Friday, July 14, 2006

Camp Shakespeare: Day 4

Last night a group of us from the institute went to see a local production of "Glass Menagerie". I actually enjoyed it. It was an all African-American cast, which was an interesting and very appropriate choice. In fact, this was the first time I actually sympathized with and liked Amanda Wingfield, the mother character. It was funny, too, more so than I remembered from studying it in high school.

Today was still emotionally-startling, but fun at the same time. This morning we continued our daily voice work with Bob Davis, including a fun group round of a song-ish chant "Belly Mambaiay" (I'm guessing at the spelling). After that, Elizabethan
dancing! I thoroughly enjoyed myself with that, and was told by some fellow students that I was "really good at it". Yay me! Today we learned a courtly-type dance, and next week we continue with a country-style dance. And I'm going to wear a skirt that day.

In the afternoon we continued working on our monologues with our "Basics" classes. I'm keen to try this approach to workshopping with my drama students. It's a very different approach to a monologue performance, but I think it will be far more effective and bring higher rewards for my students.

After Basics, the founder of Shakespeare and Company, Tina Packer (left), came to speak to our group. She talked about the origins of the company, Shakespeare's education (and a lot about rhetoric), and about her performance as Gertrude in Hamlet. Interesting, but I was tired by then and not fully engaged. Now it's post-dinner. I'm not sure if I'll be going out tonight. I'll have to see if any of the proposed activities entice me, or if I just want to read and sleep.

We have a half-day tomorrow. It's supposed to be hot, so the activities suggested for the weekend all involve either air-conditioning or water. I'll let you know which one I choose.

Happy Bastille Day!

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