New Costume Designer gets swept to Oz

By: Narges Taghavi

Feature Editor


Rose State College theatre department puts on a variety of productions each year and time and hard work go into making these shows spectacular. Many elements go into putting on a great show, such as talented actors who can bring characters to life and a script that captivates the audience.

However, there is one major part of a production that is rarely acknowledged, the costumes, and Brenda Nelson has stepped in as the new costume designer for these shows.


Although, she has an interest in the fashion world, costume design is uncharted territory for her.

Brenda Nelson faces the organized chaos of the theatre department closet. Photo Narges Taghavi.

“I was always more interested in fashion, and did not come to costume design for the theatre until much later. I was around the theatre community while at the University of Oklahoma, and, although not a theatre major, I did meet with the OU Costume Designer to discuss my interest in fashion history, and was invited to take his costume history class the next semester,” Nelson said.


Nelson’s first job will be designing the costume for the upcoming production of the “Wizard of Oz”, opening in November.


“Large cast shows such as this start out to be rather nerve-racking, but exhilarating at the same time.  As I move through the process, step-by-step, I find that there’s too much to be done and there’s really no time to be nervous.  The most important thing for me is to stay calm, focused, and above all, organized,” Nelson said.


The process that Nelson goes through is to start by reading the script, making a list of characters, studying the time period of the play and then deciding the specific costumes for each scene.


“A lot of questions follow, such as how many changes are needed for each character, are there any quick changes, are there any unusual or possibly hard to find pieces needed and can the show be pulled from the stock on hand, rented or borrowed from another theatre, or is it reasonable to build the costumes from scratch,” Nelson said, “In most cases the larger cast shows are a combination of these, and it’s up to the designer to ensure that it’s all-cohesive and works together on stage.”

By 15th Street News Posted in Features Tagged Brenda Nelson, , Costume Designer, OU, Production Acting, , University of Oklahoma

Writing Course Broadens and Inspires students minds

Jennifer Byrd

Volunteer Writer


There were approximately 150 attendees who heard more than 20 speakers at the first annual Short Course on Writing held Sept15 and 16 in the Tom Steed Community Learning Center.


William Bernhardt successful in helping to plan and coordinate short course on writing. Photo courtesy of Jim Ward

Executive Director William Bernhardt said the turnout was more than twice what was anticipated when planning started last year.


Courses on Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Memoir, and Magazine writing were offered to those in attendance. As well as presentations from New York Literary Agents on what they are and are not, looking to publish in today’s rapidly changing market. Authors also gave their personal insights into the current market and valuable education on the writing process.


Keynote speaker Phillip Margolin, a New York Times Bestseller 16 times over, gave an inspiring speech on how he became a novelist and received the Rose State Distinguished Author Award. Michael Wallis was awarded the Oklahoma Writer of the Year Award for his numerous contributions to Oklahoma Literature. Some of Wallis’ books include “The Wild West: 365 Days,” “David Crockett: The Lion of the West,” and “Billy the Kid: The Endless Ride.”


Lauren Zuniga, voted 2012’s Best Local Artist by the Oklahoma Gazette, recited a few of her lively and thought provoking poems during the Saturday evening program. When asked about writing and whether or not someone is on the right track she replied, “When you read your work out-loud, if you get goose bumps, if your tear up you’re doing something right.” Many people that night looked to be teary eyed and many had goose bumps as she spoke.


William Bernhardt repeatedly expressed his immense appreciation to the RSC faculty and staff for making the event possible. “Rose State has been great. We’ve been planning this event for over a year and I think it shows.” From the quality and quantity of speakers to the flawless audio/video service and great catering, this program has raised the bar for writers’ conferences in Oklahoma.


When asked if anyone had learned anything over the weekend, every hand in the room rose. Aspiring writers don’t want to miss next year’s event which is anticipated to be even bigger and better. Stay tuned to the website for upcoming announcements about 2013’s Short Course on Writing.

By 15th Street News Posted in Features Tagged Authors, First Annual, literature, Novice Writer, Oklahoma Authors, Oklahoma Writers, Oklahoma Writers Conferences, , Short Writing Course, , Writing Course

Families get a chance to cheer on their players

Chelsea Ratterman


Girls are showing off their pride and skills going head to head with each other at family night. Photo by Amber Stafford

The RSC baseball and softball teams hosted a family night on Sept. 21 at the fields.

According to softball coach Nickie Williams, both teams had an event filled night.

The softball team had an intrasquad scrimmage from 3-5 p.m. while the baseball team had its regular practice.

Both teams and their guests were then invited to participate in a homerun derby. There were a total of 15 participants, of all ages. Each participant was given ten swings to see how many they could hit out. Assistant softball coach Travis Murie won by a score of six out of ten.

The evening ended with snacks for everyone who attended.

“It was a great turnout and everyone had a great time,” said Coach Williams.

The softball team has three upcoming games in October. Oct. 6 at 10 p.m. sees them face East Central University in Ada. On Oct. 12 they play Cameron University in Lawton at 2 p.m. and on Oct. 13 they play St. Gregory’s University in Shawnee at 2 p.m.

iPhone 5 set sales records, stocks sink

Chelsea Ratterman

Editor-In- Chief


Graphic courtesy of


Sales for the new Apple iPhone 5 skyrocketed past its predecessor’s sales with ease during the Aug. 21 weekend.


The iPhone 5 set sales records, selling 5 million iPhones within 3 days. The iPhone 4S sold 4 million its opening weekend.


Sales followed a pre-order marathon from consumers, who preordered two million phones within the 24-hour period after pre-sales opened. This also beat the numbers from the iPhone 4S debut, which only saw an estimated one million pre-orders in the same 24-hour time frame. Estimated dates for consumers who pre-ordered the phone was three to four weeks.


Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a statement released by Apple that “demand for iPhone 5 has been incredible and we are working hard to get an iPhone 5 into the hands of every customer who wants one as quickly as possible.”


According to Cook, Apple sold out of its initial shipment of iPhones, but stores are still receiving regular shipments to meet demand and customers who order online will receive an estimated delivery date, averaging near the four week mark.


Campus response

Students on campus have been favorable toward the new phone.


“It is literally the lightest phone I have ever held, and with the A6 chip the Internet works so much faster. The better battery life, I don’t have to stress about how much of it I use,” Sarah Smith, an international business major, said, “with the built in qualities it literally makes me feel like I’m holding a Stark device. It’s that super!”


Market effects


Despite the large number, Apple stock fell slightly Aug. 24, due to the five million sales not reaching predictions by analysts of seven to eight million units. The high for Aug. 28 was at $695.12, and the US market closed with Apple at $690.79.


The sales number released by Apple did not include shipments that had not been signed for. Apple requires a signature on shipments for it to be considered a sale.


Foxconn Riots


One event that marred the end of Apple’s big weekend was the riots, involving some 79,000 workers, in the Chinese Foxconn manufacturing facility, which supplies parts for Apple and other electronic companies.

This plant, among others, has been under the microscope for its work practices, potentially involving 60- hour workweeks.


The cause of the riots is still under investigation. Rumors persisting say that the riots were caused by tension between workers from different provinces or a tiff with security guards.


The plant re-opened Tuesday after police calmed the area down.




“innocence of Muslims” inflames countries

Chelsea Ratterman

Editor in Chief

The late U.S Ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens is seen dring an interview with a team of Libya Hurra TV., July 4, 2012. Photo courtesy of


A film released online over the summer has set the world afire in recent months. “The Innocence of Muslims” film, which portrays the prophet Muhammad as a womanizing child abuser, has sent countries around the world into an uproar, resulting in deaths, most notably that of the U.S. Ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, former Navy SEAL’s Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty and Air Force veteran Sean Smith.


The global death toll as of Sept. 24 reached a total of 51.

ansfer cases are carried into a hangar during the Transfer of Remains Ceremony marking the return to the United States of the remains of the four Americans killed this week in Benghazi, Libya, at Joint Base Andrews, Friday, September 14, 2012.
Photo courtesy of

The backlash of the film reached its precipice on the 11th anniversary of the September 11th attacks when militants attacked the lightly defended U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya and protesters stormed the embassy in Cairo, Egypt.

As anti-Western protests continued in the Middle East, President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have been speaking with leaders of those countries to lessen the blow.

The response from these leaders has been mixed.

When Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad went on CNN’s Piers Morgan Tonight, he denounced the film but spoke for the solution to be in a human atmosphere, as “we do not like anyone losing their lives or being killed for any reason, anywhere in the world.”

Railway Minister Ghulam Ahmad Bilour, a Pakistan government minster has personally offered a $100,000 reward for the death of the director of the film. He said that he has invited the Taliban and al-Qaida to carry out the attacks, as well as making clear he was speaking for himself, not for the Pakistani government and Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf condemned the bounty offer.

The repercussions have been felt outside the political world. The Iranian culture minister has said his country would be boycotting this year’s Academy Awards. Iran won an Oscar in the foreign film category at the event in February 2012, the first for Iran, and the minister said they would not put forth an entry to the category for the 2013 ceremony.

Internet users have also reported Google blackouts in Tehran and other Iranian cities over the Sept. 21 weekend, after Abdolsamad Khoramabadi, a member of the body responsible for Internet oversight, reported they would block use to Google, who owns YouTube, where the video was posted.


By 15th Street News Posted in Features Tagged Black Outs, Chris Stevens, Glen Doherty, Google, iranian president mahmoud ahmadinejad, Libya, , Sean Smith, The Innocence of Muslims, Tyrone Woods,

Romney gaffes lead to obvious Obama question


Graphic Courtesy of

If there were ever a gift to Saturday Night Live, it would be the 2012 election season.

On the episode featuring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, the Weekend Update segment “What Are You Doing?” took aim at Obama as he brought attention to himself from Romney’s tailspin.

In one week, Romney managed to insult nearly half the country, then stand by those words, is suspected of using self-tanner during an interview with Univision, and finally his V.P. pick Paul Ryan is booed at the AARP.

To clarify, when speaking at a campaign fundraiser Mitt Romney said, “there are 47 percent who are with him [President Obama], who are dependent upon government, who believe they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it…and they will vote for this president no matter what…these are people who pay no income tax…and so my job is to not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”

So again is the same question from Seth Myers: what are you doing?

When fact-checked at FactCheck and Politifact, the 47 percent number is indeed accurate. Yet, in some cases Romney was wrong. He led the fundraisers to believe these people will automatically vote Democrat, and this is false. That 47 percent number can be broken into two sub-groups; half of the people who do not pay taxes are simply too poor to have tax requirements and the other half are senior citizens and others who are receiving tax breaks. Romney leads Obama in the polls with Americans over 65 and Obama has the foothold in the lowest income brackets.

These last weeks leading up to the election are prime time to see what our candidates will be when in office. Romney’s gaffes are piling high as a candidate, both from the campaign trail and his trip overseas. During the overseas trip, he criticized security during the Olympics, leading to a verbal smack down later from the London mayor, potentially damaged already strenuous relations between America and Palestine by implying that Palestine’s poor economic conditions are a result of cultural influence and then broke with policy upheld in the U.S. for more than 60 years by recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

In an interview with ABC News after the tour, Romney said he would not go back and fix some of his rhetoric saying that he “tend[s] to tell people what I believe.”

The greatest gift to comedians, and the Obama election itself, is Mitt Romney. Sit back and let him win the election for you Mr. President.

Because if, as a candidate, Romney piles these verbal gaffes sky high, what’s to stop him from doing it as president and potentially damaging ties with our allies?

There is a finesse to be had in the art of speech, and in these tumultuous times, one must be a master at finesse and Romney may not quite be at that level.

By 15th Street News Posted in Editorial Tagged : joseph Gordon levitt, Barack Obama, Gaffes, Mitt Romney, Saturday Night Live

Characteristics and philosophy expected of the next Rose State president

Dennis Gosnell

Assignment Editor

Characteristics and philosophy expected of the next Rose State president

During the summer Dr. Terry Britton, president Rose State College, announced his retirement, and with this announcement came the need for the Board of Regents to find his replacement.

On Aug. 14, a town hall meeting was held between the Board of Regents and those of the RSC community. Faculty and staff stood up and gave the Board of Regents their perspectives and wishes on the type of personality, type of character, and type of philosophy they would like to see in the next president.

Much was said in the way of support for the needs of the students by the faculty and staff who presented ideas concerning the needs of the students to the Board of Regents.

Following are concerns set forth during the meeting.

  • Need a president with a short-term plan to renovate appearance of the campus. Students judge a school not only by its academic standing but also by its appearance and level of maintenance.
  • Need a president who will be supportive of those who need a remedial education, and who will see the importance of catering to their unique needs.
  • Need a president that recognizes the uniqueness of Rose State students and community college students.  It would be good to see a president who teaches a class and who is in touch with the students.
  • Need a president that instills a sense of pride in the RSC community, gives the students better facilities, and who focuses on best practices in which the level of academics at RSC becomes rich.
  • Need a president who promotes STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). The development of national and international science and technology requires students to have skills in STEM; RSC needs to meet these needs and have the technology and facilities needed to give students the skills required in the current and future world of science and technology.

Other faculty and staff talked about the need for a president who understands the need for external relations with not only the community but also those in the State legislature.  The next president needs to be up to date on current education legislation and be able to work with state legislatures to create a marked difference in student’s education.

It was the wish of some of the faculty and staff to have a president with an academic background as well as an administrative background. The president represents not only the administration of the college, but all areas, including the faculty, adjunct professors, and staff.

Adjunct professors are crucial to the everyday workings of the college. Without them, the number of courses offered would be limited to the number professors on payroll. The next president should recognize and promote their role in the continuing growth of the college’s various academic programs.

At the end of the town hall meeting Joe Cole, chairman of the Board of Regents told the faculty and staff that they would try to find the college a president that had the personality and character they described.

Agnes of God

Raynor Littleton

Volunteer Writer 

Agnes Of God 

Agnes of God by John Pielmeier premiered on Sept. 15th at 7:30 p.m. at the HB Atkinson Theatre.

Agnes of God is a three-person play featuring Kim Wasinger (Agnes), Laura Reynolds (Dr. Martha Livingstone), and Michele Field (Mother Miriam Ruth).

Agnes of God is a story about a court-appointed psychiatrist, Dr. Martin Livingstone who is summoned to a Covent to assess the sanity of a young nun, Agnes who is accused for killing her newborn. Miriam Ruth, the Mother Superior, is determined in keeping Agnes away from the doctor, making Livingstone believe that there is more going on that they are telling her.

Dr. Livingstone and Miriam Ruth are always in the midst of a fight. Livingstone is holding a grudge against the nuns, because her sister became a nun and died because the Mother Superior of the Covent refused to take her to the doctors. Ruth is just trying to protect Agnes and knows that Livingstone is attacking her because she is a nun.

Before any scene change, Dr. Livingstone would monologue what she believes is going on in the story, a little bit about why she has grudge against the nuns and uses an analogy related to the scene that just happened.

In the first meeting with Agnes, she just seems like a young, innocent, sheltered nun. When Livingstone asks her where babies come from, Agnes believes that good babies come from angels and that bad babies come from fallen angels.

You later learn that Agnes had a disturbed past. Her mother was an alcoholic who mentally and physically abused. Agnes believes that being fat is a sin and that she needs to starve herself as a result of the abuse. Agnes said, “God blew up the Hindenburg, he’ll blow me up.”

Dr. Livingstone uses hypnosis on Agnes to find out what really happened to the baby.

There were some technical difficulties towards the end of the story, such as the spotlight going out on Livingstone’s last monologue, but she went on without it, and some stumbling of lines.

This play is for mature audiences only, with foul language and mature content. It was a thrilling, dramatic, mystery with a little humor.

By 15th Street News Posted in Entertainment Tagged Agnes of God, John Pielmeier, Kim Wasinger, Laura Reynolds, Michele Field

Sports serve as a study stress reliever

Hunter Hancock

Volunteer Writer

Sports serve as a study stress reliever

Students played volleyball at their first meeting on Aug 30.
Photo by: Chelsea Ratterman

With the new school year now in full swing, everyone needs a break from studying, and playing sports is a great outlet from the books. The Recreational Sports Association, RSA, is a great opportunity to get involved on campus and get active and is a lively club that offers a stress-free environment.

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The challenge of challenging books

Dennis Gosnell

Assistant Editor

The challenge of challenging books

Scrappy Doo protects popularly challenged books from being banned.
Photo by Chelsea Ratterman

There are those in the U.S. that would challenge what public libraries and similar institutions put on their shelves.

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