Steven Brodner of Brooklyn showed such promise as a high school cartoonist that he won a scholarship to study fine arts at New York’s Cooper Union. However, his first drawing instructor flunked him: Brodner invariably transformed every assignment he was given—from wine bottles to naked female bodies—into swirling caricatures. But now that he is 19 and a junior, his irreverent imagination has paid off. Steven recently won a national cartoon contest organized by the Population Institute. His panel of drawings showing people choking the world beat out entries by such established cartoonists as Charles Addams and Gary Trudeau and earned him a prize of $1,500.
Steven’s artistry began when he was 5 and already drawing Bugs Bunny, Fred Flintstone and every other animated character he saw on TV. By the time he was at Tilden High, he was earning pocket money with his caricatures of friends at parties, and his political cartoons enlivened the school paper.
While Steven says he is “anti-power,” influence does appeal to him, and he is looking ahead to a career in editorial cartooning. “It’s a much gutsier way of communicating than words,” says Steven, “and it’s my first love.”
Seret Scott says she was overwhelmed by Cicely Tyson’s Emmy-winning recreation of nearly a century in the life of Miss Jane Pittman. But her own portrayal of a decade in the life of a Southern black girl in Broadway’s My Sister, My Sister—which takes her from baby dolls to a second anxious pregnancy—has won Seret her own acclaim. “She is brilliant!” wrote Clive Barnes in the New York Times. Actually 26—for all her persuasiveness with a juvenile role—Seret was born and raised in Washington, D.C. At 18 she arrived in New York to study dance and drama. Hating the discipline dance demanded, she dropped it. But the actress still has occasion to fall back on her tapping toes. “If I’m at a musical audition,” she admits, “as soon as I go off key, which is often, I break into the most fabulous dancing you ever saw.” Seret toured Europe in a production of Imamu Amiri Baraka’s (LeRoi Jones) Slave Ship, but she regrets the lack of roles for petite young black women. That helps to explain why she wrote her own play, Funny Time, presented last year by the Negro Ensemble Company and the New York Shakespeare Festival.