Category Archives: Theatre Fun

Day 339: Freeze

Tonight I found myself under two strands of twinkle lights playing freeze, an improv game I haven’t played since high school. It’s Labor Day weekend, so naturally I am in Michigan. I came early, because why not. The hubs and other friends come tomorrow night so our rad hosts (of Emily Alt Photography if you’re not reading her blog, well, I don’t know why you’re not so go read it after you finish this one for gorgeous photos, cool ideas and Michigan love) and I decided freeze was the way to spend our time.

Here is how to play: two people start a scene about anything. At any point during the scene other players (or in this case player) can say, “freeze.” The action stops and the player who called freeze takes the exact pose of one of the people, removing that person from the scene. They must then start a new scene using that body language. A super basic theatre game that we had excellent fun with, even though I was a little shy to start. I highly recommend it for your Labor Day gathering.

Also this:

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Day 321: I Didn’t Miss the Visit

While I ran off to Iowa so as not to miss the birth of my niece, my friends Rachel and Dan still made their trip to Chicago to see us. Dan did also have to be here for work, so he was busy much of the weekend. This left Rachel and the hubs to get to know one another better. My bestest friend and my man chilling all weekend? Either lots of stories of me from college (oh no) or good bonding time. I think it was both. I mean they had their own inside jokes when I returned so it must have been good. Day 321 brought me back to town just in time to see them for a while.

We went to a great dinner at Farmhouse and then to see The Jungle Book at the Goodman where we ran into more friends visiting from out of town. Even though I only got to spend a little time with Rachel, we worked in some quality time to chat just the two of us. I am so happy she decided to come anyway! I mean, if she hadn’t I would have missed this:

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Day 308: Graduation Number Two

We had an emotional day at work; the first class of our Youth Ensemble graduated. All of them will head to college in the Fall. While I did not have as much time with them as much of the rest of the staff, I have become a big fan of all of these extremely talented young people.

The graduation ceremony was emotional for everyone–not a dry eye after all of the speeches. It was different from my nephew’s graduation because, while it had airs of the same hope and inspiration of a high school graduation, it was much more individual. Everything said was specific to each of the six students-their talents, their future and their immensely important time at the theater. It is amazing how much impact the theater had on their lives and how much they impacted the people at the theater. I have lots of love for them and wish them all the best in college!

Day 277: One-on-One

When I lived in Minneapolis, I was very involved at a wonderful place called The Playwrights’ Center whose mission is to champion playwrights and new plays in order to build upon a living theater that demands new and innovative works. One of the many opportunities they provide for playwrights is what is called the One-on-One with a Dramaturg. Mostly used by amateur writers, this program matches a playwright with a dramaturg who will read their play and offer feedback twice during the writing process. Participating in this program allows me the opportunity to meet new writers and continue to exercise my dramaturgical skills.

On Day 277 I had a great phone meeting with the playwright I am currently paired. We really understood one another, and I felt like I really understood where she wanted her play to go. We talked through all of my notes and all of her questions ending the conversation on such a positive note. She has a workshop she is writing toward, which is all the more motivating for her, and we have plans to speak again once that is complete. I just love positive collaboration and believe fully that criticism can be positive if communicated effectively, which, in this situation, is always with the goals of the play in mind. I cannot wait to read the next draft and continue this great relationship!

Day 276: Q Bros

After the first 24 hours back on methotrexate, my energy was a little low but I was up enough to go to a play. The hubs and I went to Othello the Remix created, written and performed by the Q Brothers. And I am glad we did.

The Q Brothers take Shakespeare and urbanize it by setting much of it to rap music. Sometime they keep his language and sometimes they use the story and write their own. With Othello, they set the story within hip hip culture using a combination of Shakespeare’s language and their own. Othello is an insanely popular rapper who worked his way up the ranks, Iago a member of his crew and Cassio the new “pretty boy” with a huge jump start to his career displacing Iago for the second slot. And the story goes the way we know it to from there.

Going to see Q Brothers shows, I am always excited by how diverse the audience is both in age and race. They attract an audience all their own to Shakespeare. And the people are always jazzed, sometimes clapping or bobbing along with the beat. I love this kind of energy in the theater, regardless of the criticisms I may have of the show (like the fact that no actor played Desdemona-she was an imagined/off stage character and recorded voice on a sound cue which is pretty problematic in Othello, especially the death scene). They also really engage and play well to a youth audience in a way that “straight” Shakespeare often does not.

Despite my Desdemona issue, it was a fun and satisfying new take on Othello that I’m excited has extended so many times!

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