Sunday Lowdown #4

This Week at the Theatre Job

On Friday, Michiana Monologues (like the vagina monologues in the Michigan/Indiana area) performed on our large stage. The theme this year is PerSISTERS. The group “solicits the anonymous donation of true stories of local women,” which are then read by women in the organization.

Fahrenheit 451 opened Friday and closed Saturday night. Although it only had a two-day run, many enjoyed the beautiful set, lighting design, and sound effects. My husband’s sound effect for the mechanical dogs was something hound-like mixed with horrifying dentist drill noises! Ack!

The set is coming along for Caroline or Change, a musical about an African American housekeeper for a Jewish family in the south during the 1960s. The little boy wants to give her more money, so he purposely leaves change in his pants for Caroline to find when she does the laundry (they make a deal; she doesn’t just keep money). Here is more about the musical.

This is the front of Caroline’s house so far. It will look gorgeous when it’s done. Our set designer does magnificent finishing work. You can see little paint samples stuck on the wall, lol.

This Week in TV & Film

I didn’t end up following the Jeopardy! tournament with the teams. It’s the same people I’ve watched slay each other before, and making them teams didn’t excite me like I thought it would. If I was watching, I’d be #TeamAustin.

When I couldn’t sleep one night, I posited this out into Facebook world:

Notice the time stamp…

When I was a child, if I woke up sick any time between 3:00 and 6:00AM, you could be sure Conan the Destroyer was on TBS. I loved it. Grace Jones. OH MY GAWD. So, this was me, not much longer after I shared my Facebook question:

Life’s too short to not stay up until 2:00AM eating popcorn and worshiping Grace Jones.

This Week in Reading: Finished Books

I finally finished the hysterical rhyming play script The Liar by David Ives. In it Dorante cannot seem to stop lying, while his servant, Cliton, can only tell the truth. Dorante tries to teach Cliton how to lie, giving him an add list of advice. Here, Cliton tries out lying:

CLITON: (My chance to lie! Okay. Let's take a shot.
                Don't swerve. Be tripping. Poetry. Stay low.
                Irrelevant details. With verve! And flow.)
("Flowing.") Hi, there. The name's Clit. . .Jacques.
ISABELLE: Clit-Jacques.
CLITON: It's new to France.
ISABELLE: And what is that you're doing, modern dance?
CLITON: You know, I just arrived here from Peru.
                My gold mines.
ISABELLE: Are you lying?
CLITON: Yes, are you?
                Now ask me anything. Ask me where I'm from.
ISABELLE: Nice weather, huh?
CLITON: Japan. Well that was dumb.

I cannot wait to see this show performed at my theatre this September!

Night of the Living Trekkies by Kevin David Anderson and Sam Stall: the rag-tag group of die-hard Trekkies make their way through the hotel, discovering a scientist. You didn’t think a zombie story could skip that trope, did you? He explains that the zombie plague started with space matter that came back to Earth on a probe. Memorable, lovable characters in a novel that turns tropes on its head and will keep Trekkie fans fangirling.

This Much Space by K.K. Hendin: I’ve never read a New Adult novel before, but that’s what it is — and I liked it! I’ll have loads to say about this amazing fat college student in my review this week.

This Week in Reading: Books in Progress

Roots by Alex Haley: Shell @ Books by the Cup and I read and discussed chapters 61-80. Kunta Kinte marries Bell, has a daughter, and worries that his family can be torn apart by a master who is nervous about nearby slave revolts.

Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood: Grace Marks recalls for Dr. Jordan her family’s trip from Ireland to Canada. Her mother dies on the journey, and the sick wailing passengers reminded me so much of Kunta Kinte’s journey on the slave ship. I, myself, am starting to feel mistrustful of all boats.

Next Week in Reading:

Shell and I will tackle another 20 chapters of Roots, and I’ll get about half-way through Alias Grace. I’ll start Magic’s Promise by Mercedes Lackey for #ReadingValdemar. The Big Book of Lesbian Horse Stories by Monica Nolan and Alisa Surkis is on the agenda; I haven’t read a short story collection yet in 2019! I’ll also get a good start on Fahrenheit 451 (the novel, not the play) by Ray Bradbury this week.

What was your week like? What’s ahead? Feel free to share a weekly round up post in my comments!

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32 comments

  1. Congrats on having had such a great production of Fahrenheit 451! I haven’t been able to read anything this weekend so far, but I’m hoping to travel to the library and catch up today.

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  2. A rhyming play! That must be very helpful for learning lines, as well as for comedic potential. Glad to hear you’ve said a good week and that your big in-progress reads are still ambling along! We’ve had a lot of snow here this week, which I love. The evenings are more likely to be filled with books and notebooks, reading and writing, when I’m less tempted to be out and about.

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    • The only problem with a rhyming play is if you miss a single word, it throws off the whole rhythm! I think it’s a lot of pressure. At first, I thought it would be easier, like you did. But now I’m not so sure! It hasn’t been snowing here, but it’s gotten very, very cold today.

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  3. I’m not sure I’d want to spend weeks below decks on a sailing ship; I’m more a wagon train sort of guy. New adult would have been a problem genre for me: I probably wouldn’t have been allowed to read it until I was in my forties.

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    • new adult is a fairly new genre. I like that it captures this weird time. Between young adult novels and fully grown adults. Now that more young people are going to college, it makes sense for them to read books to which they will relate. I know a lot of college students stop reading for pleasure, and it is my hope that the new adult genre will draw them back in.

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  4. It sounds like you’re having such a wonderful time in the theatre and doing such good work! I’m sure Fahrenheit 451 was phenomenal! Congratulations!

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      • I sometimes attend the theatre. When I have money. XD High school theatre is awesome because it is cheap and I have actually seen productions that were better than some professional productions.

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        • Community theatre is the way to go, then! Most of them have a “pay-what-you-can” preview the night before the hard open. That way, the cast and crew do what is essentially a performance with some audience members, but everyone knows there may be one or two final kinks to iron out. You can pay nothing or chip in $5; whatever you can!

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  5. It’s so interesting to learn about your theatre job! It’s too bad we can’t hear the sound effects your husband does. The set for Caroline or Change looks great. I’ve never heard of Caroline or Change before, but it sounds like something I’d want to see.

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    • I hope next week’s photo has a way nicer product! This is the really early stages of building. There’s always a time during the process when I think, “This set does not look….great.” And over time I’ve learned that is because I’m always inspecting it before finishing (not completion, but part of a build process) and get all moved and teary-eyed when I see how amazing it looks when it’s really actually done.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I don’t blame you about being mistrustful about boats-fiction rarely has anything good to say about them!

    Is it normal to have plays that only run for two days? It seems like so much work for only a few performances, no?

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    • I TOTALLY AGREE. So. These shows were supposed to have a bunch of days during which school kids would make a field trip to the theatre and see the show. However, the powers that be and organize that kind of stuff attempted to organize too late in the game. There ended up being three shows of Fahrenheit 451, and we’re working to prevent this happening again in 2020. Always working to improve!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I think it’s so cool that your husband does those sound effects for the treater productions you work on. Those theatre stories are so interesting, thanks for sharing them with us. 😊

    My week was spent working, studying after work, and having fun with a bit of rock climbing as well. Oh and my boyfriend and I went to do a really cool mystery escape room on Saturday and managed to escape with 13 seconds to spare… still no idea how we did it but it was a lot of fun.

    Have a wonderful week full of great reads as well as succesful preparation of the new show. 😊

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    • Thank you, Vera! Thanks for reading about my life πŸ™‚

      That’s cool that you did an escape room. They are really popular in the United States right now, but I’m SUPER not good at mysteries (whether it’s a room or a plot in a novel, lol). If you don’t get out, what happens? Do the walls start to move together and you get SQUISHED!?

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      • Those escape rooms are great for a group of people. We played one in February with my boyfriend and his parents and our objective was to crack a code of a scientist that mysteriously disappeared. What was interesting was how we worked together – we all have different strengths and it’s not just about solving mysteries, it’s also about being organised (with codes), taking notes of what was used, yet to be used etc. 😊

        When you don’t escape, nothing dramatic happens, the door flashes and someone lets you out. At least that was our experience, other rooms may be more dramatic. 😊

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  8. Now I have a better idea of what New Adult fiction is. I don’t know if it would have kept me reading in university, though – I made myself stop so I could get all my work done! That was the first time I slowly re-read all my L.M. Montgomery books (which was distracting enough, but at least I knew what was going to happen).

    Reading about people traveling in the holds of ships is morbidly fascinating – it’s so hard to imagine the conditions and that any one AT ALL could survive them!

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    • I’ve gotten to the point where I’m not fascinated at all by what happens on a ship. It’s all so awful, and usually conveyed so clearly, that I just feel ill. I don’t really want that experience when I’m reading.

      I do know that some students keep reading while in college. I think for me it was hard because I was already reading loads of books for my English Major. However, if I could have turned to another book, one that interested me, I might have had a bit of “me time” that affected how I felt about school. Then again, I was working a full-time job (third shift) and taking 17-21 credit hours, so….not likely.

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  9. Glad things went well with your stage play of Fahrenheit 451! I read the book years ago but am curious about how it would be interpreted on the stage, especially with some young creative people! I went to a play of Sense and Sensibility a few years ago and the cast was small so they would often play more than one character. Very entertaining. I’ll have to look for some plays to go to in the coming months.

    I watch TV but usually it’s reruns of old shows I liked. πŸ™‚ Would you believe I have never read any Margaret Atwood, but I don’t know if Alias Grace is one to start with, too many devastating things happened In Roots on a ship so I might need to wait on that one!

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    • Does your town have a civic theatre? Or, do they have any small theatre groups? People will put on plays in the oddest places, and those performances will be just as cool as a big show! The main difference is the budget, which affects costumes, set, props, etc. However, the less money a group has, the more creative they have to be, which yields some cool results.

      Margaret Atwood can be hard to get into. The first Atwood book I read was Oryx & Crake, and I had to read the first chapter 3-4 times to get into it. However, I got into it and loved it. Alias Grace is really good so far, though I’m glad I watched the Netflix series first to get a feel for it. The show is VERY well done and it’s a limited series, so you don’t have to watch new seasons. I recommend it! I also read Atwood’s book Cat’s Eye and found it dreadfully boring. She has such a big repertoire that she’s bound to have some duds.

      Thanks for your comments! They are excellent, and I enjoy talking to you very much πŸ™‚

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    • I read Fahrenheit 451 in 1999 in Mr. Klak’s English class. Why I remember that, I don’t know. Perhaps because I loved high school and especially loved that freshman year was like a new start after middle school.

      After the show, the actors talked about how the play and book are different. In the play, Beatty sacrifices himself to the mechanical hounds. At the end of the book, the whole place is supposed to blow up, but that doesn’t happen in the play.

      Have you ever read the novel? I forget Bradbury wrote other novels, famous ones, that it feels like no one reads. At my library, there’s a huge section on the shelf for his titles, they are so numerous!

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