Arts

Arts and culture

Legendary theater director Sir Peter Hall might have ended up the grand old man of British theater, but he came from modest beginnings — Hall was born in 1930 in Suffolk, England to a father who was a railway clerk, and his family lived in a house without electricity.

Hall went on to run two of the most important theater companies in England — the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre — and directed Waiting for Godot and Amadeus, among dozens of plays, old and new.

Months after the world watched her endure a brutal humiliation, Hillary Clinton walks into her study. She sits down at her computer, sighs, pinches the bridge of her nose.

"OK, everyone. Shut the hell up and listen," she mutters.

And then she types feverishly for weeks — or however long it takes to pound out 469 pages.

Hillary Clinton's final campaign for office ended in a shocking defeat. But she isn't going quietly into the night.

"I think the country's at risk, and I'm trying to sound the alarm so more people will at least pay attention," Clinton told NPR.

That said, her career as a candidate is over.

"I'm done. I'm not running for office," Clinton said. But for those, including Democrats, who would like her to just go away? "Well, they're going to be disappointed," she said.

Journalist Franklin Foer worries that we're all losing our minds as big tech companies infiltrate every aspect of our lives.

In his new book, World Without Mind: The Existential Threat of Big Tech, Foer compares the way we feel about technology now to the way people felt about pre-made foods, like TV dinners, when they were first invented.

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Comic book writer and editor Len Wein has died. He helped create a lot of famous characters during his nearly 50-year career.

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Like Storm, the white-haired X-Man who controls the weather.

Salisbury University website

Salisbury University's Cultural Calendar week of September 18th, 2017

Mark Katkov is an editor at NPR. He was the CBS News Moscow Bureau producer during the Gorbachev and Yeltsin years.

What, exactly, is The Orville supposed to be?

Is it, as some promotional ads on Fox suggest, an in-your-face satire of classic Star Trek-style science fiction shows – with trash-talking starship officers and a gelatinous blob of a life-form played by Norm MacDonald – crafted by the guy who created Family Guy and Ted?

'OMG' Turns 100

Sep 9, 2017

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The band Arcade Fire may have been formed in Montreal, but founder Win Butler isn't even Canadian — he was raised in Texas. So the next time you hear choral harmonies, ethereal instruments and angsty lyrics about feelings, remember: That's the Texas sound.

We've invited Butler to play a game called "I've got Pac-Man fever!" Three questions about surprising arcade games.

Click the audio link above to see how he does.

While we may always be concerned with the lives of the rich and famous, the rich and famous don't always deserve that concern. Even in the hands of the legendary biographer Mary Lovell, I wondered if the denizens of The Riviera Set would sustain our interest five decades on, for the book ends in 1960 — and ostentatious wealth is now on a nasty bender.

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I once snuck across the border from Tijuana to San Diego. I was with NPR's Mandalit del Barco to watch people cross illegally into this country - at night, across a highway, through a fence, through sewers and over hills, we ran with them.

Genevieve Valentine's latest novel is Icon.

"I have the soul of an explorer, and in nine of ten cases this leads to destruction."

-- Mary E. Wilkins Freeman, "The Hall Bedroom"

Journalist-turned-TV producer David Simon is particularly good at two things: exposing the mindless, brutal institutions and systems that grind many Americans down, and humanizing people who normally exist at the margins of polite conversation.

One morning, when JR awoke, an image lingered from his dreams: The wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, and above it a young kid peering curiously over.

A child just 1 year old, who has "no idea that's a wall that divides people — he has no idea of the political context," JR imagined. "What is he thinking?"

We take black mega-celebrity endorsers as a given today: Michael Jordan, Oprah Winfrey, Beyonce, the husk that was once Tiger Woods. They wield a kind of agency that seems to continually reset the upper limits of black aspiration, while remaining more or less incidental to the median black condition.

Latoya Peterson is a gamer, a SJW, and Deputy Editor for Digital Innovation at ESPN's The Undefeated, where she produces stories about the intersection of race, sports and culture.

"You're just data and data doesn't bleed."

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[Warning: This essay — and this episode of Pop Culture Happy Hour — contains references to sex and assorted body parts, as well as spoilers about the first two seasons of Outlander. Proceed with caution.]

In her modernist loft in LA's arts district, author Marie Lu has a modular workspace and lounge area whimsically dubbed The Writer's Block. "We wanted it to be playful," she says.

But writer's block doesn't seem to be much of a problem for the 33-year-old science fiction and fantasy novelist. Her dystopian trilogy "Legend" and her fantasy trilogy "The Young Elites" both became best-sellers.

It sounds like an avant-garde theater maven's most cherished dream: Every year a small town writes and stages a topical "autodrama" based on the residents' own experiences. But a Tuscan village's 51st annual spectacle — Spettacolo in Italian — may be the last.

Home Again, a shambles of a first feature written and directed by Hallie Meyers-Shyer, purports to tell the story of a woman reinventing her life in Los Angeles as she confronts middle age. On more levels than one, though, the film is about the enduring potency of Hollywood connections.

It feels weird to recommend a Dardenne film on its entertainment value alone. Imagine if a new Philip Glass track turned out to be bubblegum pop: not a bad thing, just not what you came for.

In the best Stephen King adaptations — and the best Stephen King novels, for that matter — there's precious little daylight between the psychic stress of the characters and the supernatural forces that torment them. Carrie, The Shining, The Dead Zone, Christine: All are defined by the frightening intimacy of terrors that come from within, rather than external forces that can be vanquished like a priest exorcising a demon or ghosts expelled from a haunted house.

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You know that feeling when you envy someone because they're more successful, or you think they have a better life? That kind of jealousy can hit you in an almost physical way, even though you know better.

Addiction Is A Family Affair In 'Mayhem'

Sep 7, 2017

Martha Anne Toll is the Executive Director of the Butler Family Fund; her writing is at www.marthaannetoll.com, and she tweets at @marthaannetoll.

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