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


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!