Imagine 250+: Homecoming, a beginner’s reflections

Okay guys, here we go. Game day. Day of the BIG GAME. Brown versus Harvard, alright alright alright. Boy, I am amped to be the official reporter for this homecoming game. I truly feel as if the stakes could not be any higher, and I mean that sincerely. Full disclosure, I am unfamiliar with the rules of football, but I will not let that stop my hard-hitting play by play! I promise (maybe) that I won’t get bored twenty minutes into the first half.

Above: Football I understand

Above: The kind of football I understand

First thing to note about this game – there are lots of drunk people here. Also lots of penny loafers and blazers, which I think is weird, but to each his own. Who am I to judge? I am not judgmental. I’m bitter I don’t have a Brown State shirt I’m not sure how I feel about the Brown State shirts. Anyway, some people are actually painted with our school colors. That’s pride! Especially since our school colors tend to fall distinctly into the poop-brown and blood-red camps, covering your body in such is a true sign of loyalty.

Anyway, the game. Right – the game!  Brown actually has the ball right now, which I was lead to believe is rare, but I think we’ve had it for a while. At least a down or two. It’s really nice we get to keep the ball even if we drop it! Must be a football thing. Oh, we dropped it, and now Harvard took it. Can they do that? That feels like stealing.

Update: I asked the gentlemen next to me if stealing the ball is a foul and it is not. Nice guy. I’ll befriend him as the game goes on. The Brown band is KILLING it right now. Very into it. Whoever says a tuba restricts movement is very wrong.

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PW Presents: Waxwing

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Originality in a theatrical production comes in many forms– content, structure, unique casting and acting choices, a novel use of space, an unexpected twist on a familiar trope, etc.

Waxwing, written and directed by Evan Silver ’16, is a simultaneously familiar and original piece of work. The story is immensely simple: two parallel love stories that eventually converge, one ending happily, another, not so much. An elementary plot comes as no surprise; after all, the show runs only 45 minutes long, hardly enough time for plot intricacies and complex character development.

However, Silver’s originality lies in the presentation, in the characters he’s constructed to tell these stories, and in an effective use of space and music to tease out tension from even a tired, old love story.

First off, I’ll address space. Silver, who triples as set designer, transformed the room into a runway, utilizing the tennis-court-arrangement of the space to evoke a love story that verges at times on a duel. It is an inventive use of the Upspace, and one not commonly seen.

From the moment the lights, subtly designed by Jordana Rosenfeld ’17, dim, you’re thrown directly into Silver’s world. This universe is one in which a bird and a boy not only converse, but also have sexual tension, and the sea and the sun are personified as starcrossed (see what I did there) ex-lovers with a juicy history.

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Sock and Buskin Presents: Sweeney Todd

Photos by: Danielle Perelman

It doesn’t look like you’re on Fleet Street when you enter Leeds Theater for Sock and Buskin’s production of Sweeney Todd. It looks more like Wall Street during the Occupy movement. 

Cast members are kicked out of chairs by policemen as the show begins, and soon we see that the show’s villains are the beneficiaries of the income gap, while its heroes (if you can call them that), reside significantly lower on the income bracket.

In the production, director Curt Columbus, the Artistic Director of Trinity Theater down the hill (so he’s kind of a big deal), breaths new life into the old Tim Burton Sondheim tale of a man (Sweeney) returning to London to exact revenge on the judge who sentenced him to life imprisonment on false charges. You all know the meat pie part. 

The set evokes a city on the brink: cardboard signs — one reads, “WHY?” and another reads “MRS. LOVETT’S PIE SHOP” — graffiti, and an enormous ad for McDonald’s that looks like it was reimagined for a horror movie.

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Imagine 250+: ‘Indomitable’ and the History of Brown University’s Mascot

Brown Bear and Cubs!

In the ongoing, nationwide debate about what kind of bear is best, the sensible answer is always the brown bear. There’s nothing more intimidating than a 1,500 pound male grizzly, and even polar bears have been hopping on the grizzly train of late.

More importantly, the brown bear is perfectly representative of the Brown University student: social, fierce, and possessing large, curved claws that may reach up to six centimeters in length. As the fall events of Brown’s 250th anniversary grow near, it’s important to look back at the history of this noble mascot, particularly with last year’s installation of ‘Indomitable’ – the massive statue of a Kodiak bear – outside the Nelson Fitness Center.

According to Encyclopedia Brunonia, the first mascot of Brown University was actually a burro, given to the student body by “real estate man” Isaac L. Goff and “valued at $100.” Introduced at a game against Harvard in 1902, the burro was found to be not only frightened of crowds but a totally laughable mascot, and was replaced by a brown bear at the suggestion of Theodore Francis Green in 1904-1905.

A series of brown bears were presented at sporting events in the following years, a number of whom did such typically bearish things as snarling at the opposing teams and (in the case of Bruno III) climbing trees in an attempt to escape the crowds. Plainly, this was back before people realized that keeping live bears on leashes at crowded public events was an incredibly idiotic idea. By the 1960s, students had to be content with humans dressed in bear suits at sporting events.

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Things We’ve Seen at A Better World By Design

A Better World by Design has taken campus by storm this weekend. We decided to experience it for ourselves!

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Thoughts on our morning panel…

We started our morning at a panel entitled “Youth Democracy and Design,” moderated by Jen Hetzel Silbert, the founder and curator of Learning 401, an educational non-profit in Rhode Island.

The panel featured Yesica Guerra, director of Crónicas de Héroes/Hero Reports, Sam Gilman ‘15 co-founder of Common Sense Action, and Sam Chaltain, a national educator and organizational change consultant. While the panelists took a few moments each to talk about the work that they had done in their respective fields to design solutions that provide a better platform for youth voice, participants spent the majority of the session asking questions, suggesting potential areas for intervention, and collaborating with one another to brainstorm.

One of the most interesting take-aways was the idea of understanding the delicate balance between individual freedom and group structure within the school system and how this balance can be deeply impacted by the tension that democracy and capitalism create in our public schools.

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So about those bubbles…

The multi-colored bubbles popping up around campus are the brainchildren of a RISD art collaborative named Pneuhaus, which began as a thesis project for 2014 RISD graduates Matthew Muller and August Lehrecke. Over the summer, they added Hunter Blackwell (RISD ‘14, glass) and Levi Bedall (Ohio State University, Architecture, ‘14).

Their mission, according to their website, is “focused around designing objects and spaces that require an active participation from their audience,” and their latest installation is no exception.

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BlogDailyHerald Presents: 140 tracks to make finals bearable

Even finals can be made a little better with some good music, right? Wrong. Right! So, instead of actually doing our own work, we compiled a killer study playlist that’ll hopefully make living in the Rock (or Scili!) slightly more bearable. Be sure to comment below with your favorite songs or any ones that we missed.

Happy finals!