Showing posts from February, 2010

Behind the Scenes

Not much going on at this blog lately, so if you're looking for new blogs to read, here are some new blogs from friends of mine that take you behind the scenes at two different theatrical productions:
A Farm in Harmony.  Ethan Angelica, a former Latin student of mine and a professional actor based in Brooklyn, is on the road with Theatreworks/USA's production of Click, Clack, Moo. Follow his adventures as Farmer Brown, and see him in a chicken suit, here.
Neverwhat?  Maren Robinson is a professional dramaturg in Chicago.  Her current project is a production of Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere.  She and the director team up to blog their work-in-progress here.


Note: For those of you who couldn't make it to the Northfield Arts Guild this evening for the special reading in honor of the NAG's 50th anniversary, here's the poem I wrote for the occasion.


In celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Northfield Arts Guild

Unless, like Nicolas Copernicus,
it happens to be your birthday,
no one celebrates February 19th,
the fiftieth day of the year.
Fifty is ordinary, not golden
(the atomic number of tin)
and not even as old as it once was:
fifty, we are told, is the new thirty.
Sure, fifty has some interesting
mathematical properties—
it’s the smallest sum
of two squares in two different ways—
but fifty percent is still only half:
half-hearted, half-empty,
a failing grade on any scale.
So I suppose what we celebrate,
after all, is not completion,
but the brief moment of equipoise
and everything that falls on either side—
so much putting up and taking down;
so many rehearsals,
the striking of so many sets;
so many lumps of clay,
so many empty bowls to fil…

Reading Journal: "Mariana"

Monica Dickens, Mariana. Persephone Books 2006/2008. Originally published in 1940.
Mariana opens as Mary Shannon, a young English wife, hears the news on the wireless that the naval destroyer on which her husband is serving has struck a mine. There are survivors—but in the midst of a storm, the telephone lines are down, and Mary has to wait until morning to go into town to get more news. Unable to sleep, she lies in bed and looks back on her life to this point: her childhood and education, her relationship with her independent mother and the rest of her extended family, and her faltering search for the right man. The title of the novel comes from Tennyson's poem of the same name, about a waiting woman whose lover "cometh not."
The novel is episodic. Mary is an engaging character, and Dickens is an engaging and humorous writer, but this long novel (377 pages) will not sustain the interest of every reader. It's the kind of leisurely, character-driven novel I enj…