Reminder: Sharon Isbin in concert Thursday, September 29 at 8 p.m.

Information provided by: Rose State Live
Acclaimed for her extraordinary lyricism, technique and versatility, multiple Grammy Award winner Sharon Isbin has been hailed as “the pre-eminent guitarist of our time”.  She has given sold-out performances throughout the world in the greatest halls including New York’s Carnegie and Avery Fisher Halls, Boston’s Symphony Hall, Washington D.C.’s Kennedy Center, London’s Barbican and Wigmore Halls, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, Paris’ Châtelet, Vienna’s Musikverein, Munich’s Herkulessaal, Madrid’s Teatro Real, and many others. She has served as Artistic Director/Soloist of festivals she created for Carnegie Hall and the Ordway Music Theatre (St. Paul), her own series at New York’s 92nd Street Y, and the acclaimed national radio series Guitarjam. She is a frequent guest on national radio programs including All Things Considered and Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion. She has been profiled on television throughout the world, including CBS Sunday Morning and the A&E Network, and was a featured guest on Showtime Television’s international hit series The L Word. On September 11, 2002, Ms. Isbin performed at Ground Zero for the internationally televised memorial. In November 2009, she performed a concert at the White House by invitation of the President and First Lady. She performed as featured soloist in the soundtrack for Martin Scorsese’s Academy Award winning film, The Departed. She has been profiled in periodicals from People to Elle, The Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, as well as on the cover of more than 40 magazines.Sharon Isbin

Rose State College faculty/staff/students can purchase $15 discount tickets at the cashier’s window in the Administration building or at the Communications Center box office the evening of the concert beginning two hours before show time.

By 15th Street News Posted in Multimedia, News, Raider Life Tagged Grammy Award winner, guitarist, lyricism, Sharon Isbin

Lincoln’s Changing Views on Slavery

By: Chelsea Ratterman,  Assistant Editor

Through Oct. 3 the LRC will feature the “Forever Free” Abraham Lincoln Exhibit; which is touring the United States in honor of Lincoln’s 200th birthday. Events and lectures have been planned for the duration of the exhibit’s visit and after. Dr. Alan Ball presented one lecture on Sep. 7 in the LRC on “Lincoln’s Changing Views on Slavery.” Dr. Ball is an adjunct instructor on campus, teaching U.S. History. The lecture presented a wealth of facts, which are not found in the general education.  For example:

  •  Did you know that Abraham Lincoln had a black valet who is buried at Arlington National Cemetery? His tombstone contains his name, date of birth and death as well as the word “Citizen.” This was to “stick it” to the judge who presided over the Dred Scott case, which ruled that African Americans are not citizens.
  •  Lincoln held off on signing the Emancipation Proclamation because of a pain in his hand. He did not want it to appear he hesitated if his signature looked shaky.
  •  He started out as President without a course of action on slavery. He was actually against black soldiers in the army. His ultimate course changer was the war itself and its need for manpower.
  •  The political parties we have today are not the parties of Lincoln’s day. The parties have actually done a complete 180. Republicans then are what we consider Democrats now. The switch was caused in 1936 by Franklin D. Roosevelt.

    The exhibit is made up of a line of panels each detailing a pivotal time in Lincoln’s life.  Exhibit on display at the LRC through October 1st.    Photo by Chelsea Ratterman

    The exhibit is made up of a line of panels each detailing a pivotal time in Lincoln’s life. Exhibit on display at the LRC through October 1st. Photo by Chelsea Ratterman

On Sep.15, professor Michelle Brockmier spoke on the Civil Wars effect on women.  Michael Lasser, who has guest lectured around the country on popular music as social history, will be speaking on Sep. 22 on the songs of the Civil War. In association with Banned Books Week, (Sep. 25 to Oct. 1), books that were banned during Lincoln’s time will be showcased on Sep. 29 at 3:30 p.m. in front of the LRC.

By 15th Street News Posted in News Tagged Abraham Lincoln Exhibit, campus, Civil Wars, Dred Scott, LRC, Slavery

Lyric Theatre’s Broadway Ball engages donors

Mark your calendars! The 16th Annual Lyric Theatre Broadway Ball is being held at 7 p.m. on Sept. 30. The Broadway Ball is a fundraiser held to support the Lyric Theatre, and profits from the ball will go toward supporting its’ musical theatre academy. The money is utilized by providing scholarships for less opportune students, keeping all Lyric Theatre productions inexpensive, and insuring the best musical theatre education necessary, by hiring the top music theatre teachers for their students.

Entertainment of the evening consists of a performance by Billy Porter, who also directs the play, and the cast of the upcoming musical comedy “Altar Boyz.”

The Lyric Theatre lists the plot of the Altar Boyz as “a foot-stomping, rafter-raising musical comedy about a fictitious boy-band on the last night of their national “Raise the Praise” tour. The Altar Boyz are five small-town guys, Matthew, Mark, Luke, Juan, and Abraham, who come together as an all-singing, all-dancing heartthrob group from Ohio.”

Last year’s local performer Parish Mechling joins the Lyric Theatre’s 15th Annual Broadway Ball fundraiser. Photo courtesy of

“Attending our Broadway Ball is one of the many ways patrons, supporters and fans can support the Lyric Theatre keeping the quality of artistic productions and academy strong.” Paula Stover, Executive Director of the Lyric Theatre said.

Guests at the affair will include the balls many sponsors and individual Lyric patrons, and to insure that everyone can have the chance to donate, the Lyric Theatre is currently selling $10 raffle tickets, which they will continue to sell throughout the ball itself. Everyone who purchases a ticket will not only be contributing to the fundraiser, but will also be entered in a raffle to win one of two prize packages.

The first prize package contains an Apple iPad2 with a $200 Apple Gift Card; the second prize package includes a $1,000 gas gift card with 12 months of car washes.

Tickets are $55 to attend the event and can be purchased on the Lyric Theatre site.

For more information on the raffle or the annual fundraiser please contact Catherine Warren at (405) 524 – 9310, or stop by Lyric’s office on 1727 NW 16th Street in Oklahoma City.

By 15th Street News Posted in News, Raider Life Tagged Downtown, , Fundraising, Lyric Theatre, Musical, Skirvin Hilton Hotel

Marriage: An evolving institution

Marriage has always been a focal point of society. It used to be expected of individuals to marry and continue their line. Over the centuries, particularly the last century, marriage hasn’t been given quite the push. Constant figures are thrown out showing the failure of the institution in its modern form. In 2009, Oklahoma had 37,284 marriages and 20,158 divorces in the same year. Statistically, up to 40 – 50% of marriages end in divorce, but this is a generalization and does not account for distribution (i.e. divorce for first, second, third marriage and the age range of the divorcees). The new political push by the Republican Party, and the Tea Party movement, family values and controversial arguments over same sex marriage, has necessitated  taking a look at marriage itself.  For better or for worse.

Marriage has many benefits. There are joint tax returns that allow couples to get more back on their taxes each year, and when children are brought into the equation there is even a tax write off on kids until they’re 17. When one is simply “with someone” they are not able to make the decisions that may be necessary for their loved one’s future if they are not married. Joy Behar, a co-host of the ABC show The View, cited this as her reason for getting married after being with her significant other for 29 years. US News cited the financial advantages of marriage in an article released shortly after California passed a Supreme Court ruling allowing gay marriage (later overturned by Proposition 8). They brought up the tax deductions available to married couples, as well as other pros. Sharing a health insurance plan generates savings, property is easily transferred from one spouse to another, as is the estate of a deceased spouse and the Social Security benefits as well.

Liberal voting in the last two presidential election years have actually proven to have lower rates of divorce than their conservative counterparts.  June Carbone, the author of Red Families vs. Blue Families believes this is because people in liberal states wait longer to marry. One disadvantage of marriage is the initial financial setback. The marriage ceremony, on average, costs around $27,490 in the United States.

Charles Darwin even compiled lists in the form of two columns, one labeled “Marry” and the other “Not Marry.” His pros for marriage were “constant companion and a friend in old age” and his cons were “less money for books and terrible loss of time.” He eventually married Emma Wedgwood, his first cousin, and they were married until his death in 1882. As marriage itself continues to “evolve,” society will have to wait and see what current social taboos become the accepted norms.

By 15th Street News Posted in Editorial Tagged marriage, marry,

Storyteller Bil Lepp shares Santa’s big secret

By: Logan Pierce, Editor-in-chief

On Sep. 8, nationally renowned storyteller Bil Lepp preformed for children and adults in the H. B. Atkinson Theater.

For nearly 20 years, Lepp has traveled the country sharing his storytelling skills with everyone. Lepp lives in W.Va. with his wife and two young children, and is a five-time winner of the West Virginia State Liars’ Contest, an event that honors tellers of tall tales.

Hearing Lepp describe his upbringing, it’s difficult to discern where the truth ends and the tale begins. Lou Harry of the Indianapolis Business Journal said, “Bil Lepp – think Jeff Foxworthy with the comedic patience of Bill Cosby… It would be very difficult… to discern the structural difference between Lepp’s antic hunting story and Woody Allen’s classic “I shot a moose once” tale.”

One story Lepp shared involved driving with his children. It was winter, and they saw many Christmas decorations, one of which was a giant inflatable Santa Claus. This particular model worked on a timer, and only inflated at night. When Lepp’s children saw the deflated Christmas icon, they asked, “Is Santa dead?” “Only during the day,” Lepp said, “Don’t worry, though. Santa comes back to life at night.”

Bil Lepp entertains audiences young and old in the H.B. Atkinson Theathre with his unique style of colloquial storytelling. Photo by Tracie Bullen

Breaking from the narrative, Lepp talked to the audience about parenting. “Have you ever asked your kids, ‘Why don’t you use the brains God gave you? Let’s be honest. As parents, that’s the last thing we want our kids to do. Because then we have to make up an answer.” Lepp said.

Processing the knowledge that Santa died during the day and came to life at night, Lepp’s children asked their father, “Dad, is Santa a vampire?” Being a good parent, Lepp said yes.

“There’s no better way to keep your kids in bed at night around Christmastime,” Lepp said, “Just have them believe that in the weeks leading up to Christmas, Vampire Santa prowls the world looking for naughty kids. I told my kids to sleep with garlic around their beds.”

In 2011, Lepp’s comedic album, Vampire Santa, won a Storytelling World Award. Lepp is a man who has proved that it is possible to make a career out of lying without getting into politics.

By 15th Street News Posted in News Tagged Bil Lepp, Christmas, Santa, Storyteller, Storytelling, vampire, Vampire Santa

Online reviewers: Taking a critical look at critics

By: Logan Pierce, Editor-in-chief

The Internet has changed the requirements for fame. Achieving celebrity status no longer involves working in a California diner, hoping to be discovered. No, all that is required is to inform the world, “Charlie bit me.” Viral videos on YouTube have allowed people to experience 15 minutes of fame without leaving the comforts of home.

In a similar vein, critics and reviewers who appear exclusively online are able to make a name for themselves, and arguably more importantly, make money. Leonard Maltin, Gene Shalit, and Roger Ebert are renowned for their critical analysis of entertainment and popular culture. Today however, these giants of judicious journalism find themselves sharing the spotlight with online personalities who go by such names as The Nostalgia Critic, Linkara, and Harry Plinkett.

The website was launched April 2008, with Doug Walker (The Nostalgia Critic) as the flagship review show. Michael Michaud, CEO of the parent company Channel Awesome, founded the site after he and two others were laid off from their jobs at Circuit City in 2007.

The review shows featured on the website update weekly, each show catering to a particular niche of popular culture. The Nostalgia Critic, who turns 30 this year, focuses his show on cartoons or movies from the 80s and 90s (i.e. what 30-year-olds would consider to be nostalgic). Linkara (Lewis Lovhaug) uses his show, Atop the Fouth Wall, to review comic books. There are more than 50 reviewers employed at Channel Awesome.

The website makes its money from advertisers, who play one 20 second commercial at the beginning and end of each review. Once the website launched, the viewers started appearing; shows like The Nostalgia Critic began to average 100,000 to 200,000 viewers per week. also gained 14 million page views per month. The website earns roughly $10,000 per month thanks to ad revenue, and has gained upwards of 11,000 dollars through donations.

On Jan. 6, 2011, Walker was awarded Entrepreneur of the Year in Las Vegas at the 4th Annual Mashable Awards. Other Internet personalities have made names for themselves as reviewers. The website and the Plinkett Star Wars reviews made waves with their irreverent analysis of the Star Wars prequels. Some Star Wars fans denounce them, while others love them. Ebert is a fan of Plinkett. “I was pretty much sure I didn’t have it with me to endure another review of [Revenge of the Sith]. Mr. Plinkett demonstrates to me that I was mistaken.” Ebert said.

What this modern excess of critics means for Hollywood is a constant widespread word-of–mouth campaign. The public can more easily be made aware of the quality of a film before seeing it. While these new critics may not change the quality of films released by the movie industry, their presence has changed what it means to be a critic who entertains through analysis.

By 15th Street News Posted in Features, News Tagged Channel Awesome, critics, Doug Walker, Linkara, , Plinkett Star Wars review,, the Nostalgia Critic, Viral videos

Sneak preview of Global Oklahoma at RSC

RSC Global Oklahoma presents Brazil! Celebrate our 23rd year of culture with more than 70 exhibits and 4 booked stages! See our sneak peak for 2011.

By 15th Street News Posted in News

Ban a Book: Restrict Potential Learning


As literature has progressed through history to modern day, books have caused impacts on societal norms.  Writers do not always write for readers who use polite language.  Because of this, some books have been removed from shelves of libraries and banned from other similar institutions.

Some of these books are full of strong sexual content, or use obscene language as a means of emotional expression.  Other books have been targeted for banning by being racially insensitive or disrespectful to the social idea of decency.

Mark Twain’s “Tom Sawyer”, has been contested and taken to court numerous times and banned from many libraries, being considered racially insensitive to people dis-empowered by slavery.

During Twains life, he was an avid abolitionist fighting against the very idea of slavery.  And in his own ways, used his stories as a means to make the plight of slaves more visible and the acts of slave masters more despicable.

The English proverb “never judge a book by its cover” is the perfect example when it comes to interpreting works of literature and art.  In writing, there are specific story lines and character developments that deliver a stories meaning and message.

To criticize classic literature by current standards, distorts the writing’s initial purpose and also contradicts that purpose.  This re-categorizes the story’s fundamental message as negative when it does not apply to current society.

Understandable as it is to want negative word usage removed from a book so that it is politically correct, there is a factor many may not see in the use of those negative words.  It causes a person to consider the effects of such words and may enable a positive move forward.

This, for literature, allows writers to light a fire within the hearts of society by illustrating social wrongs, which enables and alerts them to the crisis.  Giving them a chance to change hidden-under-the-rug social problems.

This advertisement encourages readers to take part in Banned Books Week. Photo courtesy of

For William Pynchon, who in 1650 wrote “The Meritorious Price Of Our Redemption, Iustification, &c.,” the social response was instantaneous dislike.  In the market place of Springfield, MA, judiciaries burned the book, attempting to obliterate its seemingly evil message.

Pynchon’s religious arguments caused the puritans to discredit his work and put him on trial.  This is an early example of the extent to which society can determine what subject matter is socially relevant.

So why are books banned?  Disagreements of the contents value and/or significance to enabling a strong and morally sound social being creates a dissolution of, at least in some ways, the First Amendment Free Speech Rights.

There are some books that should perhaps be limited to specific age groups and/or establishments.  These books are often too graphic for the average family.  However, if an individual wants their voice to be heard, then being open to those voices is essential to maintaining an open society.

So, by banning or limiting the content in which people engage each other through means of literature and works of art, is to restrict disagreeable views.  Which opposes the very idea of an open society.

A wise man might say “he who does not consider the perspective of another, loses sight of himself by limiting himself to never knowing more than himself.”

Banned books week will be taking place from September 36 through the 30th at the RSC LRC

By 15th Street News Posted in Editorial

Warrior heals family through fighting

By: Dennis Gosnell, assignment editor

In each persons heart there lays some great pain that defines whom they become. Warrior is a fierce emotional roller coaster with that curative touch of inspiration that comes from forming unbreakable bonds.

In this movie the fight to save love and home comes to life.  When all that stands between a person and their dream, is a dark past that creates the illusion of being abandoned to the world; the only way to escape, is to fight.

Much like the older Rocky Balboa movies, Warrior has a similar feel that captivates the audience’s heart.  It’s the fight to survive, to provide, and to heal.   Brendan Conlon (Joel Edgerton), Tommy Conlon (Tom Hardy), and their father Paddy Conlon (Nick Nolte) are the central characters in this all or nothing epic.

Brendan is a physics teacher from Philadelphia that is two short steps from losing his families home.  He follow’s his banks advice and takes up the refinancing offers that were available to him and his family.  But the housing market takes a fall into the dumps, and finds out that his bank can do nothing to help them.

Edgerton plays his character with a tender care that presents the idea of calm and smarts.  The means by which Edgerton’s character wins is through technical perseverance that uses intelligence rather than brawn.  The tenderness of Brendan is visible in his almost casual expression of forgiveness and will to hold no harmful emotions toward anyone.

Tommy spent much of his teenage years trying to be responsible for his mother after the two of them left Paddy and Brendan.  His mother’s illness kept him with her until she died.  After her death, Tommy joined the Marine Corps and found a family he never expected.

The still from the movie offers a glimpse into the kind of action offered to audiences. Photo courtesy of Chuck Zlotnick of Lionsgate

Hardy’s character, however, is that up in your face “I’ll knock your head off if you look at me wrong,” kind of guy.  He doesn’t care about what any one thinks of him, he’s just there to fight and get on with his day.  Hardy presents Tommy’s emotional state with great skill and determination.  Even at the end of the movie when the emotional climax reaches its apex, Hardy’s ability is still and calm and portrays the moment in a way that makes it believable.

Paddy is an ex-alcoholic who wishes to re-establish his relationship with both of his sons whom he pushed away and hurt deeply.  His fight to re-unite with his children, and his constant fight against alcoholism deprive him of being able to move forward.

Nolte is perfectly suited to his role as an ex-Marine/alcoholic.  However, it’s not the hard and rough image that makes Nolte’s character believable; it’s the quiet vulnerability of years spent anguishing over past choices and actions that gives power to his character.  In this way Nolte brings together the three characters and brings to life the hardships in which each of them is fighting.

As these three stories comes together to form a brilliant display of the healing power of forgiveness and the ultimate power of love, a viewer comes to feel it not only spiritually but also physically as the story engages in the MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) setting of brutality and the will to survive.

Warrior takes the violent nature of mankind and turns it inward to where the demons of the past burn furiously.  Standing alone against the pressing wind screaming, “I will not yield!” into that vortex of emotional damage, and finding that calm center of relief that comes from facing those demons and winning. That is what this movie is about.