Friday, June 24, 2011

Ahoy, Maties!



It interests me how personality types seek their place in the world.

I can pretty much recognize a production designer from a sound mixer on a film set.

The former, dressed in ramrod stubbornness, will vehemently fight over a peach-toned vase placed on a Queen Anne table in a room painted robin's egg blue, no matter what the director might have dictated.

The latter wears a headset and listens to dialogue all day — both the scripted kind and the gossip-kind (when wired actors forget they're wearing microphones) — and imagines himself an authority on anything. Seriously, all subjects are included in a sound mixer's purview. Production sound mixers have advised me on how to clean eyeglasses, on how to walk a dog, on how to write letters....

This year our Shakespeare Club crew was made up of four unique young persons led by Celia, our stage manager. Celia, in her third year as a club member, wrote a mission statement in her journal:

My goal for shakespeare club is and was to speak a little higher. I kind of did but I still could speak up.

Calvin sorts light gels with Henry watching.

Our sound operator, in her second year, is Celia's sister. Mariah is also a quiet speaker but off-the-charts brilliant. This came from Mariah's journal:
I learned about William Shakespeare and his time. I also learned more about actors and Ms. Ryan.

My goal for Shakespeare was to do a good job on the four plays and make Ms. Ryan and Ms. Rachel proud and glad.

What I loved about Shakespeare Club this year were the snacks, treats, play, rehersols, performence, food, movies, time, most of all The Shakespeare Club.


Calvin started in our club as an actor then found his home running our lighting board. Calvin had a difficult year academically and domestically. The little fellow was challenged on all fronts, more than many adults could reckon with, and yet, when faced with complicated light cues, the boy was captain of his own ship.

This is what Calvin wrote:
Shakespear is awesom. I've been in it for three years. My first year I played a sailor and a gaurd. On the second year is that I controled the lights. My big brother Anthony used to do it but now he is in 7th grade. I did it this year again.

Our newest crew position was that of props master. Fifth-grader Vincent asked to speak to me in the autumn, when I was arranging auditions.

"Um, excuse me?" Vincent said, approaching me.

"Yes?"

"Um, I would like to be in Shakespeare Club but I don't think I can...you know...like...be up there...or...you know...."

"Ah, I think you mean you would like to be in the club but not as an actor."

Vincent nodded and appeared relieved that I understood.

"Well, let's see. We have a stage manager, a sound operator and a lighting operator, but we've never had a proper props master. What about that?"

Vincent blinked.

"Vincent, you would be in charge of all the props for the actors. You would make sure that they're in good repair and that the actors get their swords or crowns. No one but you or the actor could touch that prop. What do you think?"

Vincent jumped on board and wrote as he liked to, in Elizabethan english:
My goal for thy Shakespear Club was to learn about thee and be in thy play. I have accomplished that goal. I loved the play, thy job, and everyone in the shakespear club.

These four attended rehearsals and joined the actors for meditation, yoga and voice work, but then had to sit quietly while the cast struggled to get the play on its feet.

These four waited all year for their moment until, in the dark at the back of the auditorium, they glowed under their own private sun.


CHILDREN'S WRITES: A Journal Entry
A true friend is someone that doesn't make fun of you, well it's okay if you make fun of you're friend if it'll make your friend laugh, act like sisters. Have hang outs at each others houses every few days or every weekend. Don't fight too often they fight like every 2 time a year. Also you enjoy doing the same things.
—Celia, 5th grade

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