October 10, 2018

When Jodie Whittaker was first announced as the new Doctor Who, I’ll admit I was skeptical. It felt like a ratings ploy.  An obvious and rather desperate bone thrown towards the #MeToo movement and feminism or something – and about as heartfelt. It felt, frankly, political. My objections went something like this (in no particular order): It’s a ratings stunt.  It’s a gesture. Moffat & Co. have been using women as props, motivators and/or mythical beings – this casting might… Read more

October 3, 2018

News broke this morning that Netflix has acquired the rights to The Chronicles of Narnia to develop a series based not just on the seven books, but on the greater worldbuilding possibilities of C. S. Lewis’ beloved children’s stories.  The idea, so far as it’s being pitched, is to create something akin to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) or the Star Wars Stories- spanning not only the streaming site but possibly the cinema as well. Given Narnia’s rocky history on-screen… Read more

September 28, 2018

Let’s believe Brett Kavanaugh. For a moment, let’s each of us believe him. Brett Kavanaugh said he did not assault Dr. Christine Blasey Ford.  And I’ll believe him.  Because Brett Kavanaugh does not believe he did anything wrong.  Because he couldn’t be bothered to remember this woman until she came back into his life.  Because she was just one of many whom he had every right to assault and demean and do “everything but” to – because he was not… Read more

September 24, 2018

I have a great respect for stand up comedians.  To stand up, alone, making people laugh for an hour – no safety net, the very good chance that a joke will bomb, no change of scene or big dance number to distract from weak material…well, let’s just say it takes a massive amount of courage to do what they do. More: the format of the stand-up comedian has altered over the decades.  Gone are the days when it was sufficient… Read more

September 15, 2018

Elizabeth Vermilyea, PhD is a nationally recognized Traumatic Stress Specialist.  As an alumna of Franciscan University of Steubenville (FUS), and in light of the continuing and unfolding fall out from the Catholic priest scandals including universities knowingly harboring priest abusers, she offers her words of counsel in the following open letter. The following was originally addressed to FUS, regarding their acknowledgement of allowing Fr. Samuel Tiesi, TOR, to continue to work and be housed on campus, despite knowing about credible… Read more

September 11, 2018

Yesterday was my birthday.  Today is 9/11. Yesterday, too, was Rosh Hashana, the New Year in the Jewish calendar.  And next week is Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. The bitter and the sweet. There’s something poetical about that. Solidarity in Sorrow Something that many people remember about the weeks surrounding 9/11 was that our fractured nation came together in grief.  People stopped in the supermarkets and were tender; you didn’t get road rage at the slow car before you;… Read more

September 9, 2018

“I don’t know why I’m crying,” I thought as I stood in my foyer, staring down at the birthday StitchFix box, a necklace in my hands, my tearstained face half-visible in the mirror. White buds dangled from my ears, playing “Our Time” on repeat from Steven Sondheim’s Merrily We Roll Along.  A song I hadn’t listened to in perhaps a year, from a musical that moves backwards in time from the destruction of decades’-long friendships through to this song, where… Read more

September 8, 2018

As some of you may know, I’m currently – of my own free will – in a ridiculous, exciting, absurd, and impossible endeavor of putting up four of my verse plays (two and a half of which are still in development) this October. “Emily!”  You may say, along with my mother who is doubtless shaking her head.  “Why?” “Why not just do one play?  The one that’s done and polished?” “Preferably written by someone else?” “Why put yourself under so… Read more

September 1, 2018

What is the purpose of a villain? Most story structure classes, including my favorite Aristotle’s De Poetica, will tell you that the purpose of a villain is to thwart the hero’s objective.  In fact, in the classic seven story point structure, the villain shows up at points 3 & 5 explicitly to ruin whatever quest the hero is on.  Thanos and his progeny, in the recent Infinity War and other MCU movies, have served as classic villains for most of… Read more

August 31, 2018

How in the world can any sane person stay Catholic? Between the in-fighting, the factions, the pedophilia, the cover-ups, the abuse, the scandal, the politicking – how can any sane person stay Catholic? Or rather, why would any sane person stay Catholic? Many friends have been pondering this question, while many friends who’ve left the faith breathe a sigh of relief and offer a way into some sort of safety in this valley of tears.  Others, in typical fashion, go… Read more

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