Great teacher, friend, mentor and theatre historian, Dr. Howard Stein, shared a story with his Columbia University in the City of New York MFA Playwriting students at the Oscar Hammerstein II Center for Theatre studies. The topic was eminent actor Paul Newman who was visiting the Yale School of Drama at Howard’s request and he was speaking to the theatre students in a question and answer format. I will share that story with you now.
If we need more evidence the world is imploding on its own good misdeeds, we need look no further than the weight of the ridiculousness that the Urban Dictionary is now being used in courts of law to define colloquial phrases and to help educate judges and juries as to “meaning in the street.”
Did you know your Facebook privacy has been leaking? As that social network expands to flow like a never-ending molasses across the grimacing façade of the nameless masses — suffocating us in pokes and Mafia War requests — we need to pause a moment and step back to wonder just what’s happening to us beyond the velvet curtain.
Today, I recall a certain discussion I recently had with old friend and long time mentor, Dr. Howard Stein. Howard was sharing a story about a former student who, frustrated with her progress at the end of the semester, confronted Howard after class at his lectern and asked in a loud voice that the rest of the class could hear, “What do you want from me?!”