“It was Claude Shannon who made the final synthesis, who defined the concept of information and effectively solved the problem of noise. It was Shannon who was credited with gathering the threads into a new science. But he had important predecessors at Bell Labs, two engineers who had shaped his thinking since he discovered their work as an undergraduate at the University of Michigan, who were the first to consider how information might be put on a scientific footing, and whom Shannon’s landmark paper singled out as pioneers.”
Following 12 months of workshops and training for the participants, the London-based project, called Dangerous Spaces, will commission half a dozen playwrights to write scripts for six actresses each. Those scripts will be produced, along with an all-female Shakespeare staging, in the 2018-19 season.
The backstory: There wouldn’t be an Intiman Theatre in 2017 if it wasn’t for Russell. For audiences, for the company and the Seattle theater community at large, Russell has been nothing less than a turn-around artist — in some ways, a controversial one — whose upfront progressive politics and improvisational style made him a real mover and shaker.
Messud’s protagonists, “unusually for women in fiction, tend not to be wives or mothers. More often they’re figures who might be considered unpalatable, unattractive or — indeed — angry. Her work quietly seethes at the idea that a woman needs to be ‘likable’ — or that a man should be the judge of her likability.”
It’s especially clear in Orlando, but that’s not the only text that shows how much Woolf took and learned from what she knew of Einstein’s theories. “In Woolf’s vision of life — which echoes the ever-evolving flow of her language — the universe may remain a godless dark riddle, but some starry doors remain ajar, leading to the wonderful and terrible who-knows-where.”
That’s the case, at least, in the U.K., according to a new report: “The systematic eradication of arts education in schools, sky-high drama school audition fees, chronic low pay and a lack of diversity behind the scenes are all contributing to a diversity crisis on our stages and screens.”
Mr. Rabinovitch died on Sunday at the age of 87, a few days after falling down the stairs of his Toronto home. On Wednesday he was laid to rest, with hundreds of mourners gathering at the city’s Beth Tzedec Congregation to pay their respects to the man who, through a small act of literary philanthropy, did more to alter the course of Canadian letters over the last few decades than just about anyone else in the country.
“Whenever anyone tries to argue that theatre shouldn’t ‘be political,’ I like to tell them the story of A Game at Chess. Thomas Middleton’s last play, which premiered in 1624, is mostly unknown outside of academia today; in the seventeenth century, however, it made quite a splash and resulted in the closure of the Globe theatre.”
“From declaring that one should interrogate one’s musical tastes for classism to fretting about yellow face in opera to musing as to whether a man can write a novel about rape culture, in the hands of the social justice warriors, artistic and cultural criticism is increasingly less about aesthetics and more about virtue signaling by the critic. Like all other fundamentalists, these secular descendants of the Puritans are so preoccupied with enforcing their rigid morality that they’ve forgotten the importance of beauty and creativity.”
“The Polish composer and pianist Frédéric Chopin was no doubt regarded as a one-of-a-kind virtuoso. Which is peculiar, in a way, since he also stole freely and transparently from other artists. [Sara Fishko traces] the various influences that went into Chopin’s signature style.” (audio)
As for this year’s finalists for ArtPlace grants, 34 percent hailed from rural areas. ArtPlace says it’s noticed an “increase in regional projects; many working collaboratively across adjacent rural communities.” It also said that proposed projects reflected a “sustained interest in water projects that, this year, focused on its use and preservation,” and requests for improving or introducing broadband access to rural communities to “increase economic opportunity.”
“With the continent sweltering under a heatwave nicknamed Lucifer, tempers have been boiling over, too, as a wave of anti-tourism protests take place in some of Europe’s most popular destinations.” Demonstrations have taken place from Dubrovnik to Barcelona and beyond, with cruise ships and Airbnb being particular targets of anger.
“Six of those now-famous paintings survive, five in public collections … Alas for aficionados, those five publicly held Sunflowers are scattered over three continents and have never been seen together. But Thursday morning, their isolation ended, so to speak, when a ‘virtual exhibition’ reunited the Arles Sunflowers on Facebook in a single cyber-gallery – dubbed Sunflowers 360 – creating the illusion that they are hanging in a single space.”
Matilda a sumptuous production about the young Nicholas II’s affair with a half-Polish ballerina, has sparked more protests in Russia than any other film since the fall of the USSR. Conservative Orthodox Christians, appalled at the depiction of an illicit (but well-documented) relationship involving a monarch they consider a holy martyr, have been demanding that the film be banned.
“The prize – which comes with $50,000, access to the [Baryshnikov Arts Center’s] John Cage and Merce Cunningham Studio for eight weeks and administrative support to create a new work – goes to an artist who reflects the innovative spirits of Cage and Cunningham, life partners and collaborators who were titans of 20th-century music and dance.”