Sunday, October 28, 2007

" A Tale of Two Cities": The Musical 

One theatrical project I have been following that has intrigued me is a new stage version of "A Tale of Two Cities." It's previewing in Florida right now and may make it to Broadway next year.

It will probably suffer from obvious comparisons to "Les Miserables", but on the musical's website , I looked up the show's lyrics and I liked them a lot. They point beautifully to the story's redemptive themes.

Here's a sample ( in case you don't want to take time to click on the link above):

The Way It Ought to Be

Singers on this song: Madame Terese Defarge, Ernest Defarge, Jerry Cruncher, Sydney Carton


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Something else I have to fit into my novel.... 

I try very much to not turn this blog into rants about life as a teacher and the state of education, but then again, every day I am just given so much ammunition to do just that.

In the category of "I could not possibly make this up", I had a parental figure approach me in great duress today during prep hour. It seems a rumor had been circulating school about me - a rumor I hadn't heard for a change - and somehow it was attributed to her. A parent called her asking if it was true if she spread the rumor. The poor woman was devastated that I might think she had said this horrible thing. She wanted to assure me she didn't and that even if the rumor was true, it was okay with her.

The rumor? That I was a Wiccan.

Yep, you read it right. I think this is more fall out from teaching the book "Wicked" and the home school parents who are furious over it being taught. Or there could be more to the story that I really can't go into here.
Anyway, I had to stop myself from laughing out loud because the parental figure was so sincere. I couldn't really tell her about all the ways that we are similar in our beliefs, simply not in our approach. What was realy funny is when the parent said if the rumor was true , it was okay with her, because she believes in freedom of religion.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Richard Monette And Liberating Art 

I have just returned from a visit to the Stratford Festival in Canada for the first time in 2 or 3 years under the guise of "professional development." I attended an annual educator's conference there, where the staff of Stratford offers a couple of workshops so you will attend their plays in the off season and spend too much money in their gift shop. The keynote speaker was the retiring artistic director, Richard Monette. He has been at the festival for many years, and I have admired his work, so I was in the first row anxiously waiting to hear what he had to say.

However, while listening to his opening remarks in which he regaled tales of his distinguished career, at some point I began moving from inspired to sad. Monette seems to fall into that category of a boomer who fell for the lies of postmodern culture - especially in the 60s. He told about how a Jesuit high school gave him a fabulous education and helped develop his love of theater , but how as he went on in his life he lost faith. Then he said something I have heard other actors/keynote speakers say: Theatre became his religion.

That kind of comment is something more indicative of the theater world than Hollywood. I think it is still uncommon for those working in Hollywood to say film is their religion or movies are their gods - even if it might be true. I believe theater folks are more likely to make those kinds of remarks it is because they are more in touch with the transcendent nature of art. They feel the communal connection of the creative process in a different way than those who work with the film process do.

Which is exactly why I think theater is so ripe for redemptive stories and theater people are prime for spiritual discussion. It is a crime that as Christians flock to try to have their voices heard in Hollywood, so often theater is completely forgotten as a place for expression.

Sunday, December 31, 2006

I HATE it when stupid random internet quizzes are exactly RIGHT!! 

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Inland North

You may think you speak "Standard English straight out of the dictionary" but when you step away from the Great Lakes you get asked annoying questions like "Are you from Wisconsin?" or "Are you from Chicago?" Chances are you call carbonated drinks "pop."

The Midland
The Northeast
The South
The West
North Central
What American accent do you have?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz


Monday, December 25, 2006

Christmas Update 

I have been a poor communicator with everyone as of late, but thankfully I have a couple weeks for Christmas break, and if I can't post something now, then I am sure I never will.

What I am hoping for personally this Christmas is for peace and quiet more than anything. A year ago at this time, I was having a very unpleasant holiday going between hospitals and nursing homes while on the cellphone firing lawyers,etc. So this year, the prayer is for there to be no drama, and that I can still see the beauty of the season in spite of the grief that has overshadowed a lot of the past year. Selfish ? Maybe. But,so far, so good.

I am still working at the same school, and the workload has been a little bit less, but still overwhelming most days. I have come to realize that no matter how much work other teachers tell you that teaching is, it is actually much more. I am gearing up for an inevitable switch at the end of the year from this school for reasons that should not go out on the internet. It's a stressful thought, but like I said, inevitable.

I am still freelancing for Beliefnet, which is a huge blessing as it helps keep me solvent, since my teaching pay does not. Time for other writng is hit or miss, but since my trip to the Big Apple I have reconnected with some fellow playwrights, so I am hoping to finish up some projects for the stage and shop them around.

That's about it. I'll post my goals for the New Year next.

Friday, December 22, 2006

The Best Student Simile 

There are moments when I amazed at my students' insight. My students had to write their own examples of similes and metaphors on their semester exams. The best one isas follows:

"Love is like a cellphone. It gives you great service when it's new, but sooner or later it just starts dropping your calls."

Couldn't make that up if I tried.

The End of Wonkamania 

As a lovely Christmas gift Tyndale sent me a letter last week saying that they will be discontinuing my book. I expected it,mainly because they have so many other titles in their teen line right now and the wave of interest in Wonka has passed, but it is still disappointing. So they sent me some extra copies and if anyone wants them, email me and I will give you an unbelievable bargain, I promise

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Back To School 

I have now come to the conclusion that, as a teacher, August and early September will now become my least favorite parts of the year. I hate the chaos of endless faculty meetings and classroom prep prior to school opening and I also despise the first week of school where we realize the schedule doesn't work, the student handbooks haven't arrived, I have to suddenly teach a new class I have no materials for,etc.

So I am completely stressed out and June 1st is a LONG way away.

I am also bemoaning all of the books I did not read in spite of my best intentions and also all the writing I did not finish in spite of my best intentions. Which makes me no better than my students when it comes to time management, I guess.

The Little Church That Stood 

So much media coverage of 9/11 and yet I never hear any mention of the "Little Church that Stood." I actually didn't know about it until on a tour in NYC this summer. I got gooesbumps when I went by St.Paul's Cathedral and was told the story of how it was protected even as the Towers crashed right behind it.

So take a moment to focus on the divine hand of God in the midst of enourmous tragedy by going here.

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