Adventures of a Drama Teacher

{February 7, 2008}   When in Amsterdam…


February break. Carnival. Rain, rain and more rain. I promised myself I would go somewhere really cool, and you know how scared I am to venture out on my own, just me and Mo; I let the rain dissuade my sojourn but Monday afternoon we ended up going to Leuven with Judith and her granddaughter. This is where Judith first lived over 40 years ago when she took to the adventure of moving here, and where she completed her master’s degree at age 50. It is an amazing university town. The intricately ornate building is their city hall, and if you can make out all the statues think about the Nazis and within their occupation of Belgium used them as target practice and blew all their little heads off. Boys! Kind of like Napoleon and the Sphinx! It was an entertaining day perfecting my French by talking to Judith’s four year old granddaughter. We topped the day off with the most amazing white chocolate, pistachio hot drink ever! Three days of deluge followed giving me the excuse NOT to go anywhere and Mo and I holed up in our flat watching DVDs after having finally bought (And I so cleverly plugged in) a DVD player. Go me! But alas today as I awoke to sun shining through my skylight window, I could no longer put it off. Off we went to Amsterdam. Easy peasy lemon squeezy getting there on the train and getting around. Even Mo was 70% happier than usual, which is saying a lot for the boy who HATES adventures and wants to stay home all day and read, watch DVDs and play video games. We traversed the city on the canals and visited the Van Gogh Museum and the Anne Frank House. Although Mo could care less about these things, it is a learning experience and I hope he will appreciate it in the future.  We found only one pile of Dutch Dog Do, and of course Mo smiled at that! I am glad I went. It was tres expensive but when in Amsterdam…do as the Amsterdamians. (The first two photos are Leuven)


{February 4, 2008}   Silly things

Silly thoughts that make me laugh out loud; this is why I love what I do. Working with kids is such a blessing because they make me smile and out right guffaw everyday. For children’s theatre my students adapted the plays Snow White and Peter Pan. I have two ninth grade classes. Both shows added anachronistic music and elements that really made the performances funny. The plays were so different from each other too! I really loved how each dwarf really got into their character but my favorite part was red light green light with the forest trees and the slaying of the pig. Or should I say wild boar. Originally we were going to use a Bunraku puppet for the boar, but the puppet wasn’t getting finished and one of the kids jumped in to act like the pig in a rehearsal and I laughed so hard, from that moment on HE HAD to be the pig. I keep asking myself why it was so funny? Even the tech guy was laughing ‘till he cried in the booth. I guess to see this skinny kid come out dressed as a pig/boar making snorting noises hiding behind the human trees and then the grunts and spasmodic movements he made when the hunter killed him (I am laughing thinking about it now) and the red valentine heart that was pulled from his chest then the extra, extra long red ribbon that was pulled out for his tongue? All this to the music of Vivaldi. I really can’t tell you, I wish you could have seen it. I think his parents videoed it; maybe we can get it on youtube? This kid also played Grumpy and for one performance was late for the dwarfs’ entrance. I stood in the back, as I do as a drama director, and wondered “how are they going to fix this?” The beauty of live theatre is that these things happened, and I love to see how the kids deal with it. So the kid finally comes in and shouts to the other dwarves, “You left me in the diamond mines AGAIN!” Again the booth people and I are laughing our heads off. Then the first time the dwarves put Snow White on her coffin/table her head was off the end (her feet should have been slightly off the other end). I laughed as I knew how uncomfortable that must have been for the actress. They finally fixed it. 

Peter Pan was really funny too. The kids re-wrote “Good Morning Baltimore” from Hairspray to “Good Morning Never land” One of the lyrics was “with no parents we play all day, and say what we want to say, DARN, POOP, BUTT!” Morrison asked why they didn’t say worse things. Kids?! 

Well it’s Monday and supposedly we are going somewhere, but it is pouring down rain. We had two whole days of nice weather in a row so we of course need some rain today. J

{February 1, 2008}   Children’s Theatre is done :)

I made it through my children’s theatre performances and actually for the first time since I have been in Belgium felt like I did at home. Although the shows didn’t have the quality of my shows in AZ, they turned out well, the kids and audiences had a fabulous time. My students learned a lot and I received accolades from parents and colleagues. I think I felt at home because it was my 9th graders and we did shows through out the day, all in one day like I did my shows at Shepherd. There were many wonderful parts and silly parts that kept me laughing even though the tech part was stressful.  It is February break. I hope Mo and I can manage to go somewhere fun. Right now I am so tired I cannot concentrate so TTFN

et cetera