Related Shows Show Closed This production ended its run on Feb. 28, 2015 Snow Orchid View Comments Opening night is scheduled for February 8. Tickets are now available to see Joe Pintauro’s Snow Orchid off-Broadway. Directed by Valentina Fratti, the show will star Robert Cuccioli, Angelina Fiordellisi, Stephen Plunkett, David McElwee and Timothy Hassler. is set to play a limited engagement February 3 through February 28 at the Lion Theatre on Theatre Row. Set in 1964 Brooklyn, Snow Orchid follows Rocco Lazarra (Cuccioli) as he returns home a year after a mental breakdown. His wife Filumena (Fiordellisi) has not left the house since he left, and their two sons—Sebbie (Plunkett), a car mechanic and Blaise (McElwee), a college dropout—urge her to get out of the house, but with no success. Sebbie longs to escape his complicated relationship with his mother, who knows he is gay but denies it, while his younger brother Blaise tries to earn the motherly love Filumena has never shown him. Hassler plays Doogan, Sebbie’s boyfriend.
AMES — The nonprofit group Speech First has filed a lawsuit against Iowa State University saying three policies instituted on campus have had a chilling impact on free speech.The president of the group, Nicole Neily says one policy prevents students from writing chalk messages on campus. “It seems it started with a pro-life group chalking pro-life messages and then a pro-choice group chalked their messages. And then everybody kind of got involved and there were a lots of political things going on,” Neily says. “And then at some point some offensive messages were chalked and the school put in place an interim ban — and then the student government voted on it and made it a permanent ban.”Neily says the ban prevents communication at a key time when presidential candidates are visiting campus. “A lot of the students I talked to had learned about these events and either attended or organized counter events as a result of this chalking,” she says. “And so I think student’s political and civic participation is really impacted by this in particular.”Neily says the school also banned sending emails in support of candidates. And she says they created a Campus Climate Reporting System to take reports of things students found offensive. “Turns out that often the speech that ends up being reported is political speech and it is religious speech. And the school has a portal where you can do this anonymously,” she says.Neily says the process used to react to the reports raised concerns with students. “The school will collect that information. The team that analyzes it is made up of university administrators, including university police — and then depending on what the report is — they’ll reach out to the reporter and they’ll reach out the person who has been reported on. And if needed — they’ll refer it elsewhere for further investigation,” Neily explains.She says this process has a chilling impact on the students’ rights to free speech. “I think of it as kind of a Orwellian reporting system,” Neily explains.”Students are making what I think is a very logical decision to just avoid the hassle of going through an investigation altogether. And just avoiding having controversial discussions — because they fear the punishment by process.”Neily says these three things go directly against the idea of what should happen on a campus. “You know, college campuses are the place where ideas should be vigorously debated. But unfortunately it seems like the window of acceptable discourse is narrow these days that students who express viewpoints outside of that orthodoxy, they face administrative proceedings,” Neily says. “Iowa State is a public university, it is a state actor, they have to uphold the First Amendment, period.”Neily says Speech First has asked the court to declare that the chalking ban, email prohibition on political speech, and Campus Climate Response System are all unconstitutional, and to enjoin both the chalking ban and prohibition on electronic correspondence in support of candidates and ballot initiatives in advance of the February 3rd Iowa Caucuses.An ISU spokesman says they are reviewing the lawsuit and had no comment
The recent passing of the legendary collegiate sports analyst and journalist Beano Cook and his words cracked the scars of a few old wounds for me. Decades ago when Beano was asked why he loved college football he responded, “Why do I love college football? The Passion. A lot of us who follow college football are like Walter Mitty. We dream of being the Saturday hero. On Sundays they play for money. On Saturdays they play for passion, for the love of the game. I think that’s why it’s our greatest sport. When people study this civilization 10,000 years from now, historians are going to be baffled about why more people followed pro football than college.“They are going to decide that it was a weakness of this civilization that more people wanted to watch pro football on Sundays rather than college on Saturdays. Many things have changed about the game during my lifetime but one thing that hasn’t changed is the passion.” Now get this. There were many Saturday heroes from the college football ranks that ended up being Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday zeros. Those whofailed to make the grade were tossed out with the trash.Why should college football be considered America’s greatest just because the student athletes play for free? Now I agree with the premise that not all student athletes are deserving of pay but the marquee players that fill the stadiums and motivate their alumni to loosen up their purse strings and take the locks off their wallets should be able to enjoy the spoils.According to the website of the NCAA; “The percentage of Black athletes playing football for Division 1 colleges and universities was more than 45 percent during the 2010-2011 season. The 2011-12 TIDES report on bowl-bound FBS teams found that the average graduation success rate for White football student athletes is 81 percent on bowl-bound teams, while standing at only 61 percent for Black student athletes.” Lets dig a little deeper boys and girls. Take for example the food vending giant Aramark. They serve over 48 university sports stadiums and profit hundreds of millions of dollars. If they gave away their products and had their people give those products away would they continue to be in business? Hell no! Would people come to work for them for nada, negative? Would the factories that supplied them do so for zilch, I can’t go for that; no can do?Would Aramark be considered the greatest food vendor in history if they gave away their product, nope and no, they would be considered either extremely philanthropic or just plain dumb. Beano also said that “a lot of us that follow college football are like Walter Mitty.” Do you know who the fictitious character Walter Mitty is and what beliefs that his character encompassed?The “Secret Life of Walter Mitty” was written by James Thurber and it first appeared in The New Yorker on March 18, 1939. The name Walter Mitty and the derivative word “Mittyesque” have entered the English language, denoting an ineffectual person who spends more time in heroic daydreams than paying attention to the real world, or more seriously, one who intentionally attempts to mislead or convince others that he is something that he is not. Writer Maria Bustillos posted an article on theawl.com in September 2012 laying out her historical observations about author James Thurber. Bustillos said that, “Thurber was a depressive and nervous guy, forever uncertain of himself and his place in the world, though he achieved worldwide fame in his lifetime. Much has been written about Thurber’s racism, narrow-mindedness but I view him as the product of his times. Despite the essential darkness of Thurber’s character, his subtle optimism is ever-present, like a thread of gold shot through the fabric of all he wrote. Racism: what are we to make of the race consciousness of a man who found nearly everyone, including himself, a little bit scary and weird?”When a group of people, any group of people become nervous and unsure about themselves like Thurber they have to invent reasons that they are superior. Yet, they will almost always present a false opinion and observation about themselves to those on that they consider superior. The character of Walter Mitty may have been a figment of the imagination of James Thurber but racism and narrow-mindedness to be alive and well in American society as well as in the system of our nation’s college athletics and academics. I hate to say goodbye to Beano Cook but I’ll darn sure be glad when Walter Mitty and his disciples fall by the wayside. I am teed off. No, let’s cut the crap. I am really pissed off. I have to say what I mean and mean what I say. Close your eyes shut your mouth off put on and adjust your rabbit ears so that you can really freakin’ tune in to what I am about to say. I know you are saying at this very moment, “Aubrey Bruce has lost his mind, how can we close our eyes wide shut and read what is on the page?” Well now get this. What I am about to share with you is going to be revealing, historical, rhetorical, categorical and any other “orical” that you may run across in your “vocab” or rhyming dictionary. You are going to be able to run your fingers across this page and feel these words, hey almost like a new sort of spiritual Braille.