Trigger Warning: This play discusses and depicts issues of mental illness, as well as suicidal thoughts and action. A list of mental health resources is available here.
“As you note the fire exits and turn off your cell phones, please recall the face of a loved one you are soon about to forget.”
Written by Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig ’05 and directed by TAPS Department Chair Erik Ehn, 410[Gone] is a theatrical powerhouse. Set in an arcade located under a mountain in the Shandong Province of China (yes, you read that right), the play whimsically and effectively blends the modern experience of two Chinese-American young adults with ancient lore concerning the Chinese Land of the Dead.
The semi-autobiographical play follows Twenty-One (Kathy Ng ’17) as she pieces together the details surrounding the suicide of her younger brother, Seventeen (Bee Vang ’15). Seventeen’s suicide is rooted in reality for Ya-Chu Cowhig, who lost her own brother to suicide.
Despite a basis in real-life events, much of the play takes place in a fantasy land. Traversing the road from life to afterlife, the siblings encounter the Chinese Land of the Dead, which is stylized in the play as an arcade. This is a land where souls are transformed from life to death through following their footsteps in life as a game of Dance Dance Revolution.
The Land is inhabited by the mischievous Monkey King (Pei Ling Chia ’15), who has been condemned to labor beneath the mountain, and the Goddess of Mercy (Ziyi Yang ’16), who has chosen to live on earth until all beings have been freed from the cycle of rebirth. Ox-Head (Lizzy Callas ’15) is a non-speaking presence who looms onstage for the duration of the show, emerging at the climax of the play to fulfill the role as the bearer of the Soup of Forgetting.
The play’s connection to last week’s events is not lost on the cast and crew. Director Erik Ehn noted: “There is a cloud on campus; we mourn the loss of Hyoun Ju Sohn. Our play concerns issues so close to recent events. We go forward with the play because we believe that the act of making theater can be light that filters through the clouds.”
As registration kicks into gear, many freshmen wonder, “Why is there a specific time for registration? Don’t I just sign up for whatever I want to take whenever I want to take it?”
Well… kind of. That’s the beauty of the New Curriculum, but there’s still some more structure to course selection than what meets the eye. Navigating Banner is similar to the art of surviving the Fantasy Football draft. We’re here to step in as your very own MeikleBlog; put on your lifejacket because BlogDH is here to help you stay afloat during the registration process. Here are some of the key nuggets of registration wisdom:
Know your capped courses. Plenty of awesome courses have caps (a.k.a. a limit to how many students can take the course). This becomes a problem when 100 students want to take Intro to Creative Nonfiction with Michael Stewart and there are only 17 seats in the class. Caps vary, and plenty of great courses are lectures without caps. A lot of the time, though, a course you may want to take will be capped; this is why you need to take a look at the courses that interest you and how many people students can be in each of those classes.
Make sure you get your pin. This is everything. You won’t be able to register without it, and you can definitely wave goodbye to a seat in a capped seat if you’re pin-less. You need this ahead of time—if your first-year advisor doesn’t give this to you before you leave his/her office, you’re going to have to beg for it before registration begins at 7 p.m. on September 3rd, and that’s probably the last thing you’re going to want to do.
Have a game plan. You can talk to your Meik about this, but here’s our advice: Make sure your capped courses in your cart first. You can always register for courses without caps after you ensure that you’ve gotten into your capped classes. You should register for five classes, even though you don’t intend to take five. (The courses you register for are likely to change during Shopping Period, but that’s a whole other shindig. Just know that you’re not absolutely bound to the courses you choose in this go-around.) Continue Reading