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BWW Book Review: A STORY THAT HAPPENS By Dan O'Brien

Playwright Dan O'Brien made a splash in LA theatre back in 2017 when The House In Scarsdale: A Memoir For The Stage received multiple Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Nominations, including best writing for O'Brien, for its lauded production at Boston Court. Based on his own traumatic childhood, O'Brien's play was, according to this critic in my review for TheaterMania, "a Rube-Goldberg contraption of a back history, whether fact or fiction, [that] leaves audiences fascinated once the play concludes."

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Six artists—including Nicole Eisenman and Ibrahim Mahama—shortlisted for Trafalgar Square's Fourth Plinth public art commission

The shortlist of artists for one of the world’s most famous public art commissions—the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square—has been announced. The six artists invited to propose works for the next two winning commissions are: Nicole Eisenman (SHS 1983) , Samson Kambalu, Goshka Macuga, Ibrahim Mahama, Teresa Margolles and Paloma Varga Weisz.

The artists’ proposals will go on show at the National Gallery in London from late May to July, and can also be viewed online. The selection will also be put to public consultation. Both winning commissions will be announced this summer, and then be shown on the plinth in 2022 and 2024 respectively. Members of the Fourth Plinth commissioning group, who will select the winning entries, include the broadcaster Jon Snow and the artist Jeremy Deller.

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BWW Interview: Dan O'Brien Talks A STORY THAT HAPPENS: ON PLAYWRITING, CHILDHOOD & OTHER TRAUMAS

Dan O'Brien is an internationally-recognized playwright and poet who has received such honors the Guggenheim Fellowship in Drama, the Horton Foote Prize, the Edward M. Kennedy Prize and two PEN America Awards. O'Brien has published three poetry collections (War Reporter, New Life, and Scarsdale) and is set to release his new book next month.

Entitled 'A Story that Happens: On Playwriting, Childhood, & Other Traumas', the book is collection of essays originally written as a series of craft lectures for the annual Sewanee Writers' Conference. Drawing on O'Brien's experience with cancer, childhood abuse, his friendship and collaboration with a war reporter, and his years of playwriting, this book delivers meaningful reflections on storytelling in the theatre, and insights into writing through the lens of trauma and triumph.

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Fury over Truworths’ Primark push

Truworths CEO Michael Mark (SHS 1968) may have bitten off more than he can chew with his decision to pounce on the Primark name — which Truworths is using as its entry into SA’s low-cost fashion market.

The retailer has spent considerable effort gaining access to the Primark name ahead of its 15-store launch. It began investigating use of the brand — which registered in SA more than 40 years ago — in 2013, later going to court to ask that Primark UK’s registration of the name in SA be expunged. When it lost in the high court, it took the matter on appeal...

 

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Every Nicole Eisenman Picture Tells a Story

Nicole Eisenman (SHS 1983), whose paintings and sculptures often show people—with cartoonish distortions of their hands, feet, and noses—trying to make the best of tragicomic circumstances, grew up in a house on a quiet street in Scarsdale, New York. A gate in the back yard opened onto the playing field of the elementary school where she was once a student; she could wait at home in the morning until the bell rang, and then run, and not be late.

One day last July, Eisenman was standing at that garden gate. She had driven from Williamsburg, in Brooklyn, where, in a studio close to her apartment, she was working on three large paintings, each of which included at least one vulnerable-looking figure making awkward, and to some degree ridiculous, progress under skies filled with clouds. Eisenman had painted a bicycle accident; a procession involving someone atop a giant potato; and a man on a zigzagging path blocked by Rhodesian Ridgeback dogs.

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Steve Kerr regrets not pursuing Lindsay Gottlieb (SHS 1995) to work for Warriors

Steve Kerr conceded Monday that he regrets not hiring a qualified college basketball coach who left the Bay Area to accept a job on the staff of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Seeing former Cal women’s coach Lindsay Gottlieb get away from the Warriors' backyard might sting a bit more because she has cited the Warriors coach as one of influences.

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Will Aaron Sorkin join an elite group with Oscar wins for writing and directing ‘The Trial of the Chicago 7’?

For more than 30 years, Aaron Sorkin.(SHS 1979)  has maintained a reputation as one of Hollywood’s best writers. His output is consistently topical and thought-provoking, and his unique brand of storytelling has brought him success in every medium. His name is easily associated with his work, which is filled with intelligent characters who expound liberal ideals with emotional heft and often engage in extended bouts of snappy dialogue.

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Should COVID-19 vaccine production be nationalised?

In the fight against COVID we're expecting pharmaceutical companies to do the right thing, but why should they gamble billions if they don't make a profit?

In Both Sides Now, author and ethicist Leslie Cannold (SHS 1983) presents two sides of an argument. Then it’s over to you: what do you think is true, and what do you think Cannold really believes?

Today: are exclusive vaccine patents morally obscene in a pandemic? Or are they a necessary incentive for pharmaceutical companies to innovate?

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Yes, It Matters That People Are Jumping the Vaccine Line

When hospital administrators and politicians’ spouses get immunized before people more at risk, it undermines confidence in the system. By Elisabeth Rosenthal (SHS 1974)

The Biden administration’s much-needed national strategy to end the Covid-19 pandemic includes plans to remedy the chaotic vaccination effort with “more people, more places, more supply.” The Federal Emergency Management Agency will open more vaccination sites, the government will buy more doses and more people will be immunized. Still, by all estimates the demand for vaccines will far exceed the supply for months to come.

By Elisabeth Rosenthal (SHS 1974)

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‘Scenes From A Marriage’: Nicole Beharie, Corey Stoll & Tovah Feldshuh (SHS 1966) Join HBO Limited Series

 Nicole Beharie (Miss Juneteenth), Corey Stoll (House of Cards) and Tovah Feldshuh (SHS 1966)(Broadway’s Yentl) have been cast in supporting roles in HBO’s Scenes from a Marriage, a limited series adaptation of Ingmar Bergman’s classic miniseries. Starring and executive produced by Jessica Chastain and Oscar Isaac, it comes from Our Boys and The Affair co-creator Hagai Levi, Michael Ellenberg’s Media Res and Endeavor Content.

 

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