Arts

Theater
6:18 am
Sun July 28, 2013

Wallace Shawn: From 'Toy Story' Dino To Highbrow Playwright

Wallace Shawn (from left), Larry Pine and Deborah Eisenberg make up the cast of The Designated Mourner. Written by Shawn and directed by Andre Gregory, the Public Theater show is a product of one of the longest collaborations in the history of the American theater.
Joan Marcus Courtesy The Public Theater

Originally published on Sun July 28, 2013 12:31 pm

Wallace Shawn is famous for his career as an actor, but over the past four decades he has written a handful of plays that are intellectually demanding and rarely produced. His characters tell stories in monologues, rather than acting them out onstage, and they use cascades of words to make dizzying arguments.

His work is being showcased at New York's Public Theater this season. A revival of The Designated Mourner opened July 21 and the American premier of another Shawn play, Grasses of a Thousand Colors, will open this fall.

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You Must Read This
6:16 am
Sun July 28, 2013

A World A Few Degrees Of Whimsy Away From Our Own

Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 12:11 pm

Anthony Marra is the author of A Constellation Of Vital Phenomena.

Ditie, the narrator of Bohumil Hrabal's transcendent novel, I Served the King of England, is described in the jacket copy as "a hugely ambitious but simple waiter in a deluxe Prague hotel." I first crossed paths with him when I, myself, was working as a night porter in a deluxe Edinburgh hotel.

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Art & Design
6:15 am
Sun July 28, 2013

Stories Of Race In America Captured On Quilt And Canvas

As a black, female artist in the 1960s, Ringgold says there were "a lot of people trying to get in my way and keep me from doing what I was doing." Above, a 1965 self portrait.
Jim Frank On loan from Elizabeth A. Sackler

Originally published on Mon July 29, 2013 12:31 pm

Artist Faith Ringgold is best known for what she calls her story quilts — large canvases made in the 1980s, on which she painted scenes of African-American life: sunbathing on a tar roof, a mother and her children, a quilting bee. She frames the canvases in strips of quilted fabric, carrying out an old African, and African-American quilt-making tradition.

The National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington is showing an earlier aspect of Ringgold's art: big, strong, vivid paintings from the 1960s that reflect the violence and social upheaval of that time.

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Sunday Puzzle
3:06 am
Sun July 28, 2013

Psst ... It's Class Time

NPR Graphic

Originally published on Sun July 28, 2013 12:31 pm

On-air challenge: This puzzle is supersonic. Every answer is a familiar two-word phrase or name that has the consecutive letters S-S-T. Specifically, the first word will end in S-S, and the second word will start with T. For example, given, "A situation in which people speak on top of each other," you would say, "cross talk."

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Author Interviews
5:02 pm
Sat July 27, 2013

In 'The Panopticon,' They're Always Watching

Originally published on Sat July 27, 2013 5:25 pm

During the 19th century, a panopticon was a prison or asylum with an all-seeing eye. Some of the C-shaped prisons with central watchtowers still stand in the U.S. and Europe.

Jenni Fagan's new book borrows the panopticon idea as the setting for a gritty, often poetic, novel. The story is based loosely on Fagan's own experience growing up in the Scottish foster care system for 16 years.

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Sports
7:32 am
Sat July 27, 2013

'You Gotta Keep Smashin' And Smashin' And Smashin'!'

Originally published on Sat July 27, 2013 12:59 pm

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

It's summertime, and on weekend nights all across the country, that means demolition derby time - cars bashing cars for the pure thrill of it. Charles Lane from member station WSHU recently went to a demo on New York's Long Island, the legendary home of the demolition derby. He brought back this audio postcard.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: Fire it up (unintelligible).

CHARLES LANE, BYLINE: A white four-door Chevy Impala. It's got graffiti writing down the side that says Misery Machine, and it's number 86.

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Author Interviews
7:21 am
Sat July 27, 2013

'The Telling Room': This Cheese Stands Alone

Originally published on Sat July 27, 2013 12:59 pm

Here's a great piece of travel writing, storytelling, mythmaking and hero worship — all rolled into one book with a near record-breakingly long title. It's by magazine writer Michael Paterniti of GQ, and it's called The Telling Room: A Tale of Love, Betrayal, Revenge, and the World's Greatest Piece of Cheese.

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Monkey See
7:03 am
Sat July 27, 2013

A Comic-Con Diary: The Final Day

A lone, sad stormtrooper descends an escalator.
JC Moya Courtesy Glen Weldon

Originally published on Sun July 28, 2013 5:55 am

Monkey See contributor/longtime nerd Glen Weldon recently attended San Diego Comic-Con. He kept a diary during one of the largest media events in the world.

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NPR Story
6:52 am
Sat July 27, 2013

An Arctic Summer Vacation

Originally published on Sat July 27, 2013 12:59 pm

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News, I'm Linda Wertheimer.

If you think back to your school summer vacations, you might remember idyllic camp adventures, or working as a lifeguard, slathered in sunblock.

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NPR Story
6:52 am
Sat July 27, 2013

What's It Take To Be A Polar Explorer?

Originally published on Sat July 27, 2013 12:59 pm

From the TED Radio Hour, polar explorer Ben Saunders on what pushes adventurers like him to brink of human endurance. In 2004, Saunders became the third man — and the most recent — to ski solo to the North Pole.

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