New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

Sasha Cohen

Sasha Cohen, Arts Editor

Sasha Cohen is a junior studying Producing and Promotion for the Arts with a minor in Business of Entertainment, Media and Technology. She is from Chicago, but please do not ask her to choose between New York- and Chicago-style pizza. When Sasha is not working, she is often belting Broadway tunes, searching for the best pastries or checking out NYC parks. For more about Sasha, follow @_sasha.cohen_ on Instagram.

All content by Sasha Cohen
Stephen Sondheim, an American composer and lyricist, started his theater career by writing the lyrics for “West Side Story” in 1957. The eight-time Tony Award winner died on Nov. 26, 2021, at age 91. (Image via Wikimedia Commons)

Stephen Sondheim: a legend who lives on

Eight-time Tony Award and eight-time Grammy Award winning composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim died on Nov. 26, 2021, at age 91.
Sasha Cohen, Arts Editor November 30, 2021

A few days have passed since composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim's sudden death at age 91, and I am still struggling to make sense of my grief. I grew up with Sondheim. I sang...

On Sept. 22, University officials made the decision to ban NYU’s performing arts clubs from meeting in person for the time being. This decision creates confusion when considering that most of NYU’s activities take place in person. (Photo by Nika Woodfill)

NYU, reverse the ban on in-person performing arts clubs

On Sept. 22, university senior leadership prohibited performing arts clubs from meeting in-person until further notice. But with a majority of university activity in person, this decision is unfair.
Sasha Cohen, Arts Editor October 4, 2021

Put yourself in an NYU student’s shoes.  You love choreographing with Pulse Dance Project, singing an alto harmony for the N’Harmonics, performing sketches for Friends...

The world is full of critics and people wanting to shut you out. That’s all the more reason to make your art. (Staff Illustration by Susan Behrends Valenzuela)

Dear Artist: Risks have rewards

In a world filled with criticism, some artists feel pressured to conform to what is considered mainstream. However, now is the time for artists to reclaim what is truly theirs: art itself.
Sasha Cohen, Arts Editor August 30, 2021

Let’s face it: people are insecure. Between balancing the desire for social acceptance and putting forth our most authentic selves, we feel as if every decision we make puts...

An illustration of a Black woman in a green shirt and a white woman in a yellow shirt listening to music through wired headphones. The cord of the headphones spells out “Listen to This.”

Listen to this: Singles from July

In case you missed it, here are new tracks by Bo Burnham, Peggy Gou and more.

WSN’s music desk is no longer on summer hiatus. While the staff took a short break, the music world delivered hundreds of singles to sift through and enjoy. And yet, through...

An illustration of a Black woman in a green shirt and a white woman in a yellow shirt listening to music through wired headphones. The cord of the headphones spells out “Listen to This.”

Listen to This: Singles from April 17-23

In case you missed it, here are new tracks by Day6, Alanis Morissette and more.

The relationship between an artist and the listener can be a powerful one. Music often formulates or elicits emotions we cannot formulate as eloquently, or universalizes personal...

Movies like Spirited Away and My Neighbor Totoro will transport you to new places without leaving the comfort of your bedroom. As the nights get colder and longer, the Washington Square News staff wants to make sure you have great movies to watch. (Staff Illustration by Chandler Littleford)

Staff Recs: Comfort Movies

Sometimes when the outside world becomes too much, a good movie is the best form of escapism.

“Fiddler on the Roof” by Norman Jewison Sasha Cohen, Arts Editor My grandma and I sing “If I Were a Rich Man” a lot. What can I say? We just love practicing our “biddy...

A mixed-media piece by WSN Creative Director Charlie Dodge captured in her dorm room. The concept of art and what it means to be an artist has shifted during the course of 2020. (Staff Illustration by Charlie Dodge, Staff Photo by Leo Sheingate)

What It Means to Be an Artist in Our New World

Artists all over the world take on a new project: reinventing what it means to be a creative during a pandemic.
Sasha Cohen, Arts Editor August 31, 2020

What does it mean to be an artist? To some, an artist has to paint a picture, sing a song or bust a move. To others, an artist has to have their name shouted by thousands of adoring...

Staff Rants: Drinks

Staff Rants: Drinks

From milk to kombucha — here’s our staff’s hot takes on drinks.

On Black Coffee Helen Wajda, Deputy Opinion Editor I love coffee as much as the next person, but I will never understand how anyone can drink it black. Maybe I’m drinking...

The Saturday Night Passover Seder featuring Ben Platt among many other celebrities was a virtual event live-streamed from the Buzzfeed Tasty channel. This unconventional celebration united Jewish people worldwide while raising funds for the CDC Foundation’s Coronavirus Emergency Response Fund. (Staff Illustration by Charlie Dodge)

‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ Pleads for a More Accepting World

After watching the Saturday Night Passover Seder live stream on Youtube, the famous song is more about struggle and perseverance than an imaginary realm.
Sasha Cohen, Performing Arts Editor April 20, 2020

Seconds before the clock struck eight, panic filled the family room as my dad struggled to set up the live stream for what would be a revolutionary event: the Saturday Night Passover...

Playwright Terrence McNally has recently passed away due to complications from COVID-19. His award-winning work such as “Ragtime” should be celebrated and remembered, as his writing is still relevant today. (Staff Illustration by Alexandra Chan)

Terrence McNally’s Writing Must Live On

As we say a final farewell to Terrence McNally, we must not forget his writing in “Ragtime” and how relevant its vital message remains today.
Sasha Cohen, Performing Arts Editor March 31, 2020

When I learned Terrence McNally recently died of COVID-19 complications at 81 years old, my body went numb. McNally was one of Broadway’s most talented playwrights, writing...

There are many streaming services available on different platforms that are accessible to people staying home. The performing arts could be enjoyed digitally from home, and that should be taken advantage of during this time. (Staff Photo by Alexandra Chan)

The Pros and Cons of Streaming Performance

As streaming services for plays, dance and other performing arts continue to surface, people must evaluate the pros and cons behind watching performance online.
Sasha Cohen, Performing Arts Editor March 24, 2020

As people wait to be admitted into a theater, nothing builds anticipation more than colorful Playbills, anxious audience members and bright flashing lights boasting a show’s...

Online gift cards, donations, live streams and more are still viable options during this time. The WSN Arts desk lists some ways you can still support independent artists from a safe social distance. (Staff Illustration by Charlie Dodge)

How to Support New York’s Vibrant Independent Arts Scene

Even though New York is on pause, that doesn’t mean you still can’t support your favorite local bookstore or movie theater from home.

One week ago, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio ordered New York City movie theaters to shut down as part of many initiatives to hopefully “flatten the curve.” Earlier in...

The Richard Rodgers Theater on Broadway hosts the award-winning musical Hamilton created by Lin-Manuel Miranda. Since a Broadway usher has reported testing positive for COVID-19, Broadway is now shutting down.(Staff Photo by Jake Capriotti)

Coronavirus Closes the Curtains on Broadway

New York restricts gatherings that consist of 500 people or more, which is forcing Broadway to go dark for a month.
Sasha Cohen, Performing Arts Editor March 13, 2020

The Great White Way is going dark for the first time in 19 years since 9/11. From March 12 through April 12, Broadway will be closed as New York attempts to prevent more coronavirus...

Student dancers performing “cellE.K.T SocieT.Y.” Second Avenue Dance Company’s March Concert “Investigating the We” enables choreographers to shine a spotlight on prevailing issues through dance and movement. (Staff Photo by Alexandra Chan)

Tisch Dance Program Students Call for Societal Change

Second Avenue Dance Company’s March concert “Investigating the WE” featured student-choreographed dances and community engagement projects.
Sasha Cohen, Performing Arts Editor March 9, 2020

Excited supporters holding bouquets of roses anxiously awaited Tisch’s Second Avenue Dance Company’s March concert to begin. The concert, “Investigating the WE,” provided...

Famous for Nicole Kidman and Ewan Mcgregor, fearlessness, and undeniably catchy songs, “Moulin Rouge!” is a cinema classic. After finding its way to the stage of Broadway, it still managed to offer a fresh and engaging experience while remaining loyal to the film. (Staff photo by Alex Tran)

Does ‘Moulin Rouge!’ Deserve to Be on Broadway?

A classic story of star-crossed lovers set in late 19th-century France raises questions on whether the jukebox musical is necessary.
Sasha Cohen, Performing Arts Editor March 4, 2020

Imagine a burlesque night club that screams eroticism and intimacy. Lightbulbs line the edges of the theater while chandeliers and red drapes hang from the ceiling. All of the...

Staff Rants and Raves: Language

Staff Rants and Raves: Language

From the unnecessary and stupid rules to the struggles of learning and speaking, here’s what our staff has to say on languages.

Rants On Creative Use of Punctuation Anna-Dmitry Muratova, Deputy Managing Editor Dear Creative Writing student, please, pretty please (!), stop NOT putting punctuation...

In the mood for love? WSN recommends some Valentine singles you may have missed this week.(Illustration by Rachel Buigas-Lopez)

Staff Recs: Valentine’s Day Edition

The Arts Desk recommends the best films, music and galleries for you to enjoy this Valentine’s Day.

Ashley Wu, Deputy Arts Editor  Even though Valentine’s Day was invented by Hallmark to sell greeting cards, let’s try to forget about capitalism for a second and celebrate...

At Strand Bookstore, books of scripts line the shelves. Reading the script or screenplay of a production can give audience members a different perspective on the play than just viewing it in theaters. (Staff Photo by Sasha Cohen)

Here’s Why Scripts Deserve as Big of Spotlight as Books

Poems and prose are conventional materials for reading while plays are wrongfully excluded despite their many admirable qualities.
Sasha Cohen, Books and Theater Editor February 10, 2020

Who decided that books and poetry are mainstream? Seriously, I want to know who. Ever since we were young, teachers continuously shove these resources in our hands as if they are...

A playbill for The Wooster Groups current performance at Skirball, a cross-media production that asks what it means for an artist to be forgotten. (Staff Photo by Sasha Cohen)

A Forgotten Spirit Haunted Audiences in ‘A Pink Chair (In Place of a Fake Antique)’

Despite minor confusion and a lack of conflict, The Wooster Group effectively paid tribute to deceased director Tadeusz Kantor through innovative storytelling.
Sasha Cohen, Books & Theater Editor February 3, 2020

The Skirball Center transformed into a theatrical time capsule for The Wooster Group’s “A Pink Chair (In Place of a Fake Antique).” Running from Jan. 23 to Feb. 2, the performance...

Staff Rants and Raves: Back to School

Staff Rants and Raves: Back to School

The first week of courses always fills people with mixed emotions. Here are our staff’s takes on the subject.

Rants On Masks Alexandra Chan, Deputy Photo Editor Growing up in post-SARS Hong Kong, wearing masks is very normal to me. It blows my mind that there is an American (or...

Be on the lookout for rush ticket and take advantage of New York Citys art scene. (Illustration by Min Ji Kim)

Three Ways to Take Advantage of NYC’s Lesser-Known Theater and Literary Scenes

Stop paying ridiculous Broadway prices when you can see higher quality productions and readings for less.
Sasha Cohen, Books & Theater Editor January 29, 2020

Between studying for exams, spending time with friends and taking necessary power naps, finding extra time to indulge in any sort of play or book is a luxury. Even if someone can...

Centered in a traditional Italian home, “Angie Aquavitae Is Aggravated and She Is Going to Tell You About It” is a one-woman show that presents a family in crisis. (Image via Wikimedia)

Angie Is Aggravated and I Understand Why

Sasha Cohen, Books & Theater Editor January 27, 2020

From Jan. 16-26, “Angie Aquavitae Is Aggravated and She Is Going to Tell You About It,” written and performed by A. Aquavitae, took the stage in Pless Hall. Produced by Gallatin...