Essays

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This summertime destination has all the trappings of modern civilization. (Photo by Tomwsulcer, via Wikimedia Commons.)

Heading to the Jersey shore this summer? Here’s what locals want Philadelphians to know

Coexisting down the shore

Jersey shore native Rob Laymon has some tips for migrating Pennsylvanians hitting the beach this summer.
Rob Laymon

Rob Laymon

Essays 4 minute read
Enjoying family routines that didn’t change much with the pandemic: the writer and her son, George. (Photo by Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer.)

One year later, I’m still speaking up about pandemic narratives that ignore disability

What I’m learning about parenting, disability rights, and myself

One year after Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer noticed that family life with autism made for an easier transition to pandemic life, she’s learned a lot about herself and how society views disability.
Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer

Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer

Essays 4 minute read
More than a sartorial survey: these gardening gloves got Drexel staffer Rosalind Sutkowski through the pandemic. (Image courtesy of the Fox Historic Costume Collection, Drexel University.)

Drexel University presents ‘The Clothes We Wore and the Stories They Tell’

Our pandemic wardrobe

A new online exhibition from Drexel’s Robert and Penny Fox Historic Costume Collection explores what we wore in the pandemic. Pamela Forsythe reviews.

Pamela J. Forsythe

Essays 4 minute read
For the past year, some of our most high-stress encounters have been at the grocery store. (Photo by Alaina Johns.)

Good afternoon, shoppers: The pandemic is no excuse to be rude

Gimme some space (please)

We’re all navigating a weird and troubled pandemic world. Roz Warren says we don’t have to be rude on top of everything else.
Roz Warren

Roz Warren

Essays 3 minute read
Disclosing disabilities is personal and vulnerable. For many, it's never a positive experience. (Photo by Madison Thibodeau.)

Witnessing the Impact: Disclosing and accommodating disabled students in the classroom

I can't recognize that

BSR is partnering with the Witnessing the Impact of Covid-19 in Disabled People’s Lives archive project. Here, Madison Thibodeau spotlights how schools and universities aren't doing enough to accommodate their disabled students, especially during a pandemic.
Madison Thibodeau

Madison Thibodeau

Essays 5 minute read
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

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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.)

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.)

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
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