Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Packing and more

Packing packing packing! I head out to Ithaca tomorrow to start work at the Hangar theater, I am very excited! It feels good to be graduated. This week after the wedding and everything has been filled with running errands, doing house and lawn work, seeing doctors and dentists before I ship out, visiting with my brothers and sisters, and organizing my stuff. Hard to believe how much unnecessary stuff accumulates over 21 years. I'm really going to miss my dog and birds this summer, though.

After the summer, we'll see what happens! I've applied for one job in New Haven CT which I am pretty hopeful for. I may apply for a few more, though it's good to know I could do well in VT for a few months, working at the Flynn, the Barre Opera House, and more. I really enjoy working overhire with the union at the Flynn theater, they're great people. Most recently I worked on Beauty and the Beast, and I was put on the weight rail, loading weights to the counterweight system as scenery and electrics were put on the pipes. That was awesome, if heavy, work. I will keep you posted!

I just watched the Les Mis movie trailer, which has theater people in a buzz right now. It looks good so far! Anne Hathaway is landing a lot of unusual roles lately, good for her.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A Perfect Wedding

Last week was a busy time for my family! I graduated from college on Monday, my oldest brother Andrew got married on Saturday. I unpacked and repacked all of Tuesday, and headed out for Pennsylvania on Wednesday with my Grandma in her baby blue convertible Bug. We traveled all day and stayed in Binghamton, and then arrived in Lancaster on Thursday after arguing with our GPS for a while. We met up with my parents at the Heritage Hotel, a very nice place with a Robin-Hood themed restaurant (Loxley's) attached.

Near the hotel was a dinner theater, the Dutch Apple Dinner Theater, which was showing Annie Get Your Gun. It was a decent meal and a very good show afterwards! I had never seen Annie Get Your Gun before. The next day, Grandma and I went for a tour of the Amish country on the Strasburg Railroad before heading to the rehearsal dinner at Loxley's.
Dad's toast at the rehearsal dinner
We had a very fun time at the dinner and met up with my mother's relatives afterwards for some sherry and storytelling :) my cousins and my other brother, Dan, and his wife Kate, and I went to Loxley's treehouse bar after that, which was very fun.

The next morning was the wedding!

It was a beautiful day. The park in Litiz was pretty shaded, so it wasn't too hot. The wedding party was there around 10am, and people started arriving soon after that.
My dad's side of the family, enjoying the sunshine as they wait!
The ducks came to visit...they were NOT very nice!
Megan and the bridesmaids came down a curved stairway on the other side of a pond.

The ceremony was conducted by my dad's cousin, Bart Worden. It involved a ring-bearer with a book, two very determined flower children who almost made it the whole way down the aisle, the reading of a poem, a lively Bible reading (both by friends to the bride + groom) a sand ceremony, and very touching vows.
Afterward, the bridal party stayed in the park for a while to get pictures taken. While we were doing that, the guests walked to the reception at a nearby inn. My aunt and cousins enacted a secret plan we made months ago to surprise the bride and groom!

They were very surprised! When they entered the reception, the DJ played the Imperial March for us, and everyone waved the lightsabers around until Andy & Megan were seated at the head table. A shockingly small number of Star Wars events occurred, however, so we were glad to help out.
The plotters: the closest 3 ladies!
"Sexy and I Know It" brought out the Star Wars fans
My brother Dan gave the Best Man speech, which was wonderful!
There were so many other nice moments. Uncle Jim on my Mom's side sang the Danahy's hat song. Andrew and Megan had their cake and first dance. The sound of ringing on glasses to call for a kiss was never-ending :) We took sibling pictures, and the bridal party departed for a while to take more pictures in the park. Eventually, the reception wound down and we headed back to the hotel to relax and have a late dinner. It was a wonderful day!

Most guests departed on Sunday. My Mom and I went to Ithaca, NY, to scope out the theater I'll be working at. It was a long drive, but we had nice weather and it was worth it. Ithaca is a beautiful city, and the Hangar theater is right next to a park and boat launch. My housing at Ithaca College appears to have a little balcony on the outside. We drove back on Monday and boy, is it nice to be home!

Many congratulations to Andy & Megan on such a special weekend!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


Yesterday, I graduated from Saint Michael's College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in theater. What an ending to my four years at St. Mike's!
Some of the theater majors and faculty

After several days of senior week activities, packing was hard, but I was ready for a break. The ceremonies of Baccalaureate and Commencement were exhausting! It was nice to have my parents and Grandma present for everything, though, and the many blessings given to the class of 2012 were hopeful and happy.

Our ceremony was about 2 hours long, including honorary doctorate letters being presented to 4 candidates, the master's degrees of this year being graduated, and my class's BA's and BS's graduating. Our student speaker Mike McKinney reduced many of us to tears, and was the most memorable part of the ceremony for me (besides receiving my degree, of course) though his impression on families wasn't the same. The commencement speaker was Thomas Freston, founder of MTV and activist. He gave advice and told us about his life. By the time he was at the podium, however, many of us were ready to go, and although I will go back and watch the speech again (thanks to Saint Michael's online video program) I did not relate to him very well.

Overall, it was a rewarding experience for the end of four long years. I will never forget the sheer number of people there supporting us, the cheers from family and classmates alike as each person received their diploma, and the overwhelming amount of emotions that have come this weekend. I think the bad parts-- my name mispronounced, the drunk kid sleeping next to me during the ceremony, a nasty roommate-- will fade, but the last four years and this one great weekend culminating in graduation are things I will always remember! For more pictures of graduation, check out the Burlington Free Press.

Moving out was a harder realization that the class is disbanding and will never be back in the same way. My roommates Becky and Jess have become as close as sisters, and our many friends, especially in the younger classes, spent a lot of time at our house as well. While I'm looking forward to doing what I love and not having homework to stress over, I will miss Saint Michael's: my house, the beautiful campus, my friends, the faculty, and the incredible support system. After this week (with my brother's wedding!) and the summer of work, I can't wait to see what comes next, and I can't wait for my next visit back to my second home. Many thanks to everyone who has been in my life the past four years, especially my parents and Grandma, who have been there for 4 years of college, 17 years total of education, and all 21 of my living years :) 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

End of Senior Year

On Monday this week I handed in my last paper as an undergraduate and completed my studies at Saint Michael's College! What a day! Over the past few weeks things have been wrapping up: Appetite, my independent study in Shakespeare, other senior sem shows, and classes. With senior week partially underway, it's hard to accept that soon we will all be leaving for good.

 The first hurdle was Appetite. I've written several posts about it, but not since the show closed. The second week went well and the play was well-received by the community, especially parents over Family Day weekend. I was pleased to hear praise and constructive criticism of my design from various mentors in the area, and also to have my family see the play and enjoy it (especially the Angry Birds scene!) I think everyone involved learned a lot of lessons, sometimes frustrating ones, and I hope the next devised theater process is different and rewarding.

My independent study in Shakespeare took a lot of work. I wrote a paper over the course of the semester, supplementing it with images of past productions. My focus was the Ghost in Hamlet and how various productions represented it (looking at technical elements like scenery and lighting) and how that changed interpretations of the Ghost. The Ghost has had much religious meaning throughout the centuries, and every small change applied technically (like the development of electric lighting, for example) has had an effect on how people see the Ghost. It is very easy to light the Ghost in a way that makes him purely evil or in a way that makes him seem heaven-sent. I decided that the most important part of the Ghost was ambiguity, since Hamlet's uncertainty of whether the Ghost is good or evil is a struggle the audience shares and has to think about for themselves, and so to keep the questions in the play universal the most important thing is to keep the Ghost a mystery. With all the technical developments today, it can be easy to skew the image of the Ghost one way or another, so I also wrote about how otherworldly is not necessarily good or evil. We have a tendency to fear what we do not understand, though, so a production that approached the Ghost in this way would have to be very careful. It was a big relief to hand in the finished product, and I learned so much in this research that I don't mind what grade I get.

Other classes required plenty of work as well: a term paper for my Tolkien & Medievalism class, in which I considered Tolkien's theory of sub-creation; an exam, manifesto, and exit interview for senior seminar; a finished costume piece for my costumes class. I also worked on a senior seminar show that wasn't the mainstage-- a student-written and directed show called Notes, a piece about a music teacher and student, for which I designed scenery. Another senior showcase piece called B for Baby was a big success, passionately (and successfully) tackling the often uncomfortable issue of people with special needs. The Drama Club end-of-the-year picnic and also the department's senior banquet were really nice as well. It is great to have these rewarding, relaxing events after all the work this year!


I have less than a week til graduation: time to relax and enjoy for a few days before the real world strikes!