Professional mimic Cheng Jiaqiang, shown here in his Beijing apartment, learned his skills from his grandfather. The calligraphy on the wall behind Cheng refers to his signature act: Cheng imitates a bird imitating a musician imitating a bird. Anthony Kuhn/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Anthony Kuhn/NPR

Dr. Givings (Michael Cerveris, center) regularly treats female patients like Mrs. Daldry (Maria Dizzia) for "hysteria" by inducing a "paroxysm" — what we would call an orgasm nowadays. Once accomplished by hand, the job has been made easier at the outset of Sarah Ruhl's comedy In The Next Room by the invention of the electromechanical vibrator. Joan Marcus hide caption

toggle caption Joan Marcus

Broadway theater producer Rocco Landesman is the 10th chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. Michael Eastman hide caption

toggle caption Michael Eastman

Michael Jackson died shortly before a scheduled London concert series. The show goes on without him in Kenny Ortega's backstage documentary This Is It — and in what's likely to be a long and lucrative posthumous career. James Mitchell/AP hide caption

toggle caption James Mitchell/AP
Virginia Sherwood/NBC NewsWire via AP Images

Meng Jinghui is China's leading avant-garde theater director. His latest work, Murder in the Hanging Garden, is a musical — his first — and it addresses "the relentless grabbing for material goods and people's spiritual loss." Louisa Lim/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Louisa Lim/NPR

Solo-performance pioneer Anna Deavere Smith set the standard for documentary theater in the 1990s; she's reached broader audiences with roles on TV's The West Wing and Nurse Jackie, and in films including Rachel Getting Married. Mary Ellen Mark hide caption

toggle caption Mary Ellen Mark

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor