Click here for updates on the evolving COVID-19 situation at Rice
Rice University’s Student Newspaper — Since 1916

Tuesday, April 13, 2021 — Houston, TX 80°

Arts and Entertainment


A&E 10/13/20 11:09pm

BSA’s Soul Night lights up screens with Y2K nostalgia

 The Black Student Association held their annual Soul Night this Saturday with outdoor screenings at residential colleges as well as virtually through Zoom. Inflatable screens, snaking HDMI cables and relentless mosquitos did nothing to detract from student presence at the revamped Soul Night. Soul Night Co-Coordinator Camille Pierre-Louis explains how Soul Night is normally a cultural live show that provides a platform for Rice students and young Black artists to express themselves and show off the spectrum of Blackness.  


A&E 10/13/20 10:49pm

Student dancers leap into new challenges but keep momentum

Dancers across Rice campus are facing an unfamiliar set of obstacles as they shift online for the fall semester. COVID-19 restrictions may have brought regular rehearsals and performances to a halt, but Rice’s student dance organizations refuse to let these challenges deter them from doing what they love.  



A&E 10/13/20 7:22pm

Deep End Records goes under, Insomnia Gallery shuts its doors for now

If you’ve ever attended one of Insomnia Gallery’s vividly imaginative art shows — frequently reviewed by Thresher staff and featured in our weekly roundup of local arts events in recent years — you’ve been greeted with walls lined with colorful cassette tapes and bins filled with vinyl records old and new to rifle through. Deep End Records, tucked in that front room of the indie gallery since early 2018, was a frequent stop on my first solo adventures in Houston thanks to its laid-back vibe, wide selection and insane affordability — I was incredulous to have been able to snag an Elton John album for just $5 on one of my first visits. 



A&E 10/6/20 9:56pm

Rice Theatre to livestream first socially distanced production

Rice Theatre will premiere a livestreamed performance of Oscar Wilde’s “The Importance of Being Earnest” this Friday, Oct. 9 at 8 p.m. CST. The play, originally published in 1895 with the subtitle, “a trivial comedy for serious people,” narrates the double lives of two men, John Worthing and Algernon Moncrieff, who both pretend to be named “Ernest” and deceive their lovers in doing so. Directed by Christina Keefe, director of the Rice Theatre Program, the production will be available to view online as well as to a select live audience who must abide by Rice’s social distancing protocol. All actors will be wearing masks and remaining at least six feet apart on stage, painting a stark portrait of how the pandemic has changed performance art. 


A&E 10/6/20 9:50pm

Black Art at Rice: A Conversation with Morgan Seay

Performance can elevate the power of poetry, already a valuable avenue of self-expression, by allowing the artist to share their work and feel the support of an audience. That, at least, has been the experience of spoken word poet Morgan Seay. Her work, which often highlights the Black woman’s experience, has been showcased in the Rice Women’s Resource Center’s “Engender” zine and at the Black Student Association’s Soul Night. The Hanszen College junior spoke to the Thresher about her creative process; struggle, resilience and hope in the Black community; and her presence as an artist at Rice. 


A&E 10/6/20 8:47pm

Six local Latinx-owned businesses to support today

In the midst of celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month, don’t forget to support local Latinx businesses. Here are six Houston establishments owned and operated by Latinx members of the local community to check out in celebration of this month, but be sure to check out these (and other Latinx businesses) throughout the year.  


A&E 10/6/20 8:05pm

The Rice Thresher presents the Quarantine Cookbook Vol. 2

This whole pandemic thing has gone on for a lot longer than most of us thought, so the Thresher has decided to provide a part two of our Quarantine Cookbook. Whether you're just discovering how to make boxed mac and cheese or you’ve mastered how to sous vide filet mignons over these last few months, many of us have turned to cooking for entertainment and comfort. Although Rice students are spread out around the world right now, good food is something that we can all connect over. 



A&E 9/29/20 10:48pm

Review: “Antebellum” is not worth your time

Shortly after learning that Breonna Taylor's murderers were not indicted, I decided to watch “Antebellum.” I’d been avoiding it because I had no desire to watch a gratuitously violent depiction of Black female trauma, but I reasoned that that was why I needed to analyze it. I needed to put my thoughts together for people as to why these kinds of films need to be handled differently. In the context of President Donald Trump working to erase the realities and implications of slavery from the American consciousness, I am firmly in the camp that slave films do need to be made, but they need to be made differently. 


A&E 9/29/20 10:44pm

Rice Media Center demolition delayed, new VADA building announced

When plans to demolish the Rice Media Center were initially announced in April 2019, Vice President for Administration Kevin Kirby stated that the teardown process would occur before the end of 2020. Today, with those plans having been ruptured by the coronavirus pandemic, the Media Center faces an uncertain future. However, Rice’s recently announced plans for a new visual and dramatic arts building suggest that the arts community will remain alive and well on campus.  


A&E 9/29/20 10:18pm

Best of QFest 2020

QFest, the annual Houston International LGBTQ Film Festival, began in 1996 with a mission of promoting communication and cooperation through art made by, about and for the LGBTQ+ community. Every year, local nonprofit media arts center Aurora Picture Show presents artist-made noncommercial films and videos that embrace and celebrate the diversity of experiences within the queer community. QFest screens short films, documentaries and feature films from around the world, and whether they’re narratives or abstract and experimental, they all share empowering messages of self-discovery, acceptance and expression.  


A&E 9/29/20 8:04pm

Forgotten Gems: #Maxo187 is Mandatory Houston Listening

The advent of smartphones during my middle school years led to a variety of viral hype rap being blasted in the back of the school bus. Most of it was standard mid-2010s rap fare (“Mercy,” “Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe,” etc.) but one song stood out in particular. In it, a husky voice nimbly rapped over a harsh drum loop about gang executions and used a recently deceased celebrity as a cocaine euphemism. Like many young Houstonians, “Whitney Houston” was my introduction to the legend of Maxo Kream.  



A&E 9/29/20 7:54pm

Review: Sufjan Stevens’ “The Ascension” Lacks Musicality but Excels in “Sufjan-ness”

Even Sufjan Stevens, known for his gentle voice and poetic lyrics layered over simple acoustic guitar, could not help but bow to the wave of technological dependency required of everyone living and working during the COVID-19 pandemic. His new album “The Ascension” starkly contrasts his previous works with the addition of what seems to be MIDI keyboard beats and electronically altered vocals paired alongside his classic angsty lyrics.  


A&E 9/22/20 11:29pm

Rice students take the mic with independent podcasts

The beauty of podcasts comes from their convenience — plug in your headphones, press play and go about your day — you’ll find that more often than not, podcasts will fall seamlessly into your schedule. While plenty of Rice students have turned to podcasts to break up the monotony of their routine, a handful of owls have traded headphones for microphones and started shows of their own. If, like me, you’ve struggled to fill the empty stretches of silence of your days in quarantine, consider listening to these four podcasts created by your fellow Rice students.   


A&E 9/22/20 11:27pm

A First Look into the Moody’s Fall 2020 Exhibition: States of Mind: Art and American Democracy

What really is democracy? What does it mean to be a democracy and what does it entail? The Moody Center for the Arts’s new fall exhibition, “States of Mind: Art and American Democracy,” seeks to answer these questions, although perhaps not in the way you might imagine. Moody’s newest exhibit, organized by Associate Curator Ylinka Barotto, introduces new perspectives and angles from artists telling their own stories in their own ways, particularly focusing on national issues affecting Texas. Its goal is to drive new thoughts and deeper revelations in viewers. Art, after all, is not about giving direct answers, but coming to your own.  


A&E 9/22/20 11:22pm

Bakerites channel anxieties into art in new exhibit, “PANDEMIA”

Any other year, Baker College’s P-Quad would be bustling with people gathering to eat, study, and socialize. COVID-19 restrictions this semester have subdued some of that energy, but recently, students and faculty across Rice have been flocking there for an unexpected reason. For the next month, P-Quad will be home to PANDEMIA: an outdoor art exhibit featuring students’ perspectives on the COVID-19 pandemic.  


A&E 9/22/20 11:17pm

Hanszen quad fills with music and community in new evening concert series

 Masked musicians, small groups and livestreaming equipment, all outdoors — the inaugural concert of the Hanszen Family Heart Chamber Music Festival showed us what performance looks like in a pandemic. The concert, held last Friday, Sept. 18 in Hanszen College’s quad, was the first in a series planned to recur on the third Friday of each month this semester, according to festival organizer and horn player Shawn Zheng.