Friday, February 26, 2010

It's a Mystery!

Before any show of mine opens, I need to watch Shakespeare in Love. Before any and EVERY show of mine opens, I should remind myself of this scene:

HENSLOWE: Mr. Fennyman, let me explain about the theatre business. The natural condition is one of insurmountable obstacles on the road to imminent disaster. Believe me, to be closed by the plague is a bagatelle in the ups and downs of owning a theatre.

FENNYMAN: So what do we do ?

HENSLOWE: Nothing. Strangely enough, it all turns out well.


HENSLOWE: I don't know. It's a mystery.

Last night, the wonderful mystery that is the theatre happened at 404 W. Fillmore. The production of The Secret School that had been plagued with 9 snow days, suspended students, stomach flu... (do I need to go on?), somehow came together. I've never, in all my years directing middle school shows, stood at the back with a script in my hand in case my cast got lost beyond all possible improvisational covering. I also, in all my years directing middle school shows, have never burst into tears with my cast at intermission because I was so amazed and proud and relieved. I go into tonight's performance with the world's weight off my shoulders. They're going to be OK. How? I don't know. It's a mystery.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Snow Day #9

That is not a misprint. Today is snow day #9. If we miss one more day, we have to start going Saturdays to get them made up. I think the kids' last day right now is June 11. I'm not kidding when I say I LOVE snow days. I also LOVE snow. However... this is the week of my kids' show at school, and today was supposed to be a dress rehearsal! We'll have one tomorrow, and we'll hope that all goes well. This poor play has had the weather stacked against it from the beginning! My biggest hope right now is that this snow day doesn't turn into two. I'll be in real trouble then!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Valentine's, Etc.

It's been so crazy, I haven't had a chance to post since Valentine's Day. Some of you may remember that I was sicker than a dog with H1N1 in October. It took about 6-8 weeks to feel better, but one of the worst lasting effects was that I lost my glasses! I had them at the Iowa/Michigan game that Saturday, and by the time I was ready to go back to school a week later, my glasses were missing in action. I have no idea where they are; I have the case, but I have no glasses. I was completely out of my mind that week, and I guess I'm happy my glasses are the only thing I lost, but still... I LOVED those glasses! I bought them w/ my first National Boards check, and they were perfect. I've been wearing my old ones, but they just aren't the same. Fast forward to Valentine's Day. When I opened my present from Andrew, I found a glasses case. Inside the glasses case were MY GLASSES! He'd gone to Eyeowa Optical (yes, that's really the name), talked with the optician, and had her order my same frames and prescription. I have my glasses back! It was such a thoughtful and sweet present, and I love them (I love Andrew as well!).

I'm smack in the middle of a craaaaaaazy week. I made it through the first night of conferences last night. Today the 6th grade GOAL students went to Invent Iowa in Burlington (we have one invention going to state and one alternate... yea, kids!). Tomorrow we have conferences again, and then Friday is our first dress rehearsal for the middle school play. Whew... I hope I make it!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Weekly Update

We started the week with a late start on Monday and a snow day on Tuesday. I was glad to get in as much rehearsal as I could with the kids. Their show is coming up on the 25th & 26th, and well, let's just say the snow days have left us with quite a challenge in front of us. I hope they're all working on their lines (that should have been learned aver 2 weeks ago!). We finally finished up Iowa Tests of Basic Skills, just in time to have this week's schedule all messed up with parent/teacher conferences. It's going to be a crazy couple of weeks, that's for sure.

The FACT show opened this weekend. It's called Have a Nice Day, and it's a 1960's & 1970's musical revue... a spoof of Up With People-like groups. I was unexpectedly laughing my butt off when I saw it on Friday night. On Saturday night, Andrew and I went together, and he didn't find it nearly as funny as I did. I'm not sure he found it funny at all, when it gets right down to it. We rarely have a culture gap, but this was definitely one of those times. He didn't recognize most of the music, and he just didn't relate to the humor at all. I'm going again tomorrow to help as a FACT board member. I'm looking forward to it, and I think Andrew will be glad to stay at home. Maybe it IS an American thing. It might be a swing choir thing though too... it's like the characters stayed in swing choir for 30 years. My ultimate job!

Yesterday, my book club discussed The Hunger Games. It was a great discussion, and it was funny because 4 of the 6 of us had Kindles! The paper page turners were in the minority. That's never happened before. It was nice because Kindles don't have page numbers; they just have "locations." It was very easy to communicate passages of interest to the Kindle group yesterday. Now, if Amazon (or the publishers) would get it together and get the sequel on Kindle too, we'd all be happy campers.

Today, I'm taking it easy. I just finished up Andrew's V-Day present. I'm watching the Olympics. I'm enjoying this day of calm before the storm of the upcoming week. Hope you're all enjoying a calm Saturday too!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Help

I stayed up until 2:00 a.m. this morning because I HAD to finish my book. It's called The Help by Kathryn Stockett. Someone in my book club suggested this as a selection for this year. I'd seen it in the bookstores, and I have to be honest, I wasn't interested at all. The title made me think it was some kind of self-help book... something like The Secret, maybe (nothing against that book... I own it too). I could not have been more mistaken. This is a tale told by three different women in Jackson, Mississippi, in 1962. Two are black maids, and one is a young white woman. Their stories are knotted with connections. I laughed, I cried, I dreaded, I hoped, I anticipated, and I felt right along with the characters. I absolutely couldn't put it down. I'm so glad I read it, and I'll recommend it to others. Wow. The Help is something really special. Read it!!!
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