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Aaron Sorkin (SHS 1979) on Scott Rudin: “Scott Got What He Deserves”

On October 5, more than 18 months after COVID-19 shut down Broadway, To Kill a Mockingbird will reopen at the Shubert Theatre. Aaron Sorkin’s hit adaptation of Harper Lee’s novel, now the highest-grossing American play in Broadway history, will return with original stars Jeff Daniels, as Atticus Finch, and Celia Keenan-Bolger, in her Tony-winning performance as Scout Finch. But according to Sorkin, the show will not be exactly like it was during its first run. The Oscar-winning scribe and director Bartlett Sher have spent several weeks in rehearsals making subtle changes to the play that better fit the current time and the societal reckoning brought on by the Black Lives Matter protests that occurred during a global pandemic.

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Tovah Feldshuh (SHS 1966) Returns to Mizner Park in TOVAH IS LEONA!

Six-time Tony and Emmy nominee Tovah Feldshuh (SHS 1966) will return to Boca Raton's Mizner Park Cultural Center on Saturday October 16th and Sunday October 17th for three performances of her acclaimed one woman show Tovah is LEONA! The show, in which Feldshuh assumes the persona of real estate mogul and hotelier Leona Helmsley, played to sold-out houses in January 2019.

As Helmsley, the disgraced doyenne comments and sings about anything and everything - from her meteoric rise from office temp to trophy wife, from wheeler-dealer to hotel magnate, to her relationship with real estate rival Donald Trump.

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How My Desire to Run Again Pushed Me to Walk

I only began to understand why I was so stubbornly devoted to running when I couldn’t do it anymore. That’s where I was when I woke up in an emergency room on the morning of April 6, 2020, with a traumatic brain injury sustained during a dumb middle-of-the-night fall.

The last thing I remember I’d gone downstairs to the kitchen at 4 a.m. to get a snack. My husband heard a crash and found me unconscious, blood pooling from a large gash at the back of my head. When I woke up six hours later in an E.R., my left side was a bit weak, but more important, my muscles on that side couldn’t properly coordinate basic movements.

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Bring on the art: Smith College and UMass Amherst join local galleries in new September exhibits

When it comes to art, September has usually been an especially busy time in the Valley, as college galleries and museums unveil new exhibits to welcome back students and faculty, and area galleries display their monthly changes as well.

Last fall, the pandemic shut down college art museums to the public and in most cases to students. But the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Smith College are now welcoming visitors back, and area galleries are offering new work, making September 2021 something of a return to normal.

Here’s a selected look at what’s on tap. Check for COVID-19 safety protocols and limitations for all venues.

To welcome visitors back, The Smith College Art Museum has three main exhibits on view. “SCMA Then/Now/Next” juxtaposes some of its earliest holdings with newer ones, and it’s also been arranged, staff say, to reflect the museum’s ongoing drive to give more exposure to art from previously underrepresented artists and cultures.

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Did the Homepage Kill the Internet?

One of things I really loved about the early net was how open and free it felt. Before the internet was even the internet, Al Gore was talking about the possibility of an “information superhighway” connecting educators and researchers with one another as well as one another’s work. We never thought in terms of destinations. It was more about the journey, the search, and the connections.

The “places” online, if you could even call them that, were just repositories of files. One of the first times I was on the net, I was looking for some song lyrics. I did some Gopher searches (simple, command-line stuff) and ended up downloading the files I needed from a server in Tel Aviv. There was no sense of place. I didn’t go there.

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History sets airdate for Barbara Kopple’s (SHS 1964) “Desert One”

History revealed plans to premiere the documentary feature Desert One from two time Academy Award-winning director Barbara Kopple (Harlan County USA, American Dream) this September.

The film, which first premiered at TIFF in 2019, is produced and directed by Kopple, with David Cassidy and Eric Forman sharing producer credits.  Executive producers for History are Eli Lehrer and Zachary G. Behr.

Desert One tells the story of the failed US rescue attempt of American hostages being held at the American Embassy in Tehran, Iran in 1980. It features interviews with senior members of the Carter administration, including President Jimmy Carter and late Vice President Walter Mondale, journalist Ted Koppel, former hostages, members of the Delta Force team involved in the rescue attempt, and Iranian hostage-takers and witnesses to the rescue attempt.

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Dear Leslie, my friend’s partner has terrible double standards. What should I do?

In her new agony aunt-style column, Leslie Cannold (SHS 1983) doesn't offer both sides of an argument. She lays her professional opinion on the line without fear or favour. Leslie Cannold has had enough of being even-handed and presenting Both Sides Now. She wants to cut to the chase: what’s the way to go? In her new column, Dr Cannold brings her ethical training to everyday dilemmas. Send your questions to [email protected] with “Dear Leslie” in the subject line. She might even reply…

Dear Disaffected, 

Yes, your friend could be compartmentalising which, for the uninitiated, is when a person suppresses certain thoughts and emotions so they can get on with work or carry on with a relationship, or both. 

While suppressing emotions may sound bad, compartmentalisation can be a useful, even essential, coping tool. When, for instance, a beloved spouse dies but with three small kids to care for the grieving wife compartmentalises her grief so she can function. Or when a doctor compartmentalises “patients” into a category of human towards which no sexual thoughts or feelings are allowed. 

Your friend’s significant other may be compartmentalising, too. In fact, one of the most common uses of this psychological defence mechanism is to allow a person engaging in deviant behaviour — like workplace sexual harassment and bullying — to maintain his view of himself and reputation as a “nice guy”. 

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USC's Lindsay Gottlieb (SHS 1995) makes powerful point on men's college basketball

Diversity is easily thought of — and talked about — through the prism of identity, often through gender or race. USC women’s basketball head coach Lindsay Gottlieb thinks men’s college basketball programs can deliver better coaching to their players if they view diversity in a different way.

Speaking to Adrian Wojnarowski, Gottlieb very neatly made the point that diversity is not just a matter of gender or race; it’s a matter of life experience and giving human beings more ways of relating and connecting to each other.

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Why Aaron Sorkin Left The West Wing After Season 4

Aaron Sorkin (SHS 1979) parted ways with his political drama The West Wing in 2003 - here's why the fourth season of the show was the creator's last. After a spontaneous pitch during a meeting with producer John Wells in 1997, Sorkin's idea of a TV show centered on White House staff members became a possibility. The project was put on hold in light of the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal and concerns about an audience's ability to take a White House drama seriously, but NBC eventually gave it a green light, and the pilot episode of The West Wing premiered in 1999. Sorkin remained the show's principal writer and one of its executive producers until he left after season 4.

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Sugar23 Hires Author Douglas Rushkoff as a ‘Futurist in Residence’

Michael Sugar’s management and multimedia platform Sugar23 has added Douglas Rushkoff (SHS 1979) as “Futurist in Residence,” the company announced Tuesday.

In his new role, Rushkoff will serve as “sounding board and professor” for the firm, Sugar23 said in a statement. Rushkoff will help clients “who are looking to understand the greater contexts around what they are doing, to develop greater congruence between purpose and practice, or to develop a more rigorous approach to their work. Additionally, he will assist clients in understanding the changing shape of narrativity in the increasingly digital society, as well as helping them brainstorm on projects with specific story elements involving new or as-yet-uninvented technologies, future societies, or speculative scenarios.”

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