PRP 2010-Present

PRP 2010-Present

2010 - The Big Necessity

Acclaimed as “extraordinary” (The New York Times) and “a classic” (Los Angeles Times), The Big Necessity is on its way to removing the taboo on bodily waste—something common to all and as natural as breathing. We prefer not to talk about it, but we should—even those of us who take care of our business in pristine, sanitary conditions. Disease spread by waste kills more people worldwide every year than any other single cause of death. Even in America, nearly two million people have no access to an indoor toilet. Yet the subject remains unmentionable.

2011 - Reality is Broken

In Reality Is Broken, Dr. McGonigal focuses on the major role that video and computer games play in our lives. By her count, more than 174 million young Americans are regular gamers, and the average young person will spend 10,000 hours playing by age 21. But far from finding these statistics frightening, McGonigal focuses on the positive role that gaming plays in social, mental and cultural development. Virtual realities have the power to make us happy and provide exhilarating rewards -- and more important, these rewards can be harnessed in our daily lives to improve our outlook, reasoning skills and social interactions.

2012 - Doubt

John Patrick Shanley's play, winner of the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for drama, deals with the conflict between a popular parish priest teaching in a middle school and the school's principal, a nun who believes the priest to be guilty of misconduct though she has little evidence to support it. The New York Times praised Doubt as "written with an uncanny blend of compassion and detachment... presents each point of view with reasonableness and an eloquence... Even as Doubt holds your conscious attention as an intelligently measured debate play, it sends off stealth charges that go deeper emotionally." The play raises provocative questions about faith, evidence and instinct.

2013 - Book of Rhymes

Adam Bradley's book is a systematic analysis of hip hop understood through the lens of history and contemporary poetry. The book’s chapters are close examinations of hip hop’s Rhythm, Rhyme, Wordplay, Style, Storytelling and Signifying. Book of Rhymes encompasses sound both in music and in poetry, and is an example of how sound plays a vital cultural, social and political role.

2014 - The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down

The Spirit Catches You explores the story of a Hmong family, refugees from Laos who immigrated to California, whose young daughter was diagnosed with severe epilepsy. Despite the best intentions of everyone involved – medical workers and family members – cultural misunderstandings led to tragedy – but, as physician and writer Perri Class put it, Fadiman’s book, published in 1997, “changed how doctors see themselves and how they see their patients. Anne Fadiman celebrates the complexity and the individuality of the human interactions that make up the practice of medicine while simultaneously pointing out directions for change.” The steering committee at Penn, who chose the book, also praised the way The Spirit Catches You explores both global medical issues, as well as those central to American healthcare practices.