Performing Arts Magazine Articles

November 25, 2021


Corbie Hill

When Faulkner Fox planned her inaugural political-theater workshop for fall 2020, she didn’t predict an imminent summer of activism.

Center for Documentary Studies and Scene of Radio podcast host John Biewen

November 24, 2021


Scott Huler

You know about John Biewen’s bicycle if you have listened to episode eleven of season two of “Scene on Radio,” the podcast he created as part of his work as audio director at Duke’s Center for Documentary Studies. Season two of “Scene” was titled “Seeing White,” and in fourteen crystalline episodes, it addressed the issues of race in America by naming the elephant in the room: whiteness.

August 24, 2021


Corbie Hill

I make my living with words, and that’s what rap is—words—but I can’t freestyle. I nerd out on the linguistic intricacies, the staggering poetry and ironclad rhetoric, the references-within-references-within-references of billy woods and Jean Grae and Quelle Chris and Open Mike Eagle; of Q-Tip and GZA and MF Doom and Andre 3000. But I can’t freestyle.

August 24, 2021

I understand that

on some days you will nurse lonely

you will argue with mirror

swallowing distorted images

telling yourself that you are not this kind of ugly

you will select colors that say “available”

and draw on a face that will make you believe

that the last one who doubted your beauty

was both blind and stupid

I fear that in those moments

you will forget

in the middle of lonely

is one

June 28, 2021

JOHN BROWN was named vice provost for the arts last summer. A native North Carolinian, Brown came to the university in 2001 as an adjunct faculty member in the music department and went on to head Duke’s jazz program, along with his own jazz groups. “It’s hard to believe it’s already been a year, and what a year it has been,” he says.

You were the faculty sponsor for John Legend over Graduation Weekend. What was it like engaging with him?

Scene from "Juneteenth"

December 9, 2020


Tom Kertscher

Film producer, director, and writer Neil Creque Williams ’06 wanted to make movies by the time he was seven, when in second grade, his teacher let him show his home videos during lunchtime.

December 9, 2020


Sarah Robertson

Brett Tyne ’97 can seamlessly switch from a Western Texas twang to a lyrical Scottish accent straight from the Highlands. Some might call her a modern-day Henry Higgins, but she’s really a dialect coach, who traverses the world to help actors learn tricky accents for movies and television shows. Tyne recently worked with Renee Zellweger to master the breathy Hollywood accent of the 1930s for her 2019 Oscar-winning performance as Judy Garland in the movie Judy.


July 22, 2020


Scott Huler

People who watched A Parks and Recreation Special, the one-off reunion show about the TV series’ characters coping with the COVID-19 lockdown (it ran in early May), knew they were seeing something remarkable. Sure, the laughs were there: The characters spent the half-hour special addressing their situation in the surreal and witty way that defined the show.

Duke MFA student Ayan Felix

July 21, 2020


Scott Huler

AS COURTNEY LIU ’13 walks away from the Ark on a cool and cloudy fall day, she considers the class in which she has just participated. She had been asked to sink into the floor of the Ark, the smooth gray floor on which over the years thousands of the best dancers in the world had moved. To sink even through that floor, into the earth beneath.

August 7, 2019


Robb Chavis


The future doesn’t exist.

Don’t worry. I’m not trying to scare you. This isn’t some dystopian rant about how nothing matters. It’s the opposite. When I realized my future was just an idea I manufactured in my head, it helped me take bigger swings in my life. And I’m hoping my story will help you do the same.

A graphic of digits in computer code

August 7, 2019


Jane Terlesky

I recently walked around the Duke campus with my eighteen-year-old daughter, her many possible futures spread out before her, each one, for this flash of a moment, an equal contender in the competition for her attention.

May 17, 2019


Scott Huler

Start with scales.

You’re playing the cello, and you want to get used to new players, so you go back to the beginning. And you play scales.

“Scales are something you do your entire life,” says Ciompi Quartet violist Jonathan Bagg. “So it’s kind of like calisthenics. But we weren’t in the habit of doing that as a quartet before Carrie came.”

July 29, 2014

Music can bring us back not only to where we once lived, but to places in which we’ve thrived, felt comfortable, and had a niche. Laura journeys to several homes using audio and imagination.

April 28, 2014

One of the most joyous highlights of this past fall was the reopening of Baldwin Auditorium. Just as Duke Chapel is the focal point of West Campus, so Baldwin, with its graceful Georgian Revival dome, is the focal point of East Campus. Over the last two years, Baldwin has undergone a $15 million renovation in line with Duke’s philosophy of architectural renewal on campus: Preserve the historic exterior while creating state-of-the-art interior spaces to meet key campus needs.

Photos by Alex Maness.

May 21, 2013

How do Americans come together - and fall apart? That question fuels the works produced by Hoi Polloi, an Obie-winning New York-based theater collaborative.

Engaging artists: Milazzo, right, in conversation with actor Willem Dafoe as part of the Film: Masters series. Credit: Oriel Pe'er/The Modern School of Film.

May 15, 2013

Robert Milazzo is a patient, persistent man. Back in the late ’90s, as he was figuring out how to break into the film business, he made it his mission to somehow connect with Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright/screenwriter/director David Mamet.

February 13, 2013


Kimberly Sims

One of the most notorious pieces of Duke’s theatrical history—an anonymously written play titled The Vision of King Paucus—never actually appeared on a campus stage. But when 300 copies of the three-page script showed up mysteriously in student and faculty mailboxes in late 1933, it caused a stir felt across the university.

February 13, 2013

1891: Students of Trinity College in Randolph County put on The Womanless Wedding—an appropriate production for the all-male student body.

1922: Female students in the Dramatic Club played all the roles in a production of Monsieur Beaucaire in March 1922. The Dramatic Club was coached by Gladys Gross, wife of chemistry professor Paul Gross.

November 29, 2012

Opera singer: not the first career choice of your average Blue Devil. The typical opera singer, if there is such a thing, goes to conservatory, followed by a master's in singing, then a preprofessional program at an opera house, and finally, a career. But Talya Lieberman '07 has been forging her own path, one that will take her to Latvia on a Fulbright Scholarship to study her craft in a country with a little-known penchant for the musical form.

A man of distinction: Nathaniel Hill, center, with Ragtime cast members. [Credit: Daniel Scheirer II]

April 1, 2012

As a freshman member of Hoof ‘n’ Horn, Nathaniel Hill had a minor role in Sweeney Todd, the first collaboration between the musical group and the departments of music, dance, and theater studies in a decade. Smitten with the scope of talent around him, he imagined someday bringing a show of his own to the stage.

April 1, 2012

It’s rare to see students out of bed at 10 o’clock on a Saturday morning, but East Duke 209 was packed beyond capacity for the opening lecture of “Flamenco Alive!: New Research in the Vital Art of Flamenco.” Perhaps it was the anticipation of the following weekend’s performance by the Flamenco Vivo dance company—or the promise of a master class led by Carlota Santana, Flamenco Vivo’s artistic director— but this was one academic symposium that got people on their feet.

January 31, 2012

Duke's largest student production is a showcase of unbridles talent.