Saturday, June 21, 2008

You and me babe, how about it?

This is an interesting little weekend for me. For pretty much the first time in 17 years, I'm alone. Except for the dogs, the guinea pig, and the fish... I'm by myself.

Doug and Geoff are camping with the Boy Scouts and canoeing up on the Saco River, and Jess is still in Germany.

It is kind of a weird thing, and last night I was a little freaked out here in the house by myself. I stayed at work exceptionally late because I was a little bit unnerved about coming home to be alone.

You'd think I'd relish this. I actually do, but it is still really bizarre and takes some getting used to. I jump every single time the stupid dogs bark at something outside, and there is something chewing in the wall in the livingroom but no manly man here to set a trap to catch it. So I fret alone and leap out of my skin when dogs bark at nothingness.

I'm a wuss.

Last night I bought a bottle of wine and popped in Kenneth Brannagh's rendition of Henry V to give it a look through before Geoff goes to do it with Rebel next week.

What an exceptionally well done film it is. I want to have Kenneth Brannagh's babies. Oh, yes I do.

I enjoyed it greatly. Emma Thompson has kind of a horse face and I think she's had some serious plastic surgery over the years... because she sure doesn't look like she did back then. But she was cute and funny as Kate, and it actually made me sad to watch her and her now ex-husband work together so nicely on the screen. I can't believe how big Kenneth Brannagh's mouth is when he's all yelly. Blackadder's dad was very good as Exeter. Hagrid plays Falstaff in some flashback scenes to Henry IV part 2... Judi Dench was unrecognizable at first but I caught on and smiled... and I loved the hell out of Derek Jacobi as the Chorus. He was really cool and intense.

I'm going to show it to Geoff, but I don't know if he's going to get it.

It kept me up very late and I unfortunately drank the entire huge bottle of wine all by myself, which was weird because normally I'd have Doug there to drink half.

One of the perils of being alone.

This morning I went into work for a few hours. I also met in the middle of work with one of the Rebel directors who is doing Jessica's program for Romeo & Juliet. Keri asked me to help scope out spots to do the performance throughout the city of Salem and I wanted Chris to come see them.

MJL playground5Keri is passionate about bringing theater TO people who could or would not otherwise have the opportunity to go see things, so we're going to do at least one show in "the Point," which is a really poor neighborhood in Salem.

We looked at a playground in the neighborhood and discussed where the performance would take place. While we were considering that the scenes don't all have to take place in one location like on a "stage," Chris had the genius idea of using the playground equipment as part of the performance.

She climbed up to the "balcony" scene and there is a spiral laddery thing that Romeo can climb up to in order to chat up his Juliet... and it was brilliant! Absolutely brilliant. What's even more amazing to me about using the playground equipment is that in the play, Romeo and Juliet are really just children. They are like 14 years old ... and it is painfully sad to really imagine children going through this angst and torture and mad crazy love when nowadays kids ... play on playgrounds even when they're that age. So it is deeply symbolic to me about their ages and stage in life... that they still are very young children.

The rest of the playground jungle gym behind where Chris is standing in this photo would make an excellent place for the rest of the Capulet's home... an upstairs to stomp around on and staircase to walk down, place for the nurse to skulk around while spying on the young wooing couple... We had a blast thinking this over, it was so cool and inspirational to have another mind looking at the settings.

We went to Derby Square and looked at Town Hall. The parks department has offered us the Salem Willows Shell with full stage and everything... They're really keen on us doing at least 4 performances around Salem. So yeah... very exciting. And this is what is keeping me awake tonight as so much of this spins around in my mind.

I made a flickr set for the locations we've looked at ... and it will grow as we look at a couple more and then we'll get the kids out to a few of them to kick ideas around that they may have for the performance.

Such fun! Look out Salem, you'll be totally Rebel-ized in August. Wooo! Dates and times will be solidified later, but dear reader ... do try and come? Maybe?

jess at winnekenni castleThey are doing one performance in Haverhill, because in thinking of settings I thought no place would be better than Winnekenni Castle up over Kenoza Lake.

I called a few weeks ago and solidified that booking, so that will be on August 27th at 5pm. If you're in the area, southern NH and Merrimack Valley -- oh do come.

Keri wants to do Lynch Park in Beverly but I can't get anyone from the parks department to call me back in regards to that... and it is driving me nuts.

I think Keri and a few others are looking to secure a performance location in Marblehead... which will be amazing and significant for so many of the kids. Ideally, it would be fantastic to do the performance at Fort Sewell, because Keri ran the program out of there for a decade... and then they were run off by the neighbors who thought the kids were too loud and who disrupted productions and performances by blasting music and just generally being rather poorly behaved for adults. So a "homecoming" to Fort Sewell would have to be finessed by someone in town who could take up the cause... not me. Because I'm not a "header" with connections.

I hope it works out. Even if it isn't at Ft. Sewell, it would be awesome to run one there in town. Anywhere in town.

Well. Anyway, enough chat about Rebel Shakespeare. I'm actually (I think) unloading some of the thoughts that are buzzing in my head by writing this entry so hopefully it'll help me fall asleep now. More later. Sleep. Zzzz. Bye.

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