Rosanne moderates Talkback Tuesday panel on “The Whipping Man” at the Pasadena Playhouse

On Tuesday February 24th, I had the great pleasure of moderating a Talkback Tuesday panel at the Pasadena Playhouse that followed a performance of The Whipping Man by Matt Lopez.

Joining me for the discussion “Writing Race for Television and the Stage” were Walter Allen Bennett, Jr., whose credits include writing for The Cosby Show and 704 Hauser Street, and executive producing The Steve Harvey Show and Ralph Remington, a director-producer who has served as a Director at the National Endowment for the Arts and an Assistant Executive Director of Actors’ Equity who also founded the Pillsbury House Theatre in Minneapolis where he staged such shows as The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window (by Lorraine Hansberry) and Streetcar Named Desire (by Tennessee Williams).

rmw-pp-1
(L-R: Victor Vasquez, Dr. Rosanne Welch, Walter Allen Bennett, Jr, Ralph Remington)

We discussed the lack of variety in the types of African American characters who populate our stages and screens and the need for more and more unique stories to be told so that the stereotypes can be broken in the next generation. We also tried to address the ways writers of all colors can write about characters of all colors respectfully. The audience was highly moved by the spirituality of the play and wanted to know more about the small number of Jewish slaveholders in the south –what happened to their slaves and their faith after the Civil War ended and, particularly, why people who praised Moses for bringing their ancestors out of slavery would ever maintain the practice themselves. That’s when I knew that our education system is failing in this area because no one realized the deep financial need for accepting and adapting to that labor system if one wanted to be wealthy as a Southerner.

Later in the discussion the cast joined us on stage as well. With Charlie Robinson, who played Simon (and once guest starred on Touched by an Angel) we discussed the deep research he conducted to create the role of a slave steeped in Judaism and the quality of roles available to African Americans and the difficulty in choosing well to build a career. He made some jokes about his earlier work in Night Court and we ran out of time before I could remind him that on that program all the characters were equally comical so his clerk was not merely there to create laughs. I then asked Adam Hass Hunter, who played Caleb the Jewish Confederate soldier dying of gangrene how much true history of slavery had been taught to him in his K-12 public school education as a child in Kentucky. As expected, he had no real memories of ever being taught the truth about slavery and had to conduct similar research.

rmw-pp-2
(L-R: Walter Allen Bennett, Jr, Dr. Rosanne Welch, Ralph Remington, Victor Vazquez)

 

Before the play we all met with the Associate Artistic Director of the Playhouse, Seema Sueko and had a great time discussing the status of the industry (television) and our individual histories of involvement with the play A Raisin in the Sun, which we had all worked on at some point in our careers. We also chatted about how ‘white’ writers can avoid knowing anything about African American history and still survive in an artistic world but African Americans must know about mainstream history in order to work. I was reminded of the TED Talk by Chimimanda Adiche on “The Dangers of a Single Story” that I share with my MFA screenwriting students.

Thanks to Victor Vasquez, the Community Organizer, for inviting me and to my various students who came out to attend the show and join in the discussion.

Video: “A Jolly Buddha Laugh at Hypocrisy” from”Why Monkees Matter” with Dr. Rosanne Welch

A Clip from this longer presentation: Why Monkees Matter: How The Writing Staff of The Monkees Brought the 1960s Counter Culture to Mainstream Pre-Teen Viewers




Dr. Rosanne Welch presents Why Monkees Matter: How The Writing Staff of The Monkees Brought the 1960s Counter Culture to Mainstream Pre-Teen Viewers at the 2014 Cal Poly Pomona Provost’s Symposium on Faculty Scholarship (http://www.cpp.edu/~research/)

Transcript:

In their film, “Head”, they wrote a song that riffs on their opening theme which was “Here we come, walking down the street…” right? They wrote, “hey, Het we’re The Monkees, We’ve said it all before, The money’s in, we;re made of tin, We’re here to give you more!” So, they were admitting their own plasticness and I think that’s their mistake. The fell for what was being said about them and forgot what they, themselves, were contributing. Right? Someone who didn’t miss out on that is Timothy Leary. He was the big, famous, so of hippy doctor and in his book, “Turn on, Tune In and Drop Out” he discussed the importance of The Monkees and this is in their very own time period. Right in the early — late Sixties, excuse me, 67. He’s discussing how important they were. In fact, he says the show is much more than a comedy. It’s all these things together. My favorite one is “A Jolly Buddha Laugh at Hypocrisy.” Which, in fact, is what is going on. These boys are commenting on hypocrisy of the parents of their customers — of their viewers — and they’re doing it right on mainstream American television.

View photos from this presentation 

Dr. Rosanne Welch presents on "Why Monkees Matter" at Cal Poly Pomona - 21

Description:

Based on a chapter in my upcoming book The Metatextual Menagerie that was The Monkees, which includes a series of interviews conducted with surviving writers and performers of the 1960s television program, The Monkees I will discuss how the writers and actors used the show as a platform for their own emerging counter culture/anti-war messages.

Worth studying for its craft and place in television history (the show won an Emmy as Best Comedy Of 1967) the program’s true importance may come from its impact on the politics and culture of the era. Considered innocuous by the network, thepress and the parents of the era, the storylines and jokes created by the writers and the actor’s ad-libs brought the emerging counter-culture to the attention of young teens whose parents might not have appreciated the message. Cultural icons such as Timothy Leary recognized the subversive nature of the program, seen through the writing and in choices made about costuming, hair length, musical guests (Frank Zappa, Tim Buckley, Charlie Smalls) and songs performed by the band brought issues of Vietnam, voting and civil rights to the ‘young generation’ for whom the show clearly had ‘somethin’to say.

Subscribe to Dr. Welch’s YouTube Channel

About the Symposium:

The 2014 Provost’s Symposium is a forum to learn about each other’s scholarly work, make new friends, renew old acquaintances, and enhance our appreciation of the rich and diverse array of professional endeavors pursued by the faculty at Cal Poly Pomona.

Video: Using Film Adaptation Techniques to Teach Classic Books with Dr. Rosanne Welch

Using Film Adaptation Techniques to Teach Classic Books with Dr. Rosanne Welch

In this segment from a longer presentation, Dr. Rosanne Welch speaks on “Using Film Adaptation Techniques to Teach Classic Books” at the Critical Questions in Education Conference 2015 held february 16-18 in San Diego, California.

Panel Description:

Using the arts in real student centered teaching: Reawakening a mytho-poetic consciousness in students lost in scientific literalism

  • Dorthea Kahena Viale, Cal Poly Pomona
  • Peg Lamphier, Cal Poly Pomona
  • Andrew Davis, Cal Poly Pomona
  • Rosanne Welch, Cal Poly Pomona

Using student centered learning strategies to integrate the arts into general education promotes creativity, critical thinking, historical and multicultural consciousness and articulation of values. Join us for practical “how-to” demonstrations.

Subscribe to Dr. Welch’s YouTube Channel

 

Video: Jo Grant from Doctor Who: Feminism in the Whoniverse with Dr. Rosanne Welch

A clip from this longer presentation – Doctor Who: Feminism in the Whoniverse with Dr. Rosanne Welch

Watch this entire presentation – Doctor Who: Feminism in the Whoniverse with Dr. Rosanne Welch

Dr. Rosanne Welch (http://rosannewelch.com) speaks on “Feminism in the Whoniverse” of Doctor Who, the BBC television program now in its 50th year. She reviews each of the Doctor’s female companions and speaks on how they are represented in the program and how they represented the women of their respective periods.

Transcript:

We move from Liz Shaw to Jo Grant — the second spy. Got to have another spy. Spies are cool. You know, again, you got the cute, kinky look going on. “Look at me I got the funny hair. I where the very patterned clothes. Ha Ha, I’m a humorous sidekick”. Even though you’re a spy. I don’t think of spies and funny at the same time…but they do. Again, we do though define her by her relationship to a man. She’s the daughter of a sports journalist. She herself can’t be a sports journalist, because back in the day there weren’t. No there actually are women who can report from sports and talk to you about a game and the strategy and what not, but in this case — so that’s as kind of cool as you get. Your Dad did that. Which I always think is very funny. Then, what’s fun about Jo Grant is in her grown-up years she appeared on the Sarah Jane show, the spin-off (Sarah Jane Chronicles) and so, this is fun because we keep this bible going. We keep this association with the characters so she got, later in her career to meet, of course, the Matt Smith version of The Doctor and we see her paired with Sarah Jane.

Feminism in the Whoniverse was presented at the Cal Poly Pomona University Library where Dr. Welch teaches in the IGE (Interdisciplinary General Education) program.

This is the 4th talk on various aspects of Doctor Who that Dr. Welch has presented. You can find these talks using the links below.

Subscribe to Dr. Welch’s YouTube Channel

Video: Were The Monkees “Plastic Hippies”? from “Why Monkees Matter” with Dr. Rosanne Welch

A Clip from this longer presentation: Why Monkees Matter: How The Writing Staff of The Monkees Brought the 1960s Counter Culture to Mainstream Pre-Teen Viewers




Dr. Rosanne Welch presents Why Monkees Matter: How The Writing Staff of The Monkees Brought the 1960s Counter Culture to Mainstream Pre-Teen Viewers at the 2014 Cal Poly Pomona Provost’s Symposium on Faculty Scholarship (http://www.cpp.edu/~research/)

Transcript:

…And their parents think the program is just a bunch of wild boys goofing around. And they are doing a lot of old vaudevillian stuff, so it seems very tame and very safe. In fact, I think, that Aniko Bodroghkozy mistakes The Monkees for being “plastic hippies” or fake hippies and brining this fake hippie culture to TV, but, in fact, the actual actors and musicians were men of their time. They were “real hippies” and so they were demonstrating their new beliefs in a new culture tot he children. So, I largely disagree with here in my book.

View photos from this presentation 

Dr. Rosanne Welch presents on "Why Monkees Matter" at Cal Poly Pomona - 21

Description:

Based on a chapter in my upcoming book The Metatextual Menagerie that was The Monkees, which includes a series of interviews conducted with surviving writers and performers of the 1960s television program, The Monkees I will discuss how the writers and actors used the show as a platform for their own emerging counter culture/anti-war messages.

Worth studying for its craft and place in television history (the show won an Emmy as Best Comedy Of 1967) the program’s true importance may come from its impact on the politics and culture of the era. Considered innocuous by the network, thepress and the parents of the era, the storylines and jokes created by the writers and the actor’s ad-libs brought the emerging counter-culture to the attention of young teens whose parents might not have appreciated the message. Cultural icons such as Timothy Leary recognized the subversive nature of the program, seen through the writing and in choices made about costuming, hair length, musical guests (Frank Zappa, Tim Buckley, Charlie Smalls) and songs performed by the band brought issues of Vietnam, voting and civil rights to the ‘young generation’ for whom the show clearly had ‘somethin’to say.

Dr. Rosanne Web Site and Bloghttp://rosannewelch.com

Follow Dr. Welch on Twitterhttp://twitter.com/rosannewelch

Follow Dr. Welch on Tumblrhttp://drrosannewelch.tumblr.com/

Subscribe to Dr. Welch’s YouTube Channel

About the Symposium:

The 2014 Provost’s Symposium is a forum to learn about each other’s scholarly work, make new friends, renew old acquaintances, and enhance our appreciation of the rich and diverse array of professional endeavors pursued by the faculty at Cal Poly Pomona.

Video: Liz Shaw from Doctor Who: Feminism in the Whoniverse with Dr. Rosanne Welch

A clip from this longer presentation – Doctor Who: Feminism in the Whoniverse with Dr. Rosanne Welch

Watch this entire presentation – Doctor Who: Feminism in the Whoniverse with Dr. Rosanne Welch

Dr. Rosanne Welch (http://rosannewelch.com) speaks on “Feminism in the Whoniverse” of Doctor Who, the BBC television program now in its 50th year. She reviews each of the Doctor’s female companions and speaks on how they are represented in the program and how they represented the women of their respective periods.

Transcript:

After we have Patrick Troughton, we have Jon Pertwee, who’s quite a wonderful Doctor in his own right. I know, some of us watched him first. (inaudible) and Jon, very elegant gentleman. I love the capes he wore.  Very cool. His very first companion of the female kind is Liz Shaw, herself, not only a scientist, but she works at Cambridge. We are now cream of the crop scientists. This is very cool. Yes he meets her though working at UNIT. She comes from Cambridge to work at UNIT and UNIT is the military group you may or may not have seen. So, she has a military affiliation again at this period. Liz Shaw is a really great character. Now look, she’s older, so she has the ability again to match him intellectually. Makes for a very good pair, the two of them. Note that she’s such a scientist that we have to have the test tubes — and this is the Brigader — he works at UNIT, so we have the military thing going on. Notice, when chicks get smart they put their hair up. High hair means your smart. Low hair, I don’t know what that means. But, you know, we get some very looks here. Now, sadly. this character chose to leave UNIT. She got tired of working for the military and in real life, the actress said she got tired of being the one who just played with the test tubes and he always saved the day. She was a little upset that her character didn’t get more empowering moments. And that’s, actresses have to make that choice. Actors of color make that choice. What kind of character do I want to be seen portraying all the time? Right? What am I putting out into the world? In this case, she’s “OK, I’m done being the second banana. I’m going to go do something else. She went and did a lot of theatrical work — which is good for her.

Feminism in the Whoniverse was presented at the Cal Poly Pomona University Library where Dr. Welch teaches in the IGE (Interdisciplinary General Education) program.

This is the 4th talk on various aspects of Doctor Who that Dr. Welch has presented. You can find these talks using the links below.

Subscribe to Dr. Welch’s YouTube Channel

Video: Zoe Heriot from Doctor Who: Feminism in the Whoniverse with Dr. Rosanne Welch

A clip from this longer presentation – Doctor Who: Feminism in the Whoniverse with Dr. Rosanne Welch

Watch this entire presentation – Doctor Who: Feminism in the Whoniverse with Dr. Rosanne Welch

Dr. Rosanne Welch (http://rosannewelch.com) speaks on “Feminism in the Whoniverse” of Doctor Who, the BBC television program now in its 50th year. She reviews each of the Doctor’s female companions and speaks on how they are represented in the program and how they represented the women of their respective periods.

Transcript:

The next companion though — so notice the how we’re growing — she, herself, Zoe, is a computer scientist. That’s cool. We’ve allowed the woman to have the skill that can be helpful. So we’re moving. I know, I’m very happy with that. This is kind of cool. Now, She was also considered someone who brought the 60’s coolness to the show, because you’ve got that sort of 60’s haircut and she wore little Mod boots and little miniskirts. So, clothing-wise, she wasn’t all that professional looking, but she had a cool job. So, we had this balance that we’re always doing. And she fought the Cybermen and won a couple of times. So she gets points for that. So, Zoe, is moving through the Patrick Troughton period. There’s a lot of Doctor’s to get through.

Feminism in the Whoniverse was presented at the Cal Poly Pomona University Library where Dr. Welch teaches in the IGE (Interdisciplinary General Education) program.

This is the 4th talk on various aspects of Doctor Who that Dr. Welch has presented. You can find these talks using the links below.

Subscribe to Dr. Welch’s YouTube Channel

Video: Introduction to The Monkees from “Why Monkees Matter” with Dr. Rosanne Welch

A Clip from this longer presentation: Why Monkees Matter: How The Writing Staff of The Monkees Brought the 1960s Counter Culture to Mainstream Pre-Teen Viewers



Dr. Rosanne Welch presents Why Monkees Matter: How The Writing Staff of The Monkees Brought the 1960s Counter Culture to Mainstream Pre-Teen Viewers at the 2014 Cal Poly Pomona Provost’s Symposium on Faculty Scholarship (http://www.cpp.edu/~research/)

Transcript:

Welcome everybody! We’re talking today about “Why Monkees matter?” Please notice the spelling. I am not talking about this kind of monkey — that’s in a different class. I’m talking about these Monkees. In case you don’t know who they are, Davie Jones, Micky Dolenz, Peter Tork and Michael Nesmith who, in 1967, their albums outsold The Beatles and The Rolling Stones combined. They had more albums sales due to their exposure on television. So, what I talk about — I’m doing a book right now on them — and so I am talking about what we learned from them. Particularly, I focus on the writers of television programs and authorship. That’s my thing, because we focus on directors as auteurs of film and we don’t realize — or we forget — that writers, are just like the writers of books. A director can’t direct 20 empty pages. Somebody put these thoughts down and what are these thoughts. So, “How the writing staff of The Monkees brought the 1960’s counter-culture to mainstream pre-teen viewers.” These are the children whose older brothers and sisters already love The Beatles and they’re learning about hippy culture from The Beatles, but these kids don’t have access to buying their own albums yet, but they have access to television, because it’s free and they can watch it all the time.

View photos from this presentation 

Dr. Rosanne Welch presents on "Why Monkees Matter" at Cal Poly Pomona - 21

Description:

Based on a chapter in my upcoming book The Metatextual Menagerie that was The Monkees, which includes a series of interviews conducted with surviving writers and performers of the 1960s television program, The Monkees I will discuss how the writers and actors used the show as a platform for their own emerging counter culture/anti-war messages.

Worth studying for its craft and place in television history (the show won an Emmy as Best Comedy Of 1967) the program’s true importance may come from its impact on the politics and culture of the era. Considered innocuous by the network, thepress and the parents of the era, the storylines and jokes created by the writers and the actor’s ad-libs brought the emerging counter-culture to the attention of young teens whose parents might not have appreciated the message. Cultural icons such as Timothy Leary recognized the subversive nature of the program, seen through the writing and in choices made about costuming, hair length, musical guests (Frank Zappa, Tim Buckley, Charlie Smalls) and songs performed by the band brought issues of Vietnam, voting and civil rights to the ‘young generation’ for whom the show clearly had ‘somethin’to say.

Dr. Rosanne Web Site and Bloghttp://rosannewelch.com

Follow Dr. Welch on Twitterhttp://twitter.com/rosannewelch

Follow Dr. Welch on Tumblrhttp://drrosannewelch.tumblr.com/

Subscribe to Dr. Welch’s YouTube Channel

About the Symposium:

The 2014 Provost’s Symposium is a forum to learn about each other’s scholarly work, make new friends, renew old acquaintances, and enhance our appreciation of the rich and diverse array of professional endeavors pursued by the faculty at Cal Poly Pomona.

Video: Victoria from Doctor Who: Feminism in the Whoniverse with Dr. Rosanne Welch

A clip from this longer presentation – Doctor Who: Feminism in the Whoniverse with Dr. Rosanne Welch

Watch this entire presentation – Doctor Who: Feminism in the Whoniverse with Dr. Rosanne Welch

Dr. Rosanne Welch (http://rosannewelch.com) speaks on “Feminism in the Whoniverse” of Doctor Who, the BBC television program now in its 50th year. She reviews each of the Doctor’s female companions and speaks on how they are represented in the program and how they represented the women of their respective periods.

Transcript:

Then we move — again notice how we’re going to define women by the men in their life in this stage. Victoria — very cool character in many ways — she is the daughter of a Victorian scientist. She’s not the scientist. The daddy is. (Hems and Haws) So she knows some science because she’s heard it growing up. You know, if your Dad whatever he does, you learn how to fix a car, you learn how to do math, or whatever your Dad does. So, the knowledge has worn off on her, but she hasn’t obtained it for herself, because that is not really something they are thinking about. But she’s kind of fun..

Feminism in the Whoniverse was presented at the Cal Poly Pomona University Library where Dr. Welch teaches in the IGE (Interdisciplinary General Education) program.

This is the 4th talk on various aspects of Doctor Who that Dr. Welch has presented. You can find these talks using the links below.

Subscribe to Dr. Welch’s YouTube Channel

News: Dr. Welch Advises New “Doctor Who” Club on Cal Poly Pomona campus

A bit of news from the Cal Poly Post today — Rosanne

New club to ‘save the world in the name of the Doctor’

News: Dr. Welch Advises New

[…]

Professors Peg Lamphier and Rosanne Welch are the advisors for the Whovian Society. Saeed was easily able to get both of them to back the club.
“I had Dr. Welch in IGE 120, and she does ‘Doctor Who’ lectures on campus,” said Saeed. “We did an introductory activity in IGE where it really helped us to who we understand who we are. Since I already made a Whovian Society back in high school, that’s also what I talked about.

“Dr. Lamphier is a really good friend to Dr. Welch, and they both work really well together. It was a given that Dr. Lamphier should be our second advisor.”

Welch has been a fan of the show since high school.

“I watched it in the 70s with my college [and] high school friends,” said Welch. “When it was rebooted in 2005, I naturally came back to it. I found it was an interesting, well-written show.”

Welch believes that the show is beneficial for anyone to watch.

“I think it’s a positive show,” said Welch. “A lot of science fiction [television shows] focus on apocalyptic, end-of-the-world zombies eating us stuff, and [the Doctor] focuses on providing the change that will makes the worlds that he visits better.”

[…]

Read the entire article in The Poly Post