26 September 2008

Break-a-leg in Winona, Oxford, and other things

All of us here want to wish Judy, Kit, Lisa, and the cast and crew of Bus Stop best of luck on the show...our thoughts are with you as you open! Break-a-leg!

Tim Markus spent four days with us. He just got off of stage managing a tour of the opera, Porgy and Bess in Germany! He got to see 7 shows while here and I believe he beat JC's record of number of London shows seen....!!!! He and I went to see the musical, Zorro which was fantastic...the music was by the Gypsy Kings. It was very humorous, great choreography and a lot of fun! Better than I thought. He ended his trip by seeing War Horse at the National which we will be seeing Nov. 20th...waiting in line at 8am paid off!

We went to Oxford today. Had great weather! Classes are going well. I am enjoying teaching 22 British students at Rose Bruford College where our students take acting class with Tony James which they are really enjoying. We are seeing Kenneth Branagh in Ivanov tomorrow afternoon and Monday Someone to Watch Over Me at the fringe theatre, Baron's Court right down the street from the student flats! Also venturing into Camden Town tomorrow morning to look for props and costumes pieces. Rehearsals are going well at the Drill Hall....

Will post more pictures and videos (Shannon and Danielle punting in Oxford!!!!) Boy can those girls navagate a boat!!!! hahahaha

Again break-a-leg Bus Stop cast and crew and Brother William congratulations!!!!

13 September 2008

Our First Week in London

D.W. Gregory with the cast of Radium Girls

We have had an exciting first week. On the day the students arrived we met D.W. Gregory the playwright of Radium Girls in the crypt of St. Martin's of the Field church in Trafalgar Square. (See Picture to the right) We saw Mid Summer Night's Dream at the Globe for Theatre in London class. Samuel Beckett's five short plays in an evening called Fragments at the Young Vic Theatre directed by Peter Brook. Looking forward to our discussion on these plays in the Page to Stage class. I went to see Sam Shepard's new play, Kicking a Dead Horse that he directed at the Almeida Theatre. The students will see it on Saturday. Tonight we are going to see Merry Wives of Winsor at the Globe. The Thames Festival is today all along the river. We will attend and work our way to the Globe for tonight's show. Check out the short video clip of Dolores Gregory at the crypt.

I am giving over the blog to some of the students.

Hey this is Danielle, Shannon, Michelle, Amber and Peter. Since our first day here we've been having a blast. We got off the plane unpacked and went to meet the playwright of Radium Girls. We went to the Crypt at St. Martin of the Fields church and having, what else but true English tea. The building was brick, when it got later they would put candles on tables which really added to the atmosphere. We had a good time talking to Dolores. We got a chance to ask her questions about the setting, character, and any other questions we had to make our production better.

The next day we went to see A Midsummer Night's Dream at The Globe. When we got off the tube stop, we were walking along Southwark Bridge when we first saw The Globe, all of us got excited and couldn't wait to be the first in line to be the Groundlings (standing seats in The Globe closest to the stage). We then got ready to rush the stage to get the closest standing spots. The show was amazing, everything was amazing. The interesting thing about the production of A Midsummer Night's Dream was that two hours before the performance something happened to the actor playing Puck, he would not be performing. There was a note on the enterance to the theatre stating that someone else would be filling in and that he would have a script in hand for the production. During the prolouge Peter Quince came out and told us that The Globe doesn't have enough funding to hire understudies so someone else in the cast would have to perform instead. A lot of us were pretty upset, but when he walked on stage we completly forgot that he had a script in hand; he was AMAZING! It was a great performance. Later we found out that the "new" Puck only had two hours to get ready for his big role. He originally was a fairy and because something happened to the original puck he got the chance to take the stage in a leading role. So never get disheartend if you have a small role, you never know what can happen. You might get the chance of a lifetime.

Saint Mary's students at the Globe

A fast recap (more details later)...

We also saw Fragments at the Young Vic. We were all very excited to find that the one female player was a character from the latest Harry Potter movie. For most of us, it was our first time seeing absurdist theatre. Some of the short plays were as dark as we imagined them to be, but there were others that were really funny! Lots of humor; it was great to see on stage.

We've also been able to see some other shows on our own. We went to a music club in Notting Hill to see a friend of Gary's, Nassau Royal (Dave Ross), perform. Great acoustic music; fun bloke to talk to. You can google his name to find his myspace and hear his original music. He plans on attending our show.

Nassau Royal plays a C chord

We'll talk more about other shows in a later blog. Hope all is well in the States. Cheers!

04 September 2008

My First Few Days

Well I arrived on Monday and have taken a couple of days to settle into my flat! It is a pretty nice flat in a great neighborhood. Very convenient. Finally, I am over jet lag, and I went out and about today. Went to the National Theatre and Yound Vic to purchase plays and then went to see Josh Hartnett in a staged production of Rain Man based on the film with Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman. It was a preview performance, and I heard from one of the actors that they went through two directors and had to delay the opening for 10 days. Tomorrow night I am going to see Joan Rivers with Jonathan Kennedy. He had an extra ticket so it is a freebee! The students arrive on Saturday and at 5pm we are going to meet D.W. Gregory, the playwright of Radium Girls. More on that later. I was watching the British TV show Antique Roadshow and someone brought in a watch from WWI era that was painted with raduim paint. They actually spent some time talking about the girls who worked in the factory and ended up getting cancer. Weird moment! The weather has been pretty cool here. Not hot at all. I brought too many short sleeve shirts!!!

Ta Ta