School ended June 12, but I have not been relaxing. It does not feel like
summer break. I have still been spending time at school and still have
school things to worry about, as well as other life things.
I only took 2 classes this past term, and I took an incomplete in one of
them because the teacher offered to let me take an I instead of an F (which
I really deserve), giving me more time to turn in 2 papers and take the
final. So I've got to read 4 plays and write papers about them and arrange
to take the final exam sometime. So far I've read 2 of the plays. These are
plays from about 1400-1700 AD, England, France, Spain, and Germany
(translated to English of course). Most of them are very hard for me to
read. Several of them are written completely in rhyming couplets, which I
just cannot abide. I can't focus on what the people are saying because I
can't get past the incredibly unnatural rhythm/rhyme scheme. And many of the
rest of them are just boring. I don't really like reading plays anyway,
because they're not written to be read, they're written to be performed.
They're like blueprints. I'd have a much better time writing about plays I
This class is Development of Dramatic Art 2 (aka DDA2), a theater history
course required for the Theater Arts major. Also required are DDA1, Modern
Theater 1 and 2 or Multicultural Theater or Women in Theater and Society,
and several other courses involving reading and writing about plays which I
have no interest in taking. So I'm going to change my major to Arts &
Arts & Letters is an "interdisciplinary degree program" which means you get
to take pretty much whatever classes you want in any of several departments,
as long as you have at least 8 upper division credits in each of 2 different
departments (most classes are 4 credits each) and at least one Writing
Intensive Course (which I have). I have definitely got one of the
concentrations covered with Theater Arts courses. So while I still haven't
quite sorted out which exact courses I'll be taking, there are many more
options now, and a weight has lifted from my shoulders! I should be able to
graduate by end of next Winter term at the earliest, possibly end of Spring
term. So, another year.
In other news, this summer I'll be pretty busy with theater and acting.
Tonight (Friday), The Odd Couple finally opens! This is the TASO show I've
been working on for probably at least 6 months as production manager (as
well as publicist, set crew, and soon to be co-house manager, usher, and
concessions seller) and which has probably caused me more stress than any
other play I've ever worked on (not counting Haroun and the Sea of Stories,
my accidental fall during strike and the ensuing hospital bills). Producing
is really effing HARD, especially when your funding comes from the
University and you have to navigate excessive beaurocracy in the shape of
ludicrous policies and bountiful paperwork. I am immensely proud that this
show is happening because I put so much work and energy into it (and so did
several other very dedicated, unpaid theater artists) and now it's real and
people will see it and that is extremely exciting! If you're in Portland and
want to see Neil Simon's classic American comedy, the shows are June 26-29
and July 3-5, 7:30pm each night except Sundays which are 2pm matinees, at
the New Studio Theater in the Market Center Building at 1600 SW 4th Ave (at
Market St). Suggested donation is $5 except for the FREE show next Saturday,
the 4th of July.
Tomorrow (Saturday), I'll be acting in a short play as part of No.Fest
a festival of new music and art in the quaint, sleepy North Portland
neighborhood of St. Johns (where I had my first Portland job at eMerchandise
- remember?). Very much in contrast to The Odd Couple, I have only had a
week to work on this play, and it will only have one performance. It's
called Blat: A Fable and it's presented by The Working Theatre
was written by Collective member Eva Suter specifically for this festival,
and I get to be in it! It's a pretty cute play, featuring a death, a kiss, a
lizard, and an oral report. Intrigued? Of course you are. Come see it at
5:30pm tomorrow at Proper Eats, 8638 N Lombard St. All totally FREE.
The day after The Odd Couple closes, rehearsals start for Ursula, by
Howard Barker. This is a big one. My role is rather peripheral (I have at
least 10 times more lines in Blat), but I'm very excited to be involved in
it. TASO (PSU's Theater Arts Student Organization, of which I am on the
executive board) is co-producing this with my acting teacher Devon Allen's
professional theater company, Our Shoes Are Red/The Performance Lab, and
Devon's acting in it, too. It will be the longest run I've ever acted in: 4
weekends from early Sept to early Oct, plus one additional show Oct 21 as
part of an international festival of Barker's plays. And it's being staged
at the Interstate Firehouse Cultural Center (IFCC),
which is one of the more professional theater venues in town. So I'm psyched
Meanwhile, I'll also be taking a non-university-related acting class from
Devon starting July 19 and running once a week for 6 weeks, wherein
I'll develop a classical monologue.
On August 2 I'll be doing another 24-hour play with CoHo
Those are always fun. And apparently on August 10 & 11, we'll be remounting
I Have Herpes? (the original one-act farce I acted in in late January as
part of the Fertile Ground
also at CoHo.
So, all this to say, I am going to have an awesome summer of theater, and at
the end of it, my resume will be longer and hopefully I will have more plays
lined up! Things are looking good.
Oh, except that none of this stuff pays, and after Tuesday I won't have a
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