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Kia Corthron, a playwright of lyrical language and hard subjects who has been associated with the Children's Theatre and Penumbra in the Twin Cities, has won a Windham Campbell Prize, Yale University announced on Friday.
The honor, administered by the university, comes with a $150,000 purse.
Corthron, a writer who uses fierce and lyrical language to tackle tough subjects, is best known for "Breath, Boom," "The Venus de Milo is Armed" and "Splash Hatch on the E Going Down," a play about environmental degradation.
She also has written for the television shows "The Wire" and "The Jury."
Corthron wrote "Snapshot Silhouettes" for the Children's Theatre, a drama about tensions between African-American and Somali students that played in 2004.
Budgetary difficulties scuttled productions of her plays at Penumbra.
Corthron, who is American, is one of eight writers named as winners of the Windham Campbell Prize, which awarded a total of $1.2 million Friday.
The others are dramatists Sam Holcroft of Britain and Noëlle Janaczewska of Australia; fiction writers Nadeem Aslam of Pakistan, Jim Crace of the United Kingdom and Aminatta Forna of Sierra Leone; and nonfiction writers Pankaj Mishra of India and John Vaillant, who is Canadian-American.
Among the myriad of Twitter feuds you never thought you would see, the odd case of mouthy Twin Cities rapper Prof vs. hunky “Full House” and "ER" actor John Stamos might take the cake.
After two years of ironic, stalkerly tweets essentially trying to get a rise out of Stamos, Prof finally got his attention in a big way. The tipping point was a tweet sent a couple months ago that apparently suggested the actor famous for his “uncle” character is into children in a perverted way. Prof actually doesn’t remember sending the tweet and can’t find it now – “Let’s face it: I was probably drunk,” the rapper said – but Stamos certainly did remember it. He sent out several vehement tweets on the matter Thursday.
“U do pediphile [sic] jokes I’ll kill you,” read one of the messages from the @JohnStamos account, which has nearly 1.4 million followers (compared to almost 15,000 for @Profstophouse; though that number could very well be going up today).
Here are some of the other more colorful tweets sent out during the fracas, including one of several deleted from the Stamos account but captured by Prof on Instagram.
All I ask is that you pray for me and @johnstamos. This doesn't have to be the end!— Prof (@Profgampo) March 7, 2014
TRUTH is I have a relationship w johnstamos. Its been hectic lately & Im TERRIFIED Im going to lose… http://t.co/gAyDrzwVYg— Prof (@Profgampo) March 7, 2014
In the end, Prof and Stamos finally connected by phone late Thursday night and talked for about a half hour, according to Prof. It was tense at first, he said. “He told me he was lawyering up,” Prof claimed, admitting that threat scared him: “I really don’t know if I did break the law or not. Maybe.” (A legal case on the matter might have amounted to the Twitter equivalent of the Hustler Magazine v. Falwell trial.)
However, as the two got to talking, apparently things did smooth over -- at least to the point where Stamos backed off any legal threats, Prof said. The actor's New York publicist declined to verify details of the phone conversation or comment on the Twitter exchange. Stamos did confirm the phone call on Twitter. Pointing to his 28-year dedication to Phoenix-based abuse resource center Childhelp -- which he referenced in earlier tweets explaining his anger -- Stamos sent out a tweet Friday morning verifying the phone conversation, one of which read, “He apologized like a man.”
Adding to the all-out bizarreness of this feud, Prof said he and Stamos originally traded personal messages a year ago and almost met in person when Prof’s tweets first started reaching a feverish pitch. While he asked that the rapper “back off” then, Prof claimed, Stamos also apparently said he looked up Prof’s music and videos in the interim and enjoyed his work. The actor is well known to be a big music fan in general, having moonlighted often as an auxiliary percussionist for the Beach Boys. He even appeared in the memorable video for “Try to Sleep” by Duluth favorites Low.
However, Stamos was not a big enough fan of Prof to take the rapper up on a guest-list spot for the rapper’s show at Los Angeles’ El Rey Theatre in December 2012. Being a no-show predictably earned Stamos all the more grief from Prof’s Twitter account at the time.
Prof also sent out a conciliatory tweet this morning that read, “Had a half hour conversation w @JohnStamos. Believe it or not, he is a REAL MAN. We ironed out our differences, & are now BFFS once again.”
Talking afterward, he also applauded Stamos for "being a good sport about it and not turning it into a Hollywood lawyer thing." However, the real-life Jacob Anderson also made it clear he does not intend to stop what he called "a comical obsession” over the actor – the sort of uncomfortable, unexplainable humor that fits in well with Prof’s overall act. “My fans loved it from the start,” he said of the Twitter fixation, which from his point of view has only been upgraded to another level.
“It’s an intense relationship; we’re sort of still in the newlywed stage,” Prof quipped, adding with no sense of irony, “This is really a dream come true of mine.”
There were no lights on in the house and nary a soul walking up the steps. A handwritten note on the door confirmed our suspicions: the performance had been canceled because of "Unforeseen Circumstances." Oh well, I hadn't had the pleasure of driving on St. Paul's city streets this winter so the trip was well worth the disappointment.
Gremlin's artistic director, Peter Hansen, said Friday morning that Gremlin found out that the "occupancy and the legal status of the Blue house were not what we believed them to be when we rented the facility from St. Clement's."
Hansen said several days of negotiations with the city of St. Paul and St. Clement's failed to resolve the problem. Gremlin has suspended all ticket sales for the production, which is still targeted to bow at the Tennessee Williams Festival next fall in Provincetown, Mass. Jef Hall-Flavin directed the short late-career piece.
Gremlin is still mulling options for a Twin Cities production before that time. Hansen said in an email Friday morning that "I have never experienced anything like this." Gotta feel sorry Peter, one of the truly nice guys in Twin Cities theater. He's currently performing as C.S. Lewis in "Freud's Last Session" at the Guthrie studio. It might have been tough Thursday night keeping focused on that while Gremlin had to cancel its opening. Just to make absolutely clear, this event has no impact on the Guthrie production.
The Independent Filmmaker Project Minnesota, a fixture on St. Paul’s western border since 2005, will soon be packing up for a move.
Seeking a new headquarters with lower rent than its current location, the media arts center will soon announce a new address. The current leased space at 2446 University Av. W. in St. Paul, a 7,500-square-foot site filled with spacious offices, “is no longer meeting our needs,” IFP Minnesota Executive Director Andrew Peterson announced Thursday. While he emphasized that “IFP MN is on strong financial footing,” a less costly home base “is crucial to future stability and success.”
IFP was founded in 1987 when a group of Minnesota filmmakers got together to create a Sundance-bound feature, “Patti Rocks,” and to encourage local filmmakers to create projects outside the studio system.
Economizing on rent will help the organization, which administers several McKnight grants, direct its resources to its core mission. “All non-profits need to be responsible with their budgets and weight spending toward programming, rather than rent,” Peterson said. In recent years, IFP Minnesota has tightened its belt with staff salary cuts.
IFP Minnesota's current space, which includes gallery space, administrative offices and photo darkrooms, opened a decade ago the help of many community leaders and funders to serve the independent film and video community. The new location will allow space and reallocated resources for expanded youth workshops, new film and video courses, additional professional development, and more media artist fellowships, as well as other events and exhibitions.
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