Poet Dana Gioia awarded Laetare Medal

first_imgDana Gioia, poet and former chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), will receive the Laetare Medal, during the 2010 Commencement ceremony May 16, the University announced Sunday.The Medal is the oldest and most prestigious honor given to American Catholics and is awarded annually to a Catholic “whose genius has ennobled the arts and sciences, illustrated the ideals of the Church and enriched the heritage of humanity.”The Medal has not been awarded since 2008, when actor Martin Sheen accepted the honor. Former U.S. Ambassoador to the Holy See Mary Ann Glendon initially accepted the Laetare Medal last year, but declined the honor after hearing the University would award an honorary degree to President Barack Obama. University spokesman Dennis Brown said last year’s events did not affect the selection process this year.University President Fr. John Jenkins commended Gioia’s commitment to both faith and culture.“In his vocation as poet and avocation as arts administrator, Dana Gioia has given vivid witness to the mutual flourishing of faith and culture,” Jenkins said in the press release. “By awarding him our University’s highest honor we hope both to celebrate and participate in that witness.”Gioia is the second poet to receive the Laetare Medal. The University presented poet Phyllis McGinley with the medal in 1964.Gioia has published three collections of poetry, including “Interrogations at Noon,” which won the 2002 American Book Award. He also published eight smaller collections of poems, two opera libretti and many translations of Latin, Italian and German poetry.He also has edited over 20 literary anthologies and has written essays and reviews in magazines, such as The New Yorker, The Washington Post Book World, The New York Times Book Review and Slate.Gioia served as chairman of the NEA from 2003 to 2009. During his tenure, he sought to strengthen bipartisan support for public funding of arts and art education, to champion jazz as a uniquely American art form, to promote Shakespeare readings and performances nationwide and to distribute NEA grants more widely.In a lecture he delivered in 2000, Gioia said art and Catholicism work together because “the Catholic, literally from birth, when he or she is baptized, is raised in a culture that understands symbols and signs.”“[Catholicism] also trains you in understanding the relationship between the visible and the invisible,” he said. “Consequently, allegory finds its greatest realization in Catholic artists like Dante.”A native of Hawthorne, Calif., Gioia graduated from Stanford University in 1973. He earned a master’s degree in comparative literature from Harvard University in 1975 and returned to Stanford for his master’s of business administration in 1977.The Laetare Medal is named in honor of Laetare Sunday, the fourth Sunday in Lent and the day the University announces its recipient each year. The award was first given in 1883.Past recipients include operatic tenor John McCormack, President John F. Kennedy, Catholic Worker foundress Dorothy Day and jazz composer Dave Brubeck.last_img

Healthy vending available

first_imgNotre Dame students and staff looking for healthier on-the-go snack options now have to look no further than the nearest vending machines.Notre Dame Vending has partnered with Del Monte Fresh Produce Company to provide fresh-cut produce options in the sandwich machines around campus.The products are new this semester, but the project to bring healthier snack options to Notre Dame vending machines has been in the works for a while, said Michele VanTubbergen, operations manager for Notre Dame Vending and Office Refreshment Service.“In September, we saw the products that were to be available to vend and realized what a great option it would be for the campus to be able to offer fresh cut fruits and vegetables,” VanTubbergen said.“Our main goal is to offer the campus a healthy alternative for a snack while providing convenience,” she said.These healthy alternatives include single-serving sizes of Del Monte fruits and vegetables, such as pineapple, grapes, apple slices, baby carrots, tomatoes and celery.  Including the low-fat dip that accompanies some of the options, the snacks all total no more than 120 calories.“When the fruits and vegetables became available to vend in January, we made it our highest priority to bring it to Notre Dame,” VanTubbergen said.  “Del Monte was the first company to offer this new product, so we contacted them to find out how we could offer the products to our campus.”Del Monte is also excited to implement its services at Notre Dame, Dennis Christou, Del Monte’s vice president of marketing said in a press release. “We are excited about the launch of Del Monte Fresh Produce Company’s fresh fruit and vegetable vending line at Notre Dame,” Christou said. “This Del Monte initiative helps make fruit and vegetable snacks more accessible to the Notre Dame community.“Offering students and faculty these healthier choices is a great way to help them stay healthy when on the go and perfect for their sometimes hectic and time-crunched lives.”VanTubbergen said the fresh vending options are currently available through the Office Refreshment Service and in all sandwich vending machines, including those in the Hesburgh Library and the Main Building.The fruit and vegetable options are packaged to stay fresh and cost $1.50 each, the Notre Dame Food Services Web site said.Though other campuses like the University of Miami and Miami-Dade College are also bringing healthier vending to their campuses, Notre Dame is the first university in the Midwest to do so, VanTubbergen said.“We were so excited to be able to bring the fresh cut option to the University,” VanTubbergen said.last_img

Students participate in Black Friday shopping

first_imgWhen major retailers like Walmart and Target began their Black Friday sales over Thanksgiving break, the shopping rush drew some Notre Dame students straight from the dinner table. Senior Michelle Ferreira, a Los Angeles native who stayed in South Bend for the break, started Black Friday on Thursday. “I ended up leaving dinner at about 9 p.m. [Thursday], and I headed over to Walmart” she said. “They opened everything at 10 p.m. and it was pure chaos. It was absolutely nuts.” Ferreira had never heard of Black Friday before coming to Notre Dame, she said, and she was surprised by how seriously some took the sales. “People waiting had lawn chairs out, it was completely packed,” Ferreira said. “You had to know what area you wanted, because people had obviously scoped it out days in advance. There was like a 200 person line in every aisle. I wanted to get out as soon as possible.” Ferreira said some of her fellow bargain-hunters let the mania get the best of them. “I didn’t see pepper spraying or gun shots or whatever, but I saw people crying, I saw some disputes between people,” she said. “They were cutting in line, there were some disputes between families — there was just chaos.” Ferreira walked out of the store unscathed with a number of additions to her movie collection. “It was $1.96 for DVDs. And they were recent movies, too,” she said. “I got The Hangover and my brother wanted Fast Five Blu-ray for Christmas. They had it for $10.” While shoppers like Ferreira hit the aisles early, not all of the deals were snatched up by the time the second wave of shoppers arrived Friday. Junior Aurora Kareh opted for a Friday afternoon shopping trip at The Woodlands Mall in her Texas hometown. “It was 2 or 3 p.m. when we got to Macy’s,” Kareh said. “It was more full than I had ever seen it, but it wasn’t what I expected it had been when they opened.” Unlike Ferreira’s DVD hunt, Kareh did not have a plan of action when she arrived at the mall. “I didn’t have anything specific in mind that I wanted to buy, but I knew Macy’s would have good deals on things I would be interested in,” she said. Junior Lexi Casaceli’s Black Friday shopping at the Lee Outlets in Lee, Mass., was even less deliberate. “We went after lunch on a spur-of-the-moment trip because it was such a nice day out, so we would be able to enjoy the weather while shopping at the outdoor outlets,” she said. Like Kareh, Cascaceli avoided the intensity of the late-night shoppers. “Unfortunately, I saw nothing ridiculous,” Cascaceli said. “We had missed most of the Black Friday deals at the outlet that went from midnight to 6 a.m., so the crazies weren’t out, although there were still a lot of shoppers.” Ferreira said these giant crowds, at least in South Bend, may be a result of the economic climate. “In South Bend, it’s pretty nuts,” she said. “The economy is hurting people, so everyone’s taking advantage of what they can with savings.” Ferreira said one Black Friday shopping trip was enough for her. “I won’t be going back next year,” she said. “I’m a senior, so no more South Bend crazy Black Fridays for me. Unless I need a 70-inch plasma for half-off down the road, no thanks.”last_img

Lecturer shares experience of mental illness

first_imgJulie K. Hersh, Notre Dame alumna of ’82, spoke to members of the Saint Mary’s, Notre Dame and South Bend communities about Mental Health Awareness on Tuesday at 8 p.m. in the Jordan Auditorium of the Mendoza College of Business as a part of the “Support a Belle, Love a Belle” and “Irish State of Mind” Mental Health Awareness campaigns on both campuses.   Hersh said her lecture was dedicated to the son of a friend, Austen Frazier, who committed suicide on Oct. 7, 2009 while dealing with bipolar disorder.  Hersh said based on the way people talk about mental health it doesn’t seem like a relevant problem to most people, but 38,500 people commit suicide each year according to the last Center for Disease Control (CDC) report. She said this is almost as many as the 40,000 people who die annually as a result of breast cancer. She said the comparable mortality rate is not reflected in the respective levels of awareness of mental illness and breast cancer. “If you think about the kind of awareness we have with breast cancer, mental illness is kind of lagging terribly behind,” she said. Hersh said suicide is especially significant among causes of death for young adults. “For the age group [of]15 to19 suicide is the third highest cause of death, and for people in the 20 to 25 year old bracket it’s actually the second highest,” she said. The highest cause of death for young adults is unintentional injuries, which claims 120,000 lives each year. Among these 33,000 are caused by car accidents and 30,000 by accidental falls and accidental poisonings, she said.  Hersh said despite the frequency with which they occur, suicide may not be taken as seriously as it should be because it gets lost among these other causes of death. “What’s interesting about that number for suicides is that I think there may be room for underestimation of how serious this problem is because there are some other categories that are pretty big,” Hersh said. Hersh said in 2001 she drove her car into her garage and let it run for 90 minutes. She said she attributes her still being here to good ventilation, and as a result, she was subjected to electroconvulsive therapy (ECT).  Hersh said she had a very low valuation of herself at this point in her life. “I was certain that my life was over, I was certain I had nothing to offer my friends and family, or my community,” she said. Hersh said her book “Struck By Living” is about her journey from her suicide attempt to understanding why she made the attempt. “I felt that if I didn’t understand how I got to that spot, I was doomed to repeat the process,” she said. “It takes you form the point of that suicide attempt through to my discovery of why, how the heck did I get to that state.” Hersh said when she arrived at Notre Dame as a freshman, she was not the type of person that you would say had a mental illness. “I was like every other freshman at Notre Dame,” Hersh said, “I had been top of my class, I had been very successful. I was energetic, maybe a little sassy. I didn’t look like anything should be wrong with me.”  Hersh said in December of that year things started to fall apart. She said around this time she underwent a break up and began to doubt she could pursue her dream of becoming a doctor due to a fear of blood.  She said she talked to her parents about dropping out of school by the following spring, and things did not really turn around until junior year. She said she also drank in excess, did not exercise, had no awareness of Seasonal Affect Disorder, had no access to psychotherapy or medication and worked two summer jobs. She said it didn’t occur to her at the time that the difficulties she was having were symptomatic of mental illness.  “I never related what happened to me as a brain problem,” she said. Hersh said staying well for her is about maintaining balance in her life and monitoring her depression. She said there are seven signs people can use to recognize mental illness and that she uses to monitor her own depression: insomnia, weight loss due to lack of appetite, isolation, inability to plan, feeling overwhelmed, loss of her sense of humor and a monotone voice. Hersh said there are also 10 things she uses to maintain balance in her life: sleep, nutrition, exercise, proper medication, brain investment, avoiding romantic relationships that exclude friendships, allowing time for prayer or meditation, finding a mentor, anticipating stress and realizing she is more than her job. Hersh said she discovered these 10 methods gradually and is still continually developing her techniques. She also said there are life lessons she is re-learning over and over, such as good stress is still stress, alcohol is a depressant, she is an introvert and the power of human touch.  Mental health is a lifelong task and not something that is ever cured, Hersh said. It can, however, be kept in check when one knows the symptoms and read more

Group considers relevant student initiatives

first_imgOn Wednesday evening, the Student Senate convened in LaFortune Student Center to discuss relevant issues and initiatives to the Notre Dame community.“We’re really focusing on trying to get the computer science class initiative through, [because] it would be a really positive thing,” Keough Hall senator and junior Kevin Coleman said.Passed unanimously by the Senate, the resolution will propose an introductory computer science course to the administration, which would fulfill a core-curriculum requirement for science.“This is something that, say, if you were a non-engineering major, it could still be helpful to know HTML or Java … I could really foresee this becoming a reality, and a really positive change,” Alumni Hall senator and sophomore Scott Moore said.Cavanaugh Hall senator and sophomore Ashley Calvani, proposed a reform to the grab-and-go paper bags.“It’s an annoyance to use those brown paper bags all the time, so perhaps we eliminate them and use reusable bags to carry around all the time and use in place of the brown paper bags,” Calvani said.The initiative suggests a reusable bag given to first year students at orientation. The reusable bags would be used each time a student utilized the grab-and-go service in the dining hall.“This could be super effective for those who use grab-and-go as their daily routine,” senior Matt Devine, student body vice president, said.“This could be a really great thing particularly at the grassroots level, and those would want to do it would do it,” Moore said.Student body president and senior Lauren Vidal gave an update on the new Student Nighttime Auxiliary Patrol (O’SNAP) pilot program.“They’re adding two new dispatchers to the O’SNAP program in order to promote efficiency within the pilot program,” Vidal said.Ridership went up significantly in November and December to nearly 1,000 riders per month, which almost triples the number of riders Safe Walk ever accommodated in a similar period.A number of events, such as hall elections in two weeks and Hall of the Year presentations in slightly over a month, are highly anticipated by members of the Senate.“It’s the only thing [I’ll say] but it’s the most important thing … the Fisher Regatta is officially 73 days away,” Fisher senator and junior Grant Humphreys said.The meeting concluded with a prayer in honor of Daniel Kim, the Notre Dame sophomore who recently passed away.“This is a true tragedy for the Notre Dame community … though [I] did not know Daniel personally, from what I have learned, he was a genuinely, genuinely kind human being who truly cared for his friends and family,” Vidal said.Tags: ashley calvani, computer science class initiative, grant humphreys, kevin coleman, Lauren Vidal, Matt Devine, scott moore, Senate, senate discusses initiatives, student senatelast_img

Saint Mary’s breaks ground on athletic facility

first_imgThe groundbreaking of the new Angela Athletic and Wellness Complex on Friday strengthened the comprehensive mission at Saint Mary’s to educate students’ minds, souls and bodies.President Carol Ann Mooney said she recognizes the universal value of building a new workout facility, so she wanted to begin construction as soon as possible.“All will have a place here — whether they are practicing for Saturday’s game, squeezing in a workout between classes and dinner or simply looking for a place to gather with friends,” Mooney said. “It was my dream that we would be able to break ground for this facility before my retirement.”Sarah Belanger Earley, a member of the President’s Circle, said the College initially planned to upgrade the current Angela Athletic Facility, but realized a more dramatic transformation was needed.“It soon became very clear to us that a different kind of renovation needed to take place,” Earley said. “True to our Holy Cross heritage, we assessed the needs of the time and quickly saw that health and fitness are key priorities for today’s women.”According to Earley, more than 1,400 donors recognized the College’s need for improvement and contributed to this project.“This milestone is not the result of isolated board decisions or meetings with architects,” Earley said. “It is the product of the intentional investment of alumnae and friends in the health and wellness of Saint Mary’s students.”According to Colleen Ryan, a member of the President’s Circle, the Saint Mary’s community should adapt to the evolving needs of its members.“When the current Angela Athletic Facility was built in the 1970s, women’s interest in physical activity was largely limited to athletic teams, and even those were far different from the teams we have today,” Ryan said. “In the 40 years since its construction, a focus on fitness and wellness has emerged among the students of Saint Mary’s and across the country. This shift has revolutionized the way we think about athletic facilities and emphasize[d] the importance of buildings that serve all students, not just varsity athletes.”Ryan said she hopes the new resources in the Angela Athletic Wellness Complex will appeal to everyone.“A tennis player will be able to practice in the field house during the winter,” she said. “A yoga enthusiast will have plenty of space to teach a group of fellow students in a dedicated classroom. … A student who decides to make fitness a part of her life will be able to find an open treadmill after classes.”Ryan said the building will include counseling services, providing students with easier access to mental health resources that will enhance their college experiences.“Students will be more aware of the services available to them and have options across a wide variety of offices all in one building,” Ryan said. “The new Angela Athletic and Wellness Complex will create a future that emphasizes comprehensive wellness, establishing healthy habits and patterns in the lives of every student that will last a lifetime.”Beth Culligan, Board of Trustees member, said she hopes athletes benefit from convenient access to workout materials and training spaces.“The current facilities really do hold our students and coaches back,” Culligan said. “With this new building, Saint Mary’s will be able to offer student athletes a top-of-the-line experience for both practice and competition.”This construction calls attention to the importance of balancing fitness and schoolwork, as both teach invaluable lessons, Culligan said.“For many Saint Mary’s students, athletics are an irreplaceable part of their college experience and a context for growth and learning,” Culligan said. “Membership on a team, as we all know, builds character and collaborative skills while fostering self-motivation and discipline.”Kathleen Conley Taiclet, class of 1985, said she envisions the Angela Athletic and Wellness Complex as a location for students to form connections and bond over a shared value of health.“The cafe, full of healthy options, will serve as the perfect location for a student to grab a post-workout smoothie or to take a snack break with her study group,” Taiclet said. “Students can find a spot in one of the numerous lounges to work on a paper or to connect with friends. These spaces will not only enhance and strengthen relationships among the students — they will also help infuse the community with an emphasis on health and wellness.”Taiclet said she hopes the new facility serves as a support system, since college is often the first time people make independent decisions about nutrition and exercise.“It is our hope that Angela Athletic and Wellness Complex will become a social and cultural hub on campus where students can learn to incorporate fitness and health into their daily routines,” Taiclet said. “Students will graduate from Saint Mary’s with lifelong read more

Students reflect on tradition of interhall football

first_imgWith football season commencing, many students get their football fill by cheering on the Fighting Irish and binge-watching other NCAA and NFL games each weekend. But for those who want to get out on the gridiron themselves, Notre Dame has no shortage of options.Last weekend kicked off the seasons for men’s and women’s interhall football. Reigning champions Welsh Family Hall and Stanford Hall look to defend their respective titles this year amid large and fiercely contested fields. Emma Farnan | The Observer Stanford and Duncan residents compete in the 2016 men’s interhall championship game held in Notre Dame Stadium on Nov. 20. Interhall football started this past Sunday for both men’s and women’s halls.Senior Matt O’Brien, captain of Stanford’s team, played football in high school and was thrilled at the opportunity to get out on the field once again. He said the Sunday afternoon games are more than just a chance to throw the ball around; competition in interhall matches is often surprisingly good. O’Brien said his team’s intensity is one of the keys to its success, and something he hopes to carry forward into this season. “We had a great group of upperclassmen who have helped us since I was a freshman,” he said.Stanford junior Peter Ryan, who scored the decisive touchdown in last year’s final, and again this weekend against Keenan, is “probably the most dangerous wide receiver in the league,” O’Brien said. Every Sunday, all-star athletes take the field alongside other determined players to compete for their dorms.“Winning an interhall football championship is one of the best moments of your life,” O’Brien said. “But even making it to the finals is quite an achievement. Each championship game is played in the Notre Dame Stadium in front of hundreds of fans, making it an unforgettable experience.”Senior Michele Pennala is the captain of Breen-Phillips’ flag-football team this year and said the sport is just as much about dorm participation as it is about competition.“It’s one of the ways to get more involved with community and I think BP also had a really fun tradition when we were coming in as freshman, making it seem like it was a fun experience and you get to be more active with the dorm,” Pennala said. “And then it just transitioned to be a bonding experience with various classes. It also just releases that competitive side that a lot of people had in high school and that they might not be able to embrace in college by not playing a competitive sport.”Pennala said the team is usually comprised of 15 to 20 girls and last year Breen-Phillips made it to the semi-finals, winning their first playoff game, but then losing their second.“The best part is when someone got an interception or had an amazing run play,” she said. “Not only would the players on the field, but also the people on the sideline and the coaches would just start screaming and flailing their arms and just going crazy. That’s always an electrifying feeling.”Pennala said not everyone on the team had played flag football before, but that some players were looking to try something new.“It’s actually a really big mix, some people haven’t played flag football before or maybe they signed up for a powder-puff game in high school,” she said. “People just wanna go out there and be a part of the dorm.“Everyone just gets a chance to participate and it makes it that much more exciting to have that opportunity to discover a different side of themselves.”Finalists get a small taste of what the Fighting Irish players feel every week as they step out onto the field, as all four of last year’s competitors battled strong winds and temperatures in the mid-thirties. The challenging conditions did nothing to dampen the players’ excitement, though, and O’Brien recalls a moment when, “just around dusk, the lights came on and flooded the field.” This year is O’Brien’s final season of interhall football and he said he looks back on his interhall memories fondly.“I genuinely feel like I’ve been living on borrowed time, to have the opportunity to put on a pair of shoulder pads and play a game of competitive football every week,”O’Brien said. “Of all the traditions we have here at Notre Dame, when I look back on my college experience I can honestly say that I couldn’t have gotten this anywhere else.”Tags: dorm life, football, Interhall Footballlast_img

Poet performs reading at College

first_imgAs part of the Visiting Writers Series, Melissa Range read from her collection of poems titled “Scriptorium” at Saint Mary’s on Thursday.Range said she started writing when she was a young child as a way to help her make sense of the world around her and herself. Range said she was a fiction writer when she went to college, but soon discovered that her favorite part about writing was not so much the plot as it was writing imagery.“I think it happens that way for a lot of writers,” she said. “You start in one genre and then you end up in another.”Range said she was drawn to poetry because of the experience of working with language in the poetry form.“I like the possibilities for linguistic play that are expected in poetry,” she said. “You can play around with sound and rhythm and imagery.”Although she does not limit herself to more “traditional” styles of poetry, Range said she does tend to write in structured forms of poems as a way to challenge herself and bring out new ideas.“That sparks different ideas for me,” she said. “Especially when I’m having to rhyme something or repeat something, it forces me to think about new relationships between words, and when I’m thinking about new relationships between words, I’m led to new ideas. Working in poetic form causes me to write a different poem than I set out to write, and I like that because it means I had a new idea while I was writing. Rather than just writing what I already think, I write and discover something.”Another reason Range is drawn to poetry, she said, is poetry is a compact way of writing.“Poetry is the most concentrated kind of expression of language,” Range said. “It allows you to really have to come up with the most concise way to express something. … You end up speaking through metaphor, and that creates interesting new relationship between things.”Range, whose poetry deals with themes such as religion, violence, social justice, environmentalism and history, said she does a lot of research for her poems.“I had to do research … before I could figure out what I wanted to say,” she said. “My process involves a lot of gathering before I figure out where I’m going with that. What I’m looking for is some interesting little nugget of something that’s interesting that I want to explore.”Sound is also a big factor for her poetry, Range said.“My poetry, even when I’m not rhyming, there’s to be a lot of sound play, so I think of sound before I think of image,” she said.Range said literature is important as a way to connect with other people, especially in the political climate in America.“In a world where, increasingly, it seems like people are taking one extreme side or another and no one wants to talk and listen to each other, literature provides a different kind of space where a lot of different ideas can mingle together and we’re not asked to come down on one side or another,” she said. “We’re asked to understand other people. … Literature can teach us how to do that because we’re trying to empathize with people when we read about them.”Referencing poet laureate Tracy K. Smith, Range said literature and poetry are whispers while the rest of the world is making noise.“Poetry gives us something else, and I think that’s good for our souls,” she said.Range said any Saint Mary’s woman who wants to follow a passion — writing or any other discipline — should work hard to hold onto their dreams because while the world is making progress towards taking young women more seriously, there still is a long way to go.“Don’t let anyone take your gravity away from you,” she said. “When people talk down to you, they are trying to dismiss you and not take you seriously. Don’t let anyone ever do that to you. … There’s something you have to hang onto in yourself.”Tags: Melissa Range, Visiting Writers serieslast_img

Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival explores inclusion, diversity

first_imgShakespeare at Notre Dame, the University’s professional theater company, is ringing in the start of the school year with a continuation of its Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival (NDSF). Their production of “Othello,” directed by Cameron Knight, runs through this Sunday. The festival has also concluded its run of “The Merchant of Venice.”Grant Mudge, the Ryan Producing Artistic Director, said he chose the productions of this season — including “Othello” — to highlight the way Shakespeare’s work handled inclusion.“The whole focus of the season was Shakespeare’s treatment of the stranger, or the excluded or the marginalized. … We looked at others throughout the course of the summer and we wanted to kind of examine the notion of a continual effort of inclusion and ensuring that a diverse and welcoming world is one that we promote,” Mudge said. “I think even Shakespeare was about opening that door and not excluding people because of their unfamiliarity or religion.”Recent tragedies in the news also impacted the company’s choice in productions this season, Mudge said.“Just as we were opening last year’s show in 2017, Charlottesville happened, and the staff and artists and I sat down and said that we had not only an opportunity, but an artistic responsibility as well,” Mudge said. “It’s an aspect of our world that we needed to examine as artists, and of course we discovered that Shakespeare did, too.”Mudge said this production of “Othello” strikes a balance between feeling staged and modern, in part due to the company’s training from the Naval Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC).“We have a very contemporary staging of ‘Othello’ set essentially in a kind of analogous U.S. Navy — not quite the United States Navy, but it kind of feels like it. It’s just enough distance from our world that it feels a little fictional,” Mudge said. “We were very grateful to the Notre Dame Naval ROTC program here who advised us and put us through some basic training.”Eric Ways, a 2018 Notre Dame graduate, is in the ensemble for “Othello” and said this production is particularly unique because it is the first NDSF production involving African-Americans in prominent positions.“It’s really great because this is the first production we’ve had a black lead and black director doing the show, which is about a lot of issues that are still very timely today,” Ways said. “That’s one of the reasons I was inspired to audition and be a part of the Shakespeare Festival.”Shakespeare at Notre Dame aims for its festival to bridge the gap between the professional and undergraduate world with their two companies, a touring and professional company. Mudge said there is a combination of actors that have done Broadway-caliber work and are members of the Actors Equity Association and actors that are current undergraduate or graduate students, and even local actors.“Because it’s Notre Dame, people come here and recognize that this is the way Shakespeare’s company — and theater in general — brought up new artists,” he said. “We bridge that gap between the university and undergraduate world and the world of the professional theater.”Tyrel London, a Notre Dame senior in the ensemble for “Othello,” said in an email he agreed with Mudge’s assessment of the value of this connection between the professional actors and students.“[It’s priceless] to see the skill honed by years on and off stage, the passion of talented hearts, the kind hearts of generous people who want to share the wisdom they have earned. And above all, it’s been fun to be able to interact, work and talk with the type of people I aspire to be,” he said.This production of “Othello,” London said, is a “timely piece to be a part of” due to its subject matter.“At its core, ‘Othello’ is about misplayed love and loyalty,” he said. “With the rest of the NDSF season, ‘Othello’ shows us that racial animosity, undying loyalty, misplaced love and unbridled passion can be the doom of everything we hold dear, especially if we let ourselves get swept away with the power all those things hold.”“Othello” runs through Sunday, Aug. 26. Student discounted tickets are available.Tags: notre dame shakespeare festival, Othello, Shakespeare at Notre Damelast_img

Lewis Hall to host first-ever LHOB event

first_imgLewis House of Pancakes (LHOP) has been a popular tradition at Notre Dame for years. Continuing the tradition, the first-ever Lewis Hall of Baking, or LHOB, will commence Friday. Unlike its fall counterpart, which serves breakfast as the primary food, LHOB will instead offer a variety of baked goods. Featured options will include Rice Krispies Treats, ice cream floats, brownies, chocolate chip cookies, sugar cookies and cinnamon rolls.“LHOB is a playoff of LHOP, which is a really popular breakfast food event and has been successful for many years,” sophomore and co-signature event commissioner Jasmine Mrozek said.Lewis president and junior Marissa Brennan said there will be a donut speed-eating competition at 10:30 p.m. during the event with representatives from each dorm. “We really wanted to do [the donut eating competition] as a way of getting participation from all the halls across campus,” Brennan said. Courtesy of Marissa Brennan Lewis Hall will extend their baking tradition to a new event this year, Lewis Hall of Baking, which will offer a variety of baked goods.Brennan also talked about the success of LHOP within Lewis. “[LHOP] is a great way to get everyone involved in our hall,” Brennan said. Lewis Hall’s previous spring signature event was Chicks for Charity, which consisted of making Easter baskets and sending monetary donations to St. Margaret’s House in South Bend, a local charity that provides supplies and support to impoverished women and children. “We saw that not a lot of people were involved with [Chicks for Charity],” Brennan said. “It was a pretty brief event and not a lot of people knew about it, so we wanted to change it up this year to get more people involved.” One of the primary motivations for the rebranding of the spring signature event was to reach the wider campus, expanding their efforts beyond the dorm, Mrozek said.“[Chicks for Charity] really had trouble getting other dorms involved,” she said. “It was really just Lewis girls participating. We [wondered what else] could draw campus involvement, so we thought something similar to LHOP, hence LHOB, [could do that].”LHOB will continue to support St. Margaret’s House. “Hopefully [LHOB] will raise more money than we have in the past,” Mrozek said. Lewis started advertising for the event on Facebook by encouraging people to guess what the “B” would stand for in LHOB. Some people guessed things like burgers while others correctly guessed baking, Mrozek said. “Especially because it is a new event, it was a way to draw attention to it,” she said. Mrozek said students who attend will enjoy great food, support Lewis in its new signature event and help give back to the community. “I think students should be confident in Lewis’s cooking abilities based off of LHOP, which is always a tremendous success,” she said. “We want to show students that we could do it again but with dessert food, but not only just to come to enjoy the great food that we will have but obviously the money is going towards a great cause.”Freshman Margaret Peterson, who helped with baking the cookies ahead of time, explained her experience with LHOB preceding the event Friday night. “I had a good time working with the other people working in [Lewis],” Peterson said. ”I think that the cookies are going to be really good, and we have a lot of other [baked goods] as well. Everybody likes the cinnamon rolls.”All-you-can-eat tickets for the event are $3 and can be purchased in both North and South Dining Halls the day of the event, as well as at the door. Domer Dollars and cash are accepted. “There will be music, lots of desserts, lots of fun and it’s only $3 for all you can eat,” Brennan said. Tags: lewis hall, Lewis House of Baking, LHOBlast_img