Yale University is a private Ivy League research university in New Haven, Connecticut. Founded in 1701, it is the third-oldest institution of higher education in the United States and one of the nine Colonial Colleges chartered before the American Revolution. Chartered by Connecticut Colony, the "Collegiate School" was established by clergy to educate Congregational ministers, it moved to New Haven in 1716 and shortly after was renamed Yale College in recognition of a gift from British East India Company governor Elihu Yale. Restricted to theology and sacred languages, the curriculum began to incorporate humanities and sciences by the time of the American Revolution. In the 19th century, the college expanded into graduate and professional instruction, awarding the first Ph. D. in the United States in 1861 and organizing as a university in 1887. Its faculty and student populations grew after 1890 with rapid expansion of the physical campus and scientific research. Yale is organized into fourteen constituent schools: the original undergraduate college, the Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and twelve professional schools.
While the university is governed by the Yale Corporation, each school's faculty oversees its curriculum and degree programs. In addition to a central campus in downtown New Haven, the university owns athletic facilities in western New Haven, a campus in West Haven and forest and nature preserves throughout New England; the university's assets include an endowment valued at $29.4 billion as of October 2018, the second largest endowment of any educational institution in the world. The Yale University Library, serving all constituent schools, holds more than 15 million volumes and is the third-largest academic library in the United States. Yale College undergraduates follow a liberal arts curriculum with departmental majors and are organized into a social system of residential colleges. All members of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences—and some members of other faculties—teach undergraduate courses, more than 2,000 of which are offered annually. Students compete intercollegiately as the Yale Bulldogs in the NCAA Division I – Ivy League.
As of October 2018, 61 Nobel laureates, 5 Fields Medalists and 3 Turing award winners have been affiliated with Yale University. In addition, Yale has graduated many notable alumni, including five U. S. Presidents, 19 U. S. Supreme Court Justices, 31 living billionaires and many heads of state. Hundreds of members of Congress and many U. S. diplomats, 78 MacArthur Fellows, 247 Rhodes Scholars and 119 Marshall Scholars have been affiliated with the university. Its wealth and influence have led to Yale being reported as amoungst the most prestigious universities in the United States. Yale traces its beginnings to "An Act for Liberty to Erect a Collegiate School", passed by the General Court of the Colony of Connecticut on October 9, 1701, while meeting in New Haven; the Act was an effort to create an institution to train ministers and lay leadership for Connecticut. Soon thereafter, a group of ten Congregational ministers, Samuel Andrew, Thomas Buckingham, Israel Chauncy, Samuel Mather, Rev. James Noyes II, James Pierpont, Abraham Pierson, Noadiah Russell, Joseph Webb, Timothy Woodbridge, all alumni of Harvard, met in the study of Reverend Samuel Russell in Branford, Connecticut, to pool their books to form the school's library.
The group, led by James Pierpont, is now known as "The Founders". Known as the "Collegiate School", the institution opened in the home of its first rector, Abraham Pierson, today considered the first president of Yale. Pierson lived in Killingworth; the school moved to Saybrook and Wethersfield. In 1716, it moved to Connecticut. Meanwhile, there was a rift forming at Harvard between its sixth president, Increase Mather, the rest of the Harvard clergy, whom Mather viewed as liberal, ecclesiastically lax, overly broad in Church polity; the feud caused the Mathers to champion the success of the Collegiate School in the hope that it would maintain the Puritan religious orthodoxy in a way that Harvard had not. In 1718, at the behest of either Rector Samuel Andrew or the colony's Governor Gurdon Saltonstall, Cotton Mather contacted the successful Boston born businessman Elihu Yale to ask him for financial help in constructing a new building for the college. Through the persuasion of Jeremiah Dummer, Elihu "Eli" Yale, who had made a fortune through trade while living in Madras as a representative of the East India Company, donated nine bales of goods, which were sold for more than £560, a substantial sum at the time.
Cotton Mather suggested that the school change its name to "Yale College".. Meanwhile, a Harvard graduate working in England convinced some 180 prominent intellectuals that they should donate books to Yale; the 1714 shipment of 500 books represented the best of modern English literature, science and theology. It had a profound effect on intellectuals at Yale. Undergraduate Jonathan Edwards discovered John Locke's works and developed his original theology known as the "new divinity". In 1722 the Rector and six of his friends, who had a study group to discuss the new ideas, announced that they had given up Calvinism, become Arminians and joined the Church of England, they were returned to the colonies as missionaries for the Anglican faith. Thomas Clapp became president in 1745 and struggled to return the college to Calvinist orthodoxy, but he did not close the library. Other students found Deist books in the library. Yale was swept up by the great intellectual movements of the peri
Cymbeline known as Cymbeline, King of Britain, is a play by William Shakespeare set in Ancient Britain and based on legends that formed part of the Matter of Britain concerning the early Celtic British King Cunobeline. Although listed as a tragedy in the First Folio, modern critics classify Cymbeline as a romance or a comedy. Like Othello and The Winter's Tale, it deals with the themes of jealousy. While the precise date of composition remains unknown, the play was produced as early as 1611. Cymbeline, the Roman Empire's vassal king of Britain, once had two sons and Arvirargus, but they were stolen twenty years earlier as infants by an exiled traitor named Belarius. Cymbeline now discovers that his only child left, his daughter Imogen, has secretly married her lover Posthumus Leonatus, an otherwise honourable man of Cymbeline's court; the lovers have exchanged jewellery as tokens: Imogen with a bracelet, Posthumus with a ring. Cymbeline dismisses the marriage and banishes Posthumus since Imogen -- as Cymbeline's only child -- must produce a royal-blooded heir to succeed to the British throne.
In the meantime, Cymbeline's Queen is conspiring to have Cloten married to Imogen to secure her bloodline. The Queen is plotting to murder both Imogen and Cymbeline, procuring what she believes to be deadly poison from the court doctor; the doctor, switches the poison with a harmless sleeping potion. The Queen passes the "poison" along to Pisanio and Imogen's loving servant -- the latter is led to believe it is a medicinal drug. No longer able to be with her banished Posthumus, Imogen secludes herself in her chambers, away from Cloten's aggressive advances. Posthumus must now live in Italy, where he meets Iachimo, who challenges the prideful Posthumus to a bet that he, can seduce Imogen, who Posthumus has praised for her chastity, bring Posthumus proof of Imogen's adultery. If Iachimo wins, he will get Posthumus's token ring. If Posthumus wins, not only must Iachimo pay him but fight Posthumus in a duel with swords. Iachimo heads to Britain where he aggressively attempts to seduce the faithful Imogen, who sends him packing.
Iachimo hides in a chest in Imogen's bedchamber and, when the princess falls asleep, emerges to steal from her Posthumus's bracelet. He takes note of the room and Imogen's naked body to be able to present false evidence to Posthumus that he has seduced his bride. Returning to Italy, Iachimo convinces Posthumus that he has seduced Imogen. In his wrath, Posthumus sends two letters to Britain: one to Imogen, telling her to meet him at Milford Haven, on the Welsh coast. However, Pisanio reveals to her Posthumus's plot, he has Imogen continue to Milford Haven to seek employment. He gives her the Queen's "poison," believing it will alleviate her psychological distress. In the guise of a boy, Imogen adopts the name "Fidele," meaning "faithful." Back at Cymbeline's court, Cymbeline refuses to pay his British tribute to the Roman ambassador Caius Lucius, Lucius warns Cymbeline of the Roman Emperor's forthcoming wrath, which will amount to an invasion of Britain by Roman troops. Meanwhile, Cloten learns of the "meeting" between Posthumus at Milford Haven.
Dressing himself enviously in Posthumus's clothes, he decides to go to Wales to kill Posthumus, rape and marry Imogen. Imogen has now been travelling as "Fidele" through the Welsh mountains, her health in decline as she comes to a cave: the home of Belarius, along with his "sons" Polydore and Cadwal, whom he raised into great hunters; these two young men are in fact the British princes Guiderius and Arviragus, who themselves do not realise their own origin. The men discover "Fidele," and captivated by a strange affinity for "him", become fast friends. Outside the cave, Guiderius is met by Cloten, who throws insults, leading to a sword fight during which Guiderius beheads Cloten. Meanwhile, Imogen's fragile state worsens and she takes the "poison" as a hopeful medicine, they mourn and, after placing Cloten's body beside hers depart to prepare for the double burial. Imogen awakes to find the headless body, believes it to be Posthumus due to the fact the body is wearing Posthumus' clothes. Lucius' Roman soldiers have just arrived in Britain and, as the army moves through Wales, Lucius discovers the devastated "Fidele", who pretends to be a loyal servant grieving for his killed master.
The treacherous Queen is now wasting away due to the disappearance of her son Cloten. Meanwhile, despairing of his life, a guilt-ridden Posthumus enlists in the Roman forces as they begin their invasion of Britain. Belarius, Guiderius and Posthumus all help rescue Cymbeline from the Roman onslaught. Posthumus, allowing himself to be captured, as well as "Fidele", are imprisoned alongside the true Romans, all of whom await execution. In jail, Posthumus sleeps, while the ghosts of his dead family appear to complain to Jupiter of his grim fate. Jupiter himself appears in thunder and glory to assure the others that destiny will grant happiness to Posthumus and Britain. Cornelius arrives in the court to announce that the Queen has died and that on her deathbed she unrepentantly confessed to villainous sche
Three Sisters (play)
Three Sisters is a play by the Russian author and playwright Anton Chekhov. It was first performed in 1901 at the Moscow Art Theatre; the play is sometimes included on the short list of Chekhov's outstanding plays, along with The Cherry Orchard, The Seagull and Uncle Vanya. Olga Sergeyevna Prozorova – The eldest of the three sisters, she is the matriarchal figure of the Prozorov family though at the beginning of the play she is only 28 years old. Olga is a teacher at the high school, where she fills in for the headmistress whenever the latter is absent. Olga is a spinster and at one point tells Irina that she would have married "any man an old man if he had asked" her. Olga is motherly to the elderly servants, keeping on the elderly nurse/retainer Anfisa, long after she has ceased to be useful; when Olga reluctantly takes the role of headmistress permanently, she takes Anfisa with her to escape the clutches of the heartless Natasha. Maria Sergeyevna Kulygina – The middle sister, she is 23 at the beginning of the play.
She married her husband, when she was 18 and just out of school. When the play opens she has been disappointed in the marriage and falls in love with the idealistic Lieutenant-Colonel Vershinin, they begin a clandestine affair. When he is transferred away, she is crushed, but returns to life with her husband, who accepts her back despite knowing what she has done, she has a short temper, seen throughout the play, is the sister who disapproves the most of Natasha. Onstage, her directness serves as a tonic to the melodrama, her wit comes across as heroic, her vitality provides most of the play's plentiful humour. She was trained as a concert pianist. Irina Sergeyevna Prozorova – The youngest sister, she is 20 at the beginning of the play, it is her "name day" at the beginning of the play and though she insists she is grown-up she is still enchanted by things such as a spinning top brought to her by Fedotik. Her only desire is to go back to Moscow, she believes she will find her true love in Moscow, but when it becomes clear that they are not going to Moscow, she agrees to marry the Baron Tuzenbach, whom she admires but does not love.
She gets her teaching degree and plans to leave with the Baron, but he is shot and killed by Solyony in a pointless duel. She decides to dedicate her life to work and service. Andrei Sergeyevich Prozorov – The brother of the three sisters. In Act I, he is a young man on the fast track to being a Professor in Moscow. In Act II, Andrei still longs for his old days as a bachelor dreaming of life in Moscow, but is now, due to his ill-conceived wedding to Natasha, stuck in a provincial town with a baby and a job as secretary to the County Council. In Act III, his debts have grown to 35,000 rubles and he is forced to mortgage the house, but does not tell his sisters or give them any shares in the family home. Act IV finds Andrei a pathetic shell of his former self, now the father of two, he acknowledges he is a failure and laughed at in town for being a member of the village council whose president, Protopopov, is cuckolding him. Natalia Ivanovna – Andrei's love interest at the start of the play his wife.
She begins the play as an awkward young woman who hides her true nature. Much fun is made of her ill-becoming green sash by the sisters, she bursts into tears, she has no family of her own and the reader never learns her maiden name. Act II finds a different Natasha, she has grown bossy and uses her relationship with Andrei as a way of manipulating the sisters into doing what she wants. She has begun an affair with Protopopov, the head of the local council, cuckolds Andrei flagrantly. In Act III, she has become more controlling, confronting Olga head on about keeping on Anfisa, the elderly, loyal retainer, whom she orders to stand in her presence, throwing temper tantrums when she doesn't get her way. Act IV finds that she has inherited control of the house from her weak, vacillating husband, leaving the sisters dependent on her, and, as the châtelaine, planning to radically change the grounds to her liking, it is arguable that the vicious, self-absorbed Natasha, who cares for no one besides her own children and Sofia, upon whom she dotes fatuously, is the complete victor by the end of the play.
Fyodor Ilyich Kulygin – Masha's older husband and the Latin teacher at the high school. Kulygin is a jovial, kindly man, who loves his wife, her sisters, although he is much aware of her infidelity. In the first act he seems foolish, giving Irina a gift he has given her, joking around with the doctor to make fun of Natasha, but begins to grow more and more sympathetic as Masha's affair progresses. During the fire in Act 3, he confesses to Olga that he might have married her – the fact that the two would be happy together is hinted at many times throughout the show. Throughout the show at the most serious moments, he tries to make the other characters laugh in order to relieve tension, while that doesn't always work, he is able to give his wife comfort through humor in her darkest hour at the show's climax. At the end of the play, although knowing what Masha had been doing, he takes her back and accepts her failings. Aleksandr Ignatyevich Vershinin – Lieutenant colonel commanding the artillery battery, Vershinin is a true philosopher.
He knew the girls' father in Moscow and they talk about how when they were little they called him the "Lovesick Major". In the course of the play, despite being married, he enters into an affair with
Samuel Barclay Beckett was an Irish novelist, short story writer, theatre director and literary translator who lived in Paris for most of his adult life. He wrote in both French. Beckett's work offers a bleak, tragicomic outlook on human existence coupled with black comedy and gallows humor, became minimalist in his career, he is considered one of the last modernist writers, one of the key figures in what Martin Esslin called the "Theatre of the Absurd". Beckett was awarded the 1969 Nobel Prize in Literature "for his writing, which—in new forms for the novel and drama—in the destitution of modern man acquires its elevation", he was elected Saoi of Aosdána in 1984. Samuel Beckett was born in Dublin on Good Friday, 13 April 1906, to William Frank Beckett, a quantity surveyor and descendant of the Huguenots, Maria Jones Roe, a nurse, when both were 35, they had married in 1901. Beckett had Frank Edward Beckett. At the age of five, Beckett attended a local playschool in Dublin, where he started to learn music, moved to Earlsfort House School in Dublin city centre near Harcourt Street.
The Becketts were members of the Anglican Church of Ireland. The family home, Cooldrinagh in the Dublin suburb of Foxrock, was a large house and garden complete with tennis court built in 1903 by Samuel's father, William; the house and garden, together with the surrounding countryside where he went walking with his father, the nearby Leopardstown Racecourse, the Foxrock railway station and Harcourt Street station at the city terminus of the line, all feature in his prose and plays. In 1919/1920, Beckett went to Portora Royal School in County Fermanagh, he left 3 years in 1923. A natural athlete, Beckett excelled at cricket as a left-handed batsman and a left-arm medium-pace bowler, he was to play for Dublin University and played two first-class games against Northamptonshire. As a result, he became the only Nobel literature laureate to have played first-class cricket. Beckett studied French and English at Trinity College, Dublin from 1923 to 1927, he was elected a Scholar in Modern Languages in 1926.
Beckett graduated with a BA and, after teaching at Campbell College in Belfast, took up the post of lecteur d'anglais at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris from November 1928 to 1930. While there, he was introduced to renowned Irish author James Joyce by Thomas MacGreevy, a poet and close confidant of Beckett who worked there; this meeting had a profound effect on the young man. Beckett assisted Joyce in various ways, one of, research towards the book that became Finnegans Wake. In 1929, Beckett published his first work, a critical essay entitled "Dante... Bruno. Vico.. Joyce"; the essay defends Joyce's work and method, chiefly from allegations of wanton obscurity and dimness, was Beckett's contribution to Our Exagmination Round His Factification for Incamination of Work in Progress. Beckett's close relationship with Joyce and his family cooled, when he rejected the advances of Joyce's daughter Lucia owing to her progressing schizophrenia. Beckett's first short story, "Assumption", was published in Jolas's periodical transition.
The next year he won a small literary prize for his hastily composed poem "Whoroscope", which draws on a biography of René Descartes that Beckett happened to be reading when he was encouraged to submit. In 1930, Beckett returned to Trinity College as a lecturer. In November 1930, he presented a paper in French to the Modern Languages Society of Trinity on the Toulouse poet Jean du Chas, founder of a movement called le Concentrisme, it was a literary parody, for Beckett had in fact invented the poet and his movement that claimed to be "at odds with all, clear and distinct in Descartes". Beckett insisted that he had not intended to fool his audience; when Beckett resigned from Trinity at the end of 1931, his brief academic career was at an end. He commemorated it with the poem "Gnome", inspired by his reading of Johann Wolfgang Goethe's Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship and published in The Dublin Magazine in 1934: Spend the years of learning squanderingCourage for the years of wanderingThrough a world politely turningFrom the loutishness of learning Beckett travelled in Europe.
He spent some time in London, where in 1931 he published Proust, his critical study of French author Marcel Proust. Two years following his father's death, he began two years' treatment with Tavistock Clinic psychoanalyst Dr. Wilfred Bion. Aspects of it became evident in Beckett's works, such as Watt and Waiting for Godot. In 1932, he wrote his first novel, Dream of Fair to Middling Women, but after many rejections from publishers decided to abandon it. Despite his inability to get it published, the novel served as a source for many of Beckett's early poems, as well as for his first full-length book, the 1933 short-story collection More Pricks Than Kicks. Beckett published essays and reviews, including "Recent Irish Poetry" and "Humanistic Quietism", a review of his friend Thomas MacGreevy's Poems, they focused on the work of MacGreevy, Brian Coffey, Denis Devlin and Blanaid Salkeld, despite their slender achievements at the time, comparing them favourably with their Celtic Revival contemporaries and invoking Ezra Pound, T. S. Eliot, the French symbolists as
The Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Broadway Theatre, more known as the Tony Award, recognizes excellence in live Broadway theatre. The awards are presented by the American Theatre Wing and The Broadway League at an annual ceremony in Manhattan; the awards are given for Broadway productions and performances, an award is given for regional theatre. Several discretionary non-competitive awards are given, including a Special Tony Award, the Tony Honors for Excellence in Theatre, the Isabelle Stevenson Award; the awards are named after co-founder of the American Theatre Wing. The rules for the Tony Awards are set forth in the official document "Rules and Regulations of The American Theatre Wing's Tony Awards", which applies for that season only; the Tony Awards are considered the highest U. S. theatre honor, the New York theatre industry's equivalent to the Academy Awards for film, the Emmy Awards for television, the Grammy Awards for music. It forms the fourth spoke in the EGOT, that is, someone who has won all four awards.
The Tony Awards are considered the equivalent of the Laurence Olivier Awards in the United Kingdom and the Molière Awards in France. From 1997 to 2010, the Tony Awards ceremony was held at Radio City Music Hall in New York City in June and broadcast live on CBS television, except in 1999, when it was held at the Gershwin Theatre. In 2011 and 2012, the ceremony was held at the Beacon Theatre. From 2013 to 2015, the 67th, 68th, 69th ceremonies returned to Radio City Music Hall; the 70th Tony Awards was held on June 2016 at the Beacon Theatre. The 71st Tony Awards and 72nd Tony Awards were held at Radio City Music Hall in 2017 and 2018, respectively; as of 2014, there are 26 categories of awards, plus several special awards. Starting with 11 awards in 1947, the names and number of categories have changed over the years; some examples: the category Best Book of a Musical was called "Best Author". The category of Best Costume Design was one of the original awards. For two years, in 1960 and 1961, this category was split into Best Costume Designer and Best Costume Designer.
It went to a single category, but in 2005 it was divided again. For the category of Best Director of a Play, a single category was for directors of plays and musicals prior to 1960. A newly established non-competitive award, The Isabelle Stevenson Award, was given for the first time at the awards ceremony in 2009; the award is for an individual who has made a "substantial contribution of volunteered time and effort on behalf of one or more humanitarian, social service or charitable organizations". The category of Best Special Theatrical Event was retired as of the 2009–2010 season; the categories of Best Sound Design of a Play and Best Sound Design of a Musical were retired as of the 2014–2015 season. On April 24, 2017, the Tony Awards administration committee announced that the Sound Design Award would be reintroduced for the 2017–2018 season; the award was founded in 1947 by a committee of the American Theatre Wing headed by Brock Pemberton. The award is named after Antoinette Perry, nicknamed Tony, an actress, producer and co-founder of the American Theatre Wing, who died in 1946.
As her official biography at the Tony Awards website states, "At Jacob Wilk's suggestion, proposed an award in her honor for distinguished stage acting and technical achievement. At the initial event in 1947, as he handed out an award, he called it a Tony; the name stuck."The first awards ceremony was held on April 6, 1947, at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York City. The first prizes were "a scroll, cigarette lighter and articles of jewelry such as 14-carat gold compacts and bracelets for the women, money clips for the men", it was not until the third awards ceremony in 1949 that the first Tony medallion was given to award winners. Awarded by a panel of 868 voters from various areas of the entertainment industry and press. Since 1967, the award ceremony has been broadcast on U. S. national television and includes songs from the nominated musicals, has included video clips of, or presentations about, nominated plays. The American Theatre Wing and The Broadway League jointly administer the awards.
Audience size for the telecast is well below that of the Academy Awards shows, but the program reaches an affluent audience, prized by advertisers. According to a June 2003 article in The New York Times: "What the Tony broadcast does have, say CBS officials, is an all-important demographic: rich and smart. Jack Sussman, CBS's senior vice president in charge of specials, said the Tony show sold all its advertising slots shortly after CBS announced it would present the three hours.'It draws upscale premium viewers who are attractive to upscale premium advertisers,' Mr. Sussman said..." The viewership has declined from the early years of its broadcast history but has settled into between six and eight million viewers for most of the decade of the 2000s. In contrast, the 2009 Oscar telecast had 36.3 million viewers. The Tony Award medallion was designed by art director Herman Rosse and is a mix of brass and a little bronze, with a nickel plating on the outside; the face of the medallion portrays an adaptation of the tragedy masks.
The reverse side had a relief profile of Antoinette Perry. The medallion has been mounted on a black base since 1967. A larger base was introduced in time for the 2010 award ceremony; the n
Stephen Joshua Sondheim is an American composer and lyricist known for more than a half-century of contributions to musical theatre. Sondheim has received an Academy Award, eight Tony Awards, eight Grammy Awards, a Pulitzer Prize, a Laurence Olivier Award, a 2015 Presidential Medal of Freedom, he has been described by Frank Rich of The New York Times as "now the greatest and best-known artist in the American musical theater". His best-known works as composer and lyricist include A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Follies, A Little Night Music, Pacific Overtures, Sweeney Todd, Merrily We Roll Along, Sunday in the Park with George, Into the Woods and Passion, he wrote the lyrics for West Side Story and Gypsy. Sondheim has written film music, he wrote five songs for 1990's Dick Tracy, including "Sooner or Later," sung in the film by Madonna, which won the Academy Award for Best Original Song. Sondheim was president of the Dramatists Guild from 1973 to 1981. To celebrate his 80th birthday, the former Henry Miller's Theatre was renamed the Stephen Sondheim Theatre on September 15, 2010, the BBC Proms held a concert in his honor.
Cameron Mackintosh has called Sondheim "possibly the greatest lyricist ever". Sondheim was born into a Jewish family in the son of Etta Janet and Herbert Sondheim, his father manufactured dresses designed by his mother. The composer grew up on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and, after his parents divorced, on a farm near Doylestown, Pennsylvania; as the only child of well-to-do parents living in the San Remo on Central Park West, he was described in Meryle Secrest's biography as an isolated neglected child. When he lived in New York, Sondheim attended ECFS, the Ethical Culture Fieldston School known as "Fieldston", he attended the New York Military Academy and George School, a private Quaker preparatory school in Bucks County, Pennsylvania where he wrote his first musical, By George, from which he graduated in 1946. Sondheim spent several summers at Camp Androscoggin, he matriculated to Williams College and graduated in 1950. He traces his interest in theatre to Very Warm for May, a Broadway musical.
"The curtain went up and revealed a piano," Sondheim recalled. "A butler brushed it up, tinkling the keys. I thought, thrilling."When Sondheim was ten years old, his father had left his mother for another woman. Herbert was unsuccessful. Sondheim explained to biographer Secrest that he was "what they call an institutionalized child, meaning one who has no contact with any kind of family. You're in, though it's luxurious, you're in an environment that supplies you with everything but human contact. No brothers and sisters, no parents, yet plenty to eat, friends to play with and a warm bed, you know?" Sondheim detested his mother, said to be psychologically abusive and projected her anger from her failed marriage on her son: "When my father left her, she substituted me for him. And she used me the way she used him, to come on to and to berate, beat up on, you see. What she did for five years was treat me like dirt, but come on to me at the same time." She once wrote him a letter saying that the "only regret had was giving him birth".
When his mother died in the spring of 1992, Sondheim did not attend her funeral. He had been estranged from her for nearly 20 years; when Sondheim was about ten years old, he became friends with James Hammerstein, son of lyricist and playwright Oscar Hammerstein II. The elder Hammerstein became Sondheim's surrogate father, influencing him profoundly and developing his love of musical theatre. Sondheim met Hal Prince, who would direct many of his shows, at the opening of South Pacific, Hammerstein's musical with Richard Rodgers; the comic musical he wrote at George School, By George, was a success among his peers and buoyed the young songwriter's self-esteem. When Sondheim asked Hammerstein to evaluate it as though he had no knowledge of its author, he said it was the worst thing he had seen: "But if you want to know why it's terrible, I'll tell you." They spent the rest of the day going over the musical, Sondheim said, "In that afternoon I learned more about songwriting and the musical theater than most people learn in a lifetime."Hammerstein designed a course of sorts for Sondheim on constructing a musical.
He had the young composer write four musicals, each with one of the following conditions: Based on a play he admired Based on a play he liked but thought flawed. High Tor and Mary Poppins have never been produced: The rights holder for the original High Tor refused permission, Mary Poppins was unfinished. Sondheim began attending Williams College, a liberal arts college in Williamstown, Massachusetts whose theatre program attracted him, his first teacher there was Robert Barrow:... everybody hated him because he was dry, I thought he was