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Essays

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Identity is complicated and contextual, whether we’re raising our hands on screen or in person. (Image by Melita, via Adobe Stock.)
Identity is complicated and contextual, whether we’re raising our hands on screen or in person. (Image by Melita, via Adobe Stock.)

When we can’t meet in person, do we need a shorthand for our identity?

Invisible in the Zoomiverse

It’s hard enough to navigate our identities IRL. What happens when we’re reduced to a Zoom box or other distanced communication? Anndee Hochman considers.
Anndee Hochman

Anndee Hochman

Essays 5 minute read
Valerie Coleman takes a bow after the world premiere of her piece, 'Umoja,' with the Philadelphia Orchestra in September 2019. (Photo by Jessica Griffin.)
Valerie Coleman takes a bow after the world premiere of her piece, 'Umoja,' with the Philadelphia Orchestra in September 2019. (Photo by Jessica Griffin.)

How many female composers does it take to change a narrative?

We're still talking about "women" composers. Can we just not?

Women’s History Month is rife with content celebrating the achievements of women, and classical music is no exception. Meg Ryan is cranky about it.
Meg Ryan

Meg Ryan

Essays 5 minute read
When Theatre Horizon’s ‘The Agitators,’ starring Steven Wright and Charlotte Northeast, opened on March 4, 2020, the artists had no idea what was coming. (Photo by Daniel Kontz.)
When Theatre Horizon’s ‘The Agitators,’ starring Steven Wright and Charlotte Northeast, opened on March 4, 2020, the artists had no idea what was coming. (Photo by Daniel Kontz.)

One year later: Philly theater artists open up about the first shutdown

The nights the lights went out

A year after theaters around the country suspended in-person performances due to the pandemic, Cameron Kelsall speaks with Philadelphia theater artists about looking back and moving forward.
Cameron Kelsall

Cameron Kelsall

Essays 5 minute read
This Broad Street McDonald's was the perfect dinner spot for the CAPA students pouring past the pillars across the street. (Photo by Alaina Johns.)
This Broad Street McDonald's was the perfect dinner spot for the CAPA students pouring past the pillars across the street. (Photo by Alaina Johns.)

CAPA alums lost an old friend when the McDonald’s at Broad and Carpenter closed

Firsts, lasts, and cheeseburgers

CAPA students made the McDonald’s across the street a second home between classes and concerts, where the drama never stopped and nobody went hungry. Isabel Soisson remembers.
Isabel Soisson

Isabel Soisson

Essays 4 minute read

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The masks? They’re everywhere. (Photo by Anndee Hochman.)
The masks? They’re everywhere. (Photo by Anndee Hochman.)

After a year of pandemic life, how do we measure the distance between then and now?

A year ago…

How have we weathered the last year? Let us count the ways. Births. Zooms. Funerals. The hugs we missed. Anndee Hochman is still realizing that anything can happen.
Anndee Hochman

Anndee Hochman

Essays 5 minute read
Is a thump-and-swish wake-up what everybody wants? (Image via PxHere.)
Is a thump-and-swish wake-up what everybody wants? (Image via PxHere.)

Stuck between a good neighbor and a noisy neighbor at seven in the morning

I only have ears for you

Especially when many of us are spending extra time at home, what does being a good neighbor really mean? Roz Warren listens in.
Roz Warren

Roz Warren

Essays 5 minute read
Last year, PAAFF and the Japanese American Citizens League presented ‘American Peril: Faces of the Enemy,’ which explored anti-Asian and anti-Islamic propaganda and its impact today. (Photo by Justin Chiu.)
Last year, PAAFF and the Japanese American Citizens League presented ‘American Peril: Faces of the Enemy,’ which explored anti-Asian and anti-Islamic propaganda and its impact today. (Photo by Justin Chiu.)

The Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival stands against anti-Asian violence, and so can you

No place for anti-Asian hate

When a board member of SAG-AFTRA shared a blatantly anti-Chinese meme earlier this year, the Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival responded strongly. Marta Rusek talks with festival director Selena Yip and suggests ways for everyone to step up.
Marta Rusek

Marta Rusek

Essays 6 minute read
Try the Citywide Special at the Passyunk Avenue bar. (Image courtesy of Tremont Photography and Passyunk Avenue.)
Try the Citywide Special at the Passyunk Avenue bar. (Image courtesy of Tremont Photography and Passyunk Avenue.)

Fitzrovia’s Passyunk Avenue restaurant takes South Philly flavor abroad

London’s taste of brotherly love

After New Jersey native JP Teti realized he couldn’t get a cheesesteak in London, he dreamed up a restaurant that takes an authentic South Philly vibe abroad. Emily Savidge stops in.
Emily Savidge

Emily Savidge

Essays 5 minute read
Life’s ultimate goal: writer Kelly Conrad (left) performs with an improv teammate in ‘Not Yet Rated.’ (Image courtesy of Kelly Conrad.)
Life’s ultimate goal: writer Kelly Conrad (left) performs with an improv teammate in ‘Not Yet Rated.’ (Image courtesy of Kelly Conrad.)

On my Philly Valentine’s day, here’s what being a hopeless romantic really means

My own romantic comedy

In between performances of the annual ‘Not Yet Rated: An Improvised Rom-Com,’ writer and performer Kelly Conrad reflects on what romantic comedies have taught her about life.
Kelly Conrad

Kelly Conrad

Essays 4 minute read
With art projects, there’s something more important than following directions. (Photo by Cass Lewis.)
With art projects, there’s something more important than following directions. (Photo by Cass Lewis.)

Can arts education save American democracy?

Creative intervention

As a parent, writer, and lover of the arts, Cass Lewis says we need an intervention of arts education to help prevent events likes the January 6 Capitol insurrection.
Cass Lewis

Cass Lewis

Essays 6 minute read