Well, I take back everything I said about a student audience. We had our first audience yesterday morning and they were the best audience you could ever hope to have. Comprised of middle and high school students, this audience was completely involved in the play from the start to the finish. They got everything, laughed, gasped, sat on the edge of their seats – I had such fun watching their faces and their body language (in between moments of actually doing my job and taking notes on the performance.) At the end, they stomped their feet, cheered, and jumped to their collective feet for a standing ovation. The girls cheered and screamed when the leading man came out for his curtain call (we see his bare chest a lot) – we’re now calling him the Justin Bieber of the cast.
What I had forgotten was how powerful and accessible Shakespeare is. To everyone. Don’t let anyone tell you it’s hard to understand. Not hardly. This group of kids completely understood what was going on and let me tell you, they didn’t hold back in their reactions. In this age of computers, of virtual games, of virtual everything, there is nothing like live theater. There is nothing like Shakespeare. He writes about everything man feels and experiences with an immediacy that is stunning some 300+ years later. These young people will be changed by this experience.
I was humbly reminded of my high school drama club. We took a trip to the Stratford Festival in Canada every fall and saw Shakespeare done by extraordinary actors. That was my first experience with Shakespeare. I was changed forever and I’m not exaggerating. The live performances of Shakespeare’s plays, acted by a talented company of actors, excited and moved and transformed this young girl who wanted to be an actress, who loved words. Little did I know at the time that I would be working with his text so many years later.
That’s the set (taken with my iPhone.) As you can see, it’s a boxwood garden maze. The actors can walk on top of the hedges and also have lots of blocking down between the hedges. They can pop up, hide, go under the bridges. It’s a fabulous set design. That center circle is powered by an elevator and it can go up and down.
In other news, I got a Hartford Public Library card. I found out we were able to get a card as employees of Hartford Stage. Knowing I’ll be back for 6 weeks in August and September, I went for it. I was searching for a Deborah Crombie mystery that I hadn’t read and I found it. In the Large Print section. I’m not quite ready for Large Print in general, but I have to admit it’s easy on the eyes!
I’ve sewn two rows together on the quilt. I have to be honest here and say that something is always off on my blocks – doesn’t matter what quilt I’m working on. It seems I always have to wrestle with them to make the whole thing work. Drives me buggy. Is it that I can’t always stitch a truly straight seam? Is it that my rotary cutting is off? Lord knows. I envy those who make it seem so simple, who have no problem getting everything to align beautifully. I want to get better at this, but in the meantime, I just have to sigh and say “Whatever.” It is what it is. It won’t be perfect, but nothing ever is. At least in my creative life. Here’s to the journey.