When People Only Read the Headline — Misuse of Journalism

The Society of Professional Journalists links to an interview with an MIT professor who’s studying misinformation on social media (which is not the same thing as bad journalism — some bad actors take journalism out of context in order to deceive). Responsible journalists are aware that sensational headlines can harm the public. The truth is journalists in the field reporting breaking news often don’t write the headlines. Marketers will try…

In “World Drama” I’m adding the absurd, optimistic “The Skin of Our Teeth” (dropping bleak “Waiting for Godot”)

In light of current events, I’m dropping the bleak Waiting for Godot from my World Drama class (actually I’m making it optional; students could drop a different play) and adding Thornton Wilder’s absurdist but optimistic The Skin of Our Teeth.   Writing while World War II was still raging, Wilder depicts a representative American family facing a series of calamities — an ice age, a global flood, an a world…

Rhinoceros in Love (World Drama — China, 1999)

The blurb for a 2011 English version of the 1999 Chinese play I’m teaching this week: China’s most popular and provocative drama. A modern story of love and obsession, Rhinoceros in Love tells the story of a rhinoceros-keeper who develops a dangerous romantic fascination with the woman of his dreams: the uncompromising, unobtainable Mingming. Hear from the director Meng Jinghui about this smash-hit show which continues to play nightly in…

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How are you holding up? What difficult choices have you made? How can we all help each other get through COVID-19??

Carolyn and were recently cast in a historical film. I recorded my video audition last week, feverish with an upper respiratory tract infection, coughing and gulping from a mug of tea between lines. Our characters are in different time periods, but we each get to fight someone in a duel. Filming for our scenes was scheduled to start this weekend. I spoke with the director on the phone this afternoon,…