Month: February 2015

Millie and Willie visit the Theatre

Quote of the Day: A small, intimate theatre like Cream of the Crop (in Randall, MN), provides a feeling of sharing the story with the audience. Says Beth Selinger, artistic director of Cream of the Crop Theater in Randall, MN. Her story is in Her Voice, p.32.  I had the great pleasure of interviewing, and writing the story, of Beth Selinger, her theatrical life, and new theater in Randall, MN for our local magazine, Her Voice. Millie and Willie Cottonpoly, my sock puppet creations, just couldn’t keep their toes out of the new business. Here’s their conversation: Millie: Say, Willie, did you hear the buzz? Willie: What, buzz, Millie? The bees? They’re all hibernating right now. Millie: Willie, focus. I’m talking about the kind of buzz when people are talking about something new and exciting. Willie: Does it involve food? Millie: Willie, stop thinking about your, ah, stomach for a minute, and listen to me. Willie: I’m all ears, um, and toes, Millie. Millie: There’s a new theater in Randall, MN. Willie: Where’s Randall? Millie: It’s in the heart of Minnesota’s lake country, a bit north of Little Falls, and a little south of Brainerd. Willie: Wait a minute. Isn’t that the home of Bermel’s shoes? I like that store, soft shoes, sturdy soles, and that nice leathery smell. Millie: Yes, yes, that’s the place with the famous shoe store with the...

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Millie and Willie Visit the Farm

Quote of the Day:  Would you like to swing on a star, Carry moonbeams home in a jar. Or be better off than you are? Or, would rather be a… From the song Swingin’ on a Star. I’m planning to use this song as inspiration for the up-coming theatre classes for kids that I’m teaching this spring. The animals mentioned in the song are mule, pig, and fish. They’ll probably come up with some additional verses! I also plan to use some rhythm work with the kids, kind of like a Barnyard Stomp! Millie and Willie Cottonpoly, my sock puppet creations, are getting ready to create a story with another theatre class for kids in our area. They have a cousin, Dyllie, out on the farm, and some mysterious things have been happening. To get the ideas flowing, and introduce the story to the kids, I’m writing an intro to The Mystery at the Old Farm.  Willie: Say, Millie, I have a hankering to get out of town and soak up some good country fresh air, not to mention eggs, and other farm fresh produce from my cousin, Dyllie. What do you say we pay him a visit? Millie: We could use a bunch of eggs, Willie, with Easter right around the corner, egg coloring with Billie and Lillie, egg hunts. Willie: Your delicious deviled eggs with extra paprika sprinkled on...

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Review of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Guthrie Theater

Quote of the Day: Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind, therefore is wing’d Cupid painted blind. William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Act 1, scene 1. It’s hard to see straight and think straight when your eyes are clouded over by fairy magic and tricky love potion.  The Guthrie Theater’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream is colorful, bold, psychedelic, lively, and fun. It’s a bit of a trip, if you know what I mean, but then so is love’s journey. Sometimes, people are telling you what to do, like Hermia’s father who decides that she should marry Demetrius because he wants him for a son-in-law. However, Hermia loves Lysander, and Helena love Demetrius, but he doesn’t love her. So, Lysander and Hermia cook up a plan to steal away, through the mystical forest, and secretly wed. Well, Cupid’s arrow doesn’t always shoot straight, and mischievous fairies make sport of human folly. An unsuspecting theatre troupe gets caught up in the shenanigans, and much humor ensues. When you attend a Shakespearean play, it takes a little bit to get used to the language, the words and how they’re strung together, the rhyme, and the play on words. If the actors are good, they know what words to emphasize that help you get the gist of the the dialogue. They also use their bodies and facial expressions, as well as stage movement...

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2015-2016 Season at the Children’s Theatre Company in Minneapolis

Quote of the Day:  Field trips to live theater enhance literary knowledge, tolerance, and empathy among students, according to a study. The research team found that reading and watching movies of Hamlet and A Christmas Carol could not account for the increase in knowledge experienced by students who attended live performances of the plays. Students who attended live performances of the play also scored higher on the study’s tolerance measure than the control group by a moderately large margin and were better able to recognize and appreciate what other people think and feel. from an article at Science Daily.com titled Major Benefits for Students who attend live theater. The Children’s Theatre Company of Minneapolis, MN has announced it’s 2015-2016 season, and it’s fabulous. CTC has been the leading children’s theatre in the nation, and they are the first theatre to produce many shows, including Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy, a play they commissioned playwright Cheryl West to write for the stage, from the book by Gary D. Schmidt. I’m so excited to see a mix of new plays and cherished classics. Here is their press release: An Innovative 2015 – 2016 50th Anniversary Season Including Five Premieres The 2015- 2016 Anniversary Season encompasses a blend of reimagined classic stories and inspiring new works.  Adapted from the critically-lauded film, Akeelah and the Bee has Broadway director Charles Randolph-Wright making his...

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IWSG February 2015

Quote of the Day: Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you’re right. Henry Ford It’s the first Wednesday of the month when a large group of us bloggers write a post for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, founded by the amazing Alex J. Cavanaugh. You can check out his blog for more details. You can also go to the IWSG site to learn more and find the link to an ebook that many of us contributed to on writing, marketing, and living the creative life. I am a huge fan of This American Life, a radio show produced by NPR. I am a relatively new listener. I’d heard about it, but didn’t take the time to listen to a full podcast, which lasts about an hour, until I saw someone post about Magic Words (kinda grabs a word girl’s attention). They often have several segments to their podcasts, called Acts. In Act 3, the story is about a woman who has dementia, her daughter, and her son-in-law, the actor, who uses improv to help them all cope with the fuzzy existence of one whose mind wanders between the past, present, and a different reality. It was fascinating, not to mention useful in my own research as I write my current play. Then, I popped on Dr. Gilmer and Mr. Hyde, a true crime mystery that I found fascinating....

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