York’s Intimate Apparel

By Ashley Oliver

Jim Crow laws subjugated people of color at the turn of the 20th Century. York College’s newest production, Intimate Apparel, is all about this struggle. In a sit down interview the cast and crew expressed the challenges of the creative and technical development of the play.

Set in New York City in 1905, Intimate Apparel follows a 35-year-old African American seamstress who faces racial and gender inequality. The play features Danielle Taylor, Shakeerah Fredricks, Diana Collier, Alvaro Rivera, Guerschom Dieurine, and Ariel Pellman.

Although the play is set in the early 1900’s, some of the cast and audience said that the conflicts the characters face are present today.

“Prejudice and sexism still happen today,” said Dieurine. “It made me feel happy to show the audience the similarity, but sad that this still happens.”

“As sad as it is, theatre is just a representation of what goes on in real life,” said Anthony Castro, a junior Theatre Arts major at York College. “The slang and slurs may not be the same, and the way we treat each other isn’t as bad because we know how to hide it now.”

The slangs Castro is referring to are Caribbean and Southern diction. The production stage manager, Jessica Pecharsky, said it was difficult for the actors to speak colloquially using Ebonics.

“The most challenging part in theatre is that the actors have to say the words exactly how they were written,” said Pecharsky. “The script is meant to be indicative of the social climates during that time. We spend so much time in college teaching students to speak proper English in a way that sounds educated and then the actors have to read broken English, which is everything they learned to not do, naturally.”

Even though Dieurine is of Caribbean descent, he said learning another accent was the most difficult part of the process. He said he emulated professional dialect coach, Majah Hype, every night.

“I attempted to do a Bajan accent and it made me appreciate every role I did that only required Standard English,” he said. “I even watched a Bajan series on to get a feel for the accent.”

One of the actors, Alvaro Rivera, implicated the importance of history lessons prior to venturing to an audition.

“A good actor should be aware of the social issues that happened around the time the play is set,” said Rivera. “You act the role better because you are more informed and you get into character easier.”

The creative process of the play, which included learning the lines, stage directions, and dress rehearsals, took three months. In stark contrast, the pre-production of the play took half a year.

“We started to plan the technical aspect way before there was an audition,” said Pecharsky. “People don’t realize how much work goes into a play that may seem relatively short on stage.”

The set designer, David Jones, said the most challenging part for him is integrating the creative element the director wants, while still portraying the original theme.

“I spent weeks trying to decide on which setting will represent the director’s vision most,” said Jones. “You have to think about the focal parts on stage and how it would look to an audience.”

Some audience members said the cast’s work was reflected in the performance.
“You can tell that the actors worked hard on this play,” said Rebecka Jusino, a freshman at York College. “I forgot I was watching a play, it really drew me in and I felt like I was in 1905.”

York College sophomore, Javanie Rickards, also attended the play. He said York’s production of “Intimate Apparel” was the best one he has ever seen.

“I used to go to a lot of plays when I was younger and I have seen this play two times,” said Rickards.
Pecharsky said she hopes this production sets precedent to more historical productions at York. She believes students’ involvement in plays helps them develop as a person.

“The best part for me is to see it go from a vision to reality. It’s just a dream and words, but when I see students actually play it out, the final production is great to see.”

– See more at: http://queenstribune.com/hard-to-say-recalling-yesterdays-prejudices-on-stage/#sthash.O1uCSQoG.dpuf

Au Revoir, Adieu, Farewell

Upon entering this class, I was a tad lost because as a journalism student with a main focus in hard news, I am used to structure; including understanding the story/event/particular thing, intaking all the useful information, and enacting what I learned. However, this class has given me so much freedom, that I did not what to do. However, within the first two weeks, an epiphany dawned on me that this class is welcoming us to
“play” with what is available to us – the internet! I’ve learned so much that I thought I would never in a million years feel comfortable doing such as freeze portraits, animating still images, and even gifs. I regained some of my happiness from my teenage years when I used to actually create gifs on tumblr and take pictures for fun and not just for work, but for me.

In lieu of my newly found epiphany, I used my website for strictly professional use. However, I became a bit more open and starting posting videos, since it is part of journalism, too. Although I would post my more avant-garde work on CT101 alone, I hope to post more creative ways such as gifs of a news story instead of a traditional video to accompany it. Also, I want to participate in another CT101 radio chat and include it in my blog. This has also inspired me to create another Youtube account to show my journey through this evolving digital age.

I’ve not only gained knowledge about technology from this course, but more about myself. I learned to appreciate different things that we take for granted; even free apps where we can create cool animations. I learned that I’m more on the traditional side, but it contradicts with what I want to be … which is a visual journalist. I want to give a big thanks to Professor Smith for teaching us different tricks, tropes, and fair use of the internet AND for allowing each and every one of us to just be ourselves without any judgement.

Since many of us may not see each other over the holidays, the internet will always keep us connected.

grinch gif 2

Listen to my fav holiday tune while ya at it. PEACE




Blacks Being “TOO SLOW” for Advanced Institutions?

Last week, Supreme Court “Justice” said it is more appropriate for black students to attend a “less-advanced, slower track school” to appear to excel academically. Now I am just lost for words and disgusted. Yet according to statistics from, The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) the three universities that have the highest graduation rates for Black students are Yale (98 percent), Harvard (97 percent) and Princeton (97 percent). Stanford University, a private university with an affirmative action policy, has a 91 percent graduation rate for Black students; yet the University of California – Berkeley, a state university that follows a statewide ban on affirmative action, has a 77 percent graduation for Black students. But click here for more of what I think… http://ashleyoliververified.com/feature-articles/


Ok, honestly this is disgustingly gross. If this were for an experiment, it’s still not acceptable. Why would someone want to change the color of their skin? I read more into it and I found out, they wanted to feel how it is to be white. First off, WE ARE ALL PEOPLE. I understand there are social experiments involving race done, but this really creeped me out. What do you guys think? Would you try it?