Tag Archives: theater

Swan Lake, art, and pondering

The last time I saw a ballet was in gradeschool when our class went to see The Nutcracker, and I remember being really impressed and excited about the whole rat battle, but after that it got a little slow. Sure the realm of the Sugarplum fairy was nice, but where were the rats? Where was the action??

That being my only experience, I was a bit hesitant to go see Swan Lake tonight, but I needed the convo credit and figured what the heck. Watching dancers exhausts me. The way that they’ve totally harnassed and utilized the capabilities of the human bodies fascinates me to the point of being sick to my stomach and leaves me wallowing in dizzying admiration

It reminds me of a play I saw called Resident Alien by Tim Fountain. It’s a great one-man play about Quentin Crisp, and is essentially a string of his little tidbits and insights on life that are all woven together. Because of this, it’s difficult to pluck a quote out of context, but I’ll do my best. In an explanation about ridding oneself of superfluous things and actions, the main character goes on to say…

“It’s alright if you are learning to sing or dance because these are activities the results of which you take out into the world and wear like a crown. People who have learned to sing will always have richer, rounder voices. People who’ve learned to dance will always have bigger, bolder movements, but as for pottery and basket weaving, what good are they? The moment the doors of the evening institute clang shut behind you you are back where you started. On the way home you might get into an argument with a stranger at a bus stop. It’s no good saying I can’t express myself you’ll have to come and see my baskets.”

When I first heard this in the play it really struck a chord with me, especially the part about dancers and singers being able to wear their talents like a crown, because they are always present within the person. It got me thinking about art, and sure enough, the character of Quentin soon brings up the visual arts…

“It would be difficult to express the dilemma that lies before the visual artist. If I showed you a huge great piece of concrete with a hole in it everybody would say it’s a Henry Moore, but if I could show you Henry Moore himself nobody would know who he was. So all that clipping, all that chipping, all that chiselling, it’s been in vain.”

I’d like to say I disagree strongly with the character on this point, being a visual artist myself. However, it’s not so simple, as the words make sense. Whenever I read it, it spins me off into deep ponderings about a talent’s ability to portray who a person is and this and that. Far too incoherent ramblings to journal about, but I wonder if it strikes chords with anyone else, too?

Pain and Announcement

Thanks for the suggestions on names everyone! I’ve decided to name the plant Cap’n Stitch.

First weekend of winter term and all is well. I decided to go play in an Ultimate Frisbee mini-tourney yesterday, and was needed as the only girl, and after some other people dropped out, we had 8 people. 7 people have to be in play, leaving us one sub, and after Abbot got injured before the last game…well….we were all pretty exhausted.

I had a lot of fun, but since I hadn’t played since early fall, I knew right away that my body would be screaming at me all day today. That’s what I get, I guess.

And Now for the First of a Series of Important Announcements that I’ll be making periodically

As you all know, I’m taking this theater class and working on this play this term.
The play is The Yellow Boat by David Saar, and just from the progress made this week, I can tell it is going to be an awesome play. Awesome as in well-acted and designed, but also in that it’s a very important play.

So that is why I’ll be announcing in my journal now and again to harass anyone I can into coming, because you all need to see this play. I believe the performance dates will be Feb 10-13, but I’ll get more details.

If you are in or near Danville, Kentucky at that time, you are hereby obligated to come and see this play. You Have no choice in the matter. So there.

Plant adoption

I acquired another houseplant today. Well, I suppose “rescued” would be the more appropriate term.

I was rummaging about the prop storage room today when I passed by what I thought was a remarkably well-crafted fake plant. Upon closer inspection, I found that it was indeed a real, living (barely) plant.

Through further information gathering, I discovered that the plant was a prop from A Day in the Death of Joe Egg, which was performed last fall. So this poor plant had been down in the completely lightless prop storage for over a year!

It’s a Christmas Cactus, but its leaves are totally flat and limp. I suppose it lived off the moisture in the air, as the prop storage room can get somewhat dank, and scratched up all the light it could from the incandescent bulbs on the rare occasion that someone enter prop storage.

A shriveled blossom at the base of the plant indicates that it did bloom at one point.

So, I’ve adopted it under my care, and hopefully I can nurse it back to help. Sara says that putting it under a UV light might help, so I may see if I can borrow her blacklight, or perhaps send the plant over for a visit. Any care tips from plant people would be welcome!

That said, this trooper of a plant deserves an appropriate name. Any ideas?

Props, puppets, and artsy things

Second day of winter term completed: so far so good. The prop load for this play is turning out to be more and more manageable. There is a lot of stuff to buy, but most of it consists of small, cheap, easily obtainable things. There are a few larger things to buy, but I still think we can work them into the props budget, and a few hard things to get (like an endoscope and IV pumps), but Matthew seems to be taking care of all the medical schtuff we have to obtain.

My goal for tomorrow is to get all the pieces for the practice puppet, so I can have it made by the end of the week. That way Ian will have plenty of time to mess with it, and hopefully will make an easy transition to the real puppet when it is complete.

As for life in general, I guess I’m doing okay. I’ve been feeling very tired lately, and very unrested. I’ve been fighting hard not to take naps after class/work, but it’s difficult, and I’ve slept away the evenings for the last two days. It hasn’t been a total loss, though, I’ve been getting bits of my current drawing worked on in the evenings. Here are some process shots… (it’s too big to fit under the scanner, so I used my digital camera, which is why some of the shots are all crooked and stuff).


I’m proud of how it’s turning out, though there is much layering of colored pencil to go. I’m trying very hard to take my time and be neat about things, as patience has always been an artsy problem of mine.

I really hope this term will be a productive one (both in class and out), and I think that if I try and overcome my current exhaustion, I can make good use of my free evenings.

2003 Year-end review

Hooray for 2004! Time for the 2003 year-end review…

-2003 rolled in with winter term, rebuilding the furnace, and blissful blissful free time. Sitting quietly and watching D Flo, Brendan, Eric, and others play Gauntlet for 12-18 hours each day was like heaven. Heaven I tell you!

-Spring term was quiet front-loaded, and I remember most of the beginning was spent preparing for SETC, which was a great and fun experience. I’m really glad I went, and hope to go again this year.

-Getting the job at Berkshire was a great relief in the spring, because it meant I had no foreboding worries about the summer. It was also helpful that my scheduling for school worked out perfectly, and that I was able to get my first choice in campus housing for the next year. That spring term really was apologizing for all the hard stuff I’d had to do before, I think.

-The summer and The Berkshire Theatre Festival. I’m so glad i took that internship; I learned so much, had tons of fun, and that’s where I met and developed my initial friendship with Carleton.

-Fall came around and school was tough, but I started dating Carleton, which was a big deal for me. Like, it goes down in the “Notable events of Lisa’s Life” section.

-New Year’s Eve. Hanging out with Brendan and Maria. Playing video games. I always have a rough time at New Year’s parties, because I don’t drink, and many of my friends who do would rather do that than sit and play video games. This year I decided to have fun, and I feel bad for not seeing Darren or Will, but I will see them again, and I actually had fun this year! Woohoo!

2004 is looking out to be scary and exciting, as graduation and for-really-real life is right on the horizon. I’m ready for it, though, i think. Hope everyone has a great year!


Another holiday completed. Christmas this year was very pleasant, in spite of my initial sadness due to lack of Carleton. Crazy family time kept me busy and my mind off it.

I got a few books I’d wanted, some other nice things, and my mom got me yarn (so I can knit her a scarf ¬_¬ ). I enjoyed spending time with family and friends, and spent the evening with some friends from high school I hadn’t seen in awhile.

Now that the holiday is over I am overwhelmed by the fact that I still have a week of break left. I have a feeling I will get little accomplished, as I am very tired.

I am excited about winter term, it should be fun to design props and make puppets and such, and it will be nice to have no evening obligations. However, I feel I’ll spend most of that time sleeping and resting. I suppose there is a possibility I will suddenly become motivated, perhaps work on figuring out what I’m going to do with the rest of my life, and all that. So much to think about, so exhausting.

I suppose I’ll postpone thinking about all those big things a bit longer, and just work on thinking about what I should buy with my gift certificate to the art supply store.


It’s coooooooooold in Connecticut (or maybe just in the house). So, my trip up here went smoothly, in spite of last minute planning changes and Carleton’s phone dying before I finished giving him directions to Ali’s apartment where he could pick me up. Madness and Chaos! But all turned out well.

I saw The Christmas Carol and was very impressed with the puppetry, especially the Marley puppet, very cool! Ali introduced me to the puppetry people before the show, and Carleton’s friend Frankie showed me around the puppet lab afterwards. Everyone was very friendly and informative. We also stopped by UConn’s puppetry museum, which currently has an exhibit of works by students and alumni. It was very cool. One UConnite did puppets for Pinwheel, and as I turned the corner to see great, green, glaring Ebinezer T. Squint, I nearly melted with Nostalgia, exclaiming “Ah! My childhood! My CHILDHOOD!” and weeping. Anyway, I got to see the puppet lab and talk to the puppet people and got lots of information and made lots of connections. It was a very successful day.

Yesterday was a lazy just-hang-out day, the bulk of which was consumed by the extended version of The Two Towers. It was very good (and very long) and full of lots of little helpful explanatory tidbit scenes. Today and Tomorrow Carleton has to go in to Hartford to do work, so I am using the time to catch up on my glass sketchbook and such. Being on break is soooooo nice.

stupid sound board

I hate the dichotomy of feeling very excited and wanting a week to get over with as quickly as possible, but at the same time feeling overwhelmed by all the stuff you have to get done before the week is through, and thus wish you had more time.

Thursday I worked Saturday Night Fever, which was nice, as it was a very small show and the load-out ended at 12:30, earliest yet I think! On the other hand, it was not nice in some ways. You see, our theater has this inherent problem that every now and then (which is more frequent than it sounds like), the sound board for a road show will not fit in our elevator. Thus, to get it to the back of the house, it has to be carried up several flights of stairs. Sound boards weigh from 1600 to 2000 pounds, or more, and are also quite fragile–which means any idea you have about making it easier to carry up the stairs, you can’t do, because it has to stay level and you can’t tip it and this and that.

Because of this, road shows have always been a good opportunity for me to practice my Nimpo skills, because as soon as I hear the sound board does not fit in the elevator, I vanish! Blend in to the walls. I haven’t had to carry it up so far, but Thursday (after stacking some very heavy trusses with too few people–I’m surprised no one lost a finger) I was captured with the other electricians to carry it down. If carrying the sound board down the stairs is so much easier than carrying it up as they say, I never never NEVER want to have to carry on up. UGH x_x

The resulting soreness made the Kempo clinic on Saturday a little rougher, but it was still fun and enjoyable. And now I am four times as sore. Ah, well, as soon as the muscles knit back together I will have SUPER HUMAN STRENGTH.

Well, i’m really only writing this entry now to put of the load of work I have to do today. I suppose, however, I should get started. If anyone needs me, I’ll probably either be in Olin or the Art Barn.


Last night the wind was howling something awful, so *that’s* what a cold front sounds like. It was like November was late for class, and so ran as fast as he could to get there on time last night, and this morning he was all huffing and puffing and saying “See? Cold! It’s November now, heh heh…what?” Silly seasons.

I saw the Lion King (onstage) Tuesday night, it was frickin amazing. If my interest in puppetry was just a lingering possibility before, it’s now properly inspired to “life goal.” I will make puppets!!

I loved the Zazu puppet, the hyena suits, and the big Timon puppet the best. The cheetah was great, too. It took me forever to realize that its head was attached to to operator’s head with wires, I was sitting there and staring trying to figure out how it moved.

Art History paper: complete. Rock!

Another year, another kitten

Following the great Rodes 2 temporary kennel tradition, I’ve taken on an abandoned kitten until we find it a good home. Cute little thing, very snuggly and playful, but I am in no state to be raising a kitten, so I’m searching for some new parents for it (any takers? Kitten, anyone?)

Ugh, this week has been quite overwhelming, with lots going on at once. Yesterday seemed to be the culmination of it, what with working the first road show (Cats) of the year and still trying to get my program for OS done. I was up until 2:30 or so, as the program was due at 3 in the morning, and I did not get it to work properly. It’s quite frustrating, because it was a fairly simple program, and I could have written it in Java with my eyes closed. But, learning C and programming in it at the same time proved to be quite tricky for me in this case (I wasn’t the only one in that boat, though, which is slightly reassuring).

By the time I got home last night I was exhausted, both from unsuccessful coding and the load-out. Perhaps it was just because it was the first road show of the year, but my hands are torn to pieces. My achilles tendon was not happy with me last night, and frequently piped up to remind me that it still had tendonitis. Consequently, my sleep last night was not terribly restful.

I called in to work today. Anne (the slide library curator) is always very understanding of me and working road shows, and had no problem with it. I thought about using the extra time to jump right in and work on finishing my other program for Compilers, but I decided that I could use some refreshing, and that it would ultimately do me more good.

So, I slept an extra hour, tidied up around the apartment, showered, and cooked myself an omelette. I have many emails to respond to, so I may spend the rest of the morning doing that. However, it is more likely that I will nap some more before my 12:40 class, and just generally get some more rest.

(and to think, my glass slots haven’t even started up yet. Next week’s going to start to get busy x_x)