05.03.18

New Voices Enhance, Instead Of Diminishing, The ‘Classics’ Canon

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Viet Thanh Nguyen: "It’s too late to get rid of all of us. We are here because white people were there, invading — sorry, civilizing — our countries of origin. Americans descended from Vietnamese refugees, undocumented Nicaraguan immigrants and African slaves cannot unlearn English. In my case, I love English and will not leave it, even if some people use it to say, 'Go back to where you came from.' (They can’t say 'Speak English,' since I teach it.)"

David Henry Hwang Is (Still) Changing American Theatre

His revised M. Butterfly closed early after getting uneven reviews, and he has a new, very ambitious musical in the works. How has the 60-year-old playwright kept powering through? Maybe part of it is to get back at certain publications: "I think it’s kind of cool I can go for 21 years without a good review in The New York Times and I can still have a career."

Hacking The Museum: Museum Experiences For Those Who Don’t Like Museums

Maybe its strategies and events at first sound disconnected from traditional museum reverence, but they can bring in people who never would have guessed how much they might enjoy the museum context. Says Nick Gray: “I don’t think anybody before Museum Hack has said, ‘We’re going to really intentionally go after people who think that they don’t like museums.’ ”

Misty Copeland On The Mainstreaming Of Ballet

"It's incredible that people are looking at dancers' bodies as healthy, because that hasn’t always been the case. It's been associated with us having eating disorders or being too thin, not being strong. For us to be in this moment and have [people] want to have a strong, lean, feminine body — I think it's amazing. I hope going to these barre classes will introduce people to ballet in a way that they'll want to step into an actual barre class."

Why Stage Beckett’s Novels When He Meant Them To Be Read (And Wrote Plenty Of Plays Already)? Here’s Why

Judy Hegarty Lovett, director of Beckett specialists the Gare St. Lazare Players Ireland: "The challenge is both daunting and promising. When we first staged Beckett's novel Molloy in 1996, there were fewer questions about why we wanted to take it from page to stage. We knew Beckett himself had staged elements of his prose works in a one-man show performed by Jack McGowan. If the author himself had attempted to do it, surely it was possible. In the intervening years, I've come to see the staging of his prose as a convergence of form and content similar to that of the written works, where the very means of communication is in doubt."

Happiness As A Medical Condition (Is This Really Desirable?)

The absence of joy and pleasure—anhedonia—has, in its way, become a popular issue in the wake of the disease depression. A quarter of us are affected by it over the course of a lifetime, various studies suggest, and its frequency is increasing in the industrialized world. The treatment of depression has become both a window display and a battleground for deep brain stimulation.

In Children’s Lit, Family Dramas Are Crowding Out Adventures, Warns Awards Judge

"The fictional children of the past frolicked on the heather-clad slopes of Kirrin Island or battled the armies of evil at Hogwarts, free from the restrictions of their parents. Today, according to [Philip Womack], novelists are eschewing adventure stories for 'claustrophobic' domestic dramas and creating 'a depressing children's literary landscape' in the process."