Friday, December 31, 2010

A Year of Shows

This day last year, I was at my friend Alex's house on a farm in Waterbury, VT, with lots of friends and my boyfriend, John. My family doesn't have a ton of New Year's traditions, so while my parents meet friends for dinner and my siblings might attend First Night, a series of cultural events in the cities of Burlington and Montpelier to celebrate the new year, it's always a toss-up as to what will happen. Today, December 31st, 2010, I am in Bridgeport with Michael and his family, gearing up to meet his friends tonight.

I played the chef in the spring mainstage.
It's hard to believe how much can change in a year, whether you believe it is for worse or for better. In January, I prepared for a semester full of theater and applied to Saint Michael's Playhouse for my second summer as a stage management intern. February and March were chock-full of rehearsals for the college mainstage, The Notebook of Trigorin, in which I was acting the small part of the chef; The Actor's Nightmare, a drama club production I stage managed; and scenes from Almost, Maine, a senior exhibition project which I designed lights for. All three of these shows opened in April, so it was a busy month. I spent most of my spring semester gaining confidence in myself socially, preparing for the summer, and lots of time with John. I also spent time with my mother and my brother's fiance's family planning and attending wedding showers for Kate! My brother Dan proposed to her last fall on her birthday, and they planned the wedding for July 2010.

The set for Always, Patsy Cline, from the catwalk.  
Unfortunately, at the top of the summer at Playhouse, John and I decided to break up. Although that was hard, I still believe it was the right decision for both of us to find ourselves in the world and stop depending heavily on one another. The summer at Saint Michael's Playhouse was, in a word, amazing. The mix of interns was a perfect balance and we each made many close friends and contacts for the future. Starting with The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, the season moved its way through musicals, adventures, and comedic drama with Around the World in 80 Days, Blithe Spirit, and Always, Patsy Cline (scenic design for the picture shown is by Tim Case). I met Mike, the electrics intern who I'm now dating, and although I lived off campus for the summer in an apartment with 2 friends, I got to spend more time with the interns and staff than the previous summer at SMP.

Photo taken by Andrew Liptak
During July, Dan and Kate got married! Luckily I got time off during 80 Days to attend the rehearsal dinner and wedding, being a bridesmaid. It was a fun and beautiful day, and I'm so glad to have a sister :) since Dan and Kate had dated for 8 years throughout high school and long-distance during college, it has only gotten better to continue seeing Kate and most recently start hanging out at their place and welcoming her to even more family events.

When the Playhouse season was over, I spent a week in Maine getting to know Mike's family. The fall semester started up, and junior year has been harder than ever. The beginning of the semester was especially hard trying to find my place at a college where I had never been without a close relationship and a group of guy friends. On top of the social confusion this semester, I was the President of the Drama Club, which includes many responsibilities such as running executive board meetings, planning events, and keeping things moving within the club. I stage managed a play for Champlain College at the Flynnspace called The Shape of Things, which was challenging and rewarding all at once. My grades were also lower than they've ever been mid semester, and I spent the rest of the fall trying to bring things back.

Eventually I made close friends with my suitemates and our "brother" suite, many of whom I'll be skyping with while in Spain and living with my senior year. My boyfriend Mike also was really amazing and supportive during this semester, even though we go to school 5 hours apart. Thank God for all those wonderful people <3 At the end of the semester we had a secret santa party and everyone helped me move all of my things out so Heather, who spent the fall semester in London and is returning to take my place both in the suite and as Drama Club President, can live there. The Drama Club also organized and sponsored a benefit concert for the Devlin family. Our advisor John Devlin lost his son last fall to leukemia, and his daughter Kat was diagnosed recently with myelodysplasia, a pre-leukemic cell state. We arranged the benefit concert to show our support and raise money for the various treatments and procedures they will need to undergo, and many thoughts and prayers were and are being sent their way from the SMC and Playhouse communities.

Over exam week, I stage managed the Moving Lights Dance Company's The Green Mountain Nutcracker, which performed at the Barre Opera House in December. Although it was stressful to manage the show and attend exams, I made it and the show went very well. I also fulfilled my mentor duties with the Drama Club by getting my star mentee, Alan, a job on the show as a spot op and possibly work in the future (not to mention mentor-mentee bonding time!)

Yep, true love.
And when the Nutcracker closed right before Christmas, I spent days relaxing! My oldest brother, Andrew, proposed to his girlfriend of a year and half, Megan, and they are now happily engaged :) I spent the days leading up to Christmas (and Christmas itself) enjoying the company of my now-sisters and my brothers and the family. Now I am in Bridgeport, CT, for New Year's to meet Mike's friends and relax with his family before I leave for Spain, after which I won't see Mike for about 6 months. Long-distance can be very hard, but we're hoping for the best. When I get back, I hope to be working for the summer in a theater before starting my senior year at Saint Mike's!

As you can see, it has been quite the year for me, and although many things have changed I know I'm stronger and more focused coming into 2011. Living in a Spanish city for a semester will also change my life, and hopefully I'll be able to keep up the blog updates and reflect on how my theatrical career will change because of this experience. Thank you, as always, for reading! Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

December, December

It has been such a long time since I last blogged! Oh no! Things have been very busy with the close of the semester approaching, as I'm sure you are experiencing or can imagine. The Drama Club hosted a mentor/mentee Thanksgiving dinner, which was a big success, right before break. My mentee Alan and I made mashed potatoes :) I am really proud of how far the program has come since it sort of flopped the past few years, and hope next fall is even better! Although we probably won't have specific mentor/mentee events in the spring, it is always good to have an upperclassman you can trust to call or ask questions or just hang out with, even after you start to feel at home here.

Thanksgiving itself was a really nice well-needed break for everyone, it seems. I went home after Christmas shopping with my Mom, and Michael came to our house for the break which was really nice! The family gathered on Thursday and, with much threatening from my mother on a kiddie table outside on the deck, we settled to owl-print napkins and a huge meal. We were so over-prepared for dessert, everyone is still working on finishing the pies and cakes now! Mike and I helped Mom decorate on Black Friday, and over the weekend we headed back to our respective schools for the last 3 weeks of classes and exams.

As far as exams go, I have 3 in the topics that are the hardest. Politics, Psychology, and Spanish III apparently don't have the presentation mentality that Lighting Design and Directing do; while I am looking forward to preparing an ACTF-style poster and presentation for Equus in Lighting Design and am almost done with my directing scenes and staging analysis for Directing, studying for those exams will be crammed between trips back and forth to the Barre Opera House, where I am stage managing The Nutcracker next week. The Directing I Class scenes will be presented in a showcase free and open to the public on Monday, Dec. 13th at 7pm in the McCarthy theater. The scenes do contain mature content and language, so be aware of that, but they are a wonderful mix of funny, scary, thoughtful, and romantic for an adult audience.

Also coming up in terms of SMC theater is a benefit concert called Make a Joyful Noise! to raise money for the Devlin family, strong members of the Saint Michael's community who discovered in November that their daughter, Kathryn, has myelodysplasia, a pre-leukemic cell state. The Devlins' son Patrick died last fall after a long struggle with leukemia.We are hoping to give the family as much support as possible while they go through Kat's bone marrow transplant in Boston! You can send donations to:
John Devlin
Box 161
Saint Michael's College
One Winooski Park
Colchester, VT 05439
You can also send small things to help them out for their trip to Boston for Kat's transplant. Here is a list of places the Devlins stopped frequently if you are interested in sending a small gift card:
Au Bon Pain, Subway, Dunkin Donuts, Sbarro, Breuggers' Bagels, Panera Bread, Trader Joe's, Starbucks, Dragon Bowl, Bertucci's.

The benefit concert will be at 6pm in the McCarthy theater and includes uplifting music and dance pieces. A suggested $3 or more donation will be accepted at the door. I will let you readers who are unable to make it know how it goes! I don't know if I'll be able to write again until after exams and The Nutcracker are finished, so stay warm, enjoy the holiday music, and send a prayer out for the Devlins.

Monday, November 8, 2010

November Blues...uh, Greys

Today is the 8th day of November, and Mother Nature is letting us have it. It has been freezing rain and sleeting all day! It is definitely the kind of day to curl up inside with the heat on and not go out!

Luckily, this past weekend was a little kinder. We had several exciting events going on in the Saint Michael's College Theater world, the first and foremost of which was a workshop with next semester's guest director Chris Edwards.

Although I will not be here to work on Romeo and Juliet, I went to the workshop out of curiosity, and am really interested to see how things turn out! Chris had us do several group improvisation exercises, including lying on the floor with our heads in a close circle and forming stories by saying one word at a time around the circle. He encouraged us to speak on impulse, still keeping in mind what words had come before. We then worked with a short 4-line, 2-person scene, trying different approaches. Chris emphasized the importance of taking what your partner gives and working with that instead of closing them out. He forced us to confront the conflict instead of walking away, as in real life people do tend to walk away from conflict. We each brought a short monologue to work with, and he had us try saying the lines as if in real life instead of acting. With Shakespeare especially, this is a huge challenge, and we were all exhausted by the end. We learned a little about the production that will happen here next semester: Romeo and Juliet will be presented with the idea of the 70's and 80's punk (combined with today's themes as well) with a DJ onstage and a colorful, graffitied set that may extend into the audience, one structurally sound enough for actors to hang off of and climb on (metal structures). It sounds very cool and edgy, and the theater students here are abuzz with excitement! To read more about the workshop, find the SMC Theater blog here.

This weekend also THE ART OF DINING, Saint Michael's fall mainstage, closed triumphantly. I saw the dress rehearsal last Tuesday and was impressed; the set was a beautiful, multilayered restaurant, and the actors covered every inch of it to tell their stories and work through their relationships revealed as the play went on. It was short and sweet and fascinating. Again, check out the SMC Theater blog here to read more about the rehearsal process and performances.

Adam from THE SHAPE OF THINGS
My play with Champlain College, THE SHAPE OF THINGS, closed this weekend as well. Despite working with an ever-shifting stage crew, a missing sound board operator the last night, and none of our lighting people showing up for strike, we made it! The shows were packed every night with very responsive, invested audiences, which more than made up for the missing faces that some of us hoped would be able to make it. We had a delightful cast dinner party last night and resolved to keep in touch; although it was a stressful situation, contacts and friends were made all around, and once again I have had an experience to grow from and relax out of.

For Saint Michael's, there are several theater opportunities coming up. The Directing Scenes will be presented December 13th; the Directing I class, of which I am a member, is working on scenes from various plays that will represent our final exam on that day. Also in December will be a devised piece of theater produced by the Drama Club that I am directing; more details to come on that at our full club meeting this Tuesday at 5 in McCarthy.

Thanks for reading, as always! Until next time!
Part of the SHAPE OF THINGS set, designed and built by Jim Lantz

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Shape of Things


Last Thursday, Champlain College's production of The Shape of Things by Neil Labute opened at 8pm at the Flynnspace in Burlington. Labute's play draws the audience in seductively with a slow-building plot that slams home in the end, in a way no one would have expected. Local performer Kim Jordan plays the sultry Evelyn, the artist that holds a young man's world in the palm of her hand. Adam, played by Saint Michael's College grad Jayden Choquette, transforms his world and gives up everything for one woman. Ben Cavallari (a Champlain College professor) and Emily Benway (another SMC grad) bring Phillip and Jenny to life as Adam's friends, onlookers, and instigators as only Labute's characters are meant to be.

Directed by Joanne Farrell, this production includes much contribution from students. The lighting and sound design, sound board operator, and stage crew are all made up of Champlain College students. I stage managed the play and run the light board as well as call the show during performances. It has been a brand-new experience for me to work with Champlain, where there is no theater program, and Joanne drives productions into existence through sheer force of will and out of love for the performing arts, along with the help of students who, like Megan Lambros (my ASM) and other dedicated crew members, love the arts as well. 

The Shape of Things runs this week Wednesday-Saturday at the Flynnspace in downtown Burlington. The house and box office open at 7:30 for an 8pm performance; the play runs for about 2 hours, including a 10-minute intermission. Tickets are on sale at the Flynn Box Office.  I hope to see you there!


Friday, October 22, 2010

October!

Wow, I can't believe we only have another week left in October! Where does the time go?

 The past few weeks, I've been busy with The Shape of Things and keeping up with classes. Columbus Day Break was a really nice long weekend, spent in part at home making cider with my family and Mike, and the rest spent relaxing at school and in Burlington with Mike. We saw UVM's performance of Cloud 9, which was really fascinating and well-performed. This past weekend I saw Vermont Stage Company's Glass Menagerie at the Flynnspace, a show I helped hang lights for, which was also well-done, if to a depressing script. Unfortunately, Death of a Salesman with Christopher Lloyd was sold out. Spamalot also showed at the Flynn, but that sold out over the summer. If you want to hear about that show, ask my brother Andrew.

Spent some time at SMC taking pictures :)
In personal news, I've been sick for the past two days- completely knocked off my feet by some sort of virus. Luckily I'm recovering, albeit slowly; tomorrow I have a full day's rehearsal for The Shape of Things at Champlain, and heading straight to the Barre Opera House after that to work lights for a Jamie Lee Thurston concert. Then it's home, sweet home! for the night before coming back to an evening of rehearsals for the directing scenes, studying for exams/working on projects, and relaxing with a friend to dye my hair :) That's right, I'm dying it purple this weekend!

The directing scenes are scenes chosen by each student in the Directing I class to cast and analyze and direct. My scenes, as with several other class members, are from a play called Quake by Melanie Marnich. Auditions were last week, and they went very well! We had a great turnout and lots of choices for everyone, and during class we cast in such a way that everyone got at least one first choice. I had so many people do well that I had 2 first choices for almost every role! The scenes will be presented on the evening of December 13th.

Otherwise, not much else is new. This illness is quite an inconvenience, but I'd rather it happen now than next week. Starting Monday, The Shape of Things moves into the Flynnspace to tech and have dress rehearsals before opening on Thursday! It will run for 2 weeks. Things are pulling together, if a little rushed near the end of the rehearsal process here, and it has been a scramble to pull a stage crew together, but other than calling the show and my one day of tech Tuesday (also an exam/project presentation day at SMC...) training my stage crew will be my biggest challenge. I'm taking things a day at a time right now though! Many thanks to my wonderful roommates who bought me soup and are very wonderful in general! <3

Thursday, October 7, 2010

End of Week 6 Back at SMC

Wow, 6 weeks at school already! I can barely believe it. And yet it has been a long and somewhat rough haul for me so far this semester. Settling back at school and finding my rhythm amidst all the crazy days of meetings, classes, rehearsals, homework, planning events, hosting events, and keeping up with friends has never been as intense as this semester so far, and I'm afraid it's starting to show in my school work. Luckily this weekend is a long weekend to relax and catch up on homework, to go home and make cider with my family one day, and of course to see my boyfriend Mike, who is wonderful enough to drive 6 hours up here from LeMoyne in Syracuse, NY, to see me. Thank God for Columbus Day weekend!

After this weekend, the Drama Club and theater department at St. Mike's have lots of events coming up! My show with Champlain College, as well, will be opening in under a month. The Drama Club kicked off the year with the 24-Hour Play Festival and the Light the Night Walk, as you may have read about in a previous entry. We also had a mentor-mentee scavenger hunt across campus, which was lots of fun, and have 2 more events for our mentor-mentee program in October and then later in November. Also coming up are auditions for the directing scenes, a haunted house right before Halloween (!!!), The Shape of Things presented by Champlain College at the Flynnspace; the Saint Michael's Theater Department production of The Art of Dining; a sound workshop with Aaron Bowersox presented by the Drama Club; Drama Club applications for ACTF, the American College Theater Festival that we attend every January; and a devised piece of theater that I myself will be directing, performing in early December. Right after that, the Directing I class presents scenes at the top of exam week, and the semester wraps up with a Holiday Party! Wow!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Dear Mother Nature, I need a boat to get to class!

This week at SMC,  fall fashion is in full swing. The color of your umbrella, the pattern on your rain boots, and what style raincoat you choose to wear each day are seen and admired or abhorred from underneath dripping hoods and across a misty campus. Luckily the leaves are starting to turn yellow and are brightening things up!

Outside my suite, there is literally inches of standing water in the grass. No water on our floor though so it seems that SMC knows its buildings! There's a puddle in the Alliot circle that actually stands halfway up a car tire- guess I'm not driving over there anytime soon! Hopefully one of the things Saint Mike's will work on in the future is drainage. I'm sure, for colleges without any hills on campus, this is a common issue.

Unfortunately, all this precipitation means I've only gotten to take my new roller blades out once this week!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Study Abroad Madness and More!

Have you ever tried applying for a visa for studying overseas? Wowee is it a lot of work!!! I'm rushing around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to figure out forms and passport photos and all. Things are coming together though! I can't even believe that in a few months I'll be in Spain!

In other news...I'm selling my car soon! Anyone interested? It won't be till November when things die down a little for me, but it's a pretty good car. I'm going to miss the bumper stickers. The reason I'm selling is because my Grandma, my Dad's mom, decided to sell her car, a barely-used Toyota Camery with 30,000 miles on it, and since it's nicer than my car and just got lots of repairs done, I'm buying it. The reason she's selling, you ask? Check it out!!!


That's right, a convertible baby-blue limited edition Bug!!!!!!!! I keep telling Grandma, she's going to have to come visit me now instead of the other way around, just so we can drive around in it!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

SMC Drama in Burlington's Light the Night Walk!

Big news for the SMC Drama Club! A few weeks ago a reporter from the Burlington Free Press came into a drama club meeting to learn about our participation in Burlington's Light the Night walk, a fundraising event to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Check out the article here! Members of the club worked throughout the spring and summer to raise money, setting a goal of $1000, and that goal was met and passed before the walk on Friday night!

The SMC team, with Champ!
The Drama Club walked on Friday in memory of Patrick Devlin, the teenage son of our professor and advisor John Devlin. Pat had leukemia and passed away last fall after many months of treatment. Last spring we started raising money and thinking about causes like this with Almost, Maine, a senior exhibition project coordinated by Laura Michelle, at which we really started thinking about becoming a force not only on campus and in the world of theater, but in the world at large by raising money and awareness.

The memory banner that was carried on the walk
So, at long last, on Friday September 24th, 8 members of the club and John went to the waterfront landing in Burlington to show our support. There were a fair amount of people there, people who go to many such walks and marathons, or people who know someone with the disease, and lots of kids. We waited for a long time for it to get dark out and also for the lighted balloons to arrive. Yes, that's right! The reason the walks are called "Light the Night" is because all participants recieve a light-up balloon, with different colors signifying different things. We had all red balloons, being supporters, and our team recieved one gold balloon because we were walking in memory of Pat. Survivors carried white balloons.

We had to wait for the light-up parts to arrive because of some sort of glitch, but they did arrive thanks to a dedicated volunteer who drove halfway to Albany to get them!


 The volunteers could tell right away that the SMC Drama Club was an enthusiastic bunch. We were recruited to hold the big banner telling Burlington what everyone was walking for; we were first in the lineup right behind a police escort! They were glad to have us up front; our group and a high school team behind us cheered and got the attention of shoppers and diners all around on Church street, and got cars to honk for us :)


 Overall, it was a really great experience. I was really moved by the amount of people who donated to our team alone....and being in Burlington with all those people and all the balloons was moving as well. The complete total amount raised by everyone at the walk was $52,000!!! It felt good to really support such a great cause, especially when the community and SMC theater specifically were affected. Many, many thanks to all who donated! Hopefully this will be something the drama club continues and makes a tradition over the years!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

24 hour madness!

This past weekend the Drama Club at St. Mike's hosted the 24-hour play festival! This was a crazy 24 hours for me, one of three people running the whole thing, because I stayed up all night with the writers (they finished around 4!) and organized some fun activities for them to stay alert and have fun, like a scavenger hunt for a prop they then had to incorporate, and a relaxation/meditation/movement excersize. Rachel Strashnick (who took all the pics!) and Matt Fitzgerald and I tried to make sure everything ran smoothly.
the writers took a break around midnight, and again at 2!
Then the directors came in at 7 to cast their shows and read it over, and the actors in at 8 to start rehearsal! We had two groups this year, smaller than usual, but still lots of fun. Each play was a comedy about 10 minutes long.
Chris's group had a play about college kids in relationships, including a big plush fish and a Shakespeare-wannabe.

Marla's group had a play about a girl who dreams she's part of her favorite TV shows and YouTube clips!
We had a scavenger hunt for the casts and directors as well, and though we tried to organize the afternoon well to get everyone's faish share onstage it didn't work out very well. We had Chris's cast onstage first, but had to ask them to leave while we sorted out curtain placement for a while. Then while his cast was onstage, Marla's group had nothing to do...and vice versa! We should have planned that better, and hopefully next year when it is planned better the attitudes will be a little better during the day :) it helps when people plan ahead and don't go out to party the night before they know they will be in the theater all day!

The performance itself went really well! There was a pretty good turnout, as usual for this event, since it's free, it's short, and it's always funny. The first group had some unfortunate glass breaking onstage, which was actually pretty entertaining since no one got hurt and it happened to Ellen twice within the skit! Both plays were enjoyed by the audience, though the TV show references and YouTube clips of the first play were more appreciated by the college level audience.

After the show, we gave out Red Bull awards in front of the audience- "The Pen is Mighty" award to the strongest writer group; the "I'll Make a Man Out of You" award to the director who stepped it up the most; the "Most Outrageous Character" award to the actor who played up their part the best; and the "Most Enthusiastic Participant" award to, well, the most dedicated and enthusiast person involved! Strike was a quick affair and we gathered everyone afterwards for paper plate awards- besides the Red Bull awards, Rachel and I stayed awake and sane making everyone a paper plate award. It was a nice end to the day.


paper plate awards...AKA fun with glitter glue, sharpies, and stickers!


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Are there any particular tensions or issues on campus that a freshman should be aware of?

Saint Mike's is really a laid-back kind of place; there aren't really raging issues that affect students unless they care to get involved with some of the more controversial groups, such as the pro-life club or other political groups. We are very open to different opinions and all kinds of people though, and unless you wanted to be involved in things like that it wouldn't affect you. Most of the clubs on campus are for fun and for those who are reall interested, so it's all about what you make it!

Ask me anything!

Around how many students leave campus on weekends? What do students do for fun?

Sometimes people go home on the weekend but there is always a lot to do every weekend so the majority of students stay at school! Before every weekend we get an email from our wonderful Grace Kelly, Director of Student Activities and Assistant Dean of Students, listing fun events the residence halls host, what the menu is on the late-night BBQ in the quad area for the weekend, and what's going on in the area. There are always a lot of events to attend and new things to try out!

Ask me anything!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Translated into English, "granada" literally means "pomegranate."

Monday, September 13, 2010

Week 3 back at SMC

Today is the first day of my third week back at school. It's been a rough transition for sure, but having a lot to do with the drama club, homework, and stage managing The Shape of Things at Champlain College has helped; also, the news that I've been accepted to study abroad next spring gives me something to really look forward to! Hopefully this week things will start looking up.

One interesting thing that's been going on in my Directing I class is the introduction of devised pieces of theater. We started working on a piece last week. It's hard to explain exactly what a devised piece is, but I'll do my best. It is when a group of people who have a statement to make or something to say get together and combine movement, music, cound, and dialogue to tell a story. It is fascinating to be a part of one: you start with certain moments to build from and go back to, and inbetween add obstacles and challenges to the various kinds of movements. We started out walking around the stage, and started changing our pace and direction and grew from there into a sort of improv dance piece, but not completely random with the repetition and other obstacles we were given. It is very interesting now to have 7 of us in the class working together to make decisions and all be the directors for one piece, and challenging as you can imagine, but definitely unlike anything we've done before. I'm hoping to do a devised piece as a Drama Club performance at the end of the semester.

In just a few minutes I'll be heading off to rehearsal at Champlain! Traveling off-campus for rehearsal is a bit of a drag at this time of day because of the traffic, but it's interesting to be stage managing somewhere other than St. Mike's, and getting paid is a really good thing at this point. Some of the rules are a little different than an Equity stage manager might expect (so it's a good thing I'm really flexible, and still a student besides!) It seems that these first few weeks of school for me have been all about blurring the lines and changing the rules, not only with theater but with friends and how I do things. I never thought over the past two years here things could have changed this much, and there have been times recently where I've wanted to be somewhere else, but I look around and know I love this school no matter who my friends are and how things are run. It can be frustrating, especially given the concerns I am now aware of as an upperclassman in the theater department and the President of the Drama Club, but I'm doing my best to keep people involved and try to show them what it means to need theater.  

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

SPAIN!!!!!

I just got accepted to study abroad with API (Academic Programs International) in Spain!!!! There I will be studying art, architecture, and Spanish...not much of a theater program but it will be a break from theater, other than what I can see in Granada and anywhere else in the area I can travel. This picture is one I found online of the Alhambra, just one example of incredible architecture I'll be visiting. As Rosemary Ingham says in From Page to Stage: your life is like a bucket, and every experience you have falls into the bucket like a drop of water. Not sand, which stays solid and grained individually, but water, which merges into the rest of the drops and can change the whole overall. This experience will give me so much more to draw on for design and just the experience of a whole new culture and place will be incredible! I can't wait!

Friday, September 3, 2010

The Suite! ...and other news

 
So my 6 suite-mates and I are all moved in, at long last! We spent some time and money on our decorations and it will really be worth it, given how nice the place looks :) Nothing fancy, but homey and comfortable for us. We're still waiting to see if we will get an 8th roommate. Jenn did a lot of work and planning but we all chipped in and brought cooking stuff and dishes and everything! It will be a good place to spend the semester....yes that's right, I finished my application for study abroad in Spain, and am only waiting to hear from API now!

In other news, the theater department/dance and fine arts picnic kicked off on Wednesday, and we got a lot of interested first-years as well as familiar faces to welcome back! We have a lot of dancers this year, which could make an interesting combo and possibly help bring some departments and events together.

We settled on a date for the annual 24-hour play festival as well! September 17-18th, which is New Student Family Day Weekend, will be 24 hours of theater madness and games, during which students write, direct, and act in plays and get used to the McCarthy Arts Center and have a great opportunity to try something out if they never have before! It is a perfect time for someone with no experience in acting to try it out (like I did last year!) and have fun! Posters and fliers will be up on campus the week before, so if you're interested in participating or just coming to watch the hilarity ensue, keep an eye out :)

 Also coming up, as I mentioned before, is the Light the Night Walk that the Drama Club will be participating in for the first time this year to support the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. That is September 24th in Burlington, and whether you're a student and want to join the team or want to donate to the cause, please get involved! It's a fantastic way to take steps to cure cancer as well as be an active member of society, as I'm learning in my Politics class is very important to a functioning government. In any case, we're looking forward to those events and more!


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Back to School!!!

It's that time of year again! After a wonderful two weeks off, the summer is over and it's back to school time. I spent some time at home, where my brother and my dad were working on sanding and refinishing the floor in our kitchen/living room area, and then went to Maine for a week with Mike, the electrics intern I started seeing during Playhouse, to meet his brother's family and get to know his parents and to just relax. It was a very nice time :) I had my first lobster, which was wild.

Now I'm moved into a suite with 7 other girls at SMC. Actually, we have an empty room- it's only 6 other girls for the moment. We spent the weekend moving in and decorating, and although my room is tiny, it has 2 big windows, and the common room is very comfortable :) Today was the first day of classes and between Psychology, Directing, and Spanish III, I ran around doing errands. From getting a parking permit to working on my study abroad application to photocopying scripts to going on an advertising rampage about our drama club, I think I covered pretty much everything there is to cover in one day as a theater major at St. Mikes :) The script was actually for a show I'm stage managing professionally for Champlain College this fall called The Shape of Things. (Professionally=getting paid!!!!!) So that is coming along.

I'm very excited for some of the things the drama club is planning for this semester and the rest of the year! Coming up first we have the 24-hour play festival, which is just like it sounds, 24 hours of writing and directing and acting in skits. It's madness! It's particularly great for interested people who don't necessarily have experience; it's a good chance to try things out. That's sort of our hope with the drama club: that it becomes a way for people interested in theater to try their hand at directing or designing or acting in one of the 4 shows we are hoping to do per year.

Besides the 24-hour play festival, exact date TBD, also in September we are doing something new. The Saint Michael's Drama Club created a team, thanks to the efforts of Vice President Rachel Strashnick, that will be walking in Burlington on September 24th with the Light the Night Walk, a fundraising effort to support the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in honor of Patrick Devlin. Our goal is to raise $1000 before September 24th, and we're a little over halfway there right now which is really, really amazing! Many thanks to those who have donated. I have a link to our website on the left under "sites I follow" called Light the Night Walk, so if you are interested or can donate, please follow that link or click here. Every little bit counts!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Vacation time :)

The good thing about being a student or a teacher is the summer vacation. While working at Playhouse takes a hefty 10 weeks out of it, I woke up this morning, the day our Saint Michael's Playhouse contracts ended, looking forward to almost 3 weeks off. Right at this moment, I'm taking a break from packing my room to write this, as it's been a while since I've written a real personal entry.

Patsy Cline closed Saturday night with great reviews. The end-of-the-season show is always carefully chosen as a crowd-pleasing musical with everyone's favorite tunes, and summer 2010 was no exception. We struck the set Saturday night til 3am, and cleaned staff/actor townhouses out yesterday (ah, the life of an intern) and concluded our time together with a dinner at Chuck Tobin's house. Chuck and Sarah are amazing people to work for and with, and they make exceptionally wonderful dinners for exhausted interns : ) I told them, if they ever have a lot of food in the house and feel like cooking, we would come from all over the country to help them get rid of it.

Now it's packing the car and heading home for the night. Although I'm storing stuff at the apartment here until I move into school, a lot of it is coming home today, and Dad and I will get my furniture out next week. Wednesday and Thursday I'm heading to Salisbury beach to see family and relax there; a week from Friday I'll be celebrating my birthday with Mom and Dad and the family, and then headed to Maine for a week to enjoy time off in good company. (Not that the family is NOT good company, of course!). It's time for a small respite from the hectic world of theater.

Though I'm not sure that it will be much of a break, given that the Drama Club at Saint Mike's is planning already for the upcoming year. We are organizing workshops, shows, events, and all sorts of things for the 2010-2011 year. It's very strange to be President for a semester and then handing the reins off...but when hoping to study abroad, that is how it has to happen. I've learned a lot this summer about what it means to choose a career in the theater world, and though next spring will not involve much theater, I still know this is what I need to do with my life. Between stage managing, working with lights, and learning about props and furniture building, this summer has narrowed my focus and passion for working in the theater. I hope a semester off will not inhibit this choice. Already my mind is on next summer, wondering where I'll be accepted to work, hoping I'll get in somewhere...when I should be focusing on this fall! As President of the drama club, paid stage manager on The Shape of Things at Champlain College, and potential study abroad student (plus taking 17 credits of classes....) I'm going to need that drive to get through.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

End of the Season

I can't believe it's August already! This summer has flown by so fast...I guess it just goes to show what a good time I have been having here at Saint Michael's Playhouse! Tonight begins the second week of performances of Always, Patsy Cline at the Playhouse, and this week is almost entirely sold out. Get your tickets now for this heartwarming musical featuring all your favorite Patsy Cline hits, based off a true story about a Patsy Cline fan who had the chance to meet her star.
Driving the story of this friendship is Sarah Carleton, UVM professor and a familiar face at the Playhouse, in the role of Louise, who exchanged letters with Patsy for years after meeting her one eventful night. Lucy Sorensen hits home as Patsy Cline herself, a sweet country girl belting those tunes away. Accompanying Sorensen is a 6-piece country band, a glossy set designed by Tim Case, and vibrant lights from John Wylie. Performances run Tuesday to Saturday, 8pm with a 2pm matinee on Saturday.

Also in the area that I recently had the privilege of seeing was Lucky Stiff performed by the Commons Group at the Skinner Barn in Waitsfield, Vermont. Having worked there for two summers starting in 2007, it was strange to be a guest at the Skinner Barn, but I was very excited to attend and enjoy a musical I was not familiar with. The Commons Group, as always, stunned me with their professionalism and sheer talent. Lucky Stiff is the story of Harry Witherspoon, played by recent UVM graduate Matt Trollinger, who comes into a windfall inheritance with one condition: he must go on vacation to Monte Carlo and take the body of his uncle along for the ride. With this twist comes hilarity and confusion as Witherspoon is followed by Annabel Glick (played by Micaela Mendicino) to make sure he completes all the activities laid out in his uncle's will. The seductive role of Dominique Du Monaco was played by Taryn Noelle; Peter Boynton played the mysterious guide and plot twister Luigi Gaudi. With a tremendous performance by Kris Holz as Vinnie De Ruzzio and Mary Wheeler as Rita La Porter, as well as a variety of roles and scene change effectors such as Doug Bergstein, Judy Milstein, Karl Klein, Michael Halloran, and Emma Walker, the audience was captivated from start to finish.
One of my favorite things about shows at the Skinner Barn is the way the set connects the story and provides an acting space that is thoroughly danced, jumped, and trampled on without needing to be location-specific. And as always, the beautiful Vermont air at the Barn was a refreshing change of pace from 8+ weeks of hard work at the Saint Michael's Playhouse.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Blithe Spirit at Saint Michael's Playhouse

We are three days into the performances of Noel Coward's Blithe Spirit here at Saint Michael's Playhouse! I can't believe it is the third show of the season already. It feels like the summer just barely began....and yet it also feels like the staff and interns have known each other forever. Starring Paul Bernardo, Sarah Carleton, Bill Carmichael, Kathryn Markey, Agnes Cummings, Audra Wahhab, and the delightful Molly Ziegler, Blithe Spirit is a ghostly, funny play by Noel Coward about the events at a dinner party one fateful evening at the house of Charles and Ruth Condomine and the consequences that follow. It is showing Tuesday through Saturday this week and next week, 8pm with a 2pm matinee on Saturdays as well.

For two weeks I have been in rehearsal for Blithe Spirit, taking lots of props notes and at the ready on book for when actors called for a line. Changeover from Around the World in 80 Days went very well, and the set pieces and lights for Blithe were placed Saturday night. Tech was a different story. The backstage area is fairly crowded, and although I appreciate the responsibility I've been given on this production as the only ASM backstage, it seems that the powers that be need to learn to trust myself and the rest of the crew even now, two days after opening. But the opening was successful and although things are a little choppy in terms of lines for the actors, we are settled in and the backstage crew for Blithe got a compliment from the Burlington Free Press.

Now, rehearsals and building for Always, Patsy Cline have begun! With only two actresses and very few props in this musical I am going to be bounced to the shop to build. The set will involve a series of platforms, stairs, and glitter, as is customary for a production directed by Keith Andrews and designed by Tim Case. We are all looking forward to relaxing somewhat during our days as Patsy shows during the evenings the last two weeks of Playhouse; the shop will clean and hold workshops for the interns, and everyone will wrap the season up and head home.

I'm thinking about taking a road trip after leaving Playhouse this summer. With about 2 weeks free in the end of August, I can visit my relatives at their traditional rendezvous at Salisbury beach, and then head west. I have visited Florida, Montreal, Quebec, New York City, and Boston, but otherwise I haven't seen much of the country. It's something to think about and plan ahead for, anyway. Playhouse consumes almost every thought and moment over the course of these 10 weeks, so it is hard to think about going back home, and coming back to school after that. It will be a busy semester, for sure, but no amount of involvement in Saint Michael's College Drama Club and theater department can compare to the intensity of Playhouse. I'm sort of disappointed to think I should apply somewhere else next summer to get a different experience in...but no matter where I wind up next summer I think I am done being a stage management intern.  

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Sweating our way into July....

I can't believe it is July already... where is this summer going? Two days ago I was celebrating the marriage of my brother Dan to his girlfriend of 8 years, Kate, and my own gain of a wonderful sister : ) They are high school sweethearts, both music students and (now) music teachers who spent their college years hours away from one another. My oldest brother, Andrew, took this picture. Check out my pictures here. The wedding was at 5:30pm on July 3rd at the Monitor Barn in Richmond, Vermont, with an outdoor ceremony that actually had sweat rolling for many of us... too much information? The past two days have been at least 10 degrees hotter! At least the McCarthy building is well air-conditioned, enough so that I wear long sleeves and jeans to work. That's right, it's back to the grind after a beautiful day for my family.

It has been a while since I've actually had the time to sit down and write. Or sit down and do anything, for that matter, unless you count being on book during rehearsal. Since I last wrote, we completed the changeover from The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee into Around the World in 80 Days, which is currently showing through this Saturday. Because of my involvement in the wedding, I got the run of 80 Days off (which doesn't mean much, as I've been in rehearsal every night about as long as the performances) and my whole life is consumed by rehearsal for Blithe Spirit, our 3rd show of the season.

I can't say I'm bored since things in rehearsal are hopping with props and line notes and setting things up and doing paperwork, but I am finding I miss working in the shop...and not just because of the good company I'm sure. It seems that stage management is something that a certain personality takes to, an organized and thorough personality, and I feel that I have that personality but stage managing just doesn't have a creative nor a physical outlet. It is not as rewarding as other positions in the theater world, and this summer among many changes I am going through, I feel that I am moving on from the stage management world.

I have to say, so much has happened this summer and I can't imagine a minute of it without my friend Molly, and the friends I've made here. This fall will be very strange, going back to school without Molly, Liz, and Heather (all of whom are going to England to study abroad), and without the person I've spent the past two years of college with. All I know is everything happens for a reason, and change is a scary, scary thing, but the world would never grow without those changes. And some of them, as this past weekend of celebration and dancing and seeing family proved, can be a good thing.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Spelling Bee

So almost 3 weeks into Playhouse, and here we are with another day off under our belts (1 every 14 days!) ready to face another week of Spelling Bee performances! The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is a hilarious musical that will make you think, laugh, and possibly shed a tear or two as we follow these quirky kids through their spelling bee. Starring 9 fabulous actors and actresses, two of whom are actually students/recent graduates at Saint Michael's College, Spelling Bee opens our eyes to a lot of things that kids have to deal with in this day and age. Performances are 8pm Tuesday-Saturday this week, with a Saturday matinee at 2pm as well. The last week of shows went very well! It is nice for those of us who have the whole thing memorized to get a little variety every day with some new audience faces and reactions.

After Saturday's last show, we will start changeover into our next play: Around the World in 80 Days, a play based on the book by Jules Verne. In 68 hours before NEXT tuesday's opening for that play, we will have struck the Spelling Bee set entirely and assembled the 80 Days set, lights, sound, and had at least 15 hours of rehearsal with actors onstage. It is a crazy, fabulous time.

As for me, I will not actually be on the run crew for 80 Days. Having a wedding to be in in early July, it would be hard to train me backstage and then need someone to take my jobs over for two performances. So I will be off in the evenings for the two-week run of 80 Days (June 29th-July 10th) and then be back on board for the rest of the season, perhaps allowing another intern a break for one of the final two plays this summer. Right now I'm working in the scene shop, which is a nice change from photocopying and being on book in rehearsal all day : ) Having just gone through a break-up, I find myself relishing the summer stock schedule, as there is no time to think and be confused or upset; the show must go on and I'm learning that that is going to be a way of life that I have chosen, at least for a while before I ever think about settling down with a family.

Speaking of which...time to get back to work. Another update (maybe someday I'll get those pictures in...) to come.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Looking good so far!

So we're in our second week in at Saint Michael's Playhouse, and the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is running way ahead of schedule, both in rehearsal and in terms of getting the set built! Things are pulling together nicely for the start of the summer stock season here. The most complex aspect so far seems to be lighting, since the show involves plenty of dream-like moments and flashbacks and isolated moments, and even electrics is right on track with things getting done. We open on Tuesday, which leaves just enough time to get everything in working order. Better get your tickets now if you haven't already!

I think my favorite time of the rehearsal day is after the actors break for dinner and after Hannah and I move all our props onstage to set up for the evening's rehearsal; then I might go up to the booth to chat with John Devlin, or into the shop to see what's happening today. The shop is miles ahead of schedule. They started building for the next play, Around the World in 80 Days, several days ago. It's nice to be a stage management intern and sit in on production meetings and get an overall view of how things work.

Yesterday I ran into Chuck Tobin, the producing artistic director for the Playhouse, in the lobby looking concerned. We chatted for a little while and determined that no one was yet avaliable to run lights for the children's theater performances this summer. There are 2 children's shows each summer (this summer is The Wizard of Oz and then Pinkalicious) and usually interns or staff cover the technical needs as best as possible. The set and lights for the larger Playhouse shows are used and might be added to to make the set for the children's plays. It will definitely be interesting to manipulate John's complicated plot into a Wizard of Oz mood : )

The one downer so far this summer is the weather! It's bee rainy and about 60 degrees every day for a week... although the theater building is pretty frigid no matter what it's like outside, it is nice to escape into a sunny world when we break, and that just hasn't happened lately. At least the social life is pretty fun; the other interns and I hang out often after rehearsal (Molly, one of the administrative interns, an actress in our third show this season, and Dorothy in Wizard of Oz, is a close friend of mine from SMC, also blogging this summer) and we see the cast and staff out and about sometimes as well.

Tonight, however, is my brother's fiance's bachlorette party, and thank God we don't start tech till Sunday because it means I can meet them in Burlington tonight after rehearsal! Exciting! I can't believe Dan and Kate are getting married in under a month. I really need to buy some shoes for the wedding... maybe I'll find time before then to do so. Molly and I took the 3 guy interns shopping on our day off (we were going to show them Church street, but it was raining of course so we went to the mall) and they were pretty funny. They came into all the stores with us and gave us advice about which shoes looked cute and which ones were ugly.

Anyway, hopefully I will actually take some pictures and put them up...I know the last few posts have been only writing which is getting a little boring! If it ever stops raining maybe I can get some good ones of the beautiful campus at St. Mike's, or of the friends I'm making here : ) Maybe even of my 3 room mates (Abby, Em, and the dog). The apartment was a good choice for this summer, even if it does mean driving back and forth in the rain to rehearsal and to hang out with everyone. More later, with pictures and news on our first show opening!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Week 1

The first week of Playhouse is coming to a close! It seems like we have been here much longer than a week...in rehearsal we are halfway through staging the second act of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, which is pretty awesome. Hannah, the other SM intern, and I are keeping somewhat busy during rehearsals so far. She keeps track of props, I run random tasks, and we both make coffee and chalk the set groundplan out on the floor of the rehearsal room when it fades, set up props, all the good stuff. Sometimes it's hard, like last night, when the actors were working on choreography, and there was nothing for us to do for most of the time.

The other interns have different schedules than we do as well; the production interns go in at 9am and build sets till 5pm, and while later in the summer we'll all be running shows at night, these first two weeks they have evenings off. The box office interns are all acting in various shows this summer and so they work when they can outside of rehearsals. It's nice to be able to get out of rehearsal and hang out with everyone though; we watched a movie the other night, and went to watch karaoke at Unwinder's, the local sketch-fest bar, with the rest of the staff and company.

Otherwise, things are moving along, I guess! I am enjoying the atmosphere this summer a little more than last year; maybe its because I know how things work now, or because I know more people this summer, but it feels more relaxed and less like I'm seen as a child about to run away from work at the slightest chance. Perhaps everyone is more confident with the supervision of John Devlin this summer, as McCarthy IS his turf; who can tell?

I have barely seen my roommates since moving in to the apartment! How strange it is...and also nice, since they aren't demanding in any way : ) side note to self: when making cheesy scrambled eggs ALWAYS use sharp cheddar, and NEVER taco-blend seasoned cheese. Yuckk. Day off tomorrow, our first of few for the summer! I need to go shoe shopping (black flats) and grocery shopping...and maybe Molly and I will take some of the other interns into town. More in a week or so; when Spelling Bee opens and we start building for Around the World in 80 days, and plus when I finally get some pictures!!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Start of the Summer Stock Season!

Today was the first (official) day of work at Saint Michael's Playhouse! All of the interns moved in and settled on Saturday, then yesterday was spent readying the space and helping the actors for the first show move in. We had a BBQ where we met everyone last night and then had the evening to ourselves, which was nice. Molly, a friend from Saint Mike's, an administrative intern for the summer, AND an actress in the third show of the season (she's just that awesome!), hung out with me after we jump-started her car (only to have it die again!). She's studying abroad in London next semester so we are super excited to have the summer together before that!

Then, the staff and interns met at 8:50 today for a morning meeting, allowing the work day to start at 9am. The morning meeting is kind of funny: it really shows how deep into the theater world we can get during summer stock. John Devlin, our production manager, tells us the date and day of the week and some news from the outside world before telling us assignments and goals for the day.

Today was, however, my first and last morning meeting for the next two weeks- stage management interns work on a different schedule from both the administrative interns and the interns working in the shop or on electrics or sound. Hannah (the other SM intern for the season) and I set up for a production meeting before joining the others in safety training and starting to prep some of the walls for The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, our first show this season. Then we went to the production meeting to take notes and spent the rest of the day in rehearsal, taking notes, making coffee and making props lists and all sorts of things. Today the actors just worked on music (of course the songs will be stuck in my head for months to come! At least they're pretty awesome tunes) so while Hannah made a props list and will be tracking that, I made an entrance-exit plot that helps with costume changes and body-mic repairs, if needed. It turns out we'll be called a little later in the morning for rehearsals for this first show- but we have rehearsal till 9:30pm at least for the first two weeks, when there isn't a show onstage at night.

It's kind of funny how the world in Burlington, Vermont halts on holidays. Stores may or may not be open- the library, print services, and human resource office at St. Mike's were all closed for Memorial day, which made it really hard for the stage management and administrative interns who needed to make copies and have things printed for the first day of rehearsal. Unfortunately the McCarthy Arts Center doesn't have a large copier or a reliable computer-printer setup; in fact, there are 2 computers in the whole building avaliable for students and interns to use, one of which crashed today. But the world turns on and tomorrow we will have plenty of time to copy scripts and everything. At least now I know that I'll be working later in the day and can be flexible about coming and staying late as opposed to arriving and leaving early.

I'm exhausted already. Time for a good night's sleep and a big breakfast in the morning! More later, when there is more to report :)

Monday, May 24, 2010

May Lessons

Since leaving school almost 3 weeks ago I have accomplished and learned so much! Right off the bat I started working at the Barre Opera House on the Contemporary Dance and Fitness show there, a huge performance that is concieved and organized by a wonderful lady named Lorraine. All the classes perform a dance, as well as groups like Teen Jazz and senior soloists. The shows were so huge that they were split into three nights, with some repeating numbers and some new ones each performance. It is quite a feat of organization and teamwork every year, and though my part as house technician and light board op is a small one I am always so proud of how the shows go and how the dances look. The TD for the Opera House, Peter Monahan, is also the lighting designer for all of the dance shows that come in during this month, and I work closely with him on the lighting and on readying the space for the chaotic (yet ordered) time of dancers upon the stage.

Barely two days after CD&F closed came the One Studio Dance performance at Harwood Union High School. Although a show called Shooting Star moved into the Opera House as soon as CD&F was done, Laurie at One Studio asked me to do lights months ago for her performance, and so it went. This was a harder task for me, since the respoinsibility of designer AND board op were mine, but One Studio is not as used to the sophisticated lighting that CD&F and Shooting Star recieve, and so they were pleased with my simple layout and use of a generic plot. It certainly came with challenges, however.

And finally, this last week before Playhouse will be spent catching up on doctor and dentist appointments, bringing the dog for her check-up, meetings. I also am going back to Harwood for several days this week to help my teacher and friend Ms. Stahl, an influential woman in anyone's view. Having someone read the pieces the sophomores and seniors are working on and giving them feedback is crucial to their passing the classes she teaches, and with time closing in faster than ever to the end of the year (with no snow days to make up for) Stahl sent word that they needed help and could we, seniors from the past, come in? Today was the first day, and I had a wonderful time. Giving feedback and helping revise these pieces of writing- some of which really were written straight from the heart- was a rare treat for someone who enjoyed creative writing, but has barely picked up a pen for that purpose since graduating two years ago. I wrote last night, thinking of those times, and more today. I'm hoping to work more on these pieces and post them here soon :)

Stahl's message was interesting to me. She has always been thinking of the children, who are most influenced by the world around us all, and how they are taught and what they learn from. Between recess being taken away, non-contact sports only allowed in elementary schools, and something called "wiggle cushions" being introduced, it is little wonder that high school aged people are growing desperate and exploring boundaries. Human nature is all about pushing limits and testing the lines. With suicides and attempts popping up all over Vermont, we have to wonder what is going on. Are the boys who have grown this depressed on medication? Are we watching their medication and their moods carefully enough? What exactly are in these prescription medicines going into their bodies? And with the high school and younger generations being immersed almost fully in a cyberspace world where anonymous comments can tear people to pieces, who is the authority for these boys and girls? Stahl really made me think about how we are raised and what sort of stories can ground us and give us somewhere to go back to. Are the children, the future of this world, grounded and secure in any way at all right now?

Such things to consider. What a day today was. Stahl always, always reminds me that no matter how old you feel (especially going back to high school for a few days- boy do kids get smaller!) you will always continue to learn and grow. That's all for today- I'm working on my creative writing pieces and hopefully will get them up soon. Left to do this week: move into my apartment for Playhouse to start!!! Talk to you soon!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

16 days till Playhouse move in!!!!!!!!! Can't wait!!!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

My car is almost entirely packed! I'm leaving for home tomorrow! The room is very, very empty- it will be strange sleeping in here tonight. It's no longer my home, morphing back into a generic white-walled dormitory room. This picture was taken on my phone since my camera is all packed up; hence the bad quality. I won't have much internet access for the next few weeks, till the end of May, so it's adios for the moment. On to dance shows, a real house, peepers at night, family, and walks with my dog. : )

Closing Time

Good-byes are ringing in the air here at Saint Mike's as everyone finishes up exams. The quad is littered with half-packed cars and family members picking up their kids. End of sophomore year.

I don't really feel too nostalgic (except when thinking about our graduating seniors) because I'll be back in a matter of weeks for Saint Michael's Playhouse, the professional summer stock theater company based out of our very own McCarthy Arts Center. This will be my second summer as a stage management intern here. All I remember from last summer was lots of rain, a blur of exhaustive nights when changeover from one performance to the next happened, and learning a ton about theater. Oh, and cleaning up confetti night after night :) I'm looking forward to this summer in particular, however, because knowing a little more about what's coming is always a good thing, and John Devlin (our technical advisor and professor during the academic year) will be here this summer as production manager. Subscription tickets are on sale now!

Another thing that will be different about this summer is that I'm living off-campus! I will be sharing an apartment with two good friends just down the road from SMC, a bike ride or short drive away. Hopefully I can get my dog up here as well...but that is yet to be determined. I move in the last week of May; until then, I'll be home working on dance shows at the Barre Opera House and one at Harwood Union High School, with a company from Waterbury performing. As Matt Friedman says in Lanford Wilson's play Talley's Folly, a Playhouse show from last summer, "Worker bees working all night, never stop collecting nectar or honey or whatever it is a bee collects." That play has really stayed with me throughout this year.

And now, it is time to pack the rest of my room. It is looking pretty empty already because I hauled things over to the apartment to store for a few weeks (which is FABULOUS) and all that's left is a few things. One more night here and then it's home to my dog and a quiet house!
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Monday, May 3, 2010

Windows and Lamps

I always walk by Lyons hall and see this group of windows on the fourth floor that catch my eye. There are vines grown over the windows- not enough to block them, but enough to be pretty. Two of the windows have soft lighting with pinks and pale orange and pretty curtains. The one inbetween has more of a funky feel with bright colors and a tapestry. I always want to take a picture...but then decide it would be creeptastic and don't.

I kind of wonder how much life would be different if fluorescent lighting was never invented.

That's all for now.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Saint Michael's College Drama Club Presents The Actor's Nightmare

The Actor's Nightmare by Christopher Durang opens April 29th-- tomorrow!!--at the Essex High School black box theater, the first play fully produced by the Saint Michael's College Drama Club in years! Check out my photos here. Directed by Rory Fitzgerald as his senior exhibition project, Nightmare has been in rehearsal since January and with a tightly bonded cast of 5 has taken off. With lighting design by UVM's own Danielle Varcasia, sound by Matt Fitzgerald of SMC, and costume design by first-years Natalie Budnyk and Marla Caram, Nightmare has been a collaborative project that brought many students together, with much help from senior Josh Bardier and graduate student Emily Benway, as well as the advice of the SMC theater department faculty.

Starring Jayden Choquette as the bemused George Spelvin, Nightmare takes you in and out of reality with scenes from Noel Coward, Shakespeare, and Beckett, not to mention the famous Man for All Seasons to wrap up this hilarious play. Jayden goes from a regular joe who wanders into the playing space to a confused Elyot, from a stuttering Hamlet to a beaten Willie and a panicked Thomas More, pleading and reasoning with the audience and fellow actors all the while.

Also starring Liz Levenson as the buxom beauty Sarah Siddons, an actress bursting with personality who takes us on a glamorous, dramatic, and sometimes downright creepy road;




Molly Ziegler as the sharp-tongued (yet sweet!) Ellen Terry, looking fantastic as the slighted Sybil in the Coward segment as well as Winne (or is it Nell?) from Beckett, and playing a beautiful if somewhat bipolar, funky babe throughout;



Mike McKinney as New York actor Henry Irving, who plays a manly Horatio as well as a terrifying suprise role at the end;





and Catie Robertson as the world's perfect Meg the Stage Manager, complete with maid disguise, armed with script and feather duster, who George calls for many a time with a desperate "Line?"


Vans will be transporting students to and from Essex High both the 29th and 30th for 7pm curtain. Admission is free! The thing that I find truly amazing about this play- and am truly thankful for- is that the play itself is short and sweet and easy for me. There are few cues and the actors handle all the props themselves. It's incredible to me that the play itself is less work for me than working with the administration at Essex High. With miscommunications galore and the fact that their black box space is completely misused, it's been a heck of a time. It's a great feeling to relax when focusing before the play itself! Don't miss this fun show that blurs the lines of reality and dreams!