Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Is That a Koala in Your Pocket...?

One of my kids in class today tried to comment on the big fight scene "between Tybalt and Marsupial".

What favorite name-mistakes have you heard lately?

Monday, February 25, 2008

Shakespeare and the Language that Shaped a World

From the "you never know where life will take you next" files:
Today was our first performance of Shakespeare and the Language that Shaped a World. It's a 45 minute piece that Kevin wrote which mixes information about Shakespeare's life and times with scenes and monologues from his plays, tracing his development as a writer and some of the themes that weave throughout his works. There's also a whole lot of silliness, as you might imagine. We'll be touring it around to schools this spring (it's not the tour of Midsummer that is wending its way across New England from S&Co; this is the education artists from the spring elementary and middle schools teams, plus the guy who was dressed like a Mountie in Servant of Two Masters, for those of you who saw that show during our NITS summer.). There are six actors playing multiple characters we also do the narration.

It was a little frightening to be performing again (Outside of NITS, I haven't been on stage since high school), and it's a little intimidating to be part of a cast where everyone else is a trained actor, but rehearsals have been fun because everyone is so nice and I can already tell how much the experience of performing is going to help me when I'm back to directing kids. Today's audience was with the show the whole time. There were a few little kids in the audience who laughed at all the slapstick comedy stuff and squealed in disgust and horror when I (as Beatrice) kissed Benedick. Ah, it feels good to know that I am frightening children... After the show, some old ladies came up to us and said "we wanted to see scenes from Taming of the Shrew! And we wanted to hear the dirty jokes!" This is in reference to a section where the narration says "if anyone ever tries to tell you that Shakespeare's low comedy and bawdy characters were only for the no class, low class groundlings...Just mention that Queen Elizabeth loved a dirty joke as much as anyone. Certainly more than the Puritans. Probably more than your parents." During this narration, the actor who plays Shakespeare whispers a dirty joke in my ear (I'm playing Queen Elizabeth) I'm supposed to laugh and slap Shakespeare for being so naughty. Of course, the actor never actually tells a dirty joke, and never tells a joke with the timing to land at the moment where my laugh cue is, but I like thinking that those old ladies were imagining all sorts of scandalous things!

There is a little bit from Julius Caesar in the show, and since I don't have any lines in that section, I took that moment today to think about our Caesar scenes out on the Rose stage. It's strange to think how unexpected some of the twists and turns of life can be, and just how far out of my comfort zone I am on this project. But surviving it! I hope you all are well and are continuing the wonderful work you do with your respective students.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

GAP commercial

My theatre company (Rogue Artists Ensemble) made the shadow puppets for this GAP ad . We worked with Blind to create the black and white ad for GAP's Sound of Color campaign. To watch it, click on "sound of color," then on "hear the sound of color," then on the black end of the spectrum. The Raveonettes will show up; the video was released in conjunction with a new song of theirs.


Saturday, February 02, 2008

Rules for Teachers 1872, 1901

(from here)

Rules for Teachers

1. Teachers each day will fill lamps, clean chimneys.
2. Each teacher will bring a bucket of water and a scuttle of coal for the day's session.
3. Make your pens carefully. You may whittle nibs to the individual taste of the pupils.
4. Men teachers may take one evening each week for courting purposes, or two evenings a week if they go to church regularly.
5. After ten hours on school, the teachers may spend the remaining time reading the bible or other good books.
6. Women teachers who marry or engage in unseemly conduct will be dismissed.
7. Every teacher shoudl lay aside from each pay a goodly stime of his earnings for his benefit during his declining years so that he will not become a burden on society.
8. Any teacher who smokes, uses liquor in any form, frequents pool or public halls, or gets shaved in a barber shop will give good reason to suspect his worth, intention, integrity, and honesty.
9. The teacher who performs his labor faithfully and without fault for five years will be given an increase of twenty-five cents per week in his pay, providing the Board of Education approves.


Imagine the horror they would have felt at seeing not one, not two, but an entire group of teachers loitering in Harrell's! Without petticoats! With men!