Abstract artwork boils an idea, a thought or an emotion down to its basic essence. But its universal aspect can also be frustrating because it lacks individuality, an intimacy that brings one closer to the artist. Abstraction generalizes emotion, simplifying it to a universally shared kernel. But no one experiences their sorrows and blisses the same way. To generalize the emotional experience is to make it recognizable to everyone but not belong fully to any particular person.

All the world is a stage, and identity is a performance. Each instance of our lives is a dynamic reaction between our personal microcosms and macrocosms, which manufactures memories, histories and our perceptions of ourselves and others. The tradition of the American stage has been, in theory, defined by free agency and personal choice. America tells us that we decide what personas we want to perform, that we get to decide how we relate to individuals and society. Our identities are an improvisational piece largely perpetuated by our desire, personal choice and commitment.

In the Isabella Stewart Gardner Art Museum hang empty frames gaping like wounds. Some consider it distasteful to leave the frames, deprived of their original content, while others maintain that the museum has taken the proper course of action, not altering the exhibits in any manner. The ideal way to dissolve this dispute, of course, would be to have the stolen artwork returned to the museum. But after 27 years, this resolution seems less and less likely.

Sometimes a bad tattoo is harder to forget than a beautiful tattoo is to remember. Tattoos are risky, not necessarily because of the intense physical pain they can produce, but because of their permanence. We are constantly bombarded with examples of horrendously butchered tattoos, both in person and online. Since neither our minds nor the internet will allow us to forget the mistakes that have been left on people’s skin, we often forget that a tattooist is a genuine artist.

In the times of our childhood, dolls were often objects of comfort. Yet somehow as we age, these items never arouse the sentimentality and nostalgia of other childhood treasures. Instead, in our older age we associate them with a vague sense of discomfort and uneasiness. Countless artists through an array of different mediums have expounded upon this fear or discomfort, whether to confront us with an issue or just simply to scare us.

Members of Amherst Musical’s “Sweeney Todd” slayed — both their performance and several of their characters. “Sweeney Todd” is the second musical since Amherst College’s revival of the annual musical, initiated with last year’s stellar outing, “Into the Woods.” After two years of successful performances, this resurrected tradition seems secure in its place.

Whether it’s because of the conclusion of a stressful election or the conclusion of a stressful semester, we could all use a laugh right now. Unlike the “Harry Potter fandom” who had to wait five years for something new to be added to canon, Amherst students will only have to wait a month for some serious laughter. One of Amherst’s student-driven theater groups, Green Room, has currently been working on a parody of J.K. Rowling’s “Cursed Child,” the latest addition to the lineage of Harry Potter novels, which is formatted as a play.