Sock and Buskin Presents: Twelfth Night

10984630_838311449544952_882805742280131002_n

For most Brown students, Shakespeare existed only in high school English classes; while his importance as a founding father of modern drama and comedy are drilled into our brains, his texts often remain inert to the modern reader.

To those who haven’t seen high-quality Shakespeare productions, welcome to a whole new world. To those who have and love it, welcome to your dream.

Twelfth Night, directed by Jane Nichols, is a well-oiled machine. Despite running two and a half hours, the show doesn’t ever lag. The actors are like frenetic puppets, weaving on and off stage with timed precision. The set, too, is moving; the stage, initially all but bare upon entering the theater, changes subtly but effectively to denote change of setting.

Nichols, an esteemed professor of at the Yale School of Drama and currently a visiting artist at Brown, is an obvious professional and the true star of the show, despite never appearing on stage. Her blocking is as tight as can be, and her knowledge of the text is clear from the start. Unlike many student productions of Shakespeare, it’s clear the actors know the exact meaning of the lines they’re delivering. When the actors know the meaning of their words, it’s much easier for the audience to wade through Shakespeare’s, at times, opaque text–and the jokes certainly land with surer footing. The actors are just as comfortable in group scenes as they are expertly delivering soliloquies that sometimes border on… lengthy.

Continue Reading


Shakespeare on the Green Presents: Spring Awakening

spring awakening ad

It’s no secret that Brown students are brilliant. Just look at Duncan Sheik ’92, the songwriter behind the hit musical, Spring Awakening. This weekend, his work once again returns to his old stomping grounds as Shakespeare on the Green moves inside and presents its own rendition of the renowned show, directed by Jenn Maley ’16.

IMG_4139

The entire production is concise and unwaveringly honest. From the simple costumes, designed by Dylan Platt ’15 and Estée Feldman ’18, to the stark set, created by Rebecca Balton ’15, the physical aspects of the show further accentuate the rawness and darkness of the heavy topics that the script explores. Additionally, the intimate environment of the Rites and Reasons Theatre forces the audience to face the cast as they confront such intense topics as suicide and sexual assault. And, of course, I would be remiss if I did not recognize the pit, directed by Nick Healy ’17, who do a wonderful job of capturing the magic of Sheik’s phenomenal score.

Continue Reading


Sextion: Embracing the hand job

lanadelforeplay

Something truly shocking happened to me this weekend. I was in bed with my new phe, enjoying a leisurely Saturday morning make-out sesh, when phe asked me for something I was totally unprepared for: a hand job. I was dumbfounded. What were we, in tenth grade? Not only had I not given a hand job in literal years, I had been repeatedly told by friends/partners/Cosmopolitan magazine that receiving a hand job is completely unenjoyable for someone who has perfected the art themselves. Panicking at the thought of failure (as many Brown students do), I made a joke about something else and changed the subject.

Why was I so much more willing to give a blow job or do something kinky than give a good old-fashioned hand job? Back in the day (whenever that is for you), a hand job was a big deal that warranted hours of discussion with friends. Techniques, reactions, and personal emotions were matters that really needed to parsed apart. Now, brief handplay may be included in foreplay, but it is no longer the main event.

Which is why, when asked for a hand job, I totally freaked. After some introspection, however, I realized how ridiculous I was being. It’s not like phe was asking me to do something totally insane that I was unprepared for. I’m all about someone using their hands to pleasure me (more on that soon), so why wouldn’t I want to do this simple thing to make my phe feel good?

Continue Reading


ecstasy-pill-testing

Molly@Brown

MDMA_Crystal

This weekend, 10 students and 2 visitors were hospitalized at Wesleyan University from what was deemed to be a bad batch of MDMA, a drug more commonly known as Molly.

According to speculation, the “overdoses” arose from the sample containing unknown substances and other designer drugs, which were harmful in combination. On Monday, two of the students were in serious condition, and two were critical. In the wake of these incidents, four Wes students were arrested for possessing substances and paraphernalia. It is unclear what the ties are between these students and last weekend’s hospital influx. The students have been named and linked to photographs in this Rolling Stone article.

Naturally, this incident will be a major conversation point for Wesleyan’s campus, but with the popularity of this club drug, and the publicity of the hospitalization, the effects may be far reaching. In the context of Brown University, a Herald Poll indicates that less than 10% of Brown students have ever used MDMA. However, as the article touches on, perceived usage is much higher for many students on campus, especially during times like Spring Weekend.

On Spring Weekend, Molly engages both experienced and novice users. Here are some quotations from Brown students who have taken it before, on how the recent incident as Wesleyan will affect their future usage:

“I’ve always tested my drugs so I’m not worried.”  – ’15

When I was doing [Molly] regularly, I tested every batch with a kit that anyone can buy for $60 online. The funny thing about drugs is that it’s usually not the regular drug users who get in trouble–it’s the ones who do it once with non knowledge and without bothering to educate themselves on what they are putting in there bodies.” - ’16

I don’t plan on doing Molly again; it is an incredibly dangerous drug and I think college students don’t realize just how dangerous it is.” - ’17

I have leftover stuff from last year, but I’m probably never buying anymore.” - ’16

“Molly is dangerous because it’s illegal, and there’s no fear of being fined/jailed for giving out faulty or dangerous products, because you’re gonna be jailed for selling it regardless.” - ’16

As one student pointed out, testing kits are essential to look into the purity of your purchase. A New York Times article investigating the phenomenon in 2013 warned that “despite promises of greater purity and potency, Molly, as its popularity had grown, is now thought to be as contaminated as Ecstasy once was.”

You can purchase testing kits online (one student suggested dancesafe.org) or request one–anonymously and for free–from Brown’s chapter of Students for Sensible Drug Policy.

Continue Reading


Ra Ra Brunonia Throwback: That time Hunter S. Thompson got plastered in Sayles

fear-and-loathing-in-las-vegas3

On November 21st, 1987, Hunter S. Thompson, the journalist and famed author of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, The Rum Diaries, and many more, came to Brown to participate in an academic debate with G. Gordon Liddy, moderated by none other than the legendary Dean Barrett Hazeltine. Liddy, a lawyer who, among other things, directed and organized the burglary of the Democratic National Committee in 1972—a scandal that would infamously come to be known simply as “Watergate”—stood in stark contrast to the staunch liberal and psychedelically inspired writer.

The event was made possible, in part, by a student named Dan McCormack ’90, who met Thompson in his Colorado home that summer and suggested the idea. After some consideration and administrative scheduling, dates and times were set, flights were booked, and tickets were sold all leading up to a highly anticipated campus event. However, on the day of, those times were pushed back, the flights were missed and not tickets, but rather drugs—lots of drugs—were sold to and consequently consumed by the esteemed author. The Brown Daily Herald reported on the event in all of its glory, and to its credit, documented everything it could have possibly known. Looking back some 28 years later, details of the Thompson-Liddy debate were overlooked, missed and risk being forever forgotten and unheard. Thanks to an unnamed source—call him our “Deep Throat“—the full story can now be unveiled.

Continue Reading


Blogify: Sunshine Songs

sunspot

While songs reminding you of summer, warmth, happiness–anything that isn’t Providence right now–may make you sadder that you are living in a ski town with no ski mountains, they also might help you see the light at the end of the tunnel. Or at least enhance your daydreams that include weather above 20 degrees.