January 18

Janie Dee on How Friday Night Lights Helped Her in London’s Hand to God

first_imgJanie Dee in rehearsal for ‘Hand to God’ Janie Dee has won two Olivier Awards and moved from classics to new plays, Shakespeare to musicals. But the protean talent is shifting gears big-time to inherit 2015 Tony nominee Geneva Carr’s role as the Texan mom Margery in the British premiere of Robert Askins’ subversively funny Broadway play Hand to God at the Vaudeville Theatre. Broadway.com met the ever-spirited Dee prior to the start of previews to talk sock puppets and more.Did you know much about Hand to God before the role of Margery came your way?The first I heard of it was when they asked me if I would come and meet the team. I read it at home and was sort of agog. At the end, my mouth opened and my jaw dropped. I’d never read anything quite like it!The play is set in and around the world of a Christian puppet ministry in Texas, which must seem a world away.What’s interesting as an actor is that your mind does things for you, and it’s pretty well painted on the page. More challenging in a way was that people kept saying to me “it’s a comedy” when in fact any good play has everything: in Shakespeare’s comedies, there can be moments of great sadness and in his tragedies moments where you want to laugh.This play gets very dark.It does, and our job is to set the audience up to go on that journey. Moritz [von Stuelpnagel], our director, keeps emphasizing with our characters that they don’t think what’s happening is funny. The audience may laugh, but the people in the play aren’t finding it funny.Faith is hugely important to you, so did that make it difficult to sign on to a script that some might find blasphemous?I do go to church and more than anything I feel close to God and don’t know what I would do without God: I talk to Him a lot. So I was worried about what the play might be saying about God, and it was wonderful to have Rob [Askins, the playwright] here to talk about it.How then did you make the decision to join the show?One thing I did was speak to my vicar. The wonderful thing is that whenever I told him anything I was worried about, he just wasn’t phased by it, and that gave me great hope. Good plays are always about holding up a mirror to nature and asking what are we and how are we behaving and how are we lying sometimes to ourselves—Hand to God does all of that.Will your fellow congregants be in attendance?Well, most are my age or around that, so they’ll be on the same page. And besides I’ve already done a TV thing called Crashing, which really has no boundaries and goes further than I’ve known comedy to go on telly. And yet I like it because somehow it holds on to humanity, and that’s what I feel Rob [Askins] has done. Do you know the terrain that this play inhabits?Mostly from watching Dallas or Friday Night Lights [set in a fictional town called Dillon, Texas]. Friday Night Lights is probably closer and more accurate to where we are in the play. For me personally, going to church is the closest kind of idea I have of the situation Margery is in. I totally get her.She’s a pretty extraordinary character.She is, and I get the feeling a quite lonely one, too. She seems to be pretty alone with this boy [her son Jason, played by Harry Melling of Harry Potter fame] but for all the wrong reasons. I think she feels like a failure and as if she is trying to prove herself and that is proving very difficult for her. Even her Christian puppet ministry is not going very well, so I’ve got loads of backstory for why she is how she is.How is Harry coping with the dual demands of Jason and his rather outspoken sock-puppet alter ego, Tyrone?He is absolutely brilliant! He’s been compulsive about working on it while managing to be very laidback, as well. He’s got a lovely balance. There are times when I forget it’s him and I think he’s become Tyrone—it’s like a wonderful magic trick. View Commentslast_img read more

September 26

Easter with the eyes of faith

first_img Sharing is caring! Another name for ritual is repetition. Rituals save us from starting from scratch every time something important to us needs commemoration. All we have to do is perform the ritual. It is said that we live in an age alien to this practice; and yet,to cite one relatively recent instance, as the news spread of Princess Diana’s death, crowds of people showed up at the gates of Buckingham Palace to lay masses of flowers.In their grief,they didn’t turn to speech-making;they turned spontaneouslyto ritual.Holy Week is all ritual, culminating in the ceremony of darkness and light of Holy Saturday, and the great Exultet proclamation.Not every day is a day for significant ritual, when great deliberation goes into preparation and execution. Some days require it, and are incomplete without it. Easter would not be Easter if all we did was include thurible and incense.At another level, every year, the details of the resurrection in Scriptureare pored over. New explanations are often offered for some details, but the ground has essentially been covered before, and nothing really new emerges. The miracle remains the same: he is not here, he is risen!Easter ritual allows us to experience afreshthe foundations of faith every time we commemorate the occasion. St. Paul put it simply and fundamentally in First Corinthians: “If Christ is not risen,” he wrote,“your faith is in vain.”Your hope too, of course, but he didn’t have to say it.Some difference exists in the way the resurrection was experienced at the beginning and how later generations have done so. The single constant in all the early testimonies is an appeal to sight: “I have seen the Lord.” St. Paul felt excluded from this special band of witnesses, until his Damascus experience allowed him to say: “I too have seen.”It was a privileged, unrepeatable time, when the risen Lord was seen and, as John said in his First Letter, touched and verified.This does not mean that faith was not required. Early witnesses had to trust that their eyes were not deceiving them, that sight was not illusory. Nothing in their tradition or experience had led them to expect anything like it. The dialogue between the disciples on the road to Emmaus makes it clear that the crucifixion represented complete devastation. Then, a man whose brutal death was witnessed by crowds, who was buried in a sealed tomb, had reportedly returned to visit his companions. This is the man they now claimed to “see.”Faith then as now did not depend on proof. What proof could there have been? The moment of resurrection was not a visible event. No one could come forward as an eyewitness. The empty tomb did not constitute proof either. Other explanations were possible, as the gospels themselves indicate.The body could have been “taken away” by someone, as Mary lamented when she arrived at the tomb that morning.What faith attested to then was not an absence, but a special form of presence. This is the distinctive Easter fact in the gospels. It is what empowered the disciples, and it’s where continuity in resurrection faith, past and present, crucially begins.Faith today responds to the resurrection as a continuing presence. The privilege of “seeing” is no longer ours. We cannot say “I too have seen the Lord.” What we can say is “I too have met him.”Presencenow means that the Lord is accessible; he can be met; people keep meeting him, and meeting him continues to change their lives.The experience is something one must desire. St. Augustine set great store by desire in trying to explainthe manner and the extent to which God pervades our lives. As Jesus once turned to ask the strangers following him: “What is it that you seek?”Such desiring takes many forms. Doing so actively and deliberately in prayer is one way. More discursively, it’s a matter of what loyalties one perseveres in surrendering to, how one keeps one’sheart inclined and oriented. The experience also transforms. The early witnesses were considered drunk because of change the resurrection had effected in them. Conversion, which is really resurrection encounter by another name, clearly also testifies to this. When it occurs, the experience is always felt as amazing; it transforms blindness into sight, and it brings the convert into a life of new, enlightened awareness.It is witnesses who have met the Lord and are continually transformed by him, who are “sent.” Who else will make the world over; who else can possibly transform it? Such witnessing is a way of saying to the world: ‘I am the message I preach.’ I am reminded hereof St. Francis’ instruction to his followers as he once sent them out: preachthe gospel by all means possible, he said, and if it’s really necessary, you could even use words.Evangelization isessentially not a matter of giving doctrine.It works in a far more holistic way through the witness displayed in a life. It is life, not doctrine, that attracts andpersuades. Method and approach are always important in evangelization, but lives transformed by resurrection faith will always be the surest and best of its techniques. By: Henry Charles PhD 23 Views   no discussions Share Tweetcenter_img LocalNews Easter with the eyes of faith by: – April 7, 2012 Share Sharelast_img read more

February 10

More sports in brief

first_imgJamaica win at World TT ChampsJamaica’s Table Tennis team got off to the perfect start at the Perfect 2016 World Team Table Tennis Championships in Malawati Stadium in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on Sunday, defeating Morrocco 3-0 in their Group P Division Four match.Jamaica’s team of Michael Hyatt, Mark Phillips and Kane Watson easily brushed aside the Morrocans. Hyatt dismissed his opponent 11-6, 11-4, 11-5 to get the team off to a great start. Watson followed that up with a 13-11, 11-5, 11-7 win in the second match and Phillips wrapped up the victory with a 11-4, 1-10, 11-4 win in the final match.Team Jamaica was out of action during yesterday’s (Monday’s) second round of matches, but will return to action against Laos Republic today (Tuesday).The Caribbean team is competing in Group P in Division Four with the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Laos and Morrocco.Easy victory for Red ForcePORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC):Rahkeem Cornwall’s half-century was in vain as Leeward Islands Hurricanes went down to Trinidad and Tobago Red Force by nine wickets, on the final day of their eighth round contest here yesterday. Resuming the day in a dodgy position on 147 for five at the National Cricket Centre, Hurricanes rallied to 287 all out in their second innings, largely due to Cornwall’s bold 65. Orlando Peters stroked 39 while Jeremiah Louis hit a defiant unbeaten 32.Leg-spinner Imran Khan was the main wicket-taker with four for 80 and was supported by part-time off-spinner Narsingh Deonarine (2-44) and left-arm spinner Yannic Cariah (2-48).Set 107 for victory, Red Force wasted little time in racing to their target off 13.3 overs, with opener Evin Lewis smashing a quick-fire 56 off 41 deliveries, with nine fours and a six. He posted 97 for the first wicket with Barbadian Kyle Hope, who carved out an unbeaten 34 off 36 deliveries with four fours and a six.With the victory, Red Force picked up 18 points to move into third place in the standings on 74, while Hurricanes earned three points to remain bottom on 39.last_img read more

November 27

MMA legends gather in Tokyo for historic ONE: New Era fight week

first_imgMOST READ Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Google Philippines names new country director Some of the biggest names in the mixed martial arts scene aligned on Thursday, three days before ONE’s inaugural show in Japan unfurls.WATCH: The legend Vitor Belfort in the flesh! #ONENewEra | @MarkGiongcoINQpic.twitter.com/OWOxrMpVZQFEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logistics— INQUIRER Sports (@INQUIRERSports) March 28, 2019 View comments Colombia protesters vow new strike after talks hit snag Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Bloomberg: US would benefit from more, not fewer, immigrants TOKYO, Japan—There’s no shortage of star power during ONE Championship’s press conference for its upcoming spectacle here.ADVERTISEMENT Panelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassles Tim Cone ‘steaming mad’ at Raymond Aguilar for garbage-time shot in Ginebra win Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess Latest auto creations on display at Tokyo Motor Show PLAY LIST 00:54Latest auto creations on display at Tokyo Motor Show02:03MMA legends gather in Tokyo for historic ONE: New Era fight week03:03Rescue efforts underway as Typhoon Hagibis kills 11 in Japan02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Trump tells impeachment jokes at annual turkey pardon event Legendary fighters Demetrious Johnson, Eddie Alvarez, Vitor Belfort and even Rafael dos Anjos were all in attendance at Ritz-Carlton hotel in downtown Tokyo.Media presence was also overwhelming with journalists from all over the world present in the event.Media madness. #ONENewEra @INQUIRERSports pic.twitter.com/nr8DH5dYjg— MG (@MarkGiongcoINQ) March 28, 2019ADVERTISEMENT The ONE: A New Era fight card features four world title fights with Filipino superstar Eduard Folayang defending his lightweight belt in a title rematch against Japanese MMA icon Shinya Aoki in the main event.The fighters at Thursday’s ONE: New Era press con at Ritz Carlton Hotel in Tokyo. Photo by Mark Giongco/INQUIRER.netAngela Lee, the women’s atomweight champion, is also fighting in the co-main event as she shoots for Xiong Jing Nan’s strawweight strap.Look who’s also here for the #ONENewEra presser. Former UFC lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos bringing more star power here in Tokyo. Is he signing with ONE as well? 🤔 @INQUIRERSports pic.twitter.com/TqTW1uPoja— MG (@MarkGiongcoINQ) March 28, 2019Johnson and Alvarez, meanwhile, are making their keenly-awaited debuts for ONE Championship as they compete in the Flyweight and Lightweight World Grand Prix, respectively.Another Filipino in Kevin Belingon is putting his bantamweight title on the line against Bibiano Fernandes as the two rivals complete their trilogy.To complete the championship bouts, Myanmar’s pride Aung La N Sang is staking his middleweight crown against Japan’s Ken Hasegawa. Wintry storm delivers US travel woes before Thanksgiving LATEST STORIES Private companies step in to help SEA Games hostinglast_img read more

October 16

Lindt Gold Bunny Celebrity Auction Benefits Autism Speaks

first_imgNick Lachey has joined premium chocolatier, Lindt USA, to launch the fifth Lindt GOLD BUNNY Celebrity Auction and help raise awareness for autism, a cause close to his family.Nick Lachey joined Lindt in New York on April 4 to launch the Lindt GOLD BUNNY Celebrity AuctionLachey, who is sharing his personal connection to autism, joins the exclusive line-up of nearly 100 celebrities participating in this year’s auction by donating autographs. One hundred percent of proceeds from the celebrity-signed Lindt GOLD BUNNY figures will benefit the world’s leading autism research and advocacy organization, Autism Speaks.This year, Lindt will make a matching donation. Now through April 14, fans can bid on celebrity-signed porcelain Lindt GOLD BUNNY figures – from Kelly Clarkson to Sarah Jessica Parker, Tom Brady and Seth Meyers – and give back this Easter.“It’s an honor to help launch this year’s Lindt GOLD BUNNY Celebrity Auction and support a cause very close to my family,” said Lachey. “My younger brother, Zac, was diagnosed with autism as a child, and we’re continuously inspired by his perseverance and strength. Autism affects so many families, and Lindt is offering simple ways to get involved this Easter and help give back.”Ninety-three influencers in the entertainment, food, music, lifestyle and sports industries have lent their signatures to the cause. Other star taking part include Blake Shelton, Brad Paisley, Celine Dion, Donald Trump, Fergie, Gordon Ramsay, Harrison Ford, Kourtney Kardashian, Miranda Kerr, Ricky Gervais, Tom Hanks and many more.“We’re thrilled to work with Nick Lachey to launch this year’s Lindt GOLD BUNNY Celebrity Auction in support of Autism Speaks,” said Thomas Linemayr, president and CEO of Lindt USA. “We’re touched by Nick’s personal connection to autism and inspired by his involvement. Through a variety of activities both in-store and online this Easter season, Lindt is looking forward to raising much needed funds and awareness for the autism cause.”In addition to the Celebrity Auction, Lindt is again donating 10 cents from each Lindt GOLD BUNNY, the only bunny that gives back, purchased in the U.S., through April 20, 2014. Consumers can also join Lindt on its Facebook page, through April 15, 2014, to play the “Build a Better Easter Basket with Lindt GOLD BUNNY” game to trigger varying levels of donations to Autism Speaks and win additional prizes.Since 2009, Lindt has helped raise more than half a million dollars for Autism Speaks. Through multiple in-store and online activations this Easter season, Lindt anticipates the total donation to Autism Speaks to exceed $700,000.For more information about the Lindt GOLD BUNNY Celebrity Auction and Easter program, visit LindtGOLDBUNNYAuction.com. For other news from Lindt, visit www.LindtUSA.com/goldbunny, “like” the company’s Facebook page or follow Lindt on Twitter. For more information about Autism Speaks, visit www.AutismSpeaks.org.last_img read more

August 3

Tick bites manThats not exactly news but it is

first_imgTick bites man.That’s not exactly news, but it is in the case of a particular tick that bit a particular man. The tick, native to Asia, is Haemaphysalis longicornis, also known as the longhorned tick. It was only recently discovered in North America.And now, for the first time, there’s a record of a bite by the longhorned tick in the U.S.The bite, which took place last year, is documented in a journal report published in late May in Clinical Infectious Diseases.The tick’s victim, who lives in Westchester County, New York, has not become ill as a result of the bite. But health experts are keenly aware that in Asia, and in Australia and New Zealand, where the tick is found as well, it is known to spread pathogens that can be lethal to humans and animals.One such pathogen is SFTS virus, a potentially fatal hemorrhagic fever. SFTS is not found in North America but is similar to the Heartland virus, which is present in North America and can be transmitted by ticks, according to Dr. Bobbi Pritt, director of the Clinical Parasitology Laboratory at the Mayo Clinic. So far there is no evidence that the longhorned tick carries this virus.The longhorned tick was first formally detected in the U.S. on a sheep in New Jersey in 2017. No one knows exactly how the tick made it to North America, and tick experts say it’s possible that it arrived earlier than that.As for the documentation of the first bite, Rick Ostfeld, senior scientist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in New York State and a tick specialist, cautions that longhorned ticks have probably bitten humans in the U.S. before — but no one realized the bite came from a different species of tick.And this species is definitely different from other ticks — in ways that are potentially worrisome to humans.First, female longhorned ticks can reproduce without the aid of a male. A single female can lay thousands of eggs, which will hatch into more females.And while the more common U.S. tick, the blacklegged tick, is usually found in the woods and in tall grass, the Westchester County man reported that he had not been in the woods in the 30 days prior to the bite, just on his mown lawn and another lawn. That’s an environment where people are not currently advised to take precautions against ticks.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Northeast Regional Center for Excellence in Vector-Borne Diseases at Rutgers University and state health departments “to investigate where and how widespread the tick is and whether or not it can spread pathogens to animals and people in the United States.” Lars Eisen, a research entomologist with the CDC’s division of vector-borne diseases in Fort Collins, Colo., says research is ongoing this summer in the Northeast “to clarify the types of environments where you can be exposed to longhorned ticks.”For now, the CDC hasn’t changed its recommendations for preventing tick bites. Eisen says that based on the most current information, the methods that CDC recommends to prevent bites by other tick species are likely to be effective against the longhorned tick: using EPA-registered repellents on skin and clothing as directed, for example, and frequent tick checks soon after coming indoors “from potentially tick-infested areas, including your own backyard.” The CDC and the Environmental Protection Agency offer more recommendations about the longhorned tick and on repellents. Ostfeld thinks that new tick precautions may be in order given the probable location of the human bite on a well-trimmed lawn in sunlight (per the bite victim’s description). “We might want to expand the types of habitat types people have to be concerned about,” he says.But he is also concerned about causing “tick fatigue.” You don’t want to “make your warnings so dire that people start to think they can’t do anything about it or avoid out-of-doors altogether,” says Ostfeld.Bobbi Pritt says it’s a good thing that more attention is being paid to the longhorned tick. The USDA, for example, is issuing regular reports on which states are involved: so far, Arkansas, Connecticut, Kentucky, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Tennessee and West Virginia. “A lot of people are interested, and a lot of projects are starting,” she says.One underway is The Tick Project, run by Ostfeld and Felicia Keesing of Bard College and conducted in neighborhoods in New York state. The project is testing products against placebos: for example, a fungus to kill ticks (instead of chemicals that would kill other less dangerous critters) and “bait boxes” that lure mammals such as mice and apply a tiny drop of a tick-killing chemical that doesn’t harm the mice. Ticks feeding on mice are most likely to become infected and dangerous, specialists say, so these are the most important to target.In the meantime, scientists are forecasting more bites from this Asian tick. The longhorned tick “is known to bite people in other parts of the world so we would expect to see occasional human bites in the United States as well,” says Eisen of CDC.But there’s not a sense of panic at this point. Eisen says, “We do not yet know if this tick is as likely to bite people as other ticks of concern to human health in the United States.” And Ostfeld says it’s even possible that the longhorned tick is not especially attracted to humans as hosts — “but we don’t know that yet.”Fran Kritz is a health policy reporter based in Washington, D.C. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post and Kaiser Health News. Find her on Twitter @FranKritz Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.last_img read more