Category: history

Angels in America Timeline: Part One

Posted September 13, 2012 - 10:57am

The script for Angels in America draws heavily from crucial junctures in World history. To help guide you through some of the references made in Angels in America, we have constructed a timeline - this week's installment is the first half, 300 B.C.E - 1969 C.E.

300 B.C.E. - The development of the Hebrew alphabet. Beginning with the appearance of a pictograph of an ox head, the aleph glyph becomes the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet and the initial letter of God’s name at the time of Creation. The aleph is one of the three words alluding to His Ineffable Name.

68 or 95 C.E. - John of Patmos writes The Book of Revelation (named after its first word, apokalypsis), creating the most common Christian image of the end of the world.

525 C.E.  - The Anno Domini dating system is invented by the Scythian monk Dionysius Exiguous (Dennis the Small). To make cosmic history coincide with the Roman Diocletian calendar, he assigns Jesus’ birth as December 25, so the assumed date of his circumcision fell on January 1, 1 AD.

1348 - The Black Plague enters Europe. By the end of 1350, one-third of the population of Europe is dead. Prophecies of the End of the World abound.

read more

$5.95 is a great deal for a vibrator!

Posted February 2, 2011 - 10:38am

Since In the Next Room, or the vibrator play is right around the corner, we'll be feeding you some tidbits related to the play!

Despite the titillation factor of the play's subtitle, electric vibrators were less controversial in the late 19th and early 20th century than masturbation -- and even than the speculum and tampon! They were advertised regularly in mass market publications: Rachel Maine, author of The Technology of Orgasm, became interested in the subject when she started noticing ads in needlework magazines of the period (her original focus of research).








read more

Finding the turbulent polyphony of Macbeth

Posted September 30, 2010 - 2:28pm

Macbeth is one of Shakespeare’s best-known and most-produced plays, which makes it one of the best-known and most-produced plays in the English language. Certain key images and phrases permeate our consciousness as the play has been adapted and parodied in almost every manner and style imaginable. In the 1960s, in Barbara Garson’s Macbird, it became an expression of distrust for government following John F. Kennedy’s assassination. In the South African uMabatha it was a vehicle to portray the fall of the Zulu Empire. In addition to versions of the play itself, films have turned it into a samurai tragedy (Akira Kurosawa’s Throne of Blood), gangster power struggles in Brooklyn and Melbourne, Australia, and a fight to control a fast food outlet in rural Pennsylvania. Stage productions in the past year have used the plot to portray power struggles in a Dutch chimpanzee enclosure and a Botswanan baboon troop. It has been parodied on The Simpsons and turned into a one-man show using The Simpsons’ characters’ voices for Shakespeare’s thanes. And this only scratches the surface.

read more