18-30 Segment 1: Serious Play: Using tactical performance as protest

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We all love a good theater performance. But are theater and performance good strategies to affect social change? Our guest thinks so. He’s a performer, writer and educator who uses serious play and theater to help change people’s minds and change society for the better.

Guest:

  • Larry Bogad, professor at the University of California-Davis, and author of the books, Electoral Guerilla Theatre: Radical Ridicule & Social Movements, and Tactical Performance: The Theory and Practice of Serious Play

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18-30 Segment 2: The Power of Picture Books

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Picture books can teach children valuable lessons that will stick with them for life. Our guests discuss the importance of producing books about social issues like race, gender, and disability. And how as a combination of text and images picture books have an advantage when it comes to depicting diversity.

Guests:

  • Dr. Susan Corapi, Assistant Professor of Education at Trinity International University
  • Kathleen Merz, Acquisitions and Managing Editor at Eerdmans Books for Young Readers

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Culture Crash 18-30: The Life of Funnyman Robin Williams

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Welcome to Culture Crash, where we examine American culture.  What’s new and old in books, film, and entertainment.

Robin Williams has been gone four years now, but a new HBO documentary is keeping his story alive.aims to tell the story of the beloved funnyman.

Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind is HBO’s latest original documentary and explores the late comedian’s rise in comedy clubs and into his reign as one of the world’s biggest superstars.

As someone who grew up watching his movies- Jumanji, Mrs. Doubtfire and of course, Aladdin were favorites of mine as a child, while Good Will Hunting was one of the first movies for adults that I remember really enjoying-the documentary taught me much about his early years. I always knew he was an energetic, zany comedian, but seeing clips from the 70s demonstrated it in a way I had never seen before.

The film also sheds a touching light on his friendship with Billy Crystal, and gives us glimpses of the man Williams was when the cameras were shut off.

One thing I loved about the film was that director Marina Zenovich let Williams speak for himself. She never narrates the action, instead opting to use interviews Robin Williams gave in his life, along with interviews with his friends and family, to tell the story. The result is a shockingly personal documentary that reminds you why we all loved Robin Williams so much, and why his career means so much to people around the world.

Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind is available to stream on HBO Go. Resources for people struggling with suicidal thoughts are always available by calling 1-800-273-8255. That’s 1-800-273-TALK.

I’m Evan Rook.