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Editorials

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Quieter times: the 52nd Street Market-Frankford Line station on a July morning in 2013. (Photo by Kyle V. Hiller.)
Quieter times: the 52nd Street Market-Frankford Line station on a July morning in 2013. (Photo by Kyle V. Hiller.)

With protests continuing and school on the horizon, whom can we trust?

Can we fight alone?

In the midst of civil unrest, spiking COVID cases, and preemptive reopenings, are we being primed to fend for ourselves? Kyle V. Hiller considers.
Kyle V. Hiller

Kyle V. Hiller

Editorials 5 minute read
A drive-in summer concert, part of a new series at People’s Light, observes COVID safety guidelines. (Photo by Charles T. Brastow.)
A drive-in summer concert, part of a new series at People’s Light, observes COVID safety guidelines. (Photo by Charles T. Brastow.)

Like it or not, you have a new job in the pandemic

When can you start?

Arts journalists in the pandemic—just like all of us, really—are doing a job we never thought we’d have to do. Can we handle our new responsibilities? Alaina Johns considers.
Alaina Johns

Alaina Johns

Editorials 4 minute read
Lin-Manuel Miranda and Phillipa Soo are Alexander and Eliza Hamilton in the original Broadway production. (Photo courtesy of Disney.)
Lin-Manuel Miranda and Phillipa Soo are Alexander and Eliza Hamilton in the original Broadway production. (Photo courtesy of Disney.)

What responsibility does 'Hamilton' have to hip-hop, theater, and the communities they represent?

Who tells your story?

Kyle V. Hiller finally had the chance to watch ‘Hamilton’ when it arrived on Disney+ last week. As the show reaches its widest audience yet, it’s time to consider its roots.
Kyle V. Hiller

Kyle V. Hiller

Editorials 6 minute read
Is this the future of theatergoing in the COVID era? Wilma Globe original seating design by Sara Brown, Misha Kachman, and Matt Saunders. (Image courtesy of the Wilma.)
Is this the future of theatergoing in the COVID era? Wilma Globe original seating design by Sara Brown, Misha Kachman, and Matt Saunders. (Image courtesy of the Wilma.)

What does the proposed Wilma Globe say about accessibility in the arts?

Circling the Globe

Last week, the Wilma made a splash with plans for a post-COVID stage, but the local community raised concerns about safety and accessibility. Alaina Johns asks if the pandemic can drive new demands about arts access for all.
Alaina Johns

Alaina Johns

Editorials 6 minute read
Fireworks spark contemptuously now, and July 4 will hit differently this year—finally. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons.)
Fireworks spark contemptuously now, and July 4 will hit differently this year—finally. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons.)

Unmasking the Fourth of July: whose independence are we celebrating?

Liberty just for me?

Folks who want to celebrate the Fourth of July holiday without observing COVID safety are joining a long American history of ignoring the facts. Could this year be a new opportunity for all of us? Kyle V. Hiller wonders.
Kyle V. Hiller

Kyle V. Hiller

Editorials 4 minute read

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Not everyone can join this crowd. (Photo by Alaina Johns.)
Not everyone can join this crowd. (Photo by Alaina Johns.)

Chronic illness is not a barrier to standing up for justice

What have you learned from self-care?

Alaina Johns knows what it’s like to live with chronic illness and how it can make you feel like you have nothing left to give when others need you. Can we reframe this experience to promote a world in which more people can take action?
Alaina Johns

Alaina Johns

Editorials 5 minute read
A portrait of an Emancipation Day celebration in 1900. (Image via Wikimedia Commons, credited to Grace Murray.)
A portrait of an Emancipation Day celebration in 1900. (Image via Wikimedia Commons, credited to Grace Murray.)

In the midst of civil unrest, Juneteenth is here. What does emancipation mean today?

Is this my freedom?

What is Juneteenth and what does it mean for the movement happening in our current sociopolitical climate? Kyle V. Hiller considers.
Kyle V. Hiller

Kyle V. Hiller

Editorials 5 minute read
Wearing gear from Xavier Woods’s ‘UpUpDownDown,’ Kyle shows love for fellow Black nerds. (Photo by Kyle V. Hiller.)
Wearing gear from Xavier Woods’s ‘UpUpDownDown,’ Kyle shows love for fellow Black nerds. (Photo by Kyle V. Hiller.)

When this movement goes quiet, what will be left for Black people?

Wrestling with silence

Silence is complicity. But what happens when you’re Black and you’ve been silent? What are you being complicit about? Kyle V. Hiller considers a different kind of silence.
Kyle V. Hiller

Kyle V. Hiller

Editorials 5 minute read
After a weekend in crisis across the city, boarded-up businesses line East Passyunk Avenue. (Photos by Alaina Johns.)
After a weekend in crisis across the city, boarded-up businesses line East Passyunk Avenue. (Photos by Alaina Johns.)

Riots in Philadelphia: At BSR, this is why we said what we said

Here all along

Especially when our city is in crisis, BSR is a team. This is not the beginning of the work for editors Alaina and Kyle. And it’s far from the end.
Kyle V. Hiller Alaina Johns

Kyle V. Hillerand Alaina Johns

Editorials 3 minute read
Before the storm: Alaina, at left, with her fellow campers in 1993. (Photo courtesy of the Johns family.)
Before the storm: Alaina, at left, with her fellow campers in 1993. (Photo courtesy of the Johns family.)

Should 2020 be the year I try camping again?

Escape from Periwinkle Park

What was so bad about camping, anyway? After two and a half months of stay-at-home in South Philly, Alaina Johns tries to remember.
Alaina Johns

Alaina Johns

Editorials 4 minute read