that task.  Mistakes will happen, balls will drop but with each mistake the juggler learns something new.  [...]

By |2018-10-08T14:03:20-04:00October 22nd, 2017|Notes from the Faculty|

Finding Meaning in Life-Altering Events

Mary Anne Evans, more well known by her pen name of George Eliot, once wrote, “There is no despair so absolute as that which comes with the first moments of our first great sorrow, when we have not yet known what it is to have suffered and healed, to have despaired and recovered hope.”  [...]

By |2018-10-08T14:02:04-04:00October 8th, 2017|Norton Center Salutes, Notes from the Faculty|