American Shakespeare Center’s Macbeth: A Review

Written by Kylie Warkentin

While I stood in line on the night of February 28th waiting to be let into Hogg Auditorium for the American Shakespeare Center’s performance of Macbeth, Dr. Cullingford, a University Distinguished Teaching Professor and the Chair of the English Department, luxuriously slinked down the line asking after her Oxford Program students. As her sharp figure sweeped past, I thought to myself: Yeah, she’d make a pretty great Lady Macbeth.

For the uninitiated (as I was, at least until I was forcibly made aware), the American Shakespeare Center is unique for its dedication to an authentic Shakespearean experience. Put flippantly (and in their own words), they “do it with the lights on:” the entire play is performed under universal lighting in an effort to mimic the lighting conditions of Shakespeare’s time, thus allowing the actors on stage to engage with the audience in an unique way. Additionally, before, during, and after the play, the actors perform music, as the actors in Shakespeare’s troupe would have done.

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Girls Own the Void, and What Lies Beyond

Written by Kylie Warkentin

I read Lynn Steger Strong’s piece, “Why I Wanted to Write About Anger,” on my phone in the small, suffocating apartment my grandmother owns. It feels less like a piece about anger, and more like what would result from a swell of resentment bitten off at the start once you’ve reminded yourself of glasses half full and your best friend’s good morning text. Strong describes her intent as “want[ing] to figure out what’s inside of all that anger” and “want[ing] to write about space and time and feeling like somehow, we’ve always had less of it than our male counterparts.” And I got it—I thought of Audrey Wollen’s Instagram post furiously and in all caps reminding male artists that “NOTHING DOES NOT BELONG TO YOU” and “GIRLS OWN THE VOID”; I thought of a statistic I had once read reporting that 58% of US women cried from feeling helpless as opposed to 23% of men; I thought of how I angrily purse my lips when I hear a whistle and how I clutch at the fabric of my pants when I hear tapping and I turn and inevitably it is a man; and I got it. As I clutched my obnoxiously large phone held in my clammy palm, I got it.

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Works By Gillian Flynn, Ranked In Order Of How Gross I Felt After Reading Them

Written by Kylie Warkentin

  1.  The Grownup

The Grownup only had me reaching for the nearest bottle of hand sanitizer after I finished reading, which is a big step up from most of Gillian Flynn’s works. The Grownup tells the tale of a sex-working palm reader and mousy divorced mother with a slightly-off child. There was nothing too grisly in the story, and nothing that made me want to throw my book into the face of the nearest man. Nice!

  1.  Gone Girl

If you felt gross reading Gone Girl, you sympathized too much with Nick Dunne. If you (like me) felt only a little gross after reading, you might have identified too much with Amy, and may or may not have several forms of memorabilia to commemorate that fact. Cool girl is hot. Cool girl is game. Cool girl only wants to exfoliate her body after reading this, not take a long bath.

  1.  Sharp Objects

This is a controversial placement, but Sharp Objects only made me want to take a quick shower after reading. I definitely felt gross: it’s a story about a reporter—who (trigger warning) carves words into her skin—returning to her hometown to investigate the murders of two preteen girls. But it was not super gross. If anything, it just made me really, really sad.

  1.  Dark Places

Dark Places follows Libby Day, the only survivor (save the brother she accused) from the night her family was massacred, as she—by revisiting the night of her family’s death—stumbles to the attention of another killer. Arguably the goriest work of Flynn’s extremely disturbing repertoire, Dark Places did not leave me with a happy feeling, but it did definitely make me want to take a quick dip into a pool of bleach.


New York Public Library Reveals $317M “Master Plan” to Renovate Iconic Main Building

Written by Kylie Warkentin

On November 15, the New York Public Library unveiled a $317 million master plan to renovate its iconic Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, located on Fifth Avenue and 42nd street in Manhattan.

This plan, unanimously approved by the Library’s Board of Trustees, includes an approximate 20% increase in public space intended for research, exhibitions, and educational programs, as reported by Publishers Weekly.

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