Friday, July 25, 2008

just who are those jonas brothers anyway ?

Hi. I'm Ava.

As five-week conservatory has sadly just come to an end, two-week conservatory is gearing up for a exciting beginning (and Hannah and I have just had our final YWCA Hip-hop class), I feel it's time to stop and reflect for a moment on the summer thus far. My five-week group were the 8th, 9th, and 10th graders, appropriately named the Dashing Danes (please note the alliteration). Last Friday, along with the rest of the highly talented camp, they performed our post-apocalyptic interpretation of Shakespeare's Hamlet. The show, as with the four others performed that day, was a huge success and I commend all the students on their high level of dedication and creativity. In one of our final circle-ups as a group we reflected on the great deal I had learned from them (most notably, who the Jonas Brothers are and just why we hate Miley Cyrus) and the pearls of wisdom they took away from me ("how to flirt with boys!" and more seriously: how to be collaborative owls). To be honest, the positive experience of it all has left me a little bit nervous moving into two-week conservatory. Hannah and I will be working together with the 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders, and that's a whole new challenge. Will I be entertaining/patient/helpful enough for the younger students? Will a 30-minute version of Pericles even make sense? Who's going to explain what a brothel is??

Time will tell. And, regardless of my doubts, I'm having a blast trying to figure it all out.


Ava Jackson

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I am Hannah Fazio and I grew up in Minnesota. For those of you who haven't been there, it's usually pretty cold and always very flat with cows and lakes and all that. In the summer it's humid and pretty hot.

It's not really the ideal place for outdoor theater. That's probably why my parents were so impressed when they came to visit me from Minnesota this past weekend.

We went to see An Ideal Husband on the Cal Shakes Main Stage. My brother packed a little picnic and, though all the tables were taken by the time we got there (an hour and a half before the show), we found a little stump and had a nice time. While watching the show, my dad commented that the hill behind the stage was probably bigger than any peak in Minnesota, which is probably true. Both my parents loved the show and the entire experience in general, and the packed picnic tables are proof that people appreciate the beautiful setting and wonderful theater as much as we did.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

8 AM Magic at the Cal Shakes Conservatory.

Hey all, Kristin here. Home at a decent hour from Cal Shakes' Five-Week Conservatory in Lafayette. Tomorrow we are putting on five Shakespeare shows, so the interns have been "all-hands-on-deck" for the past week. I have been staying late to help with lighting (and by helping, I mean handing over my crescent wrench and standing on ladders). I have slept scarce hours in the past week and it's starting to show. So needless to say, waking up is hard.

Today was a once, twice, three times a-wakey day. Three alarms, three snooze buttons and three valiant attempts to rouse myself. I hopped on the BART at the ungodly hour of 8 AM, ready to pass out and wondering how I was going to make it through the long day ahead.

I caught the shuttle to the Bentley school from the BART station. When I walked onto that bus and sleepily said hello to Richard, I was greeted with a flood of salutations.

"Hi, Kristin!"
"Good morning, Kristin!"
"Ahhh, Kristin!!!"

I whipped around to find half of my kids sitting on the shuttle! They greeted me with bright eyes, smiling faces and waving hands. And even though I fell asleep on the way to Bentley, it totally made my day. Joyful greetings are way better than coffee. OK, maybe not better. But still pretty fantastic.

For the past four weeks, I've been stage managing Romeo and Juliet with the oldest group of actors. My kids are in high school and completely amazing. I feel so blessed to be able to pop over to Lafayette for a couple hours every day and get to watch 16 kids take remarkable strides as performers and as people. The talent, energy and commitment they dish out every day is unbelievable.

Tomorrow is our big show day. I am so proud of them and so excited to see what they give to that audience. It's a little odd for me, because though it is the last day, I'll be seeing most of them next week.

SHAMELESS PLUG! Cal Shakes will be represented at the San Francisco Theater Festival with our conservatory's production of Romeo and Juliet! It ain't over 'til it's over, baby!

So, moral of this blog entry: I love my kids. Tomorrow's going to be epic. Lack of sleep results in disjointed blog entries.

XoXo - Kristin Loughry, SM Intern.

Saturday, July 12, 2008


Hey there ... Hannah Fazio here. Anyone who knows me would probably be very amused and a little afraid to know I'm working with power tools this summer. It's not really something I do. That's why I was skeptical when one of the production interns asked me to help him build sets--I haven't built anything since Tech Ed in eighth grade. My experience in theater has so far solely been in acting and assistant directing because, honestly, I tend to overlook other aspects. I always thought they didn't concern me because I was planning on being an actress or a writer, but now that I have discovered the wonders of power tools, I think I might reconsider my life plan so that it can include more staple guns.

When I arrived to help Ben, the scene intern, after two week camp on Tuesday I was unsure of exactly what he wanted me to do. "Wait, wait ... you want me to touch that saw? Can I just glue stuff?" I asked. He assured me that it would be fine, and I put the goggles on and started sawing the wood pieces. After that I think it's safe to say that I was a flat-building machine. Every time I touched the staple gun my heart raced. I felt like such a rebel. It was awesome. When we were done with the whole process of cutting the wood, stapling the flats, covering them with cloth, and then finally to painting them, I felt so accomplished. I actually built flats that would help serve as a setting for the plays in the conservatory productions of Twelfth Night, Pericles, Hamlet, and Romeo and Juliet. It was awesome.