The New Wave of diversity in American theatre

The New Wave of diversity in American theatre

Here they are boys, here they are worlds..here's diversity!

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As seen on the 72nd annual Tony's Awards, presented this past Sunday, the topic of diversity was extremely. Anyone who tuned in witnessed the practically perfect sweep by Itamar Moses' adaptation of the 2007 Eran Kolirin movie , The Band's Visit, a tale of an Egyptian band stuck in a small town in the Israeli Negev Desert. The evening of the Tony Awards, two award winners, Lindsey Mendez (Carrie Pepperidge in Roger and Hammerstein's Carousel) and Ari'el Stachel (Haled in The Band's Visit) both commented on personal acceptance of personal acceptance of their diversity with Mendez stating, "When I moved to New York, I was told to change my last name from Mendez to Matthews or I wouldn't work. And I just want to say how proud I am to be a part of a community that celebrates diversity and individuality." This statement reigns superbly true. Theatre is the community of inclusivity and most people may attest to that, but it wasn't until a recent trip to New York until I realized how far we have come and how far we have to go.

This past March I flew to New York City with my Model United Nations Delegation to compete at the National Model United Nations Conference. Given a free trip to NYC, it was obvious that I would spend any free time I was given on theatre as well as navigating my less familiar teammates around the city (willingly, lots of love for Goatia). Since my time was short, I was only able to see two shows—Rogers and Hammerstein's Carousel and Lindsey Ferrentino's Amy and the Orphans.

Only a 6 minute walk from the Imperial Theatre (home to Carousel), one would find the Roundabout Theatre Company's Laura Pels Theatre which was home to Amy and the Orphans

Headlined by Actress Jamie Brewer (American Horror Story, Switched at Birth, and Southland) during the Tuesday- Sunday Primetime Performances and Edward Barbanell (The Ringer, Workaholics, and Dumb and Dumber to)

This was it, the moment where I can say I was truly in awe from a theatrical experience, a sensation that I haven't felt in a long time, if ever. For the first time in my life, I witness not only a down syndrome character represented in a play, but a down syndrome actor. Amy and the Orphans is the true story of play write Lindsey Ferrentino's aunt Amy who was sent away as a child to a live in state institute because of her grandparents inability to raise a child with down syndrome, with the only real interactions with her family being their sparse visits and trips to the movies—movie quotes playing a huge part in Amy's speech. As the show progresses, Amy's siblings realize the distance between them and her and that leads to an eager fight to regain ties with their estranged sister.

I sat in awe, and frankly, covered in tears. To see an underrepresented community finally gaining light felt as if a door had been open to a facet of the arts that people have never seen before. One thought couldn't leave my head was, "it's not about if they can do it, it's about when they will do it." This is something I have always known to be true with the Down Syndrome community, things will be accomplished, but time needs to be taken and opportunities need to be given. Without mentioning names, I want to shout-out a very important friend in my life who has Down Syndrome but hasn't let any obstacle interfere with living her perfect life. Not only can she dance a circle around anyone, but her wit could outdo even the greatest of comedians. Like I said, it's not about if, it's about when.


Jeter Weiss


Finally, I leave you with the moral of the story: people are people, and if one falls under that "People/Person" classification, there isn't anything stopping them from greatness. Amy was one of many to face cruel circumstances like her upbringing, but she serves as an inspiration to fight for those who can. Amy, who finds most of her words come in form of movie quotes leaves us with the following:

"I'm a human being, damnit.
MY LIFE HAS VALUE.
You don't understand.
I coulda been a contender.
I coulda been somebody. I coulda been somebody. I coulda been somebody. I coulda been somebody."
-Amy and the Orphans
Cover Image Credit:

Photo by Mohammad Jangda

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14 Inspirational 'Winnie The Pooh' Quotes For College Kids Feeling Like Eeyore

Of course he with the help of his friends.

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Winnie the Pooh and his friends were my best buds as a child. Now, as a college student, I've realized they knew more about life than I thought.

These 14 quotes from the 'Winnie the Pooh' movies, TV shows, and books, is getting me through this difficult semester, and maybe it will help you, too.

"You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." -Christopher Robin

"The nicest thing about rain is that it always stops. Eventually." -Eeyore

"The things that make me different are the things that make me." -Piglet

"It never hurts to keep looking for sunshine." -Eeyore

"Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day." -Winnie the Pooh

"Don't underestimate the value of doing nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can't hear, and not bothering." -Piglet

"Could be worse. Not sure how, but it could be." -Eeyore

"Spelling isn't everything. There are days when spelling Tuesday simply doesn't count." -Rabbit

"There's no difference between falling a thousand feet to the jagged rocks below and tumbling out of bed." -Tigger

"People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day." -Winnie the Pooh

"I always get to where I'm going by walking away from where I have been." -Winnie the Pooh

"To the uneducated, an A is just three sticks." -Eeyore 

"You can't stay in your corner of the forest waiting for other to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes." -Piglet

"When you are a bear of very little brain, and you think of things, you find sometimes that a thing which seemed very thingish inside you is quite different when it gets out into the open and has other people looking at it." -Winnie the Pooh

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Before 'Sex & the City', There Was 'The Carrie Diaries'

I have three final exams coming up next week…so it only makes complete sense that I'm about one season deep into my third rewatch of "The Carrie Diaries".

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I have three final exams coming up next week…so it only makes complete sense that I'm about one season deep into my third rewatch of "The Carrie Diaries".

Carrie isn't afraid to be herself 

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Carrie is unapologetically herself. Like me, she over-analyzes every little detail and makes no secret of her passion for writing. She has a real zest for life that makes it a little easier for her to bounce back after dealing with hardship. She comes across as naïve at times, but Carrie knows exactly what she wants and what she's willing to do to get it.

New York, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways

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Carrie has an awe-inspiring appreciation for the city that never sleeps. Every time she so much as steps into the Big Apple, she radiates a sincere love for the essence of the city.

I have no doubt that if this show were set in the present day, Carrie would be my twin in taking Instagram after Instagram of the city, hash-tagging with #Don'tNeedAManJustNeedMANhattan, because let's be real - New York is the true bae, so to speak.

Always Remember: Career first, Guys second

Carrie's liberated, fabulous boss at her fashion internship, Larissa Loughlin (Freema Agyeman), disperses little bits of advice that suggest in no uncertain terms that girls should focus on becoming someone. That someone should be well spoken and be determined to get the job done. At one point during the show, Larissa offers Carrie an amazing opportunity. When Carrie turns it down in favor of a relationship with a boy, Larissa looks at Carrie incredulously and says, "You're giving it up for a boy? The world is full of boys."

Larissa also reminds Carrie that not everyone is made for a future languishing in the suburbs. While that is the dream of some women (and that is totally alright), Carrie, like a lot of the girls I know (including myself), has a vision for herself that extends beyond the nostalgic allure of a white picket fence and a station wagon. She has goals that transcend attaining the attention of a boy, and that transcend being a wife or a mother.

That being said; love is utter and total madness 

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In the show, Carrie's relationship with Sebastian is one heck of a rollercoaster, and at one point she tells him she loves him so much that it physically hurts.

Love is always confusing, and there's always one person everyone goes back to regardless of how difficult things seem. Carrie's tendency to read into everything makes it even more nuanced.

One of the best lessons on this show is that even if you're perfect with or for someone, circumstances may make it such that you have to let them go. Not everything is going to go according to plan, and even if it does, there is no guarantee it will stay that way. All you can do is hold on to your memories and keep the people you love in your heart.

Good friends will always have your back

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It's no secret that being in high school or even college is hard. There's so much to balance, and so much change going on. This is why it's essential to have friends you can lean on when times get tough.

As you grow up, you may find that some friendships survive and others don't. Carrie certainly is lucky to have such a close gang of pals who love and support each other.

Carrie's different friends also bring out different sides of her. Mouse (Ellen Wong) reminds her to focus on the important things in life and be steadfast in her aspirations. Walt (Brendan Dooling) shares Carrie's love for the city and for fashion. Maggie (Katie Findlay) gives Carrie advice on relationships and helps keeps things light in times of trouble. In return, Carrie offers her own practical advice and listening ear to her best friends.

To just about sum it up—watching heartwarming, realistic characters struggle through an era when "Reagan and shoulder pads were all the rage"? Count me in.

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