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Arts & Entertainment

Last month, when Jayne Atkinson stepped out on opening night in her one-woman show, Ann, you first noticed the swirl of white hair. How could you miss it?

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Benjamin Dreyer, author of Dreyer’s English, talks about finding the voice for his best-selling book on Twitter. The Random House copy chief also discusses his writing pet peeves and reveals what he learned about editing from working on scripts.

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In its 50th season, the colorful world of Sesame Street is still teaching and entertaining children, thanks in part to a purple pipeline of talent. Many Northwestern alumni have been involved in the show and in the larger Sesame universe, from writing and puppet creation to social impact and fundraising.

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Gear Shift

Summer 2019
The fantastical set and projection design stole the show in the Northwestern University Opera Theater adaptation of Igor Stravinsky’s opera The Rake’s Progress. The work was inspired by a series of William Hogarth paintings and engravings that Stravinsky viewed at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1947.

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Lee Overtree presides over one of the best improv talent incubators around — just ask any savvy kid under 12. “Our secret is that we don’t think of it as making comedy for kids; we think of it as making comedy for each other.”

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peter mcnerney and joanna simmons
Since returning home to China seven years ago, Bozhong Xue has revitalized the NU Club of Beijing, interviewed prospective students as a member of the Alumni Admission Council, recruited high school students to volunteer for the Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra concert last spring and supported international student scholarships at the Bienen School of Music. For his efforts, Xue received the inaugural Northwestern Alumni Association President’s Award in September.

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bozhong xue

Messi & Me

Spring 2019
When Matt Eliason ’11, the all-time leading scorer for Northwestern men’s soccer, buried a bicycle kick during a July 2013 charity match with soccer star Lionel Messi, the highlight earned the No. 1 spot on SportsCenter’s “Top 10 Plays” and changed the trajectory of his life.

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One of the greatest caravans to ever cross the Sahara was led by Mansa Musa, the legendary ruler of the vast West African empire of Mali. In 1324 Musa embarked on a hajj, a religious pilgrimage to Mecca, traveling with an entourage that included 8,000 courtiers, 12,000 servants and 100 camel loads of pure gold.

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mansa musa
It started off as just another hazy post-graduation idea: Two Northwestern alumni traveling in Amsterdam decided to quit their jobs in the U.S. and move to the Netherlands to start an improv group.

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Crossing the Sahara Desert from the 8th to the 16th centuries, caravans with hundreds of camels carried gold, textiles, jewelry and other goods across the desert. To share this little-known story, the Block Museum of Art has put together Caravans of Gold, Fragments in Time — a first-of-its-kind show that celebrates West Africa’s historic and under-recognized global significance and showcases the objects and ideas that were exchanged at the crossroads of Africa, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

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