Monday, July 31, 2006

Massage Guy

OK, since I made such a big deal about the directions in New England being ridiculous compared to the rest of the world, I had to post this. It's been a while since I wrote these down, but I'll do the best I can.

The directions to the massage guy in Belchertown, from his mouth:

OK, it's about 15 minutes from the bridge. Do you know which one I'm talking about? OK. About 5 minutes from Hampshire. Does that help? Right. After the bridge, just past the Getty gas station, take the right fork. Drive until you see a stop sign on your right. That's Bay Road. OK, take a right at the stop sign. And go two miles down that road. It's Bay Road. Right. Now, you're going to see a blinking light. Go past that. The road curves. Just follow the curve, don't worry, it'll get straight again. Then you're going to take Bay Road left (towards Hampshire College). Do you know where that is? Drive about three or four miles and you'll see Atkins Fruit Farm. Don't turn there. Go straight. After that, there will be a cross in the road, the road comes to an X, there are some streets that come together in a cross. Bear left on that. No no, take the right fork of the X. It'll lead you downhill - that's Bay Road. You're going to see a storage shed facility. Do you know what I mean? One of those places where people keep their stuff when they have too much stuff and it doesn't fit in their house? OK, past the storage shed facility is an intersection. You're going to take Old Bay Road left. I'm in the gray house with blue trim. It's a gray and blue house. There're a lot of bushes out front, you might not see it, but it's gray and blue. Do you know how to get to that bridge I was talking about?

Much New England love,

Sunday, July 30, 2006

This one time at Shakespeare camp...

This is the part where Jen teaches Rachael to blog...

Here she is...

So,last night Ariana was a very bad wing man,according to the winner of the battle of the bands! But that's okay because we all know that no one even noticed the rest of the "friends" group when Ariana busted out her hawt lioness action on the stage yesterday morning. Damn girl! Am she real?

Friday, July 28, 2006

Sandy's Post on "Second Sleep"

Posted by Sandy Mack -- by way of Michael Wilson

I took the liberty of posting Sandy's blog entry, since this is where he really wanted it to go. You'll find it immediately below.

-- Michael

"Second sleep"--the article. Here is the URL for an important and fascinating article about sleep in early times, probably for ordinary folk in Shakespeare's time, and never, sadly, for you and me. Sandy Mack

Second Sleep

Wherein I Unpack A New Level Of Nerd

Please note the shiny new Stat Counter at the bottom of the sidebar. Imagine the nerdy delight of knowing just how many people load this page!!

Amanda and I squealed like girls (albeit very jaded and subdued girls) at the prospect. And then there was the HTML installing!! And the poking about in the template!!!

Wonderful. The vibrations came from down low and I gave a generous sigh of relief.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Cheryl's recipes

Here are the recipes for the delicious treats Cheryl gave us at her presentation this morning: Enjoy, you ambitious souls!

Elizabethan Era Ginger Bread (serves 8)

1 cup honey
A generous 1/4 teaspoon powdered ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground licorice
1 3/4 cup dry bread crumbs
1 tablespoon anise seeds

1. In the top of a double broiler, heat the honey. Add the spices except the anise seeds and stir to blend.
2. Add bread crumbs and mix thoroughly. Cover and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes. The mixture should be thick and moist.
3. Place the ginger bread on a large sheet of waxed paper. Fold up the sides of the paper and mold the dough into small rectangular shapes.
4. Sprinkle the anise seeds on top and press them gently into the dough with the side of a knife.
5. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.
6. Serve the ginger bread at room temperature in thin slices.

Elizabethan Era Fine Cakes (yields 25 small cakes)

6 ounces of butter (1 1/2 sticks) at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg yolk - beaten
1 3/4 cups of sifted flour
1/2 teaspoon mace
Pinch of ground saffron
1 egg white

1) In a bowl, cream the butter. Add the sugar and beat until fluffy.
2) Add the egg yolk and beat until thoroughly blended.
3) In another bowl, combine the sifted flour and spices, stirring to distribute evenly.
4) Sift the dry ingredients into a bowl containing butter and sugar mixture. Combine by stirring with your hands.
5) Press the mixture into a 9" square baking pan.
6) Bake at 325 degrees for 45 minutes or until the cake feels firm when pressed lightly in the center.
7) Cut into squares while the cake is still hot.
8) Cool in the pan on a wire rack.

Thanks Cheryl!

Hurray! The Shirt Design!!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Let the Geekfest Begin!

Yet another message from Michael

If you haven't seen this already, it's worth a look. Star Wars: Macbeth is a 17-minute film made by a middle school teacher and his drama classes. You'll need Quicktime to view it. There's also a trailer on the site in the event you'd prefer a small taste of the geekiness rather than the complete experience of the entire 17 minute opus.



Monday, July 24, 2006

Since You Can See The Link Anyway...

Some of you have already found your way onto my regular blog. If you haven't, I invite you to! I've maintained it for about three years and have enjoyed finding my voice as a writer there. I have made friends , discussed issues, and was even mentioned in an NEA Today article on teacher blogs last fall.

Here are some of my favorite entries:

Enjoy at your leisure.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Thank you all for a lovely Birthday. I could not imagine any better way to spend the day than with all of you good people.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Shakespeare Wallah

From the people who brought you Howard's End, The Bostonians,The Remains of the Day, and A Room with a View (and others)...comes Shakespeare Wallah.

wallah • noun Indian or informal a person of a specified kind or having a specified role. — ORIGIN from a Hindi suffix meaning ‘doer’ (commonly taken to mean fellow).

"Director James Ivory's 1965 film tells the story of a struggling English troupe of Shakespearean actors (called Shakespeariana) that goes on tour in India at a time when English influence is on the wane. When the troupe's caravan breaks down, an Indian playboy stops to help, creating drama of, well, Shakespearean proportions. The film explores familiar themes of social displacement (a staple of later Merchant-Ivory movies)." --Internet Movie Database
See the website for a more detailed description of this beautiful and moving film that also includes scenes from Twelfth Night, Macbeth and more.


When I Say Minutiae, I Always Think Of The Mexican Boy Band That Kicks Guys Out At Sixteen. Nevertheless, Here Is Some...

The link I mentioned Saturday morning for "Report Projects" can be found here. Sandra Effinger is one of my all time favorite presenters, you (and by you, I mean you.) should find many other great ideas if you tool around on her site.

Secondly, entertainment. I'd love to see others of you take this totally unscientific quiz and comment with your results...

You Are a Auditory Learner
You tend to remember what you hear, and you have a knack for speaking well excel at debating, foreign languages, and music would be an excellent diplomat - or rock star!

Speaking of Titus...

Another message from Michael...

Please click the following link to answer a two-question survey concerning "Titus." It will help me with "pre-production research."

Titus or Midsummer?



Titus Photo

Over lunch today, this photo from the New York Times of a production of "Titus" running in Stratford was brought up. It is a stunning image, so I thought you may want to see it. The NYT article can be found here.


Friday, July 21, 2006

So, what the heck is audio theater, anyway?

A Message from Michael

During this institute, I've told quite a few people about my involvement in audio theater. I've even mentioned my dubious distinction of being "well-known" in the audio theater community. And the inevitable question emerges: what is audio theater?

The answer is pretty simple. Audio theater is theater written "for the ear" (I was gratified to learn this week that it was common for people in Elizabeth's day to say, "let's go hear a play"). This art form was once referred to as "radio drama," but since most productions are now created for the CD/MP3/ipod market, it's now called audio theater. Think of it as "Old Time Radio" with cutting-edge production values.

I thought some links to web sites might be more illuminating than any detailed explanation I might try to give.

The National Audio Theater Festivals, Inc. will give you lots of information about the national association and its members. has lots of information about the art of audio theater, and about many of the companies that are producing audio theater today.

EYE Hear Voices Audio Theater is a little web-based storefront for my audio theater company.

Seeing Ear Theater is an archive space at the Sci-Fi Channel's website that features amazing audio theater performances from the Sci-Fi, Horror, and Fantasy genres. You can listen on-line for free. Browse through the list of plays, and you'll find performances by folks like Steve Buscemi, Andre Braugher, Bebe Neuwirth, Brian Dennehy, and many other easy-to-misspell names!

That's probably enough to get you started. If you want to know any more about audio theater, please let me know.

And in case this post seems a bit "off-topic," let me just say these two things:

The voice work we do each day is of critical importance to voice actors, because the voice becomes a character's entire presence in audio theater, and;

NATF is seriously considering doing an All-Shakespeare theme for next year's National Workshop!

Joy to you all!


Thursday, July 20, 2006


After a bit of research, Kodak seems to be the best online photo-sharing website I've found so far. I've set up an account for our group, which you are all welcome to sign into. In fact, please do. You will have to download their software to upload photos, but it's free and pretty user-friendly. If I find a better option, I will let you know. Otherwise, I hope to see all of those pictures that have been taken lately appearing here soon!
The username, by the way, is
The password is the same as the one for blogging
(I'm not posting it here, just for privacy's sake. If you've forgotten it, come talk to me).


Fresh From My Loss To Edith Wharton...

Northampton movie times can be found here. Now if only we can agree on a weather site...

Jennifer v. Edith

Jennifer's response when we discovered we were locked out of the Mount on Wednesday.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


This blog is by and for the participants of the 2006 National Institute on Teaching Shakespeare. Links, thoughts, questions, and quotes are all welcome here. Like our institute, this blog will be defined by the contributors. So enjoy!

As Sir Toby says, "Be curst and brief; it is no matter how witty, so it be eloquent and fun of invention." :)