The Berkeley Beacon

Cathleen Cusachs

Arts Editor

Alongside being the Berkeley Beacon's Arts Editor, Cathleen Cusachs is a sophomore journalism major with a double minor in both photography and post-colonial & global studies. 

Originally born in Metairie, Louisiana and raised in Meriden, Connecticut, her involvement with the Beacon began first semester freshman year as a Lifestyle correspondent. Second semester, she joined the staff as Deputy Arts Editor. Cusachs also held the staff position of Limburg Bureau Chief while studying at Emerson's European Center in the Netherlands.

Cusachs can be reached at

Media contributed

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13 Reasons Why jogs your mind of things you ran from

As one Facebook friend of mine phrased it, the show is “trauma porn.” Its goal was to raise awareness for mental illnesses, but for people with mental illness, all it does is bring back memories they don’t want to remember.

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Alum dives into "past life" on Titanic

When Paul Amirault ’85 heard Emerson Stage was performing Titanic this semester, he laughed. Amirault said he remembers the infamous shipwreck as if he was there, and he’ll tell you he sort of was.

Bright Lights to feature student short films

Students who dream of watching their work on the big screen can now see their short films screened before films like Arrival and Moonlight.

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Being on brand is in demand: aesthetics take precedence in personal presentation

There once was a time when our artwork was autographed with messy handprints slapped on with paint. These days, it’s not actually so different; in the age of social media and constant content creation, personal branding is imperative to artists at Emerson. Instagram users are familiar with the concept of themes, or similarities between posts creating a coherent mosaic of pictures.

Two alumni producers get award recognition

In the heady sci-fi flick Arrival, linguist Louise Banks uses her expertise to communicate with strange aliens in an unusual monolithic spacecraft. Loving tells the true tale of a husband and wife arrested for their marriage in 1958. Their case was taken all the way to the Supreme Court in Loving v. Virginia, resulting in a federal knockdown of interracial marriage laws.

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Setting the stage on Summer Street

If you’re keen to see some Emerson comedy shows or student theater, you’ll likely find yourself in a retrofitted dance studio above an Uno Due Go restaurant.

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Auditions and advocacy prove dramatic

As a Bachelor of Fine Arts acting major, junior Riley Hillyer was planning on auditioning for Emerson Stage, a requirement that he was happy to fulfill. He was also looking forward to attending the Women’s March in D.C. as an ally. He can’t do both.

2016 in review: A time for explicit social justice debates in art

Art inherently reflects the environment it’s in, so it makes sense for recent works on and off campus to talk about timely issues. What is especially notable is the explicit stance some of these artists take on social justice debates. Going into 2017, with a divided nation and controversial president-elect, this trend is only going to continue.

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Cultures come together, share rhythms

"I think [the event] is important because Emerson is so lacking in diversity." —Sophomore Christopher Streat

Beacon's best: Must-see sites for fall frolicking

Beacon fall favorites!

Comics with a cause: superheroes and political messages

It wasn’t the costumes, plots, or the explosions that entranced my adolescent imagination, though. It was the fight for good.

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New comedy major is nothing to laugh about

"It's going to take a while for the culture to change a bit, but I think that having a comedy degree is going to help you in comedy," said Mike Bent, comedy professor, on the future of the new major.

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Year in review: Entrepreneurial enterprise projects

If you find yourself crunching on gourmet, customized trail mix while reading a new Spanish-language magazine in a Boston greenspace, make sure to document it on a new app.

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Trngle is a new matchmaking service for artists

Two years ago, on the University of Oregon campus, two friends set out to make a music video but didn’t know where to look to recruit or build a film crew. This was the light bulb moment for Harry Holmes, the once-cinematographer who’s founding an online networking platform to connect creative people to projects.

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It's a buyer's market for students at Emerson

Akin to The Hunger Games, Emerson’s lottery housing selection process is a high-stakes gamble and students have just begun to volunteer each other as tribute to pick out the best rooms.

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Mentoring program helps students leap forward

The venture is called Emerson Literacy Education and Empowerment Project (eLEEP), and it was founded by Cooke-Jackson and Paul Mihailidis, an associate marketing communication professor, six years ago.

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Michael Gilday created an editing monster: himself

Near the northern tip of Chinatown, in a pod in WeWork, a red brick building built for innovation, sits Boston’s new marketing video production company, Gildaymonster.

Neutral time and the living's easy

Willa Segar-Reid grew up with two moms in a house of all women who were accepting of their identification of gender nonconforming. When they came to Emerson, they said they sought the same environment, and it was finally achieved this year in the form of a gender neutral suite.

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Donkey disco dressed in Shakespeare’s drama

In Cambridge, inside a club on Arrow Street, amidst disco lights, glitter, and dancing, lies a Shakespearean world with a ‘70s twist.

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Stories connected through Words Apart Magazine

Worlds come together for social justice in Emerson’s only combined undergraduate and graduate literary magazine, Words Apart.

Tattoos that don't stick to the rule book

Students wandering around the Iwasaki Library might have encountered a body art-adorned skateboarder and her stick-and-poke tattoo business.

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Emerson students keep the music flowing

Emerson students have found a musical outlet at Boston College.

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Highs and lows on students’ new web series

Emerson students mid-way through shooting fictional web series about a female drug dealer on campus.

Emerson students reflect on nearby terrorist attacks

Five Emerson students were traveling in Paris when it was attacked by terrorist on Nov. 13.

Castle Kids: Students had foreign expectations of midterms

People at Emerson's Kasteel Well program are facing difficulties they didn't expect.

Castle Kids: Taking a break from learning to teach

Well is a small village in the province of Limburg, the Netherlands, and is the location of Emerson’s renovated 14th century castle, Kasteel Well, used as their European Center since 1988. Although many service projects such as this were attempted, none were ever successful until now, Powles said.

Year In Review: Art as social change

This year has seen a profusion of creative and socially just declarations and celebrations.

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In passionate rally, students demand cultural competency training

Several hundred students demanded campuswide cultural competency and sensitivity classes in an impassioned rally that culminated in a faculty meeting at the Bill Bordy Theater.

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Sitcom in session

“Natalia had the idea to do a show about resident advisors, so she called me,” Reid, 31, said in a phone interview. “I will just say there are some more shocking elements from the pilot that were inspired by things I actually had to deal with, and I did not deal with them as gracefully as the RAs in the show do.”

Emerson Dance Company gains 'momentum' with newest show

With a musical lineup of songs by Beyoncé, Ed Sheeran, and Cirque Du Soleil, Emerson Dance Company had the crowd enthralled at its recent performance.

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Picture perfect: Emerson's Next Top Model crowns a winner

The Bill Bordy Theater opened its doors on April 2 for the final rounds in a co-ed modeling competition that had started a week and a half prior. Freshman Zeke St. John won the contest, along with freshman Chance Liekkiö as the audience favorite choice.

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Drawing on depression: Director screens animated film on campus

The trope of the tortured artist came to life at Emerson last week as Signe Baumane used her drawing and animation talents to start a humorous conversation about mental illnesses.

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Diverse mix at 15th annual Emerson Student Film Festival

Fourteen short films were presented by Emerson at its annual film festival, held on March 22, and three were honored with awards.

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Supremely Vermin: Presidential hopeful comes to campus to screen doc of his life

Sporting his ubiquitous black boot on top of his head, Vermin Supreme erupted an audience in the Paramount Center into a chorus of his song “Psycho Kitty.”

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Getting into treble: A cappella group premieres music video, hosts open mic

Donning two dozen blonde wigs, the co-ed a cappella group Treble Makers revealed its newest project—the first a music video made by any Emerson a cappella group.

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Michael Mirabella makes merry music

“I just love to get in front of people and jump around singing—I’m a loud person,” Mirabella said.

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The Beacon's 2015 Oscar Picks

See the films that Beacon staff members think should win Academy Awards.

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New art club gives students a judgment-free space to create

Walking into a room full of college students coloring with the same supplies used by kindergarteners may be an unusual sight, but for Emerson freshmen Rachel Butler and Lucy Gatanis, it’s a success.

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New student theatre troupe makes minimalist productions

“After doing that show, with just a big mix of people from all majors and people from different schools, it really just showed me if you try hard enough, and you want something bad enough, you can make it happen,” Altschiller said.

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Out of print, out of mind: Director screens documentary about revival theater still projecting celluloid

“There is a wonderful romance element to projection booths, and to the light coming from the booth and to shadows on the screen.”

Students learn visual effect tricks behind Birdman, The Equalizer

“I attended the presentation to gain a larger appreciation of what goes into visual effects when making a movie,” Kirkman-Moriarty said. “The amount of work and the amount of results that they can achieve with visual effects today [is] really jawdropping.”

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Morbid curiosity: Student filmmaker turns fear of death into art

Junior Alejandro Peña is afraid of death. Truly afraid; he said he can’t fly without being heavily medicated and gets anxious just watching the news. Yet with his latest film, death has become his muse.

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Actress and advice columnist alumna considers collegiate qualms

Emerson alumna Najah Muhammad was 15 when a friend’s mother heard her giving advice and suggested she write a column.

Labyrinth of utter terror: the minotaur comes to campus

The night before Halloween, the Cabaret will become an ancient Greek maze, with a horrifying twist. The annual Campus Center-sponsored haunted house mimics the Labyrinth this year, a mythical trap containing the half-man, half-bull minotaur.

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Emerson’s drag-tastic take on Queer History Month

"I like Dragtoberfest because even though it is a competition, it's sort of a chance for people who are curious to try it out, who want to show their talents." — Duncan Gelder, junior performing arts major

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Emerson celebrates National Hispanic Heritage Month

"I think its important to remind us where we came from." -Freshman Gabriela Medina