Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Oh, the things you can learn when it's cold outside!
So a happy holidays to everyone! It's been an especially wonderful year for me: having hooked onto Theme Thursday, I've encountered some of the most amazing, interesting, and informative blogs ever.
Peace and Love in 2010!
(huge fan of that exclamation point)
Can't leave without my favorite version of my favorite holiday song. I'll see you on the flip side!
Friday, December 18, 2009
For those slightly less than young - did the outfit remind you of anything? Maybe this next photo will help:
Well, let me share with you what popped into my head when I saw her...actually, this video will do it better:
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Whom seek ye in the sepulchre, O Christians?
Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified O Angel
He is not here. He is arisen. As He foretold
Go, announce that He is arisen from the grave.
Theater started when someone stood up around a campfire and told a
story. Drama started with words. The first movies were silent.
Film started with images.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Films for me come in a couple of categories:
Wednesday: Watch with care, pay attention
Friday: Relax, enjoy, have a beer or a martini
About a month ago I watched Army of Shadows (L'armee des ombres) the 1969 film by Jean-Pierre Melville that describes the daily life of those in the resistance during World War 2. At first, I thought I'd fall asleep during the movie since I was soooo tired from doing my show and the film is in French. But I was wrong; I was hooked from the beginning. The funny thing is that the film is not action-packed at all. Instead it looks at the mundane yet psychologically difficult toil of being in the resistance. It's very different from, say, Defiance, a great film but much more Hollywoodized. Where Defiance has action, love, and enemies, Army of Shadows has worried protagonists struggling with carrying out their orders.
Definitely a Wednesday movie and highly recommended if you like that sort of thing.
Last Friday, Brian and I watched Traitor with Don Cheadle and Guy Pearce. This film so wanted to be a Wednesday night, pay attention to me movie but it's much more of a Friday night have a beer film. Don Cheadle and Guy Pearce do well with the roles they are given but they aren't given much. The camera spends way too much time on people walking down a hall or driving. I don't understand the purpose of these "non-scenes." I usually get bored by this and open another a beer. Traitor reminded me of The Departed at one point but The Departed was so much better. Actually, if you liked The Departed, watch Infernal Affairs, a movie by Wai-keung lau which was the film Martin Scorsese riffed off of when he made The Departed. Infernal Affairs is much tighter and in my opinion much better. Of course, I watched the film a week before seeing The Departed so I'm not sure if that had anything to do with it.
So: See Traitor w/a beer or 2, even a martini. You don't want to pay too much attention but it's entertaining.
See The Departed - it's long--you could totally have a beer or 2 and enjoy it.
Definitely see Infernal Affairs, it's not necessarily a Wednesday movie but it could be. It's just good with or without the beer.
I did see The Men Who Star at Goats in the theater a couple of weeks ago. I had meant to go out for drinks with a friend but she cancelled and my kids begged me to go out so they could have a sitter (Brian was away on business), I'm not sure what that says about my parenting skills... I say this all because while The Men Who Stare at Goats isn't the greatest film ever made, it's enjoyable as an escape. The actors: Kevin Spacey, George Clooney, Ewan McGregor, and Jeff Bridges don't work too hard at acting but they do seem to be enjoying themselves.
So: Friday night, have a beer or a martini, don't think to much, just enjoy.
I did watch The Happening (M. Night Shayalaman) with Mark Wahlberg, Zooey Deschannel, and John Leguizamo, a couple of days ago. Run, do not walk in the opposite direction if someone suggests this film. It was so poorly done and poorly acted and just plain poor. The only bright spot for me was that one of my actors from The Seafarer was an extra in the film and I recognized him. And that was the only part of the movie that I liked. 3 martinis cannot help this film.
Monday, December 14, 2009
I've been around to read everyone's blogs except that I haven't been commenting due to time constraints but I swear I've read them all!
In lieu of an awe-inspiring post, I'm going to share two "holiday" videos.
The first is pretty liberal:
The second is just good fun:
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Monday, December 7, 2009
Okay, so I don't like to grill but I do enjoy a good burger, and so do my kids. I had ground beef in the freezer so I decided to de-frost it for dinner on Saturday. Saturdays were always burger night when I was growing up. I can still see my dad standing over the charcoal grill, rain or shine, making the burgers. You see, I'm the youngest of 7 and all my siblings are picky eaters. My mother made life easier for herself by having a meal for every day of the week--Sundays were roast beef, Mondays were leftovers, etc.--and Saturdays were burgers and potato chips. I still have a weakness for potato chips. Once she made pea soup and nobody liked it so we were all (all 7 of us) sent to bed without supper. After that it was burgers, roast beef, spaghetti, etc.
Sunday, December 6, 2009
C'mon, pretty good looking cast you have to admit!
Friday, December 4, 2009
- Raked the leaves on the lawn
- Perused the newspaper and read all the movie reviews (it is Oscar season after all)
- Decided to run out to the store to pick up a present for the birthday party my son is going to. Ended up buying candles and a new napkin holder because really, the napkins shouldn't have to live in the perfectly functional basket they are in right now! Oh no, they need the stainless steel Europa model I ended up buying. Oh yeah, and I totally forgot the birthday present.
- Went running. I really, really wanted to run 12 miles but stopped after 10. My MP3 player gave out after 9 miles so I had to run in near silence, the only noise (besides the traffic) was the sound of my knees complaining. And you know, those knees are really loud.
- Had to stretch and shower after the run.
- Read a few blogs.
- Polished a candlestick for the candle I bought.
- Decided to blog about not raking instead of raking.
And now, it's much too late to start raking now. I mean it's going to be dark soon (well, in a couple of hours) and the kids will be home. I wouldn't want to be considered a neglectful mother by not meeting them at the bus stop. I don't know how the hours slip away from me. The person who said you can have it all--you know the perfect napkin holder and a raked lawn--probably had a lawn boy.
What's a girl to do?
Have a good weekend everyone!!
Thursday, December 3, 2009
That happened to me this summer when I was up in Vermont visiting my mother. I told my friend, Mo, that I would be in Burlington but I probably wouldn't get a chance to see her. She lives 3 hours away in Brattleboro. So Mo got in her car with her daughter and they came up to spend the afternoon and have dinner. Although we don't talk a lot during our regular lives, I never ran our of things to say or talk with her about. Our daughters got along as well which really made me smile.
Another good college friend, Traci, flew up from LA to see me in San Francisco when I was there for my birthday last year. What a wonderful thing for her to do! We spent the day touring wineries in Napa valley with Brian and some other friends of ours who flew out to help me celebrate my birthday as well. Now, these other friends are buddies of Brian's from college so it was rather a mixed up college reunion you might say. As a result, Traci, my college friend is dating Steve, Brian's college friend which I find rather cool.
And lastly, I have this terrific friend Joe whom I met my junior year of high school. We met at a summer drama camp at Yale university and discovered we both lived in Vermont. Both of us ended up at the University of Vermont and we were almost inseparable our freshman year. He had to take a French class and I wrote his papers for him. Now, he comes down from New York City to see all my shows that stage manage and he even makes mixed CDs for me and my daughter.
When I went to college my mother said, "These are the friends you will have for the rest of your life." And, truer words were never spoken. Mo, Joe, and Traci have put up with me for over 20 years and the affection I feel for them cannot be put into words. So here's a video which I think says it all. For those of you who don't know, I LOVE The Supremes and in college, Mo, Traci and I would dress up and lip synch to The Supremes at theater events.
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Oh! but he was tight-fisted hand at the grindstone, Scrooge! a squeezing,
wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous, old sinner!
So brilliant and the music of the words!
Monday, November 30, 2009
In my mind, I'd say something really witty and he'd laugh and we'd get to talking. Maybe we'd even be friends. He might invite me to France to meet Hugh, his partner. Hey, I had an hour's drive to work on this fantasy.
Yeah, I know, not so much with the witty.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
- Being able to run at 10 am or whenever during the day, except when I'm working..
- I work in theater - how cool is that!
- My kids are cool. I'm serious. I find them fascinating and adorable and so damn cool. I wish I was cool when I was that young. And their friends are cool.
- My friends are fabulous! I don't know how they put up with me. I ramble on and on sometimes, and they know just when to comment. Plus, I've reconnected or stayed connected with so many so thanks Facebook!
- The blogging community I've gotten to know over the past year. How fantabulous are they? I could spend all day reading their blogs and comments and never writing another post in my entire life.
- My life: I get to run, spend time with my kids, work in theater, hang with my friends, and read fantastic blogs. I am seriously grateful.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
I'd call him, Matt Fat (in my head I would spell it with 2 "t's" so it was just like Matt: Matt Fatt.) He'd say, "Kate Late." and I'd answer, "Matt Fatt."
There was neither rhyme nor reason to these nicknames. My brother, a runner for over 30 years, is not and has never been fat.
And I, well, I'm never late. Ever.
Okay, yes, I'm late every once in a while but it's rare and it usually is because of outside forces...traffic, plague, tornadoes, etc.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
As I look back over this past year, I realize how much running has influenced my life. I used to worry so much about accomplishing "stuff" during the day. When I stage manage a show, I work A LOT but when I'm not doing a show, my days are my own for the most part. Oh, I have to get the kids to school and dinner on the table but the in-between is up to me.
So I'd worry that I wasn't busy enough. Everyone else talked about their hectic lives and I'd think, "What is wrong with me?"
Running has changed that perspective for me. Slowing plodding along, one step at a time, trying to get closer to the goal: life isn't a sprint to the end (at least for me), it's one step at a time. So now I worry less about how much I've accomplished and I worry much more about what I want to accomplish: I run, I volunteer, I bake and sometimes I clean and I'm doing just fine.
I don't compare myself to others either. I've run a few races in the past year never worrying about how anyone else was doing. I'm running for me; to see how I can do. And, I'll admit it, I'm rather proud of my quiet little life when I'm not doing a show. I have time for my kids, time for fun, time for...running.
Part of this new attitude I owe to the book Born to Run by Christopher McDougall. It's a wonderful book, really well written, and I highly recommend to anyone who likes a good read (even the non-runners). He really expresses the joy and simplicity of running and why people love to run. He also de-bunks a lot of running myths such as: running hurts, people shouldn't run, you need certain gear to be a good runner. Running should be low-stress and so should life. I hope we all find that something that helps us in our everyday life. It doesn't have to be running, that's just what worked for me.
I'm still a slow runner (and I think I've gotten slower as I've upped the miles) but I run and I bake and I love it. So in honor of the book and the hobby that has given me a new lease on life, here's a video of someone who has clearly found something he loves to do; lucky for the rest of us, he's pretty good at it.
Monday, November 16, 2009
Anyway, there's a line that goes:
It comes from a short poem by Frances Darwin Cornford (a granddaughter of Charles Darwin), about Rupert Brooke, one of the most preeminent English war poets of World War One. The entire poem reads:
There is something so freeing in those last two lines. No one ever tells a young person,"Yeah, you'll have some great times but sometimes you'll be bored or overworked or overworked and bored and won't be able to see the end." Or, have you ever heard a commencement speaker say,"You'll do great things graduates, take the road less traveled, etc. And, oh yeah, there will be bills to pay and diapers to change, and just when you think you're on top of the world, your spouse is going to call and wonder why you didn't pick up milk."
Now, I know that sounds just awful but it's true. Life isn't one long, glorious climb to the top. In reality, there are bills to pay and work to do and milk to buy. And for some reason, having someone put that sentiment into a work of art just makes it seem easier to handle. As if it's okay to acknowledge the monotony; or even that there is company in the boredom.
I guess I can sum it up best with yet another quote from The History Boys:
The best moments in reading (and I would add art/theater to this) are when
you come across something -- a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at
things -- which you had thought special and particular to you. Now here it
is, set down by someone else, a person you have never met, someone even who
is long dead. And it is as if a hand has come out and taken yours.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Alexander Graham Bell patented his telephone invention in 1876, just hours before Elisha Grey patented his device to transmit speech electronically.
Yes, indeed, the first words spoken over the telephone were by Mr. Bell and they were: "Mr. Watson, come here, I want to see you."
The first telephone at the White House was installed in 1877, under President Hayes. The telephone number: 1.
In 1888, a coin operated telephone was patented by William Gray.
In 1892, long distance service opened between New York and Chicago.
The first song about the telephone was "Hello My Baby" in 1899.
"Hello Frisco, Hello New York", was written in 1915, to commemorate the first phone call between....you guessed it: San Francisco and New York City.
One of the earliest fake numbers used in movies was: 555-2106, used in Panic in the Year Zero, 1962.
867-5309/Jenny was released in 1981, and created the fad of calling that number and asking for....Do I really need to tell you? Jenny.
In 1958, Wichita Falls, Texas was the first American city to institute true number calling: 7 digits without letters or names.
In 1935, the first automatic answering machine was invented by Willy Muller. The 3 feet tall machine was popular with Orthodox Jews forbidden from answering the phone on the Sabbath.
The first cell phone call was made on April 3, 1973, by Martin Cooper.
The Guinness Book of World Records lists the first whisper in the current record holding Telephone Game as "They inherited the earth and then the army came and scorched it."
Early touch-tone phones had only 10 buttons. The * and # buttons were added circa 1968, for advanced functions.
Saturday, November 7, 2009
No sir, can I stop you? With a poem or any work of art you can't say in
other words. That's why it's a work of art in the first place, there are no
other words. You can't look at a Rembrandt and say in other words can you?
Friday, November 6, 2009
On Wednesday, I went out for a run. I'm training for Philly's half-marathon so I decided to try 12 miles again. I had done it once before but needed to know I could still run that long. People will say that you don't have to run the entire length of the race before running the race, but I don't believe them. In the middle of the Broad Street Run--which was 10 miles--I was trying to figure out how to quit. I only finished because I had nowhere else to go.
So I'm out on Wednesday, and 1 1/2 hours into my run (oh yeah, I run slow, 10 minute miles, veeerrrrry slooooooow), and a woman pulls her car over to me with the window rolled down leaning out to ask me a question.
While I'm running.
I have running shorts on, sneakers, a baseball cap, a water bottle strapped to my ass, and HEADPHONES! And, by the way, I'm running. Do I look like I want to stop and chat?
We were in Glenside, in the middle of the day. There are TONS of places to stop to ask for directions, why do you have to stop someone in the middle of her run? I kept running because I never would have finished the 12 miles if I had stopped.
Turns out, she's not the only idiot. My husband, Brian, was out running in Philadelphia when a tourist asked him where he could find the Rocky steps (never mind they are the Art Museum steps). Brian, being soooo much nicer than I, told him. This tourist proceeded to regale Brian with how far he had walked that day and that 3 more blocks probably wouldn't kill him.
Does this guy really believe that Brian (who's running) gives a rat's ass about his physical activity for the day?
I know we should be compassionate human beings but do I really have to be nice to someone who doesn't pick up his context clues?
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
So without further ado:
What You Don't Know About Halloween
Witches come and witches go,
The pale white ghosts begin to glow.
The scared children begin to shake,
Goblins gather at every gate.
The monster's evil, the light is poor,
Vampires enter at every door.
Darkness looms within the air,
Not an hour it can spare.
Jack-o-lanterns begin to eye,
Everything wih no surprise.
Then dawn breaks and begins to pry,
Open the darkness, and blue comes alive.
And every ghost just fades away.
And every ghoul rests their play.
As a bright blue guard begins to build,
And all the children, no longer chilled.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Another drink celebrating opening night because it's going to be a mess out there anyway.
Wet, sleeting rain that barrels down from they sky and delays game 5.
Relief at not having to be in Center City when Brad Lidge throws that last strike out.
Pajama-clad faithful wandering dazed through the blocked off street of my sleepy hamlet.
Daddy stuck and missing trick-or-treating as the city tries to cope with the millions of fans attending the parade.
Another beer after a different show because it's going to be a mess out there.
Actors insisting on walking to Broad Street to join in the city's joy.
Circuitous routes around the city, knowing what streets to avoid.
All right with me because.....
Monday, October 19, 2009
Friday, October 16, 2009
Here's an example: I choose David Bowie so I say my person's last name begins with B. Matt then asks me: Was your person involved in the baseball steroid scandal?
If I know who is talking about, I'd say: No I'm not Barry Bonds. And if I don't know then Matt can ask me a yes or no question about my person: Is it a man? Is he a singer? etc. Then the next person tries to stump me with another celebrity whose last name begins with B. 1980's TV stars work really well here. It keeps going until someone guesses David Bowie.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
I don't think anyone means to omit the crew but it happens. Perhaps, it's because of the conceit that if you wear black backstage, you won't be seen. Who knows?
But, after a long weekend of shows, I realized how much easier a show is when the crew is competent and pleasant--a key trait when we're doing 5 shows in a weekend. Crew members can become like an ersatz family especially after spending 70-80 hours with them during tech. We become each other's sounding boards and drinking buddies--a post show beer is a great way to let off steam.
They can also make my job much easier. I no longer have to worry about setting up backstage, I can just ask my ASM (Eric Snell in this case) if props are set and if he says, "yes," I know they are set. I can also call on them to go above and beyond. Larry Fowler is the sound board operator and I've worked with him on several shows. During The Seafarer, I had to rehearse an understudy so he jumped in and helped set up backstage so I could continue to rehearse.
Oh, and by the way, neither Eric nor Larry complain much about what they have to do. They are like walking Nike commercials; they just do it.
A previous Assistant Stage Manager of mine, Alec Farrell is now Stage Managing at the Arden. But he still jumps in and helps me out whenever I need it. An actor was late for the show one night and he took my car to try to find him. It's that spirit of "What can I do to help things run smoother," that makes a production so pleasant to work on.
Unfortunately, the crew is not often recognized as much as they should be. Although, Maureen Torsney-Weir, the only actress in The History Boys, made a point of complimenting the entire crew when we were in the green room. She said that all of us worked so well together and that we all made the backstage a nice place to be.
I was so excited that she mentioned all of crew when she did that. So I'm joining Ms. Torsney-Weir and raising my pint to the crew! Cheers guys!
Friday, October 9, 2009
Thursday, October 8, 2009
I did have a small collection of pens from around the United States. When I worked at the Kennedy Center in DC, I was in charge of a children's tour. They would tour the country and send me pens from wherever they were. I didn't start the collection, the tours would just send them to me.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Anyway, I have trouble on my computer viewing videos embedded in blogs. I have to follow a link or look it up on YouTube. For some reason the embedded videos do not show up. So I'm going to post the link to the Arden blog in the hopes that your computer doesn't have the issues that mine does. If it does, perhaps we could start a support group.
The video post was made on opening day for The History Boys after a looooong tech process. The reason for the disclamer is that they did interview me and it did end up on the blog post. So now, you can see what I look like (I'm not actually a stick figure with a permanent headset and martini). I usually do not like having my picture taken or anything of that sort (one of the many reasons I like stage managing) but the boys convinced me that I don't look that bad. Just remember it was after a loooong tech process.
Also, it'll give you a glance backstage at the Arden and a look at some of my boys. Here's the link:
For those gluttons out there, here is a link to some video of the last show that I worked on, The Seafarer. One of the actors, Brian Russell who played Richard, is back at the Arden working on Rabbit Hole which opens in late October in the upstairs theater. He's one of my favorite actors. And since I did write a bit about Seafarer, I thought it might be fun to show some of it.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Monday, October 5, 2009
We finally opened The History Boys last Wednesday. Tech was difficult for this show because it's so big. We have 22 transitions that all have music set to them. For the week prior to opening, we rehearsed all day and then ran the show at night. It's not a short show so it made for a very long day. Here's the Assistant Director's take on tech, as told in haiku.
The day after opening, my daughter filmed a television commercial; her first one. She's been interested in acting and modeling so we signed up with an agency. I'm not sure how far she'll go with it. Anyway, the agency had called me a week earlier to say that this commercial was a possibility. They e mailed me the information but sent it to the wrong e mail address so I never got it. The agency never bothered to call me to see if I received it. So the morning after opening, I received an irate phone call from the production company asking where my daughter was. I had gone back to bed because I was up late the night before celebrating opening. I threw some clothes on, took my daughter out of school and drove off to spend the day at the commercial shoot. My daughter loved it. I was just glad that I hadn't had too much to drink the night before. Being tired is one thing. Being tired and hungover just sucks!
Needless to say I gave the agency a piece of my mind. I also spoke with the production company after and they assured me they blamed the agency as well. It was just one more thing to deal with.
On Friday, I took the train into Philly to protest the Arts Tax. Can you believe the state government wanted impose a tax on all performing arts and cultural institutions in order to balance the budget? Not chewing tobacco or cigars but the performing arts! Seriously, what did the performing arts ever do to the government? Cigars ruin your health so let's tax something that actually enriches your life. A bunch of theaters organized a protest and I felt I had to go. I really wanted to stay home and veg but what if everyone did that? I've heard that it is almost guaranteed not to pass the state senate which is good news.
Then, over the weekend we had 5 shows (1 on Friday and 2 each on Saturday and Sunday). I am wiped. Tonight is the Barrymore Awards which is the local Award ceremony for Philadelphia Theaters. I had thought about going but I'm glad I'm not. It'll be nice to see my family for once. After reading Brian Miller's post about couples splitting because they are leading separate lives, I'm doubly glad I'm not going.
Tomorrow, is the understudy approval run for The History Boys. The understudies perform the play on the set with lights and video and props. It allows the Arden to make sure that the understudies are capable enough to go on if an actor calls out. It's always fun to see the same play performed by different actors. Of course, at the moment I'm just feeling that it's one more thing I have to do.
There's a great line in the play: History, it's just one fucking thing after another. Sometimes, my life feels like that.
Monday, September 14, 2009
At least, I hope so. The show currently runs 3 hours. The good news: it does not feel like 3 hours at all; it's so engaging. The bad news: It runs 3 hours.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Although, I have to say, it's been easier with this show than with most. A few weeks ago, I blogged about some of my worries going into rehearsal. My biggest fear: would I get along with the cast?
And the answer is a resounding YES! This cast is amazing! I love them all! The boys, and yeah they are 21-30, but still they are boys, are so polite and nice and funny. And not to leave anyone out, there are 3 older actors (older than 30) in the show, and they are just as great. Take tonight for example, we did a run thru of Act One, and I took line notes (I jotted down when an actor missed a line or changed a word). When I approached each actor to let them know his mistake, each one said, "Oh great I'm so glad you took notes." Many times, an actor gets annoyed with me for doing this. Yeah, you messed up the line and it's my fault?
And, everyone is so into the play, really in it. There are--so far--17 transitions in the show during which the boys come on stage and re-configure the desks and tables into different rooms such as the classroom, the staff room, etc. And these boys learned these transitions so quickly and remember them. Of course, it could be their youth and the fact they don't have children on which blow all their brain cells. But still it's impressive.
Can you tell I'm really excited to work with this cast? So in honor of the boys, here's a link to, of course, Let's Hear it for the Boy
I cannot figure out how to embed a video into my blog. Also, I'm going to get around to everyone's blog this week, just as soon as those kids get on that bus!
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
I ran 4 1/2 miles one day, then 6 miles another day; I thought I'd just keep going. And I did for a while...then summer hit and the heat and my kids were home and I had trouble finding the time or the energy.
I am one of those people who believes things have to turn out perfectly or its a complete and utter failure and why did I think I could do it in the first place? I know, what am I? 12?
But I read a running book--well, part of a running book because it was really poorly written and I had trouble getting through it. An expert on running does not an expert on writing make--that said that every run should be a learning run, even bad runs.
There's my Oprah AHA moment!
Now, I'm getting it, and I'm learning that:
- I need sleep. More so than I need to run. I'm not one of those people whose eyes pop open at 6 am eager to run. My eyes never pop open for any reason and 6 am, well, that's too bloody early.
- I need to drink more water, lots more water. I ran 5 miles one morning. Did not drink much water that day then went out that night. Couldn't run for two days. Water, who knew it was that important?
- I can't start out running too fast. On some days, I feel so good I run faster at the start and then poop out at mile 2. Slow and steady wins with miles.
- Heat sucks. Can't really sugar-coat that one.
See, you can teach an old dog new tricks!
Monday, August 31, 2009
I love the fall movie schedule (because many are Oscar contenders) but after reading so many short descriptions, they all seem to blend into one another, and I end reading some weird descriptions (especially before coffee):
- A waitress traces the world's dependence on oil in this animated family classic
A teen pursues his dream girl, the only US Marshall in Antarctica, who is racing to catch a killer who lives vicariously through robots.
Kate wakes up early to go for a run and spends the rest of the day trying to recover her lost sleep.
On her one day off, a Stage Manager has 24 hours to make her house livable for her family for another week.
Sounds so much more exciting than what I'm actually going to do.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
The play takes place in a "sixth-form classroom in a boys' school in the eighties in the north of England..." So, first we had to learn about the general education system in England and what the heck a "sixth form classroom" is. A sixth form class, by the way, is where students study for their entrance exams into universities. The play itself deals with the idea of learning for learning's sake and learning in order to gain entrance into a prestigious university like Cambridge or Oxford.
But in addition to understanding the education system in England and the poetical references scattered throughout the play, the boys (and they are boys, most of them are in their early to mid-twenties) have to learn the dialect, a smattering of french, movie references, and a few songs. This is all before we get up on our feet to learn blocking and lines.
Just for fun, here's a list of some of the literary references in the play:
- A.E. Houseman, Loveliest of Trees, the Cherry Now
- Shakespeare, Othello, King Lear, and Hamlet
- Philip Larkin, The Trees
- J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye
- W.H. Auden, Letter to Lord Byron
- Wilfred Owen, Dulce et Decorum Est
- Rudyard Kipling
- Franz Kafka, The Trial
That's been a lot of fun, watching these guys re-enact the hokiest scenes from Brief Encounter, The Seventh Veil, and Now, Voyager.
But I love this type of play with things happening every minute and in several different spaces. Call me a total scheduling geek but I get a kick out of figuring out where and when and how everything is going to fit together. And, I love being in the thick of it all.
So, I guess I could say, on this date in History Boys, the circus came to town.