When the stage lights go up at Chicago's Goodman Theatre on Monday evening, more than 20 high school students will each have a moment to step into the spotlight and perform a monologue from one of the plays written by the late August Wilson. Chicago's contest is one of several regional finals that strives to introduce students to the Pulitzer Prize winner's work. It's also a lead-up to the national August Wilson Monologue Competition that will be held on Broadway later this spring.
You'd think that in telling a story whose novelty is in its veracity, retaining some semblance of that truth might be important. But wrestling history into narrative has its challenges, and things can get hazy when it comes to the facts in a historical drama. So it seems like the next logical step in telling a story with a relationship to truth might be that if you're going to fudge things, at least make it entertaining. Please, pull an Argo.
Syrian rebels celebrate in a street in the northeastern Syrian city of Raqqah after capturing the provincial capital on March 4. The government has responded with air strikes, creating a new wave of refugees.
A new flood of Syrian refugees is streaming into southern Turkey after the Syrian air force bombed the city of Raqqa, a provincial capital that the government lost control of earlier this week.
The Syrian rebels overran Raqqa, capturing several high-ranking prisoners, including the provincial governor. Many residents supported the rebels, but when the airstrikes began, they packed in a hurry and fled, believing it was safer to make a dash for the border than stay at home.
In Venezuela, thousands of mourners are paying their last respects to their larger-than-life leader, Hugo Chavez. The man who ruled Venezuela for 14 years died Tuesday, and his body is now lying in state in Caracas, the capital, as presidents and dignitaries fly in for the funeral Friday.
Cookbook author Diane Morgan first got to thinking about root vegetables after two encounters at her local farmers market in Portland, Ore. She was burdened down with celery root, Morgan says, when a woman stopped her to ask what she was holding and what she planned to do with it.
"It's amazing," Morgan replied. "You can eat it raw, you can eat it cooked, you can turn it into a fabulous soup."
The U.N. Security Council agreed to tighten sanctions against North Korea on Thursday as punishment for its recent nuclear test. The Council's unanimous agreement came after three weeks of negotiation between the U.S. and China, which has opposed such measures in the past. North Korea was furious at the U.N. action, issuing a threat to attack the U.S. with nuclear weapons as the sanctions came up for a vote.
Behind most politicians is a speechwriter, typing rapidly somewhere in a small office and trying to channel the boss's voice.
The man who has held perhaps the most prominent speechwriting job of the new millennium is Jon Favreau, a 31-year-old from Massachusetts who was President Obama's chief speechwriter until this month. He started writing for Obama when the president was just a senator in 2005.
He tells Audie Cornish, host of All Things Considered, that writing for the president means walking a line between two worlds.
The Education Department has launched an investigation into discipline rates in Seattle public schools.
Students of color have long been punished in far higher numbers than white students in Seattle, but now the department's Office for Civil Rights is looking at whether black students are disciplined more frequently and more harshly than white students for the same behavior.
Senator Rand Paul did get a lot of attention for his nearly 13-hour filibuster, but the Kentucky Republican wouldn't even crack the top five for the longest talking filibusters. The top spot goes to South Carolina Senator Strom Thurmond back in 1957. He held the floor for over 24 hours. For more on that and other notable filibusters, we talked to Senate historian Donald Ritchie. He says back in 1957, Senator Thurmond came to the Senate floor ready.
The opening shot of Cristian Mungiu's Beyond the Hills may look somewhat familiar. As in the Romanian writer-director's previous film, 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days, a young woman strides purposefully while a handheld camera follows mere inches behind. She's on a mission to help a close friend, her resolve demonstrated by the way she marches against two lines of travelers who've just disembarked from a train.
Arnel Pineda's journey from obscurity to international fame as the new frontman for the rock band Journey is the narrative thread that drives <em>Don't Stop Believin': Everyman's Journey.</em>
Credit Cinedigm Entertainment Group
Journey takes a pragmatic-old-pros approach to integrating its new lead singer; though <em>Don't Stop Believin' </em>emphasizes Pineda's rags-to-riches story, it's clear from the film that the band's main goal is the continuity of its business and brand.
Some bands are born of passion and deep camaraderie, a collective desire to rebel against authority — or at least to look cool. Others are born because a major label threatens to drop them if they don't find a lead vocalist.
This still from the alphabetically themed horror anthology <em>The ABCs Of Death</em> is the only one publishable on a website that caters to a broad audience — which says a lot about the tone and content of the 26 short films included.
Despite a reputation for unevenness, anthology films still hold a certain appeal. There's the opportunity to see a few shorts — a form that tends to get bulldozed by feature films due to the economic realities of the industry. There's also the chance to see a number of directors all in once place, trying out something different; it's the cinematic equivalent of a rock 'n' roll supergroup.
President Obama continued his outreach to congressional Republicans on Thursday with a lunch with Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, chairman of the Budget Committee and author of a plan to balance the budget in a decade.
Boeing's Dreamliner 787s remain grounded. And neither investigators nor Boeing can say exactly what caused a battery fire on a Japan Airlines jet. Nevertheless, Boeing thinks it has a fix, and while the Federal Aviation Administration is poised to allow Boeing to begin proving the redesign will be effective, the planes won't be back in service anytime soon.
It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block. The city of Plainview, Texas has been a center of the cattle industry for decades. But a few weeks ago, after more than 40 years in operation, Plainview's beef processing plant shut its doors. Plant owners blame years of drought and the dwindling supply of cattle. As Mose Buchele reports from member station KUT, the closure could be a preview of things to come for the Texas plains.
The first major gun bills in nearly two decades had their first hearing in the Senate on Thursday, including an assault weapons ban and a ban on so-called "straw purchases." Still, even in the aftermath of the shootings in Newtown, Conn., the legislation faces an uphill battle. Ailsa Chang talks to Melissa Block.
Think your job is bad? Quit whining, unless you're a shrimper in the Gulf of Mexico.
Commercial fishermen have the highest rate of on-the-job fatalities of any occupation in the country — 116 deaths per 100,000 workers in 2010. A majority of the deaths happen when a fishing vessel sinks. About a third occur when someone goes overboard.
Several female mushers in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race are trying out new attire that allows them to skip bathroom stops. Here, a musher and his team pass fans at the ceremonial start of the race in Anchorage.
<em>The Newsroom, </em>starring Jeff Daniels, is one of the most popular American TV series in China. It's a favorite among a cadre of young, informal translators who see it as a way to challenge conventional Chinese thinking.
At least three translating groups in China focus on British drama <em>Downton Abbey</em>. For many young Chinese, it provides a window onto a foreign world of privilege and class dynamics.
Every week, thousands of young Chinese gather online to translate popular American movies and TV shows into Mandarin. Some do it for fun and to help people learn English, while others see it as a subtle way to introduce new ideas into Chinese society.
Among the more popular American TV shows on China's Internet these days is HBO's The Newsroom. One reason is an exchange between a college student and a news anchor played by Jeff Daniels. The young woman asks the aging newsman why the United States is the greatest country in the world.
Originally published on Fri March 15, 2013 2:54 pm
A swarm of locusts that has devastated crops in Egypt made its way into neighboring Israel this week. And with Passover just around the corner, many news outlets couldn't resist noting the shades of the biblical tale of Exodus, when the insects were one of 10 plagues that descended upon Pharaoh and his people.
After an epic filibuster by Sen. Rand Paul that lasted into the early morning hours, the Senate voted this afternoon to confirm the nomination of John Brennan as the country's next Central Intelligence Agency director.
As we reported, Paul, a Republican from Kentucky, stood on the floor of the Senate for nearly 13 hours, repeatedly asking for an explanation of the Obama administration's targeted killing program.
Originally published on Fri March 8, 2013 10:18 am
One of the defining graphs of our time (yes, there are defining graphs of our time) comes from the blog Calculated Risk. It tracks the job market in every U.S. recession and recovery since WWII — and it shows just how brutal the the past few years have been.
Just before leaving for Venezuela to attend the funeral of Hugo Chávez, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad penned a laudatory tribute for the late president.
"[Chavez] is alive, as long as nations are alive and struggle for consolidating independence, justice and kindness. I have no doubt that he will come back, and along with Christ the Saviour, the heir to all saintly and perfect men, and will bring peace, justice and perfection for all," Ahmadinejad wrote in a letter he sent the Venezuelan vice president.
Back in 1988, it wasn't until the 62nd round of the Major League Baseball Amateur Draft that the Los Angeles Dodgers finally picked Mike Piazza. Nobody expected him to make it in the big leagues. But he did. He made his major league debut with the Dodgers on Sept. 1, 1992, and he hit his first home run just 12 days later.