Monday, May 30, 2011

A Crowning Achievement

Charter schools. Public schools. Private schools. I get dizzy turning the possibilities over in my head.

What I've been able to glean is there are good and bad in all versions, depending on management.

We know where a fish starts rotting and, if we don't, it's time to take another gander at Hamlet and the state of Denmark.

The Shakespeare Club takes place in a public school, with a charter school sharing our campus. When the charter school moved in, their plan was to serve grades six and up because our school covers kindergarten through fifth.

Over the last couple of years, the charter school has grown, expanded to include fourth grade, and appears to be closing in on our classrooms like a dark cloud gaining momentum across Texas flatlands.

The Shakespeare Club was assigned use of the school auditorium a full year in advance...and then some scheduling snafu meant fighting for space and time and....Cripes, who has the energy?

Over the last five months, we were able to straighten out the mess and live peacefully in a manner many of us wish for Israel and Palestine.


Our props, which I stored in an offstage closet, began to disappear. It started with Egeus' walking stick. I searched fifteen minutes for the darn thing and found it tucked in a dark corner alongside our bongo drums. Had these two wandered off on their own like characters from "Toy Story"?

I chewed the inside of my cheek and let it go.

I became more vigilant and put a large sign over our bundle of props: DO NOT TOUCH!

The next week all four of our crowns were gone.

I marched over to the charter school office and said, "I'm not saying your students did this. I am saying they're on the top of the suspects list."

The crowns were returned after being located on the windowsill of a sixth-grade class of the charter school.

Their reasoning: "Our students said they found them on the floor of the auditorium."

When Shakespeare Club reconvened, I had the crowns tell their story. They spoke in English accents as only royals would.

"It was horrible!" declared King Theseus' coronet; "An outrage...I said, ' me back this minute. I belong on Mark's head! I don't even know you!' "

"We'd never been in a sixth grader's hands," whimpered the Queen's tiara. "I begged, please...please I am meant for Phoebe. She's playing Titania and will worry so if she can't find me....Please have mercy!"

"Down, put me down this second!" This from Oberon's topper, "I said, 'You will pay, I promise you, you will pay handsomely for this crime! When Dominick finds out what you've done, it will be the end of you!'"

"And I was so frightened," the small voice of Hippolyta's crown piped up. "I said, 'I'm just a baby....I don't belong with you. I belong to Rebecca.' But they didn't listen to us."

"Toy Story," live-action.

Mark and Rebecca.

If I had a life full of adventure I would to to Parris and walk to the top of the Iffel Tower and lookout to see all the views of Parris. I would also like to go to Hawii and explore the Hawian islands. I would also like to live in a Awesome 7 story mansion.
—Sabrina, 4th grade

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Bawdy Bard

...for the bawdy hand of the dial is
now upon the prick of noon.
Romeo and Juliet Act II, Scene IV

Shakespeare knew how to grab an audience with the down and dirty. His plays are littered with double entendres and naughty jokes. Were I teaching high schoolers, I'd drop a few of those quotes into lesson plans and wake those randy teens up but fast.

Alas, I'm with little kids and have to be more discerning. I must stay mindful and prudent, and insist that ass is just another regular old-fashioned term for donkey. Or so I thought.

"Let's not get crazy, kids."

No, let's get crazy.

And it didn't come from the boys, which I would well have expected. Oh, came from the girls.

The five girls in Plot People gather for highbrow literary discourse each week in the school library. We studied the behaviors of Athenian teens falling in and out of love. We wondered about best friends at war with each other and how that happens in real life on our playground every day.

And then we got to the mechanicals, the clowns of the play, rehearsing a play within a play in an Athenian forest.

Mischievous Millie the Ringleader.

I turned a page in our narrative, ready to set the scene and interpret difficult language, when all comedic hell broke loose and the five girls lost it, under the leadership of Millie.

Millie tossed her pages aside, crying, "Don't you guys get it? Bottom!...Get it? Bottom turns into an ass!"

She looked to Elisa on her right and gave her a poke. Both girls tipped out of their chairs and fell to the carpeted library floor. They rocked and rolled. They held their stomachs and guffawed like truck drivers after a few too many tall ones.

"What are you doing?" I asked, looking off to see if our librarian was taking note of our chaotic study session.

"Ass! Bottom! Ass! Bottom!" Millie and Elisa called out, and Tandi joined in, rolling and screaming across the floor with them.

The shy and more intellectual Willow remained in her seat with a palm over her mouth, giggling.

Krystal kneeled next to the floor rollers, throwing her head back and cackling.

I decided to let them go nuts for a few minutes. The Bard would have approved. It's what he intended, and how could I fault these bright bulbs for making the connection?

"Okay, that was super-fun," I offered. "Now, let's take a look at what's happening with Oberon and Titania." All business.

The girls calmed themselves, sat up on their knees, pushed up into their seats, took one look at each other...and collapsed in another jumble. "Ass! Bottom! Ass! Bottom!"

An Elizabethan pyjama party.

A live of adventure would be going on a ship to some uninhabited island or some island that has very few human inhabitants. My luggage would be some books, a tent, some clothes, some shoes, a bathing suit, flip-flops, a towel, food, water, a sleeping bag, a surfboard, a hat, a walking stick, a pillow, some stuffed animals, rubber gloves, a bag for collecting things, a First-Aid kit, sunscreen, a rubber raft with a paddle, my goldfish and a dog, apple juice, and a cage and leash for a pet monkey which I will get when I get to the island. I will also have a gun to kill animals for food. Also lemonade and ice cream.
Audrey, 3rd grade

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Costs

Life shouldn't be printed on dollar bills.
—Clifford Odets

Six years ago when I started The Shakespeare Club, I was asked, "How much will you charge?"

"Nothing," I answered, but I assure you it's not because I'm altruistic.

My reasons were sound:

(1) I wanted it to be accessible;

(2) I wanted an easy out if my big idea went south; and

(3) I didn't want to be employed by a school administration or parents' group because I didn't want this question, ever: "Hey, why isn't my kid playing Hamlet?"

I wanted autonomy and I got it. I have also been slam-dunked by the downside of my idealism.

We have an adage in this country: You get what you pay for.

That's helpful when you're buying a flat-screen TV, or a fluffy bath towel, or a cut of organic, grain-fed beef.

What do we do with that adage when we get something good for free?

I'm not certain, as a society, we know what to do with that. I'm not convinced we know how to trust such a thing.

I added an extra Shakespeare Club meeting on a Tuesday because we had lost time and I needed to keep up with my curriculum. On Tuesdays our school dismisses early, so our meeting would take place from 1:30 to 3:30.

Kids were settling into chairs and readying for our meditation when a loud knock landed on the auditorium doors. An adult from another after-school program asked when we would be finishing up.

"Today, three-thirty," I answered.

"Those two have to be out of here at two-thirty," she said, pointing out a boy and a girl.

"Why is that?" I asked.

"Because they have another class that costs...a class their parents pay money for."

The tip of that arrow is still embedded in my heart. I can't get it out.

I don't blame that woman, but her statement spoke volumes about perception, and it rattled me.

Another class that costs....

If it cost each kid in Shakespeare Club, let's say, a thousand dollars to participate, would I have 100% attendance instead of the 25% attendance I have now?

If parents had to cough up two thousand dollars per child, would vacations be planned around Shakespeare Club, birthday parties sacrificed and field trip dates recalibrated?

Oh, it costs, all right! I wanted to scream at that messenger.

In the six years I've done Shakespeare Club, my husband has spent months at a time working out of town — and I couldn't join him.

In the six years I've done Shakespeare Club, my other creative pursuits had to take a back seat — because every year it takes seven months of my time to prepare and direct the program.

In the six years I've done Shakespeare Club, I've never missed a single meeting.

When their kids are chosen for Shakespeare Club, all the parents giddily agree with the mandate of "All meetings must be attended."

How can we as grown-ups teach children commitment if we can't demonstrate it? Where do we get off with that?

You get what you pay for? Really?

I once felt left out when my baby sister came out. We we first took her home everyone was happy. I acadently hit her on the head and everyone was like oh oh why you hit her. That's the time I felt left out. I'm going to get revenge from her one day.
Krystal, 4th grade

Monday, May 23, 2011

Losing the Audience

Know your audience. I love that phrase.

If I pontificated to the children of Shakespeare Club on the gross national product of our country, I'd receive glassy stares and bodies would drip out of chairs like melting Popsicles.

In a previous post, I told the story of Peter and his natural flair for comedy. The boy's talent had him adored by many of the girls in the club...until the day Peter forgot his audience.

I had asked the kids to describe in their journals a life of peace or purpose or adventure.

Peter chose adventure, and once he'd penned his vision, he asked to read it aloud to the group.

Peter's version of an adventurous life seemed yanked from the journals of Ernest Hemingway or John Huston, combined with Davy Crockett and a splash of 007. In Peter's world, running the rapids, cutting through dense jungle with a machete and battling wild beasts would be de rigeur.

If I had a life of adventur I would jump from roof top to top and I would sky dive every day, wrestl aligators, make armor out of crocadiles skin, and make alot of coon skin hat's out of racoons and also make wepons out of bear claws, dear antlers, and rino horns. That is how I would live the life of adventur.

Peter, fine actor he is, threw himself into his reading with vigor and pride. When he finished, he dropped his journal to his side and waited, good actor he is, for approbation.

A solemn silence reigned. The girls in the club registered puzzlement, cocking their heads as if to say, Our Peter? Our funny, adorable Peter? Our Francis Flute?

The girls' confusion dissolved into quiet dismay, until brave Ellie voiced what they were all thinking.

You would kill animals?

Peter's glow transitioned to bewilderment. He cast a look over his audience. Yup, his audience had turned on him and the surefire response he'd counted on did not come. Peter had miscalculated. He'd forgotten that girls hold animals dear, that ninety-nine percent of girls wish to become veterinarians, and that they would throw themselves in front of oncoming arrows to save Bambi.

One day, far off in his future, when Peter gets a crush and asks a girl on a date, he'll remember this day. And on another day, when he's camping with his buddies and they gather under the stars ready to let loose their testosterone-fueled fantasies...he'll have found his audience.

If thee had thy life with adventure, thy would build anything thy like. Thy would invent for thee a flying car, thy everyone would love it. All of thy inventions would be popular, but not thy ahead of Shakespeare.
—Vincent, 5th grade

Friday, May 20, 2011

As If

Adults cringed when the catchphrase "As if!" linked up with "Whatever..." and the always confusing "Oh snap!" in the world of teenage lingo.

I suspect every generation, from cave-teens forward, adopted cool talk to differentiate themselves from their parents' generation.

When I visited the ruins of Pompeii, I was oddly reassured to view ancient graffiti scrawled across ancient walls.

    Successus, a weaver, loves the innkeepers slave girl named Iris.

    I have spoken. I have written all there is to say. You love Iris, but she does not love you.

    Weep, you girls. My penis has given you up.

Certainly this Iris chick was quite a catch. And the male obsession with private parts has gallivanted over generations without gaining an iota of wit.

Be that as it may, my point is that it goes on going on.

My real point, however, is that "As if!" actually has a pragmatic meaning for actors.

An actor's job is to lift words off a page, to own them and to deliver them through a character to an audience's ears in order to tell the story the writer intended.

One of the first steps is for the actor to identify with the character's goals and actions. Thus we say, "It's as if I were...."

"Bailey, when you play Hermia and you're having a big fight with Helena, it would help to imagine it was as if your best friend, Cynthia, suddenly walked over and called you names."

Oh yeah...I get it.

I told the kids of my first outing at theater school, when I was sixteen. I was in a scene from William Gibson's play "The Miracle Worker." It's the story of Helen Keller and her teacher Annie Sullivan.

In helping me play a blind character, my acting teacher said, "It's as if your eyeballs are in your fingertips."

Oh yeah...I get it.

I created an obstacle course of chairs, and one by one the Shakespeare Club actors maneuvered across the room as if seeing through fingertips.

Oh yeah...they got it.

If I was Queen Elizibth I would help the poor people who ask for money on the street. And I would wear alot of fancy clothes and jualery. My gards will travel the whole world just to get the best jualery there is. I would have a big purple Ruby and a pretty neckless. I would have a billion of clothes and it would take me 4 hours just to put my jualery my shoes and dress.
Krystal, 4th grade

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A Letter from Wendy

I don't worry about missing my gym workout on Wednesdays because it's Shakespeare Club day and I burn more than enough calories.

Any educator will tell you the sport of teaching involves a good deal of lugging.

Boxes of books, bags of journals and baskets of food. Furniture, games and project supplies dragged from car to classroom and back again. Lugging is a job requirement.

When I arrive at the school to set up for our meetings, it takes me forty minutes to organize the auditorium. Rattling, decrepit chairs sit piled atop a metal rack underneath the stage. I press my heels to the floor, crouch deep, suck in my abs and pull on a rope attached to the rack. I need twenty chairs for the cast members.

Many of the chairs are attached to each other like conjoined twins. They can be in groups of two or three or four. I do my best to avoid these clusters and go for the individual free-standers, but one week I was in a rush and for my final place setting I used an attached twosome. I stuck it at the end of our group's horseshoe formation.

Once the kids had arrived and we'd settled into our meditation, I noticed a jittery, busy Wendy off to my right.

Wendy is a shy, gangly fourth-grader in her second year of Shakespeare Club. It takes every drop of her courage to get a few lines out of her mouth and across the footlights, but Wendy loves Shakespeare Club. She calls me at home through the summer months to check on my well-being and to find out when club auditions will take place the next school year.

I started the kids into yoga and spotted Wendy rustling around in a corner. We raised our arms in sun salutation and I shot Wendy signals of Get over here and join in!

I moved the kids on to Warrior One and Warrior Two. I weaved in and out of the little bodies, adjusting poses, when Wendy slipped me a note on a jagged piece of notebook paper. Scrawled in pencil, she'd written:

    Dear miss rayne,

    I don't like that seat because Oliver is two close to me and I need my space as much as possible there are two cairs left so can I have my own.

I had assigned Oliver and Wendy to sit in the joined chairs, and she'd panicked. That Wendy had found her way to get her worry into my hands was a sign of her empowerment, and my admiration for the child billowed.

She's going to be fine, I thought. Wendy is going to do A-OK in the real world.

I continued to lead the group into Warrior Three, all the while replacing Wendy's and Oliver's chairs.

Halfway through our meeting, Wendy placed a string of gold Mardi Gras beads into my palm.

Those beads sit in my car to remind me that on days filled with doubt, it works, something works...'cause a little kid can write a note and ask for what she needs.

One night I had a really bad nightmamer that I was being chased by a scary clown and then I ran in the woods and I saw my old friend Krystal and her chloces was all messy and riped she looked like a bum and then I got scared so I just ran of to my house and my mom was on the chouch dead and I saw this goost and yell I will be in heven and you will be in hell. So the next day I went to the army and I went and took Laci to shoot me and she said no so I asked Sam to shoot me and said OK I will because we were in Shakesphere together and I said When I say 3.. 1, 2 and 3 and there my head fell and every one was crying. I said I love you daddy in heven.
—Wendy, 4th grade

Monday, May 16, 2011

Play Review: God of Carnage

The word is in bold caps and across the poster it struts, clad in an exclamation mark:


I saw the production of "God of Carnage" at the Ahamanson Theatre in Los Angeles with the original Broadway cast: Jeff Daniels, Marcia Gay Harden, Hope Davis and James Gandolfini.

Hysteric, for sure. Histrionic, agreed. Hysterical, not so much.

French playwright Yasmina Reza won the Tony Award in 2009, along with director Matthew Warchus and actor Harden.

I've been open in this blog regarding my fussy temperament as a reluctant theatre attendee, but I was gung-ho for this show. I'm a fan of all these actors and I love to laugh.

For the ninety minutes of "God of Carnage," I didn't so much as crack a smile. On the contrary, I gnashed my teeth at a display of age-old parlor tricks.

The premise: A quartet of parents meet to discuss, in a pre-determined civilized fashion, the wayward behavior of their eleven-year-old sons.

That's all I need to say, and anyone can guess how this plot will unfold.
The perfect tulips, in their perfect vases, decorating a spare yet elegant home, will lay scattered as adults unleash behavior worse than their children. Lesson learned.

Dormant bitterness erupts, reminiscent of Edward Albee's "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" but sadly lacking the volcanic build and tangy wit of that more skilled writer.

I once had a screenwriting teacher who refused to endorse vomiting or cruelty to small animals. Yasmina Reza could have used the tips.

Granted, the projectile vomit from Ms. Davis was a good rig, but the bucket brigade continued as she was forced by her director and writer to upchuck for another forty-five minutes. Davis fared well despite being handicapped by the many spells of nausea.

When a character causes the death of child's pet, in this case a hamster left to die on a Brooklyn curb, any iota of sympathy for that human being is abandoned. I felt more sympathy for Gandolfini's Tony Soprano, who exacted far worse.

Harden kicked her legs and flung her arms, showing a spasmodic distaste for her husband, played by Gandolfini. Showing is the operative word.

Reza has written Daniels' lawyer as a boorish cell phone hog who not only irritates his wife, played by Davis, but struck me as a rude dolt beyond interest.

The forced, declamatory acting, hurled from stage right to stage left and finally into the audience's innocent laps, made HYSTERICAL impossible. We know better. Our theatres have held too many examples of subtle and truly funny human behavior for us to be expected to accept this kind of work from any writer, director or actor.

Truth is funny when it's true.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Jolly Old King Nutbar

"Remember our fat friend, Henry the Eighth?"


"So, I saw this television program the other day all about King Henry and his dazzling wardrobe. For example, his doublet was made of real gold thread and sewn into it were pearls, rubies and sapphires."

Whoa, real rubies, Ms. Ryane?

This came from Bailey, who is big on accessories. Bailey has a vast collection of hair bows, ribbons and feathers. Don't tell her mom, but I'm seeing Vegas in this girl's future.

"And guess how many palaces King Henry had....Go on...give me some numbers."


No, six.

Yeah, six!

"Oh, I hear where you're going with that....Six wives, six palaces....Makes sense but nope, not six. Do you remember the wife rhyme?"

Divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived!

Ms. Ryane, what does beheaded mean, again?

I swept my index finger across my throat.

Oh, yeah...I remember.

"Okay, ready? Here's how many palaces Henry the Eighth had....Ready?"



Nooooo waaay!

"Oh yeah. Sixty palaces with sixty huge gardens and staffs in each one, always ready in case Henry dropped in for a gigantic snack, because we all know what King Henry liked to do best, right?"


When I told this story earlier to the girls in The Plot People, Millie drew a picture of Henry VIII as a baby. She narrowed in on early developmental problems in the royal boy: She had him ripping heads off dollies in the castle playroom.

Coulda happened — pre-Freud and all that — who knew he'd be such a bad seed?

If I was King I would have BIG specil place for me and my buddy's to eat chicken + steak. I would hire actors to amuse me every night befor bed. I would have a pet zebra named Fill for me to ride and love. I would live in a casle I built myself of corse not litterly some will do but I hope it will be in a book. I would call myself King Jackson to 233. I would have a pupy who speacks Spanish and english. I would have a hat made out of sushi, and soda, and popcorn, I would make an adoshon home made out of ANYTHING they want.
—Bailey, 4th grade

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


"Happy Birthday, William Shakespeare! If you weren't born, there would be no Shakespeare Club!"

And with that we raised juice boxes because they are filled with 100% REAL FRUIT JUICE, don't you know? And we toasted our hero on his birthday.

I offered a quick math quiz. "How old would Shakespeare be if he were alive today?"


"Out with your journals."

Clatter, fall off chair, break pencil, clatter, drop journal, clatter some more...and so on and so forth.

"Here's what I wish for each of you: a life of peace, purpose and adventure."

"For peace, I hope you always have a roof over your head and food on your table."

"Like whatever we want to eat?"

"Sure, like these enjoyable Sun Chips that Peter's mom brought for our party. Now, the best way to find purpose is to help others even when they don't ask for help."

"What if they don't want you to help them?"

"Then walk away and find someone else. For adventure I suggest travel. You could travel in a boat, plane or a train or you could take a walk or you could read books, which are a great way to go on an adventure. Pick one of these topics and write....Ready? Set?...GO."

All Sun Chip crunching stopped. I looked at Rachel and whispered, "Sheesh, we could do this for the whole two hours....They're into it."

Most of the group wanted to share what they'd written. As they read aloud, Rachel and I passed out bowls of fruit salad as if we were old-fashioned airline stewardesses on an old-fashioned airline.

I turned on the documentary "Mad Hot Ballroom" and they watched, entranced by fifth graders in New York City fumbling about in waltzes, swings and foxtrots.

On screen a girl is heard saying, "I only want to date a boy who is smart and does good in school and doesn't sell drugs....That's the only kind of boy I would be interested in."

Natalie leaned over to Ellie and whispered, "That's so true! Me too!"

We were able to see a third of the film before moving on to animal crackers, carrots and dip, and a round of The Insults Game.

One by one the kids pulled a Shakespearean insult out of a bag and hurled it a chosen victim.

Thou art not so big as a round little worm!
Thou crusty botch of nature!
Peace, ye fat guts!

I would like to say the companion Compliments Game rang with equal enthusiasm...but that would be a lie.

We finished up with frosted cupcakes and a viewing of "The Simpsons" featuring their versions of "Hamlet" and "Macbeth."

I could be a party planner, I mused.

As they exited the auditorium, I handed each child a Godiva chocolate cookie and good wishes for a great spring break.

Then Rachel and I stacked chairs, picked up garbage, stored journals and wished each other an even better spring break.

I carried bags of junk to my car and thought, I am a party planner. That's what I do every week when we celebrate the works of the Bard of Avon.

Happy birthday, my lord, my liege.

CHILDREN'S WRITES: Journal Entries

If I had a life of peace, I would hope to have a big house and long table full many different delicous food on it. When ever people come to my house, I would get the same compliment about the house for example Wow! what a big, fancy cool house you've got and look at those beautiful hanging shandilears.
Mariah, 4th grade


If I lived with purpose I would help poor people, my famiely, and anyone who needs help. I would help them even if they don't ask. But first I'll say do you need help. And I'll even join the peace quier. I love helping people one day when I grow up I want a resturant. I want a resurant so homeless would come. And I would put a sign on the window saing homeless allowed w/pets and don't have to pay.
Lizzie, 5th grade

If I had a live of adventure I would go inside Justin Biebers mind and see what he's thinking. then I would go in his stomache and see what he just ate. Then I would go in his brain and see how smart he was. After I would go in his heart and see if he was still alive because I would never want Justin Bieber to die.
—Carina, 3rd grade

Monday, May 9, 2011

Bottom's Up: Sam

"I'm curious, Sam. Why didn't you audition for Shakespeare Club last year, when you were in third grade?"

"Well, I did props for Shakespeare Club then."

"Right. And why did you audition this year?"

"Well, my mom thought it would be a good idea and also when I saw 'Macbeth' it looked cool."


Sam will play Nick Bottom in our production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream." In the pantheon of great comedic characters, Nick Bottom ranks high. He's a grandiose buffoon, a blowhard actor stuffed with unearned confidence, believing himself capable of playing every part. He drives his director nuts, butting in with ideas he has no business contributing.

The television comedy "The Office" grabbed the persona of Nick Bottom and parlayed it into a seven-year success with Steve Carrell as Michael Scott, a modern-day Bottom if there ever were one.

Sam was not my first choice to play our Bottom. I started this year of Shakespeare Club with a different boy in mind for the role until I had the group begin reading the play aloud.

In our early readings, I handed out parts to actors I knew would be cast in other roles. It's a way for kids to get a chance to play different characters.

"Sam, why don't you read Nick Bottom?" I asked and we were off.

Let me play the lion too. I will roar that I will do any man's heart good to hear me. I will roar, that I will make the Duke say, "Let him roar again!"

Sam's voice rang out over all the other children as he read cold off the page with an astute understanding of this irritating idiot, Nick Bottom.

Sam, who can usually be seen on campus with his nose stuffed in a book. Sam, who writes diligently in his journal when given an assignment. Sam, who listens quietly while other actors scream for attention.

One of the four rules of Shakespeare Club is: Have the courage to be silly.

Many great and famous actors are shy people. I would not call Sam a bashful boy but he is serious about his comedy, gets a kick out of this famous clown and is intrepid when it comes to silly.

"Who should be directing 'Pyramus and Thisby'?" I asked Sam.

"Me!" he answered with a thumb jabbed into his chest.

"And who is the best actor with all the good ideas?"

"Me too!" Sam shouted.

This is acting from the inside out. This is the good stuff. This is courage.

"Sam, you're going to be tops as Bottom," I told him at the end of a private rehearsal with Kamili, who plays the director Peter Quince.

Sam smiled at my corny joke and gave a gentle nod.

An actor knows.

Dear Sweet O Sweet Oberon,

You are the love of my life, I love you so, I know I loved Bottom, but I was blinded in thoughs days, now I see that it is you. One last thing as queen of fairys I was thinking do you want to get married. If so just send me a letter and will go from there.

For every yours,
—Kamili, 5th grade