Arts and Culture | WGLT

Arts and Culture

Kevin McGladdery / Flickr via Creative Commons

From outer space to inner emotions, a new book delves into the psychology of "Star Trek," using the beloved characters to help us understand more about ourselves.

Courtesy of Bradley University

It's a position with a grand title, but no job description, no budget, no staff, and no salary.

Yet, poet and Bradley University Professor Kevin Stein calls being Illinois Poet Laureate one of the best jobs in the state.

Black Lives Matter formed in 2014 as a reaction to the shooting of Michael Brown by police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri. Subsequent shootings of especially young black men by police officers have sparked conversations about race probably not heard and seen in America in decades.

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

The vulnerability of Earth's biodiversity is a theme that runs through the work of artist Alice Hargrave. 

Chris Pizzello / Invision/AP

Long before he was a professor of psychology, Travis Langley was a budding geek.

Rob Grabowski / Invision/AP

He had to teach and didn't have time for a summer vacation, so GLT's Culture Commentator spent some summer time catching up with rock heroes and icons. And he saw a thread in all of the concerts. 

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

A gigantic witch puppet—both imposing and comical—dominates a new exhibition at the Illinois State University that uses playfulness to explore activism and protest.  

WGLT staff

What at first sounds like a zombie attack is actually a chance for the whole family to get creative with a parlor game that's been around for over 100 years.

The Associated Press

Twenty years ago, the life of an intriguing royal and humanitarian came to an end in a devastating car crash. Yet the impact of Princess Diana can still be felt today as millions remember her for her compassion.

Carleigh Gray / WGLT

Delicious corn. Great blues. GLT swag. And about a hundred really cute dogs.

On the first day of a 24-day bicycle race across Russia, a Bloomington-Normal endurance athlete realized she probably would not finish. 

"As soon as I started on the first day and I saw this pack of men, as fast as they went off, I knew there was no way," said Thursday Gervais during GLT's Sound Ideas. She called the men's pace "wicked fast" and said it surprised everyone, including the Red Bull organizers. 

Brent Simonds

Illinois State University School of Communication Professor Brent Simonds knows his just completed documentary of Nashville singer/songwriter Verlon Thompson tells a compelling story.

“It’s a sweet story about a really sweet man who has monstrous talent, especially when it comes to playing acoustic guitar,” Simonds said of his film "Sweet Dreams Do Come True."

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

An ancient invention that was used for spying, rescuing and military communications eventually evolved into a popular toy—the kite. Now that toy is proving it's more that just for fun at an event that allows families to play together while raising money for a good cause.  

Cristian Jaramillo / WGLT

What was once a stopping place on the Mother Road has found new life, thanks to a partnership between a local Route 66 scholar and the Town of Normal.

After Hours

Barbershop quartets aren't just for squares and old movies. The music style is alive and kicking in the 21st century, thanks to a recent resurgence and young vocalists like Tim Beutel.

Warner Bros. Pictures / The Associated Press

"It's intense. It's brutal. It's a strong film."

Al Goldfarb / Courtesy

Former Illinois State University provost and retired Western Illinois University President Al Goldfarb is not slowing down in retirement. Goldfarb has just published a new edition of his book on the history of the theater, called "Living Theatre."

Sarah Ackerman / Flicker via Creative Commons

Prairie Fire Theatre is staging "The Most Happy Fella," a musical set in Napa Valley with a plot that's future forward.

Joel Ryan/Invision / The Associated Press

The world's most famous time traveler is about to undergo a change that, for some, is shocking and disturbing.

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

The latest exhibition in the Joe McCauley Gallery at Heartland Community College features works by an artists whose brand is Romance, and who believes that art and beauty have the power to evoke change.

Courtesy

This is the first time in several years arts advocate Tina Salamone won’t be involved in the Miller Park Summer Musical. But the former director of the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts, who passed away earlier this year, won’t be forgotten. This year’s production of “Once Upon a Mattress” is being staged in her honor.

Aaron Wiessing / Courtesy

"The Little Mermaid," with its charismatic singing sea creatures, ushered in a new era in Disney animation. The 1989 film was the precursor of all those blockbuster film and stage musicals that followed, including "Beauty and the Beast," "Aladdin" and "The Lion King."

Now Bloomington-Normal audiences will have a chance to see if the stage version of "The Little Mermaid" contains everything they loved about the animated film with Community Players' new production of the musical.

Guy with camera and people sitting on bar stools at Six Strings local nightclub.
Jennifer Feaman

A one-time pastor from a church in Towanda felt called to a new mission a decade ago. Kevin Mounce left the flickering lights of liturgical candles for the bright lights of Hollywood to pursue his dream of making movies.

Nicole Radja

"I somehow chose the only profession in the world that has fewer chances of employment than professional wrestler."

'True Blood' Actor, Former ISU Student Nelsan Ellis Dies at 39

Jul 10, 2017
Nelsan Ellis speaks to students
Lyndsie Schlink / Illinois State University

Former Illinois State University student Nelsan Ellis, best known for his role on HBO's True Blood, has died.

The actor is best known for playing Lafayette Reynolds on True Blood. He was just 39 when he succumbed to complications from heart failure. His manager confirmed the news, first carried by The Hollywood Reporter.

Ellis visited ISU in 2013, when he received a distinguished alumni award. Ellis won a national forensics title and distinguished himself in the School of Theatre and Dance while attending ISU.

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

With energy, humor and hip hop verse, Shakespeare's timeless masterpiece Romeo and Juliet moves to a new rhythm created by the Q Brothers Collective for the Illinois Shakespeare Festival.

Illinois Shakespeare Festival

When Shakespeare first wrote Cymbeline in 1623, it was well received. But by the 18th century, the play had fallen out of favor.

Audiences found it difficult to pin down and classify, plus it was darkly comedic and just had a whole lot going on from curtain up to curtain down. But there's a new adaptation afoot at the Illinois Shakespeare Festival that puts the problems of the play in their place and sets the action under the big top.  

Illinois Shakespeare Festival

The Illinois Shakespeare Festival presents a music-filled version of A Midsummer Night's Dream this season that turns out to be a bit of a family affair.

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

Artist Cynthia Kukla has not put her feet up since retiring from teaching in the Illinois State University College of Fine Arts.  Instead, she's put on her traveling shoes and found inspiration on a far shore.

Wonder Woman Wows

Jun 22, 2017
JD Hancock / Flickr via Creative Commons

It's about time!  That's the feeling of many Wonder Woman fans as the DC legend finally gets her own blockbuster movie.

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