Adventures of a Drama Teacher

{November 25, 2007}   Belgian Style

I love the way Belgians dress; at least the women for the most part. They have turned it into an art form. Wearing scarves is a fine art, and not in the way I, as an artist, wear scarves. The men and women here sport winter scarves “tout les temps” and it looks so cool. If only I could achieve such scarf “cooliness.”  I am attempting, having bought two since I have been here; the standard brown and one of my favorite colors, chartreuse. And skirts let me tell you! The art of donning short “jupes” over warm leggings is fascinating. It is so wonderful to see an attractively, dressed young-looking woman turn around and realize she must be in her late 50s or older. Even the old women dress stylish! Outer jackets and coats are a must, the longer the better and even more styling if you have fake-fur, either all over or as an accent; although the color spectrum is minute; black and brown, and if you’re feeling a little adventurous and sassy maybe a dark grey. But oh the males! Red pants are in like Flynn! And pointed shoes! Not as pointy as the men and women of London (Mo and I spent amused time spying pointy shoes on the underground during our trip last summer), but pointed non-the-less. I had a Belgian student wear his pointed dress shoes on our adventure day in the muddy woods. Shoes are a big deal here. Being from Oregon I don’t understand as the weather here is comparable, and your shoes get yucky with the rain. But not if you’re wearing the obligatory boots! Thigh high, knee high, you name it. If you don’t have boots well then just curl up and die! And they are super expensive here but oh do I want a pair (or two)! Wearing a short skirt, a nice sweater (with a scarf) a chunky matching belt, leggings and riding-style boots with make-up and hair done up as if you’re going somewhere special you might fit in at the local Brico which is equivalent to Home Depot. And if you’re a man, carry your miniature pooch in a small red faux-leather purse and you’ll definitely be styling! I just got my hair butchered and it’s really short and spiky (not to my liking) but when I was at school the other day in my short denim skirt, black chunky sweater and suede boots, one of my students, (the gorgeous French one) stated that I looked Belgian. What a compliment!

scarfy-photo.jpg Photo complimentary of Morrison James Peacock-photographer of the future. small-mo-and-mommy-waterloo-gare.jpg Here’s a photo from the day Mo and I sojourned from Gare Waterloo to the Grande Place. We are so adventurous! Oh, and The Mikado was colorful. The set wasn’t as good as my previous show, but I learned from it. Mostly I enjoyed it because it reminded me of Porter, and his chippy chop tongue twister!


{November 23, 2007}   Up the Down Staircase photos

Another try at the website with cast photos. These photos are from a dress rehearsal before the set was finished. Alas, when is the set every really finished?! Yesterday was Thanksgiving, we worked and had school. Yipee. Normally I wouldn’t put photos of my students in but someone else set up the external site, so it was already out there. We’re still trying to get things cleaned up from the show. A big job. Mo and Iare going to see The Mikado at Brussels light Opera tomorrow, and hopefully other fun stuff just for him, like bowling! It’s time for mommy to be mommy again. Oh and by the way, this really is the only big play we do all year here (I have small children’s theatre stuff, and a small musical review) but nothing compared to all the shows I put on in AZ. That is why, and also that it was my thesis project, I put so much time effort and money into the set of Up the Down Staircase.

{November 18, 2007}   C’est Fini. :(


Three weeks to build, 3 hours to strike. It’s over and I am sad. Gregg is gone. I can’t believe the things people do for me. I am so lucky. I now have to go repaint the floor black (remember all you students who have done that with me over the years?) This floor is much bigger than the one at Shepherd. In the mean time enjoy the photos of the set and check out the website (if it works) of the photos  of the cast from dress rehearsal. I haven’t figured out how to make it work yet but maybe you can.

Photos from the play are available on-line from St. John’s International School’s production of Up the Down Staircase. If you’re smart enough to maneuver the website! I’m NOT! 🙂

{November 17, 2007}   I passed!

I passed the production portion of my thesis project! The show went exceptionally well considering the mountain that I had to climb from the beginning. Remember-new country, new school, new curriculum, no stagecraft class, no set builders, not knowing where to find stuff, not speaking good enough French, not having control of the technical side such as lights. But the show was sold out last night (400 seat house), and so very funny, poignant, visual and entertaining! The problems pointed out by my professor were the problems I had pointed out sooo many times to my kids like, “volume, diction, timing of cues” as well as lighting, which we only worked with for 3 rehearsals and I had no control over. I was sooo nervous, more so than ever before as the NEW teacher there. I am sure we impressed the audience! All my students LOVED it. They all had read it in class, and it is/was wonderful to then see it come to fruition.

I found my camera battery charger and it actually works without the transformer so I promise some photos tonight. We strike after the show, then it rest for me. Well at least I don’t have to stay after school for a while.

The air is frosty. It is winter. Have a happy Thanksgiving everyone! I am thankful for so much.

I am glad to hear Alice in Wonderland went well at my previous school. I am so proud of my students there, I miss them.

{November 12, 2007}   More photos

up-pic-smallrreally.jpghs-play-stage1-small-003_edited-11-really.jpg Judith took some pictures today. I have a hard time editing others’ pictures. When I have my camera I have a littles less problems. I guess I am just really tired and feel overwhelmed right now. Well it’s almost over. Small photos or gigantic ones?

{November 9, 2007}   It’s a neah on the ski trip

Turns out that the chaperons have to PAY for the ski trip, so I decided I don’t want to PAY to babysit naughty teenagers on my spring break. I will pay to go alone with Mo. You see I know through my friends from my years at St. John’s how naughty the kids get on these trips and it’s way worse than throwing water balloons out the window!

Still forging on with the set. Calgon take me away!

{November 8, 2007}   Skiing in Austria?

I have been asked to chaperon the high school ski trip to/in Austria. Remember that I was scarred for life by not getting to go when I attended St. John’s in the 70s? So  when I moved back to Oregon I promptly taught myself how to ski and have loved skiing ever since; but kind of stopped since my son was born. I have a meeting about it this morning. We’ll see if it is do-able. Mo would have to come too, and take some lessons. I’ll keep ya posted!

Gregg’s sleep machine toasted my transformer and now my camera battery is dead, so no more photos until I can find a transformer (Judith gave me that one and they’re hard to find) to charge my camera battery. BOOOOO HOOOO! But yeah on the possible ski trip!

small-day-10.jpg Oh what wicked webs we weave! This project is huge but is slowly but surely getting up. The back giant platform (will have stairs for the theme you know)  is being erected, then we finish with molding, paint and giant school type posters overhead, then hopefully creative lighting. Remind me not to do my masters again, or maybe stick to Our Town.

{November 3, 2007}   Fun with set building!

day-five-005small.jpgday-three-small.jpgposters-small.jpg More fun with set building. Less than two weeks now until the DAY! Propaganda posters and day three to day five of building. Oh what fun!!!

{November 3, 2007}   The Stage setting

utdsc-set-002small.jpg I finally have my computer (my real one) at home so I think I can manage to get some pictures in here, Although we have worked five 12 hour days straight on the set so I am too busy to mess with it for a while (until the show is over). My good friend Gregg is here from Hollywood California. He designed and is building and supervising construction and painting of the set. I will try to post a photo a day. 🙂

et cetera