Stephen Benson

Stephen Benson has worked previously in executive administrative positions at the New England Eye Institute, Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, and Jackson & Company public relations. He has taught theatre classes and directed productions at the College of the Holy Cross, Tufts University, Middlesex Community College, and Wilkes University in Pennsylvania. He received his B.A. in English and Theatre from Tufts University.

Blog posts

  • I’ve been listening to Eydie sing today, particularly a standout performance of a song from the 1966 musical Mame.  I dare you to listen to her sing “If He Walked Into My Life” here and not feel the expressive pull, the regret, the heartache as she hits every dramatic emotional nuance of this difficult song.  Not only is she technically right on the money, she nails it with aplomb and finish.  Listen to it, and I guarantee you’ll feel what Steve Lawrence felt about her: “I fell in love with her the moment I saw her and even more the first time I heard her sing.  While my personal loss is unimaginable, the world has lost one of the greatest pop vocalists of all time.” 

  • For those of you wondering about the fate of the peripatetic theatre legend Judith Malina, there’s good news.  The Forward just published an article and posted a video of the grounds and atmosphere of Malina’s new home at the Lillian Booth Actors’ Home in Englewood, NJ, along with interviews with Ms. Malina and her fellow “hostages” (as she jokingly calls her fellow residents).

  • Sometimes at JWA a story insists on coming to life. 

    The article on Sophie Rabinoff  in our online Encyclopedia was a good scholarly representation of the pioneering physician's life and work. But no photos accompanied it; nothing helped lift it off the page. A few weeks ago, her great niece Jennifer Arnold contacted us to say that she had some photos of her aunt and wondered if we could add them to the article.  I told her that we would be happy to, and she kindly scanned and sent them to me.

  • For Judith Malina, place has always been a state of mind.  This tiny giant of the theatre world has epitomized the life of a nom

  • Yael Kohen’s new book, We Killed: The Rise of Women in American Comedy, has many revealing tales about how change happens. But one stands out for me: in 1966, the actress Marlo Thomas approached the head of ABC-TV programming with a novel idea. She wanted “to play the person with the problem, not the person who assisted the person with the problem.” She recalled:

    I didn’t want to be the wife of somebody, or the secretary of somebody, or the daughter of somebody…”Have you ever considered the girl to be the somebody?” And he said, “Would anybody watch a show like that?” I said, “I think they would.” And so I gave him a copy of The Feminine Mystique, and he read it and kind of became convinced.

  • “A Boston girl, one of the shortest girls in the unit. Maybe 4-foot-10. When we came ashore at Normandy, she almost drowned because she couldn't touch bottom."

    An hour before she was to die, Army nurse Lt. Frances Slanger sat before a fire and wrote a letter to the military newspaper Stars and Stripes.

  • One hundred and one years ago today, Sophie Tucker sang those words from “Some of

Rising Voices

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