Guided by Stars

The Starry Plough flag, at the Irish National Museum, Collins Barracks We are going through a period in our history that feels like a Rubicon crossing. Decisions made now will have ramifications that will be long, deep and unperceived from our current viewing spot. Brexit was one of those ramifying decisions, and the U.S. presidential […]

Full Brow

Jim Lichtscheidl, Louis Jenkins, Mark Rylance, and Kayli Carter in Nice Fish. (Photo: Evgenia Eliseeva) The term highbrow was first used in the late 19th century, a reference to the arcane practice of phrenology. In this head measuring methodology, people of intelligence were believed to have a higher brow line. While phrenology was eventually discarded […]

Riding the Comet

“Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812” (Photo: Evgenia Eliseeva, courtesy of the A.R.T.) Diane Paulus‘ theatrical vision and aspirations are the driving force behind some of the most successful “immersive” theater events in Boston since she took over as artistic director of the A.R.T. at Harvard*. While previous productions have offered the audience […]

Song of a Convalescent

Michael Rau and Matthew Yates Crowley (Photo: American Repertory Theater) The window is a small one, so you will need to move quickly. If you are in the Boston area and are interested in idea-driven theater that captures the mind and the imagination both, here’s one for you: Song of a Convalescent Ayn Rand Giving […]

The Confirmation Bias

Imagined map of the word, Japanese I am reading a book recommended by my daughter Kellin Nelson: The Art of Thinking Clearly, by Rolf Dobelli. It’s designed with the 21st century reader in mind—succinct, straight talking advice on rampantly human cognitive errors in 99 chapters, each only a few pages long. Dobelli nails all of […]

Still Watching

Father Comes Home From The Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3) (Production Photos: A.R.T.) Suzan-Lori Parks, playwright, Pulitzer prize winner, MacArthur genius fellow, talks about her writing in a manner that resonates deeply with me. She openly speaks about how she lets the spirit inspire her. (A Sanskrit tattoo on her arm reminds her to […]

The Golden Ruhl

Sarah Ruhl Sarah Ruhl, award winning playwright and member of the genius grant class (it’s a badge you can wear for life), has been the theme of my week. Her recently released book, 100 Essays I Don’t Have Time to Write: On Umbrellas and Sword Fights, Parades and Dogs, Fire Alarms, Children, and Theater, is […]

Doing Neverland

J. M. Barrie How does it happen, that a something—an image, a story, a meme—secures a spot in the cultural collective, that shared image/idea database full of entities everyone in our cultural milieu recognizes? Some are ancient, like the stories from the Greeks (Aphrodite, Apollo, Zeus) and the Bible (Adam and Eve, Noah, Abraham), and […]