A Student's Perspective

Oberlin theater got off to an exciting start this fall when five London- based actors (Jane Arden, Anne Firbank, Patrick Miller, Michael Thomas, and Terrence Wilton) spent a week on campus as part of an educational program developed by A Center for Theatre, Education, and Research (ACTER) at UNC Chapel Hill. Workshops, readings, seminars, and informal conversations provided students with a remarkable opportunity to learn from well-known professional actors. The visit culminated in a performance of Romeo and Juliet in Hall Auditorium.

Later in the semester author David Rudkin visited Oberlin to collaborate on a reading of his play Sons of Light with Assistant Professor of Theater Jane Armitage. Performed by students before an enthusiastic crowd in Hall Auditorium's Little Theater, the project occupied "an interesting twilight zone between a staging and a reading," as Rudkin told the Oberlin Review. Sets, lighting, costumes, and movement were incorporated into the piece, but actors carried scripts with them. The actors had the chance to discuss their roles with the author before the performance, and the audience received a similar treat when Mr. Rudkin answered questions after the show.

After fall break the Oberlin chapter of Students for a Free Tibet (SFT) hosted the organization's first national conference, placing Oberlin at the forefront of a movement that is gaining enormous support on campuses all over the country. The weekend-long series of talks and discussions was designed, says junior Thomas Kriegsmann, co-founder of the Oberlin chapter, to "establish an ideological foundation and a common thread towards activism" for the group. Thomas described the event as an "immensely positive" experience; SFT was able to fix its identity as a human-rights organization and delineate a number of campaigns for the next year, he says. Students from 30 colleges and universities attended, as did many of the country's leading Tibet activists and several international figures, including Takstar Rinpoche, elder brother of His Holiness the Dali Lama. Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys also participated; a clip of his Finney Chapel speech was broadcast on MTV.

Snap!, Oberlin's Queer magazine, has been revived this year. Founded in 1992 by Robin Russell '93, Snap! disappeared from the student-publication scene after two issues. This past summer senior Josh Powers "decided to resurrect it," and under his editorship three new issues have already been produced. Combining humor, politics, art, poetry, and even fashion, Snap! provides a forum for Oberlin's Queer community. The eclectic character of the magazine is intentional, says Josh. "Our general statement of purpose is to be as fabulous as possible . . . . I've had people tell me it's too dry, others tell me they want it more serious-so that tells me we're doing a good job of traveling a sort of middle road."

-Rachel Coen '98

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