Washington Square News

Washington Square News

Washington Square News

Julie Goldberg

Julie Goldberg, Books & Theater Editor

All content by Julie Goldberg
Tisch Film and TV and Drama students express their struggle to collaborate on projects. (Photo by Katie Peurrung)

Tisch Fails to Connect Acting and Film Students

While it seems intuitive that actors and filmmakers from the same school would collaborate, the Tisch departments often leave students out to dry.
Dec 2, 2019

At the beginning of each semester, Tisch School of the Arts hosts a mixer for students in the undergraduate drama and Film & Television mixer to try and facilitate collaboration...

From pop to lofi, WSNs Arts Desk recommends their favorite music to study to. (via YouTube @ChilledCow)

Staff Recs: Good Music for Studying

The Arts Desk collects the perfect chill tunes for a serious study session.
Nov 22, 2019

“logical” by Shuttle358 Songs with lyrics are a bust for me when it comes to background music for studying. I always feel tempted to turn the volume up so I can hear the vocals...

Playwright William Electric Black, also known as Ian Ellis James, is a professor at NYU Tisch and seven-time Emmy winner for his work on “Sesame Street.” The writer reviews his recent work, “The Whites,” which switches the races of black and white people. (via NYU)

‘It’s Okay to Feel Angry About This Play’

Tisch professor William Electric Black’s new play, “The Whites,” is controversial and loaded. But what should audiences take away from it?
Nov 15, 2019

“The Whites” is a play that rests on a controversial premise: what if black people had enslaved white people? What if black cops were shooting white people at an alarming rate?...

‘In the Dream House’ is Carmen Maria Machado’s engrossing memoir about domestic abuse. (Via Graywolf Press)

‘In the Dream House’ Haunts and Enchants

In her latest book, Carmen Maria Machado depicts her experience of domestic abuse in an enthralling subversion of the memoir genre.
Nov 4, 2019

With “Her Body and Other Parties,” Carmen Maria Machado established herself as a writer of inimitable talents. In her memoir, she brings all the same cards to the same table,...

Voyage Theater Company presents The Hope Hypothesis, a dark humor Off-Broadway show written by Cat Miller. (Photo by Beowulf Sheenan via Flickr)

‘The Hope Hypothesis’ Tows the Line Between Horror and Hilarity

In this Kafkaesque play set in a DMV, Cat Miller explores the way racism and xenophobia manifest in subtle but insidious ways.
Oct 30, 2019

Take the bureaucratic horror of the DMV, multiply it by a thousand, and you’ve got “The Hope Hypothesis.” Amena (Soraya Broukhim), a law student with big aspirations,...

James Joyce, an Irish author and playwright, is currently buried in Zurich, Switzerland. (Via Wikimedia)

A Bone of Contention: Ireland Wants James Joyce Back

As the Dublin City Council calls for the repatriation of Joyce’s remains, debate continues over the writer’s legacy and relationship to his homeland.
Oct 27, 2019

Halloween is approaching, and one literary legend may be rising from the dead. To be relocated and reinterred, that is. James Joyce is currently buried with his wife Nora Barnacle...

From Mamma Mia! to Joker, the Arts Desk recommends several last-minute, movie-inspired costumes for Halloween. (via Warner Bros)

Staff Recs: Halloween Costumes

Scrambling to put together a last-minute Halloween costume? The Arts Desk has you covered with these costumes based on characters from some of our favorite movies.
Oct 24, 2019

Donna Sheridan from “Mamma Mia!” (the movie version) Be the ultimate dancing queen this Halloween in your very own Donna Sheridan costume from “Mamma Mia!” Halloween...

The Yondr phone case locks your phone inside until you can tap it on an unlocking base. (Via Yondr)

Please Silence your Cellphones: Tisch Students Weigh in on Self-Silencing Phone Case

WSN talked to a number of Tisch students about a new phone case that helps to keep theater-goers engaged. While some praise the device’s merits, others see it as a pardoning of personal responsibility.
Oct 21, 2019

Asking politely, it seems, is no longer enough. At least not when it comes to silencing cell phones during performances.  This is where the Yondr phone case comes in. In 2014,...

The Rules, Regulations and Systems of Carrie Sijia Wang

The Rules, Regulations and Systems of Carrie Sijia Wang

The Chinese artist discusses the absurdities of the modern world, how ITP expanded her horizons, and why she’s inspired by bureaucracy.
Oct 14, 2019

“To become a content generator, a low-level government clerk at the Office of Content Generation involves a long and complex process. One important milestone in the process is...

Rachel Sennott, an NYU Tisch alumna, is an actress known for her appearance in High Maintenance, Shiva Baby and Hostess. (Photo Courtesy of Jenny Wong)

Tisch Alumna Talks ‘Shiva Baby,’ Goal-Setting and Twitter

Rachel Sennott discusses her time at Tisch and her upcoming projects.
Oct 14, 2019

“I never made any of the, like, cool comedy groups,” says Rachel Sennott, looking back on her first year at NYU Tisch. “I auditioned a bunch of times, never got in. But I...

Maia Guest as Emma comforts Con, played by Blake Merriman, after his failed suicide attempt. (Photo Courtesy of Art of Warr Productions)

‘Stupid F-cking Bird’ Soars in Its Reinvention of a Chekhov Classic

In an adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s play “The Seagull,” Aaron Posner’s “Stupid F-cking Bird” entertains while breaking convention and examining the role of theater in the world today.
Oct 7, 2019

“The play begins when someone says, ‘Start the f-cking play,’” the show’s protagonist, Con (Blake Merriman), shouts as he walks through the audience. This is how “Stupid...

Award-winning author and NYU professor Zadie Smith will publish her new book, Grand Union, on October 3, 2019. (Staff Photo by Chelsea Li)

Zadie Smith’s Talents on Full Display in ‘Grand Union’

In her first short-story collection, award-winning author and NYU Professor Zadie Smith crosses genres and perspectives to meditate on the trials, absurdities and unexpected joys of the modern world.
Sep 23, 2019

Zadie Smith released her debut novel, “White Teeth,” to widespread critical acclaim in 1999. Since then, she has published five novels and two essay collections. In “Grand...

NYU’s creative writing house. (Staff Photo by Julie Goldberg)

Creative Writing Community Persists Despite Lack of Major

Students on the English major’s creative writing track point out the program’s strengths and offer suggestions on how it could up its game.
Sep 16, 2019

The home page of NYU’s Creative Writing Program is impressive at first glance. Prominently featuring a photo of a contemplative Zadie Smith and, just below it, an interior shot...

(via YouTube)

Staff Recs: Pretentious Films to Impress Your Fake Friends

Need to sound like you know about movies? Here are a few of our go-tos.
Sep 11, 2019

Your friends told you to watch it. It was on your Amazon recommended list. And now the Arts Desk of WSN, a group of complete strangers, is going to reinforce everything that they’ve...

Larry David at a film festival in 2009. (Via Wikimedia)

Unpopular Opinions: Unconventionally Hot Girl Summer

The Arts Desk weighs in on some underrated hotties in the entertainment industry.
Sep 9, 2019

Hot Girl Summer is ending and with so many unconventionally attractive additions to the Hot Girl Summer canon (Lizzo, Billie Eilish, Beto O’Rourke), we at the Arts Desk thought...

Seminal short fiction writer Amy Hempel and Olympic swimmer turned memoirist Casey Legler read and discuss their recent work at NYU’s Lillian Vernon Creative Writers House. (via NYU)

Amy Hempel and Casey Legler Read at NYU’s Lillian Vernon Creative Writers House

Seminal short fiction writer and Olympic swimmer-turned-memoirist joined host Darin Strauss at The Lillian Vernon Creative Writers House for a reading of their recent work, finding connection in their shared fixation with water and unconventional styles.
Sep 9, 2019

Breaking an Olympic record, in warmups at that, is no easy feat. Neither is building a career on short fiction. On Thursday, NYU’s creative writing program hosted two established...

Housing Works Bookstore Cafe & Bar, an independent bookstore on Crosby St. (Staff Photo by Elaine Chen)

New York’s Indie Bookstores Survive by Promoting Community, Providing Experience

As rent hikes and Amazon pose a continuous threat to the city’s independent bookstores, small business owners tune into community interests and re-define what a bookstore can be.
Sep 3, 2019

In his novel “American Gods,” Neil Gaiman writes, “What I say is, a town isn’t a town without a bookstore. It may call itself a town, but unless it’s got a bookstore,...

Promotional imagery for Philippe Quesne: The Moles, to be performed at NYU Skirball. (Photo via NYU)

‘Get Curious’: Skirball’s Fall Programming Promises Literature, Technicolor and Copulating Moles

Showcasing the experimental works of artists from across the globe, as well as introducing a pre-show ‘book club,’ Skirball is as weird and wonderful as ever.
Aug 24, 2019

“Every year we kind of have a new motto,” explains NYU Skirball Director Jay Wegman. “This year it’s ‘Get Curious.’” Featuring shows tackling modern media coverage...

Emily Mortimer and Grace Van Patten star in Good Posture, a drama competing at this years Tribeca Film Festival. (via facebook.com)

‘Good Posture’ Spotlights an Unlikely Female Friendship

In this low-budget indie film, shot over a span of 10 days in Brooklyn, an unlikely pair forms a tender, albeit unconventional, friendship.
May 6, 2019

Set in present-day Brooklyn and shot over only 10 days, Dolly Wells’ directorial debut “Good Posture” extends a generous empathy to each of its characters. The film, which...

Deborah Landau, poet and director of NYUs Creative Writing Program. Her new book, Soft Targets, out now from Copper Canyon Press, extends out from the individual body to the political body. (Courtesy of Jacqueline Mia Foster)

Poet Deborah Landau Targets the World’s Evils

The director of NYU’s Creative Writing Program reflects on terrorism, climate change and political turmoil in her new book “Soft Targets.”
May 5, 2019

In her new collection “Soft Targets,” acclaimed poet and director of NYU’s Creative Writing Program Deborah Landau looks at the world’s problems and asks, “What do we...

From left to right, Zuleyma Sanchez, Sarah Runda and Hartley Bannister-Parker in CASTs production of The Tempest. This is the first time in the clubs 20 year history that its staging a Shakespeare play. (Courtesy of Hannah Freedman)

CAS Theater Puts on Its First Shakespeare With ‘The Tempest’

Tackling Shakespeare for the first time, College of Arts and Science Theater works through difficult language to breathe new life into a classic work.
Apr 21, 2019

College of Arts and Science Theater is putting on its first Shakespeare production in the 20 years since its inception. The club, which just won a 2019 President’s Service Award,...

Sarah Teed and David Leeper in Where Do All the Ghosts Go? The new play, running at Theater for the New City, follows the ghosts of five historical figures who haunt a soon-to-be-demolished building. (Photo by Joe Bly)

Ghosts Face Gentrification in ‘Where Do All the Ghosts Go?’

In Barbara’s Kahn’s dark comedy, an eclectic group of ghosts who call the St. Denis building home must team up with a young lesbian couple to find new dwellings to haunt before the historic building is demolished.
Apr 14, 2019

In a historic building just south of Union Square, modernist artist Marcel Duchamp (David Leeper) and Wild West showman Buffalo Bill (Christopher Lowe) play a game of invisible...

Elle Fanning plays Violet Valenski in about a teenager who competes in a singing competition, trying to become a pop star. (Courtesy of Interscope Films)

Fanning Brings Depth to the Flossy Sugar High of ‘Teen Spirit’

Though it sometimes defers to tired tropes and supplanting aesthetic luster for psychic nuance, Max Minghella’s “Teen Spirit” offers a stylized Cinderella story that is undeniably contagious.
Apr 7, 2019

It’s no secret that Elle Fanning is a captivating presence on screen. In “Teen Spirit,” an indie take on a Cinderella story, she proves to possess not only serious acting...

The Broke People Play Festival, made up of original plays by NYU students, gives playwrights a unique chance to develop their scripts through performance. (Courtesy of Broke People Theatre)

Broke People Play Festival Prioritizes Process and Inclusivity

Placing writers at the forefront of the process, Broke People Theatre takes new and exciting work out of the classroom and onto the stage.
Mar 31, 2019

“Mosaics.” “Pansies.” “Depression Flocks to Black Youths Much Like Moths to Flames.” “A Young Adult Novel by Some White Guy.” These are some of the titles of the...

Caitlin Gallogly and Christopher M. Smith in the new drama written and directed by Tony award winner Kathleen J. Johnson. Despite its potential for self-indulgence, “Fiercely Independent” soars with the help of witty dialogue and compassionate performances. (Courtesy of Carol Rosegg)

‘Fiercely Independent’ Successfully Tackles Marital Ennui

This one-act play by playwright and director Kathleen K. Johnson explores the ways in which relationships cement themselves in physical space.
Mar 8, 2019

Hotel rooms seem out of touch with reality; unhitched from the particularities of home and insulated from the rest of the world, they occupy some other plane of existence. It is...

The poster for Steinhardt Educational Theatres production of Radium Girls. The play, based on the true story of young factory workers poisoned by the radioactive paint they worked with, still resonates today. (Courtesy of Steinhardt)

Steinhardt’s ‘Radium Girls’ Spotlights Unfair Practices, Then and Now

Steinhardt Educational Theatre’s illuminating production — about the radium poisoning of young female factory workers in the early 20th century — tackles endlessly relevant themes like labor rights, corporate corruption and female rage.
Mar 4, 2019

Labor rights. Corporate corruption. Female rage. These are only a few of the hot-button topics addressed in Steinhardt Educational Theatre’s new production of “Radium Girls,”...

Suggestions for Non-Cheesy Valentine’s Day Reads

Suggestions for Non-Cheesy Valentine’s Day Reads

If you’re looking for an alternative to Nicholas Sparks this February, here are some novels and short story collections that recognize love as the strange and idiosyncratic thing it is.
Feb 13, 2019

Tolstoy wrote that “All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love.” As Valentine’s Day approaches, many of us may find ourselves, happily or begrudgingly,...

Jake Gyllenhaal and Toni Collete in Velvet Buzzsaw. (via Facebook)

‘Velvet Buzzsaw’ Attempts to Push Satire Through Horror

The Netflix film premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival and reunites “Nightcrawler” team Dan Gilroy, Jake Gyllenhaal and Rene Russo.
Feb 4, 2019

Dan Gilroy’s “Velvet Buzzsaw” provides a gory, fantastical look into the contemporary art world that shoots for the stars but, unfortunately, still doesn’t make it to the...