Month: May 2015

Reading Accessibility

Quote of the Day:  I’ll use the words of wisdom for the Publicist Extraordinaire, Krista Rolfzen Soukup of Blue Cottage Agency. She says that the publishing world is constantly changing. When she first got into the business in 2009, she was reading article after article on the demise of the paper book. “Everything was going to ePublishing!” People were up in arms about it. Then, article after article came out about the benefits of paper books, and cries of “What’s going to happen to our society when paper books disappear?” There was talk of children’s brains going to mush (or, maybe I just thought I heard that complaint). The truth is ePublishing has evened the playing field. Now, the Top Five publishers, who were once the gatekeepers, no longer have all the power. Regular Joe and Jane Bookworm can now write books and have them published through small presses, Indy publishers, self-pubs, and the infamous eBooks. And, guest what? More people than ever are reading. Words have become more accessible to everyone. “Our ways of getting and sharing our words are unlimited,” says Krista. “Having all these options makes the pie bigger.” And, I like pie. So, why am I ranting about this today? I feel duped by an article posted on Facebook that claimed to be about Indy Bookstores. I love Indy Bookstores. I like visiting the one...

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The Odd Couple at Stage North in Brainerd, MN

Quote of the Day:  I can’t take it anymore, Felix, I’m cracking up. Everything you do irritates me. And when you’re not here, the things I know you’re gonna do when you come in irritate me. You leave me little notes on my pillow. Told you 158 times I can’t stand little notes on my pillow. “We’re all out of cornflakes. F.U.” Took me three hours to figure out F.U. was Felix Ungar. Oscar Madison from Neil Simon’s classic comedy The Odd Couple. Most of you know the plot line, probably saw the old movie, the stage play, or even the television series starring Jack Klugman and Tony Randall. As soon as they played the music from the television show, I was picturing the opening segment. It ran from 1970-1975, so I probably know it from reruns. It’s a classic comedy, perfect set-up with foil characters thrust into a relationship. Oscar, the slob, takes in Felix, the neat freak, where humor and angst ensue. Our Travis Chaput nailed the part of Felix! He had the mannerisms, line delivery, and facial expression that made his character very real and fun to watch. Oscar, played by Brad Wagendorf, has the “I don’t care – leave me alone” part down. He’s not the curmudgeon with charm that Jack Klugman has perfected, but he carries the part on his own merit. I felt like he...

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Summer Theatre Classes in Brainerd lakes area, 2015

Quote of the Day: Top five reasons to participate in the arts: 1. It builds your self-awareness, confidence, and creativity. 2. You learn the art of cooperation through group story-telling. 3. You get to make something – physical sets and props, a brand new story, create characters. 4. You make friends. 5. It’s fun, and funny, and you get to hang out with people who love to entertain, tell stories, and be part of a creative team! The above picture is from my Spring Theatre classes. I had 21 students in the elementary group, and 12 in the middle school group. We wrote a play together, used minimal set with the boxes and a few props. The kids created their own characters or took the parts of Millie and Willie, and a few others that I used to introduce the story. This summer, I’ll be teaching classes again in the Brainerd lakes area, Monday-Friday, July 13-24. Classes will be held at the Dryden Theatre at Central Lakes College. The space is generously provided by the CLC theatre department, and they are also handling all the registration. Theatre workshop for elementary kids (entering 1st-4th grades) 9:00-10:00 am. Our theme is tall tales, using story ideas from our area like Paul Bunyan and Big Foot. The kids will create their own stories and characters as they tell their tales around a campfire....

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Review of Camelot at The Ordway in St. Paul, MN

Quote of the Day: Ready my knights for battle. They will ride with their king once more. I have lived through others for far too long. Lancelot carried my honor, and Guenevere, my guilt. Mordred bears my sins. My knights have fought my causes. Now, my brother, I shall be king. I must ride with my knights to defend what was, and the dream of what could be. from Le Morte d’Arthur by Thomas Malory My sister Joy and I attended the National Tour of Camelot at the Ordway Performing Arts Center in St. Paul, MN. It is a magnificent show – lovely, heroic, and a little Renfesty. They cast it perfectly, and everyone has a tremendous singing voice (I particularly loved Mary McNulty’s as Guenevere). You feel love and sympathy for King Arthur. You see Guenevere’s internal conflict as she tries to remain loyal to her husband and king even though she loves the noble Lancelot. And, Lancelot, who enters the stage with a song about how he’s the perfect man for the job, discovers that he, too, has flaws and isn’t stronger that the passions of the heart. It’s a sad story, really, the love triangle, the egos of men, the revenge and mischief making of Mordred – Arthur’s illegitimate son, and the ultimate fall of the kingdom. But, the songs are great. The music is lovely and haunting, and at times...

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MIA Art in Bloom Awards

Quote of the Day: No man has the right to dictate what other men should perceive, create or produce, but all should be encouraged to reveal themselves, their perceptions and emotions, and to build confidence in the creative spirit.- Ansel Adams Every trip to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts is a beauteous adventure, even more so when they are celebrating Art in Bloom. The first weekend of May, they have on display artistic floral arrangements that are paired with one of the numerous pieces of artwork on display. We’ve gone twice, now, and I hope to get again, every year if I’m lucky. We were asked to vote on our favorites. Here are mine. You can see more of the displays on a video and read more about the Art in Bloom project on their website. We could vote for three: Best Interpretation, Most Creative, and Personal Favorite. For Best Interpretation, I chose Tornado over St. Paul. This was also the overall winner! How fun to pick the one that most people also thought was the Best Interpretation. It really is a cool design!     We did not make it to every floor, and did not see all the designs. So, that one is the only one that is the same. For Most creative, I chose Ganymede and the Eagle. It is so beautiful. I love this artwork, and the floral...

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