Last updateWed, 20 Sep 2017 1pm


Pollak Theatre Echoes With ‘Civil War Voices’

Civil War VoicesOne hundred fifty years after the American Civil War erupted between the Northern and Southern states, “Civil War Voices: Songs and Memoirs of Five Extraordinary Lives” was performed at the University to commemorate those affected by the war and bring new perspectives to history.

Students, professors, and townspeople gathered at Pollak Theatre this past Sunday to hear the testimonies of Joe Harris, Elizabeth Keckley, Theo Perry, Harriet Perry, and Joshua Chamberlain through music.

Ten phenomenal actors and two flawless musicians brought history to life through their emotional portrayals of prominent events both large and small, as told through author James R. Harris’s play and composer Mark Hayes’s music.

The physical setting of the stage, though simple, was equally functional and symbolic. The stage was bordered by multiple American flags through all of its phases, as the actors sat or stood on and around wooden benches.

When scenes changed from one to another, it was subtle yet effective as the lights were altered, benches were moved, and,  actors changed coats to transform themselves into other characters.

The women wore frilly patterned long dresses with hoop skirts, while the men were fashioned with suits. There were few props, one being bayonets that were nearly the size of the men in the show.

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Darius Goes West Embodies Strength and Determination

Darius Goes WestDuchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) is a disease where all the muscles in the human body degenerate, causing the legs to fail, and eventually the heart.

A portion of the documentary, Darius Goes West, which was screened on October 20 in Wilson Auditorium gave an impression of one individual living with DMD, Darius Weems.

The film’s director Logan Smalley was also on campus to present the film. 

Darius Goes West is about 15-year-old Weems, a young man affected by DMD. His older brother, Mario, was also affected by DMD and died at 19.

With help from his friends and Smalley, Weems decided to go on a 7000 mile cross country tour with 10 other friends for two reasons.

One was to get his wheelchair customized on MTV’s “Pimp my Ride” and the other was to promote DMD, and to collect funding for research into the disease.

Impressively, the movie was funded on a $70,000 budget raised almost entirely through charity, Smalley said. Although the idea of a cross country tour seemed like a silly idea at first, in mere minutes Weems and Smalley planned out the idea and were dedicated to pursuing this goal.

Due to the fact that the movie’s budget was funded by charity, Smalley said that Darius Goes West had one of the longest movie credits at the end.

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Historic cameras and photographs are a snapshot to the past

Historic cameras 1The Guggenheim Library is currently hosting an exhibit featuring historical cameras and photographs from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, presented by Enoch Nappen, associate professor for political science and sociology.

There are over 30 different cameras and photograph equipment in the display, decorated with 61 various antique photographs from the 1800’s. The exhibit is a part of Nappen’s collection and discoveries over the years.

Eleanora Dubicki, an associate librarian at the University and avid fan of photography, helped set up the exhibit with Nappen. “He’s got a really interesting assortment of cameras, starting from some of the oldest,” Dubicki said.

The cameras range in size from a large box to small pocket versions with some hidden in a pocket watch or a woman’s vanity case. The display also features a spy camera made in Germany, a finger print camera, and cameras used by newspaper photographers. There are also various photo albums and photograph equipment, including old tools like exposure meters and lanterns for developing film.

Nappen explained a large camera that’s displayed known as a detective camera was named so because “it was a wooden box. People didn’t know it was a camera… [Detectives] could take pictures without people knowing.”

The display shows how film has progressed over the years with an assortment of old photograph film material and style, like daguerreotype, ambrotype, ferrotype, cartes de visite and cabinet photos.

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Ray Michelli Remembered by Many

Beloved Member of the Communication Department Passes Away

Ray Michelli 1

Ray Michelli was someone you just couldn’t miss when you walked into a room packed with people. It had nothing to do with the fact that he was bound to a wheelchair; it had everything to do with an infectious smile, as described by many, which lit up everyone around him.

After living with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy for all his 36 years, Ray passed away on Thursday, October 6. Remembered by a support system of family and friends, he was also cherished by several members of the University community. As a communication student, a sports talk show host and DJ for WMCX, and a statistician for the University football team, this former Hawk had his plate full, but enjoyed every bite of it.

“As anyone who knew him came to realize, he was one of the proudest and most courageous human beings anyone could ever meet,” Nick Mischelli, Ray’s uncle, said during the funeral’s eulogy.

Dr. Chad Dell, Chair of the Department of Communication, commemorates Ray’s smile and positive attitude. “He was so passionate about radio, he was passionate about sports, and he always had something funny or an interesting angle that made me see things a different way, so I always liked talking to him,” Dell says. He heard of Ray’s passing on the University’s alumni Facebook page.

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New ‘Walking Dead’ Season Keeps Viewers Hungry

Walking Dead 1Before we dig into the sophomore year of AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” let’s give ourselves a refresher on some of the most important points from season one.

The main character, Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), has no idea that his wife Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies) had an affair with his best friend, Shane (Jon Bernthal), and there is a bit of an underlying opposition between the two. Even worse, Shane still wants to be with Lori.

Andrea (Laurie Holden), who at the beginning of season one lost her sister to the “walkers,” as the zombies are called, attempted to commit suicide by trying to stay behind at the  Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) when it blew up, but she was rescued by Dale (Jeffrey DeMunn), who was not ready for her to die. She holds some sort of resentment for Dale for saving her, and may still be suicidal.

Just before the CDC blew up, the sole scientist there, Dr. Edwin Jenner (Noah Emmerich), told Rick something that was not revealed to the audience. We are supposed to find out what this inaudible whisper was this season.

Finally, Merle Dixon (Michael Rooker) is still missing. Last season, in a heated argument between T-Dog (Irone Singleston) and himself, the group of survivors turned on him and chained Merle to a pipe on the roof of a building. Left for dead, he escaped, and we may see more of him this season.

Rick, who became somewhat a leader of the group in season one, struggles to keep himself from losing it as he and his motley crew of survivors push forward through this dreary world that they could have never imagined.

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Crimes of the Heart Coming to Woods Theatre

Crimes of the HeartIf you ever took John Burke’s, Associate Professor and Director of theatre arts, acting class, you probably heard a speech about happiness. “You have a right to be happy and the hardest time to remember that is when you’re sad,” Burke said.

So it should not come as much of a surprise that one of the main themes of this year’s play, Crimes of the Heart, is the search for happiness.

Burke is directing this play by Beth Henley about three sisters who come back together after some time apart to deal with their sick grandfather, the man who raised them.

They’ve all had their fair share of problems. They grew up with an abusive father and their mother committed suicide when they were children, so it isn’t surprising that the three women don’t really have perfect lives.

Babe, the youngest, shot her husband. Meg, the middle child, moved out to Hollywood but failed to become a star, while Lenny, the oldest, didn’t do much of anything at all. She was the one to stay at home and take care of their grandfather. 

Even though, the dramatic comedy takes place in the 1970’s in Mississippi, you don’t think that will stop one from relating to the play.

Michael Rosas, who will play Barnette, said, “Although this show is set in Hazlehurst, Mississippi, a completely different world from North Eastern USA, this show brings up topics that most could relate to. The main question that this show poses to the audience, in my opinion, is should your past dictate your present? Everyone has skeletons in their closet, but what if they were all exposed?”

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Have You seen This ‘American Horror Story’?

American Horror StoryLet’s be clear on one thing. “American Horror Story” is not in any way shape or form “Glee,” even though they do share creators, Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuck. There is neither a joke nor a jazz hand in sight.

What you do see is a haunted house, a creepy little girl, body parts in jars and overdone music. The show is aptly titled because it does truly embrace every classic American horror story fixture.

Each episode begins with a flashback tale about the house and its former residents.

In the pilot, two boys die in the abandoned house after a little girl, Adelaide (Jamie Brewer), warns them of their fate in 1978. Flash forward to 2011 and the Harmons are buying the Victorian house in an effort to start fresh. Vivien Harmon (Connie Britton) had a miscarriage and then found her husband Ben (Dylan McDermott) in bed with one of his students, calling for their family to move from Boston to Los Angeles.  The family moves into the house, knowing that the last couple to live there died recently in a murder-suicide.

The Harmons’ new neighbor turns out to be Adelaide, the little girl who warned the boys they would die. She tells the Harmons the same thing after she breaks into their house. Her mother Constance (Jessica Lange) takes her back home but gives Vivien sage to cleanse the house. Vivien actually does burn the sage in a cleansing, but it doesn’t help because Ben starts hearing voices. He has some fixation with fire that he can’t control. It seems as though he’ll eventually light the house on fire.

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On Screen In Person Journeys to Bethlehem

Journeys to Bethlehem“I didn’t write this script.  I listened to it,” writer/director Jim Hanon said about his documentary, The Little Town of Bethlehem to a crowd of young and old on October 10 in Wilson Auditorium.  Hanon was the latest filmmaker to present his work and participate in a Q & A in the new film series, On Screen In Person.

On Screen In Person began at the University September 12 when Nancy Kelly presented her documentary, Trust, at Pollak Theatre.  This films series continues to be sponsored by the Department of Communication and the Performing Arts Series; it is also funded by the National Endowment for the Arts Regional Touring Program.

The Little Town of Bethlehem focused on three individuals living in Israel, Sami Award (Christian), Yonatan Shapira (Jewish), and Ahmad Al’Azzeh (Muslim). 

Together, they talked about living in Israel or Palestine and discussed the difficulties they had and still face in this conflicted region.  They then discussed how each has worked to promote peace in the Middle East through non-violent demonstrations and organizations.

Chad Dell, chair of the Department of Communication, welcomed the audience and said On Screen In Person is a touring film series along the East coast and four more filmmakers are scheduled to visit the University.

Since the Auditorium is smaller than Pollak Theatre, Dell encouraged the audience to move up and said, “This screen is merely respectable.  The sound system is good.  Take advantage of the special seats up front.”  Dell also thanked colleague Andrew Demirjian, specialist professor from the Department of Communication, for bringing his classes to this event, Donna Dolphin, Communication professor for working with Dell on On Screen In Person, as well as Saliba Sarsar, professor of Political Science and Associate Vice President for Global Iniatives.

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Contact Information

The Outlook
Jules L. Plangere Jr. Center for Communication
and Instructional Technology (CCIT)
Room 260, 2nd floor

The Outlook
Monmouth University
400 Cedar Ave, West Long Branch, New Jersey

Phone: (732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151