23 March 2012

Theatre Blog: “Café Variations” – Café Culture History, Part 5: Cyber Café

Origially posted at ArtsEmerson Blog (3/23/12). Beginning in the 1990s, many traditional cafés began transforming into so-called cybercafés or internet cafés. The transformation once again reestablished the historical role of cafés as places of public discourse, information exchange and communication. Internet cafés provide internet access to their patrons, usually for an hourly fee. Currently there are […]

Continue Reading

22 March 2012

Theatre Blog: “Café Variations” – Café Culture History, Part 4: Boston. On the history of Boston coffee – and tea.

Originally posted at Arts Emerson Blog (3/22/12). Boston has always been the trendiest town in the U.S. and when it comes to coffeehouses, it’s no exception. Although the first man known to bring knowledge of coffee to North America was Captain John Smith in 1607, who was familiar with coffee, thanks to his travels in Turkey, […]

Continue Reading

21 March 2012

Theatre Blog: “Café Variations” – Café Culture History, Part 3: Café Culture and Public Spaces

Originally posted at ArtsEmerson Blog (3/21/12). American scholars have long noted the comparative scarcity of informal public spaces in American social and cultural life. In the last few decades, the public sphere, parks, streets, squares and walkways have become the domain of the poor and the homeless. Many sociologists lament that, increasingly, Americans are expected to […]

Continue Reading

20 March 2012

Theatre Blog: “Café Variations” – Café Culture History, Part 2: Café Culture and the Age of Enlightenment

Originally posted at ArtsEmerson Blog (3/20/12). The first American coffee house opened in Boston in 1676. Right away, beginning in the late seventeenth century, coffee houses in Boston and New York served as auction houses for commodities and real estate. Beginning in 1729, a coffee house was located next to the Merchants Exchange in New York, […]

Continue Reading

20 March 2012

Conversation with Lawrence Switzky about Robert Lepage’s “The Andersen Project”

Originally posted at ArtsEmerson Blog (3/20/12). In anticipation of The Andersen Project, Emerson professor Magda Romanska talks to Lawrence Switzky, professor of English and drama at The University of Toronto and author of The Rise of the Theatre Director: Negotiations with the Material World. Prof. Switzky specializes in modern and contemporary dramatic literature, the history of […]

Continue Reading

16 March 2012

Theatre Blog: “Café Variations” – Café Culture History, Part 1: Sobering Up of Europe

Originally posted at ArtsEmerson Blog (3/16/12). Coffee, the sober drink, the mighty nourishment of the brain, which unlike other spirits, heightens purity and lucidity; coffee, which clears the clouds of the imagination and their gloomy weight; which illuminates the reality of things suddenly with the flash of truth. – Jules Michelet, French historian (1798-1874) Coffee’s roots […]

Continue Reading

15 March 2012

Theatre Blog: “Café Variations” – The Connection. On Meeting Anne Bogart

Originally posted at ArtsEmerson Blog (3/15/12).   I am a dramaturg for the upcoming production of Café Variations, a collaboration between the SITI Company, ArtsEmerson and Emerson Stage. I am also a faculty member at Emerson, teaching courses in dramaturgy and theatre history. The first brainstorming rehearsals for the production have already begun in New York […]

Continue Reading

15 January 2012

Bogusław Schaeffer: Poland’s Renaissance Man

Originally posted at The Cosmopolitan Review (1/15/12). Polish theatre has gained world renown thanks to its innovative and bold experimental style. In international theatre circles, it is often enough to mention the names of Grotowski, Kantor, Witkacy, and Gombrowicz to elicit profound nods of approval. One aspect of Polish theatre that is well known but rarely […]

Continue Reading

12 January 2012

A Conversation With Harvey Young about Robbie McCauley

This blog was initially posted at ArtsEmerson Blog (1/12/12). Emerson College Professor and Dramaturg Magda Romanska talks to Harvey Young, award-winning author, theatre scholar and internationally recognized authority on African American theatre, about Robbie McCauley, the African American experience and the importance of the body, memory and confession. Magda Romanska: In your book, Embodying Black Experience, […]

Continue Reading

2 November 2011

AAPEX Interview: Magda Romanska

Originally posted at AAPEX (11/2/11). Polish-born writer and dramaturg Magda Romanska is an assistant professor of Theatre Studies and Dramaturgy at Emerson College in Boston, MA, and a research associate at Harvard University’s Davis Center. She studied literature and drama at Stanford University and Yale School of Drama, and earned a Ph.D. in Theatre from Cornell University. […]

Continue Reading