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“The White Album” at the Wexner Center links past and present through a classic essay—and an onstage party

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[su_testimonial]By Melissa Starker, Creative Content & PR Manager, Wexner Center for the Arts[/su_testimonial]

“We tell ourselves stories in order to live.”

So begins “The White Album,” the influential essay by writer Joan Didion in her 1979 essay collection of the same name. Fixed on the cultural and political scenes of the late 1960s, the essay touches subjects from the Black Panthers and student protesters to Jim Morrison and The Doors, to the Manson family, all through Didion’s personal, vulnerable approach to storytelling.

“It’s a beautiful piece of literature. It’s technically an essay, but it also feels like autobiography and journalism,” notes Lars Jan, multimedia artist and founder of Early Morning Opera, an L.A.-based “performance + art lab.”

He first read “The White Album” in a high school English class and he’s re-read it countless times since, finding new ideas and meaning with time and life experience. Inspired by Didion’s words and the world of today, Jan and company recently completed a theatrical adaptation of “The White Album.” You can catch it at the Wexner Center for the Arts later this month.

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Instead of dramatizing Didion’s essay, Jan’s work presents it in its entirety. The piece is read by actress Mia Barron against the backdrop of an onstage house party her character has just left, in which drinking, dancing, and kissing revelers are exposed to the audience through transparent walls.

The approach creates room for character investigation, but also for consideration of the eerie similarities between the activism of the ‘60s and the turmoil of 2018 America. Jan has even collaborated with modern activists to shape the final work.

As Jan explains, “I’m really interested in 2018 in relation to the late ‘60s and I feel like there are some very large cultural references we’re trying to bring out.”

You’re invited to join the party and think about the stories you tell yourself when The White Album debuts at the Wex Friday-Saturday, November 16-17 at 8 p.m.

Tickets for The White Album are $24, $20 for Wexner Center members and $12 for students. The Wexner Center is located at 1871 N. High St. on The Ohio State University campus. For more info, go to wexarts.org.

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Standard Hall, two others reportedly closed

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According to multiple news outlets, including 10tv.com, the beleaguered Short North hot spot Standard Hall is once again closed temporarily after one of its employees allegedly tested positive for COVID-19.

The original Facebook and other social media posts that led to the news reports have been removed from Standard Hall's social media sites.

Standard Hall was one of the first establishments to reopen once COVID restrictions were lifted and was immediately one of the first to close due to violations. It reopened just three weeks ago.

The state does not require a restaurant to close after an employee tests positive but strongly recommends it. In this case, two other Corso Ventures establishments are reportedly closed because the same employee was within both places: the Short North Pint House and Short North Goody Boy. The now deleted Facebook post supposedly said they were closing all three for a short time to deep clean each of the establishments.

You can stay tuned for updates here or on Standard Hall's Facebook page.

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Toledo officer killed; Statehouse flags to fly half staff

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Photo courtesy Fox 8 Cleveland provided to them by Ohio Going Blue

Governor Mike DeWine issued a statement this morning after Toledo police officer Anthony Dia was killed in the line of duty this morning around 12:30 a.m.

DeWine has ordered Statehouse and Lucas County flags at half staff through his funeral service, expected next week.

"Fran and I were deeply saddened to learn of the death last night of Toledo Police Officer Anthony Dia in the line of duty," DeWine stated. "We extend our sympathy to his wife and 2-year-old child, his other family members, and his colleagues in the Toledo Police Department.  To honor the life and service of Officer Dia, I have ordered that the flags in Lucas County and at the Statehouse be lowered to half staff beginning tomorrow and through his funeral service."

You can read the in-depth account, including witness statements and video of the event on the Toldeo Blade website here.

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CAPA cancels Cinema Columbus film festival

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COVID continues to wreck havoc on anything remotely resembling a gathering as CAPA and its event partners today announced the cancelation of Cinema Columbus 2020, a new Columbus film festival celebrating new and diverse cinematic works from around the world.

While new dates have not yet been determined, the first annual Cinema Columbus will be rescheduled for 2021.

“This was to be the inaugural year for Cinema Columbus, but with all the challenges of 2020, we felt that a fledgling festival would not be best positioned for success,” stated CAPA President and CEO Chad Whittington. “We thank the Drexel TheatreGateway Film CenterWexner Center for the Arts, and community partner Film Columbus for their commitment to this event and look forward to launching this important cinematic celebration in 2021.”

Learn more here.

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