Blog Post 2 Part One: Podcast Rhetorical Analysis on NPR’s Fresh Air

               Co-hosts David Bianculli and Terry Gross host a podcast on NPR’s Fresh Air, and I chose the episode about writer/director Damien Chazelle and his recent work on ‘La La Land’, and Meryl Streep and her recent work on ‘Florence Foster Jenkins’. The hosts work together to inform the audience, consisting in this case of their dedicated fans and those interested specifically in the performing arts and movie making, about the process Damien Chazelle and Meryl Streep go through to make their art come alive and why they chose to pursue their recent works. The interview with Gross informs the listener about the motives of each artist behind the work, like how Chazelle’s background in Jazz is what lead him to write and direct the musical ‘La La Land’, or how Meryl Streep chose to portray a terrible singer because her background knowledge in singing allowed her to see what Jenkins did right. The narration by Bianculli gives the listener some background knowledge on the works being discussed, and a voice that breaks up the monotony. The variation of sounds between each voice and the use of audio clips from the movies of each guest effectively engages the listener and keeps them aware and interested throughout the show. Ultimately, the podcasts success is due to the preparation of the hosts for their concise yet detailed questions and comments, and their skilled editing in mixing the various audio files. Without the mixture, just the narration and interview alone might have proven to be boring or slow in momentum, and thus uninformative.

<iframe src=”″ width=”100%” height=”290″ frameborder=”0″ scrolling=”no” title=”NPR embedded audio player”></iframe>

Work Cited

       Gross, Terry, and David Bianculli. “‘La La Land’ Director/ Meryl Streep.” NPR. NPR, 2017. Web. 14 Feb. 2017.

10 Jan. Introduction


Welcome to ENG 215: Animals on Stage. Most class periods will feature a post like this one that includes a overview of the day’s goals and an activity.

  • 1. Overview of course goals, policies, and assignments–how to find upcoming readings & course site features (ex:discussion questions)
  • 2. Meet & Greet
  • 3. Intro. to The Oresteia & the role of the animal on stage


Activity I: Animals on Stage

Freewrite in response to the following prompt without stopping for 3-5 minutes:
When you think of animal performers what comes to mind? Describe your favorite TV/film or stage animal? What can animals do in TV/film or on stage that people cannot?



Activity II: Introduction to Aeschylus’s Oresteia

I’m going to the play the Watchman’s opening speech from Agamemnon, the first of three tragedies by Aeschylus that were staged in 458 BC. But first, respond to the following:
  • 1. Tell me what you all remember about the fall of Troy: how did it start? How did it end? What happened after? What accounts for the story’s longevity?
  • 2. Take a few minutes and read through the Watchman’s speech: what metaphors strike you as significant? How/does he force himself to stay awake? What important information does he relate?
  • 3. When we watch the clip of the Watchman below, pay attention to the staging. What effect does the mask that the actor wears have on his performance? Does seeing Watchman challenge/compliment your reading of the text?