Saturday, September 22, 2007

A Dream

I had a dream that I was starting at a new school, only it was a haunted plantation and my theater was the old barn. Oh, and Tina Packer was the principal...


Thursday, September 20, 2007


Anyone else going to be there? I've just gotten partial funding and approval to go!!!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Long Live Caesar!

So Michael Cremonini is directing Julius Caesar for the Fall Festival of Shakespeare (the program where the Shakespeare & Co people go into the high schools and direct plays), and the word on the street is that he never thought it could be done until our Institute got him excited about the play. So I say "Yay us!"
I still haven't chosen my script for the Festival, but my assistant and I are furiously narrowing down our choices. We're going to see who turns up at auditions before we pick, but right now our short list includes Shrew, 1 Henry IV, and Winter's Tale. Anyone out there have experience working with teenagers on any of those scripts? Words of wisdom? Warning?

hoping you are all well,
Viva la Revolution!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Because YOU Will Understand

I need to tell some people who get it about my latest administration-frustration:

My administrators recently informed me that they've scheduled the city's symphony to perform at our school, in our auditorium. Cool, right? I like the symphony, and they deserve the exposure.

Except it's the day before my fall play. And they need the whole stage.

Me: Um... my play is that week, though.
Assistant Principal: I know. But it's not till the next day, so I figured the stage would be free.
Me: (trying to keep up the facade of a supportive, pleasing suck-up that I've established for my principal) Well... I guess we could still rehearse after school. But what about the set?
AP: The set? Oh. I didn't think about that. Couldn't you just put it up after the concert? They should be gone by 1:30.
Me: But that's our dress rehearsal. We need that rehearsal, we can't spend all that afternoon putting our set up the day before the show.
AP: Huh. (Long pause) What if you just put a set, like, on the outsides of the stage and left the middle of it empty for the orchestra?


(If any of you have any experience with either video-projected sets or if you know where I can get a set that pops up like a camping tent, let me know.)

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Donors Choose

I wanted to make sure you all know about the website Donors Choose. You can upload a proposal for materials or, when you accumulate enough points, field trips and guest speakers. You write about why you want these things for your class, how many students it will help, and how many of your kids are poverty level. Then the proposal is posted and people give you money. Seriously. It's that easy.

Go here for more info.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Junior High Issues

What do you do with students who refuse to participate? (I have students who were placed in drama without requesting it)

Also: I placed students in groups and asked them to invent a new sport to teach the class. They had guidelines and an example. They all just stood in groups and shrugged and said, "I dont' know." and "Whatever." What do I do? They have no imagination and no desire to have one.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Open House, Closed Minds

A Play in One Act

Lights up on a classroom. Parents are milling out of the room after a presentation by the handsome young teacher. One mom lingers to talk one-on-one.

MOM: Hi, I just wanted to thank you for teaching here. My daughter loves your class.

ME: Oh, that’s very nice to hear.

MOM: You seem compassionate and excited, and I think you’re going to teach my daughter a lot this year.

ME: How nice, thank you.

MOM: Anyway, I just wanted to meet you, and thank you for what you do, and ask you a question that I ask of all my daughter’s teachers: what’s your religious background?

ME: … huh?

MOM: Your religious background. Are you religious?

ME: … I’d rather not talk about that while I’m at work.

MOM: Okay.

The mom smiles and leaves. The teacher stands, bewildered, then runs off to find a couple of colleagues in the hall to gossip.

ME: I just had a mom ask me what my religious background was.

COLLEAGUE #1: What?!

COLLEAGUE #2: That’s crazy!

ME: Okay, so that’s not a regular thing here? I thought maybe it was some odd local custom.

COLLEAGUE #1: No, that’s never happened to me.

COLLEAGUE #2: Who is her daughter?

The teacher shows them the daughter's name on the roll.

COLLEAGUE #1: Seriously? I have her first period and the mom didn’t ask me that.

COLLEAGUE #2: I also have her, and the mom didn’t say anything like that to me either.

ME: … Then what the hell is going on? Do I have horns, or something? Is the Inquisition localized to fourth period teachers? Is there something about me that makes her think I’m going to throw her daughter into a volcano?




Monday, September 03, 2007

R & J issues

Anyone have any ideas how to do the kissing scene in R & J without the kissing?