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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What Your Hogwarts House Says About You

Get yourself sorted and find out where you belong in the world of witchcraft and wizardry.
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Sorting at Hogwarts is a big deal. Being sorted into a house is essentially being placed into a family while you are away from home learning about witchcraft and wizardry. Your house is made up of the people you will live with, go to classes with, play Quidditch with and everything in between. You basically spend 24/7 with them. Your Hogwarts house is your home away from home.

When you get sorted into a house, it is based on your personality traits. The people in your house are typically like-minded people who display the same characteristics as you.

When you’re a first year at Hogwarts, the minute you set foot in the castle you are swept into the Great Hall to have the ancient Sorting Hat placed on your head. This Sorting Hat decides which “family” you’ll be spending your seven years with.

For some, it is very obvious which house they will be in, due to certain personality traits they possess. For others, they may exemplify traits that fit a multitude of houses and are uncertain where they may end up.

To find out where you belong, you can take the official "Harry Potter" Sorting Hat quiz at Pottermore.com. For all you muggles out there, these are the characteristics that the houses possess and what your house says about you:

Gryffindor: The house of the brave, loyal, courageous, adventurous, daring and chivalrous. Those who stand up for others are typically Gryffindors. Brave-hearted is the most well-known Gryffindor characteristic, and Gryffindors are also known for having a lot of nerve.

Gryffindors are people who hold a multitude of qualities alongside the ones listed, making them a very well-rounded house. People who are Gryffindors are often people who could fit nicely into another house but choose to tell the sorting hat they want Gryffindor (there's that bravery). "Do what is right" is the motto Gryffindors go by.

Being a Gryffindor means that you're probably the adventurous and courageous friend, and you are usually known for doing what is right.

Ravenclaw: The house is known for their wisdom, intelligence, creativity, cleverness and knowledge. Those who value brains over brawn can be found here. Ravenclaws often tend to be quite quirky as well. "Do what is wise" is the motto they strive to follow.

Though Ravenclaws can be know-it-alls sometimes, they most likely do know what the wisest decision is.

If you are known for being the quirky friend, the smartest in the group or just great at making wise decisions, you're definitely a Ravenclaw.

Hufflepuff: This house values hard work, dedication, fair play, patience, and loyalty. Hufflepuff’s are known for being just and true. "Do what is nice" is their motto.

Hufflepuff is known as the “nice house” and believes strongly in sparing peoples feelings and being kind. This is not to say that Hufflepuffs aren't smart or courageous. Hufflepuffs just enjoy making others happy and tend to be more patient towards people.

If you ever find that you are too nice for your own good and cannot bear to hurt someone’s feelings, congratulations, you are a Hufflepuff.

Slytherin: This is the house of the cunning, prideful, resourceful, ambitious, intelligent, and determined. Slytherin's love to be in charge and crave leadership. "Do what is necessary" is the motto of this house.

Slytherin is a fairly well-rounded house, similar to the other houses. They are loyal to those that are loyal to them just as Gryffindors are and are intelligent as Ravenclaws.

Slytherin house as a whole is not evil, despite how many dark wizards come out of this house. That is merely based on the choices of those wizards (so if your friend is a Slytherin, don’t judge, it doesn’t mean they are mean people). Slytherins do, however, have a tendency to be arrogant or prideful. This is most likely due to the fact that everyone in Slytherin is exceedingly proud to be there.

What Hogwarts house you’re in says a lot about the person you are, the traits you possess and how you may act in some situations. But in the end, your house is really just your home that is always there for you. Always.


Cover Image Credit: Warner Bros Pictures

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6 Things I Never Miss To Have In My Handbag

My handbag is a 'mini me' and I feel totally clueless without it

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I take my handbag everywhere and carried everything at times even junk, worn out receipts, tickets, coupons for a long time. Thought it would be the right time to come to terms with it. I have started organizing or should I say customize my shoulder companion with things that are needed every day for me so that I could share it with you peeps. I really like my handbag that I became a sucker for naming it and you can see it why.

My Nutcracker Case

It might seem different but that is how I like to call my cute little box with nuts. I fill them up with almonds, pistachios, cashews, walnut and dried fruits and sorts if I go out. My nutcracker case helps me with my hunger pangs and snacking habit. I can munch them on when I have to skip my eating during my studies or if I have some work or travel. It is just a simple healthy alternative I do instead of grabbing fries or burgers. I've been taking healthy choices lately and this idea is helping me a lot. Try it!

My Perfume

I literally cannot survive without my perfume. It keeps me going and it really helps me on the go. My perfume is like a part of me so I am very choosy about it. So that said, I always keep my perfume in my handbag. How do I choose my perfume? My nose has a sharp sensitivity over the fragrances. So it says, what is the best perfume for women.

My Tech Space

I use to put up a fight every time with my handbag in the name of searching for my charger and headphones. So I gave it a thought. My favorite clear pouch came to the rescue and I gave it a name, my Tech Space. I carry my two headphones, my power bank, pen drives, travel phone charger, memory cards, and USB connector within the Tech space!

Money Banks

Well you would have figured it out by now. Yes, it's my wallet . Something I would never miss to have. I do have a separate small coin pouch. I am not a big wallet person so I always prefer a small comfortable wallet with many racks where I put my cards and ready-cash. I don't just put my wallet in my bag; I specifically have them in a zipped compartment. Once I had a bad experience when I left my wallet in the room due to 'bag cleaning'. So from then on, I started to put my wallet in a separate zipped compartment, so that it remains safe even when I occasionally take out the bag.

My Journal

I am still an old school. I will better remember the details when I manually write it down. My journal is also my 'To-Do list' so I pretty much use it for everything. I carry a fountain pen with me which I use, so pretty much I am a very old school indeed.

Vanity

I stash all my skin essentials in this pouch. I will have a small bottle of my daily-facewash, a pack of facial tissues, my moisturizer, a concealer, small mirror and a light lip shade, overall a quick makeup fix. I have a side compartment in my vanity pouch where I keep my sanitary needs. I need my lip balm very often, so I usually put it the bag so every time I don't have to open the pouch.

When you ask me, my bag is more like a non-talking companion who literally has a small version of my room in it. What about yours?

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