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The Rocky Horror Picture Show: a Social Commentary

By Charlotte Wood, VI Form

The Rocky Horror Picture Show: a Social Commentary

 Jim Sharman’s The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975), an absurdist musical comedy that parodies sci-fi B-movies, particularly those of the 1950’s, reveals much about the culture of Vietnam era America. Specifically, the film comments on the conservatism of the previous decades, the Watergate scandal and other governmental matters, the counterculture movement, and questions of sexual and gender politics.

The 1970’s were a complicated and often confusing time in American history. By 1975, the U.S. had finally withdrawn from Vietnam after being entrenched in the anti-Communist conflict for nearly twenty years, and even then the war raged on between North and South Vietnam for two years after the U.S. had removed its troops.[1] America was left divided, economically devastated, and, perhaps worst of all, defeated. These troops were not coming home as heroes. The right saw them as failures or losers, while the left saw them as murderers.[2] Vietnam truly “pierced the myth of American invincibility,”[3] and postwar America has never been the same as a result. (more…)

Ceramics: “Patterns From Nature” Sculpture Garden {Pictures!}

By Ashley Lee, VI Form; Tony Banson and Darren Pike, V Form; Ashley Battiata, Charlotte Galusza, Lillie Harrison, Tucker Hartmann, Sam Leslie, Phoebe Macleod, Noah Robb, Cam Rubin, Bobby Sommers, and Tyler Young, III Form

Ceramics: “Patterns From Nature” Sculpture Garden {Pictures!}

Editor’s Note: The Patterns from Nature project began with exploring Biomimicry and EcoArt.  Students then researched nature on a microscopic scale. This involved studying the most finite details in structures to find intriguing patterns, forms, and textures.  Inspiration could be found in very obscure places: whether a human cell, rock crystal, or a plant stem. Gathering these designs from nature, students then sketched combinations of patterns and forms to arrive at unique clay module sculptures. This year’s Sculpture class decided to display their work outdoors in the Taft Sculpture garden.

(more…)

Something Less Depressing –– A 10-Minute Play

By Cooper Sarafin, VI Form

Something Less Depressing –– A 10-Minute Play

Editor’s Note: In the VI Form elective “Writing for Actors,” the assignment called for students to write a stageable one act play, beginning with a dramatic problem. Cooper workshopped his play several times in class, culminating in a staged reading at the end of the third window. He then took it upon himself to revise it once more before sending it out to a national forum, “Trade a Play Tuesday” , where another writer read his play and provided feedback.

SOMETHING LESS DEPRESSING

By Cooper Sarafin

Cast of Characters

James: Individual who prefers the company of himself as opposed to that of others. Doesn’t care what others think of him.

Lily: A friendly girl who likes to get to know many people.

Amy: Stereotypical popular student, superficial and self-obsessed.

Opens with a Lone Figure sitting at a lunch table in thought. In the corner is a vending machine. 

Scene 1 

James begins talking into a tape recorder

James:

Such a stigma around this, sitting alone. Why must it be regarded as entirely wrong? As something to be undesired? I see them all sitting together, absorbed in mindless conversation, unstimulating, quite boring in fact. Not to say I haven’t been counted part of them, for that’d be inaccurate. Such times as I have attempted to interact with them I joined only to have been left feeling more alone than I do now. It’s my opinion that sitting here alone, my mind to roam free, is much less lonely than to be trapped in your own head with nothing to say. Isn’t it rather lonely to be the only person who doesn’t seem to care? To be an irrelevant bystander, in close proximity, yet so far removed. For me, to exculpate myself is not a decision, but the only reasonable course of action. For alone by choice is far better than alone by force. (more…)

Original Songwriting and Recording

By Simon Zlystra, Reed Andary, Shep Greene, John Hart, Nick Harrison, and George Littlefield, VI Form

Original Songwriting and Recording

Editor’s Note: These reflections and recordings come from the winter St. Mark’s Saturdays course, “Songwriting and Recording.” The course, taught by Mr. Jason Eslick, covers songwriting and composition in electronic and acoustic mediums while getting students started with the art of recording and production. Students worked to come up with a recorded, mixed, and mastered final project.

Simon Zylstra:

Reed Andary:

Shep Greene:

John Hart:

Nick Harrison:

George Littlefield:   (more…)

Painting the Underwater Protected “Ocean Park”

By Nicola Hartmann, U Jin Jo, Filip Kierzenka, Ivy Li, and Lucy Martinson, IV Form & Sean Farrell, Paula Hornbostel, Helen Huang, Paige LaMalva, Aidana Maitekova,  Isabelle O’Toole, Illia Rebechar, and Sophie Student, III Form

Painting the Underwater Protected “Ocean Park”

Map of National Monument

Map of National Monument. 150 miles SouthEast of Cape Cod:      4, 913 square miles.

On September 15, 2016, President Obama designated the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument (map right) to be the Atlantic Ocean’s first underwater protected area. Open to recreational fishing and phasing out commercial fishing will make this area, the size of Connecticut, a valuable research area and refuge for marine life. Dr. Scott Krauss, senior advisor and scientist at the New England Aquarium, was instrumental in securing this area of crucial habitats with 1,000-year-old deep sea corals, unique characteristics of three canyons — deeper than the Grand Canyon — and four deepwater seamounts — 13,000 feet from the ocean floor. Protected from oil, gas exploration, and overfishing, scientists will be able to observe and understand changes. The marked area will help preserve rare and endangered corals, fish, invertebrates, turtles, and three species of whale.

Students in Studio I made this new protected space their area of investigation. (more…)

Into the Mystic with Thunderhorse: a Q & A

By Shep Greene, Steven Landry, George Littlefield, and Cole Schmitz, VI Form

Into the Mystic with Thunderhorse: a Q & A

LEO: How did you form the band and who are the members and their roles? 

Thunderhorse: Our band consists of four members: Steven Landry, George Littlefield, Cole

Screenshot 2017-03-06 22.12.42

Click for “Into the Mystic” live

Schmitz, and Shep Greene. Steven is on the vocals and has been singing since his middle school acting career. He is a member of the Marksmen and choir. George is the drummer, and he has also been playing since middle school. Cole plays the tenor saxophone and has been for seven years. A very talented musician (he is the only person to win the Massachusetts Association for Jazz Education’s “Most Valuable Player” two years in a row), he has been integral to the Jazz Band and now serves as its vice president. Finally, Shep plays the guitar. He has been playing since eighth grade, but started getting serious about it sophomore year. (more…)