Five Women Wearing the Same Dress

Opens tonight! My independent study with the theater department this semester has been a giant time commitment but always a lot of fun. I’ve worked with talented, dynamic and incredible actors, directors and stage managers — we’ve all come together for what is sure to be an amazing show!!

Here is a video that Bates put together from one of our tech rehearsals– no pictures of the dresses yet– that’s a big secret!

“Five Women Wearing the Same Dress” from Bates College on Vimeo.

…but, here I am with Marketa showing off our “pin cushion” hair pieces!


Bates Links to Check Out

Whew! Senior year: you are SO hard. I’ve been running a marathon of schoolwork for the past, what, month? Each assignment I turn in is quickly replaced with another, more time-consuming project. Add those long term assignments to my daily homeworks, my extra curricular schedule, and my sanity, and not much time remains. So I’ve been busy. Still am, actually. But I wanted to take this time to point out a few things worth checking out about Bates via the internet right now.

The first is “Inside Out Bates” — a student run site dedicated to gathering all campus event listings to one page. This is a noble endeavor and not an easy one, to be sure! Bates constantly has different opportunities for students and faculty: events, concerts, lectures, workshops, meetings, performances, the list goes on… The idea behind Inside Out is to engage with student leaders to help bring their events to the student body in a streamlined, managable, and accesible manner. Way to go guys!

The second is the new and improved social media presence of the Bates Theater, Dance and Rhetoric department. This happens to be my doing– I developed and implemented the strategy recently. It’s still all pretty new, but “like” us on facebook to hear about what’s going on in the department, here. We are also on Twitter, @BatesTheater. Its a fun daily task to get a sense of what’s going on around the department and share that with current students, alumni, and hopefully prospective students (that’s you!)!

There are some links. Happy November!

The Budapest Weekend, or, How I was briefly penniless in Hungary

Last weekend I had the opportunity to visit Budapest, Hungary, where Bates runs a short term class on Central European theater and film. The course description is : A study of Hungarian, Polish, and Czech theater and film, focusing on the impact on these arts of the social and political changes of the last fifty years, from the Polish and Hungarian uprisings of 1956 to the rebuilding of culture in the region following the collapse of the Soviet Bloc in 1989. While in Budapest, students view films at the Hungarian National Film Archive and attend performances of central European theater at the International Contemporary Drama Festival and the Hungarian National Theater. Visits to theater and film centers in Prague are also included. Sounds kind of awesome right?

This kind of short term course is a great option for Batesies who don’t want to commit to an entire semester abroad. These students spend 5 weeks, instead of 5 months in a foreign country, but still get exposed to a new language and culture.

As a student who is interested and active in theater at Bates, though not the theater department, I had many friends who were on the program, including one of my favorite professors, Kati Vecsey. So, though it was an expensive plane ticket, I decided that my last weekend trip while abroad would be to visit Hungary. What a great weekend I picked: Kati was able to get me tickets to go along with the class to shows. Friday night we saw Otello at the Opera house, (which was sung in Italian and subtitled in Hungarian) and Saturday we saw an incredible production of Moliere’s Misanthrope (which was also in Hungarian, and I’d never read it, but it was amazing nevertheless).

Travis, Danya, Michelle and I during one of the THREE intermissions at the Opera

Michelle, me, and Danya outside of the Opera (with a few special guests making cameo appearences)

Michelle and me out to dinner after the opera. Budapest was similar to Zagreb in that there were many pedestrian streets filled with restaurants and terraces. YUMMY. I had gnocchi.

The mighty Hotel Budapest: their home and classroom for 5 weeks

Look it’s a castle! Okay, so right nearby here happens to be where Katy Perry shot the final sequence of her music video for “Firework.” True confessions? It was one of my favorite guilty pleasure jams last semester so I FREAKED OUT when I heard it was nearby. Bummer of the century: they were setting up for some weird wine tasting or something so it was all closed. At least I got to take a little peek…

There I am! Solo shot, as per usual, just for you guys. Beautiful view beside some ancient ruins near the castle.

Here Danya acts as proof of where we dined for lunch: on a boat docked on the Danube. So classy, albeit a bit windy.

So I spent a wonderful weekend visiting my friends in Budapest, seeing amazing productions, even had a dinner with Kati (dreams do come true!) ! However, here I will note something that happened while I was away that is a problem that befalls many world travelers, and it was bound to happen at some point: my debit card got cancelled.

Throughout my time in Budapest, I’d been attempting to take money out from ATMs with no luck. I assumed at first it was a problem with the legitimacy of the ATMs, but soon realized something was wrong. So I called the bank (using google voice, duh) and found out that two weeks earlier, my card had been cancelled due to some fraud suspicions or something. Without notifying me. You’re probably thinking, wait, how did you not notice your card not working for 2 weeks? WELL, my parents were visiting me! I was being taken out to incredible meals! For the first time since coming to Paris I wasn’t obsessively counting pennies and taking out more money than I wanted to! So I didn’t notice…until I was penniless in Hungary. But, I was with friends. And they helped me out. And I made it home safely. And had 30 euros to my name for a while, but I called the bank every day and I now have a new card that works! Hooray! So, like I said, unfortunate but inevitable occurrence,  but I feel very lucky that it happened while I was surrounded by people who supported me.

Ok. Finals week in France. Harder than Bates, because the world keeps going on here. There’s PARIS things to do, like have a picnic in the park, or sit by the Seine. I don’t want to study for 4 exams or write my paper! But I must. So here I go…

T-Minus 2 weeks till the US. whew

Goodbye, 2010

What a year. Already over. I’ve decided to look back on 2010 and note some of my favorite memories. We’ll see how this goes.

-Started off 2010 in San Diego with my family. It was… colder than expected
-Once back at Bates, kicked off Winter Carnival by jumping in the Puddle.
-Held an open house for ART COMMONS (with the help of Matt and Charlotte, of course) where students came to paint on the walls and discuss student art at Bates.
-Took an English class with Eden Osucha that led to an engagement with literature, a declaration, and several opportunities to see fiction and poetry readings.
-Began looking at the stars for my Lunar and Planetary science class, and actually understanding it.
-Was elected as the publicity director of WRBC and helped to put on awesome concerts including Hey Mama, Toro Y Moi & Washed Out & Small Black, Seabear (photos!) and Phantogram by the end of sophomore year.
-Helped out with WRBC’s trivia night 2010— and stayed up all night
-Produced One Acts for the Robinson Players
-Got dressy and dazzled at the All College Gala
-Finished the semester like a pro and headed down to Puerto Rico
-Rocked out at spring concerts including Passion Pit at Bowdoin, Sleigh Bells & Rusko & Major Lazer in Cambridge, Sleigh Bells & Yeasayer in Boston, and  Ronjstock back at Bates.
-Took a class about the politics of theater– still don’t really get Brecht though, don’t hold it against me.
-Brought 900 local school children together to see free theater put on my the Robinson Players
-Watched my older brother graduate from college, freak outs about the future and growing up ensued
-Packed up and came home, finished sophomore year successfully. Realized I was one half done with college. Freak outs ensued.
-Ran off on a romantic trip to Montreal with my best friend where we ate gelato (among other things)
-Worked at summer camp and dressed up like a superhero
-Went down South to visit Schuyler in New Orleans
-Started Junior year! Took three English classes and a science class which was a pretty tough course load.
-Kicked off this year’s WRBC concerts with Dr Dog and later closed out the semester with The Hood Internet & The Knocks.
-Performed in Fuddy Meers by David Lindsay-Abaire as Claire. Was the star. Got to be a diva for a hot second. And loved it.
-Took a weekly trip to fine dining establishments in the area for the Friday Lunch series
-Helped out with WRBC’s Trivia Night 2010.5– and didn’t stay up all night
-Kicked my finals’ butts and packed up my life while my head reeled about not coming back for so long.

There ya have it. A year in (condensed) review. With hyperlinks. Happy almost 2011!

Fall One Acts– From the eye of a producer

This weekend the Robinson Players put on our annual fall one acts. Usually, this consists of a few ten to fifteen minute plays directed by those with experience and those just trying it out, featuring actors of the same spectrum. For the past two years, I’ve been in the fall one acts, but this year, I was so busy with Fuddy Meers earlier in the semester that jumping into another show seemed like too much. But that makes it more fun for me, to be honest. Because, as a board member for the Rob players, I get to show up during tech week, make notes, preview the shows, see the moments the public doesn’t get to see, without the nerves and responsibility of performing all weekend.

This year, there was an overwhelming number of plays proposed by mostly new directors. Not wanting to discourage this sudden and exciting onset of interest in the Rob Players, we agreed to put on 5 plays. This is more than usual. Especially considering that we were in the smaller Black Box theater, due to scheduling conflicts. Lots of actors, props, furniture, and tech cues made it all a very… zany experience. My friend (and director of every show ever, including Fuddy Meers) Michelle ran all the tech for this, she’s a superhero. Not to mention we both had an exam in the middle of it all that merited quite a lot of freaking out… But it all turned out so well! The constraints of seating lead to super full houses for the actors to perform for, always a good sign. I had to listen from the booth because there wasn’t room for me to watch in the theater on opening night!!

The plays performed were:

“Chocolate” by Frederick Stroppel

“Mental Reservation” by Roger Cornish

“Death Knocks” by Woody Allen

“Hardy Boys and the Mystery of Where Babies Come From” by Christopher Durang

“Different” by Lisa Soland

Hopefully all the new, younger students that got involved in this project will continue with theater and especially with Rob players! We always love new people because they come with their own unique set of ideas. We need their support, considering all the exciting things coming up including the Vagina Monologues, a spring Musical, and a short term children’s show! Whew!

Hotel Universe

Last night I saw the theater department’s fall mainstage show: Hotel Universe. As with all mainstage shows, the direction, acting, design and production value was very impressive. At Bates, we have two mainstage theaters and one black box, but this show was put on in the smaller of the two: Gannet theater. Working with a smaller space invites creativity in staging the show; what Hotel Universe did was really play with the space and made something very interesting to look at.

My friend Schuyler was totally the star. And by star I mean amazing female lead. The show was also two seniors’ thesis show for their acting thesis. Serious business. The cast was small, only 9 students. The makeup of that group was very odd, as  well… it was half freshmen and half seniors– nothing in between. Even so, all cast members filled their role very well; the freshmen did not appear shy or less experienced than their older counterparts.

The show was a bit of a psychological drama- as it unfolded, things became more and more eerie and complicated, but ultimately were resolved. The actors had the difficult job of playing a part that stays in the same setting, but transcends that time and place at some points.

It’s funny because  I’d been hearing about this show from the very beginning of school– every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning when I go to the gym with Schuyler she would share a day to day concern or status check on her lines or a scene she was worried about…And yet, now i realize that she must have been censoring herself for the sake of my own discovery of the play when I actually saw it. There was so much more to Hotel Universe than I had thought– I’m still actually digesting it.

There are still two more performances, log on to if  you happen to be in the area and want to see some great theater!

Fuddy Meers

It’s finally here! The big weekend where the show that I’ve been working on the whole time I’ve been at school has started performing! We had our first show last night, and it went really well! There were a few little hiccups, lines dropped, reordered, a pen that flew out of my hand and out the window… But the director, Michelle was really amped! I’m super glad. Being good friends with your director makes for a lot of pressure– I want this to be great for her after she’s worked so hard! Since we are performing in the black box theater, there are only 36 seats, meaning that it’s always a packed house. The stage is so small that the actors are really in the audience members’ space and vice versa. This was a little alarming on opening night!

Most of the cast members have family up to see the show tonight which is really exciting. This cast has been so much fun, and I’ve really made great friends in the process of perfecting a play. Always a plus. Shoutout to Marketa and Hallie: the three female parts are played by girls in different grades, but we’ve formed a trifecta and have a thousand inside jokes together and can usually be found trying desperately not to inappropriately crack up backstage. This is of course, to be expected when we’ve been spending ALL of our time together in a tiny room working on the play for 5 weeks.

Anyways, gotta get ready for tonight’s show! There will be a judge for a theater festival we’ve been nominated for at the performance, so I’m a little nervous about that… but I’m sure it’ll go well! Check out the write ups about the show: here and here!