Saturday, May 3, 2014

May 3

   It is the third of May, and we are finally witnessing some greening on the trees. The past few days have seen the trees go from budded to tiny leaves.  At last.  Other signs of Spring: the bee have really started working - both hives made it through the winter,  the dogs (who truly think they are cats) have dug out and disposed of two shrews, the daffodils and muscari are in flower, and the garter snakes have emerged from their hibernaculum.  the frog ponds on the farm are filled with eggs, and the peepers were out last night.
    On a less Natural note, all the neighbors are out with their mowers.  There is not that much to mow, but it feels like the right time to begin trimming the lawn. The week of on again, off again, rain has probably helped a lot in turning the seasons away from winter and heading towards warmth.
    At one of my alma maters, the first of May is celebrated  with a naked parade of sorts.  It used to be just a few crazies went bike riding nude across campus, as public safety followed them in cars, waiting to hand out tickets when the ride was over.  Now, it is  more organized  and more revealing by far. Here is the article on this year's romp. May Day

Friday, May 2, 2014

Spring Forward

     Having closed Carousel and gotten my last few items from the costume shop; having taken a few days to find myself sort of depressed that it was all over because this was such a wonderful group of people to work with; having caught up on some sleep and nearly caught up on grading,  I am moving on to the next projects.
     At the University, we have  exams, grading, the lunch Drew and I throw for our department's graduating seniors and faculty, and graduation itself.  I usually do not go to graduation, but this year, I am considering it.  I love this senior class - there are some truly special people in it, and I want to share in their achievement, but I am not good at letting go.   I will miss them terribly.  Some classes are just exceptional, and this is one of them. 
     At the high school, we are getting into the Spring club and team  appreciations for Seniors, awards, etc.  Last night  was the Choir's  fundraising ice cream social with student entertainments.  My daughter and her boyfriend sang a sweet duet, Falling Slowly, from Once, and it was lovely.  Tonight is Drama Club  awards night,  next week the Track Team's Senior Appreciations.  BUSY times!
     My summer season begins with Unnecessary Farce at Chenango River Theatre in Greene, NY.  We have 2 1/2 weeks from the time the actors arrive to the opening.  A crazy schedule, but it works.  Ah, the joys of summer stock!
Right after this closes, I start on the next show,  and we have the arrival of the lambs to the farm, which means we have a lot of barn prep to do.  
     Most importantly, however, is the big day.       Our eldest son graduates from high school.  This is a big day in any family, but for us, for Alex, this will be a major event.  From the time he was diagnosed with autism, we were told how this or that might not happen, how he was not doing this, or meeting standards in that. The head of Special Education at our current school system told us during a transition meeting between middle School and high school to expect Alex to need five years to graduate. I was livid - how dare he make a call like that without even knowing my son!  With a lot of hard work, with support from so many people: friends, family, teachers, LTAs, coaches, team mates, class mates, and some very special principals, Alex will be graduating in four years.  And this past marking period he was on the Honor Roll. And he has been a member of the Cross Country and Track teams for all four years.  Five years - poo!  To give the devil his due, I must say, that at our last meeting - the exit meeting, the Sp.Ed. director did admit that he was wrong, and was happy to be so! We have a plan in place to help Alex navigate the crowded auditorium without  too much stress as well as the clapping and speeches.  Again, with them help of some wonderful support people, he may be able to pull this off!
      Now, I need to sign off and get back to my sewing machine - oh, did I forget to mentions the two prom dresses I am building?  Just another thing to add to the list!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Carousel - What a wonderful experience!

  Our production of carousel has closed and is struck.  The carousel itself was a true piece of art.

   This crew and this cast were so nice to work with.  Oh, I will not say they were perfect, there were folks who were often late to rehearsal, or missed a costume fitting, but overall, for a cast of 41 actors, they were wonderful.  The best part was they actually liked each other.  They got along; there were no egos getting in the way.  The several of the principal characters volunteered their time stitching in the costume shop.   When the children were plugged into the rehearsals, the older actors took them under their wings.  It was lovely to behold.  
    As for the performances, well,  I attended opening night and the second performance, and there were sobbing audience members at each.  It was touching, and romantic, and melodramatic;  pure Rodgers and Hammerstein escapism, and I loved every minute of it!
    So, here are a few shots of the costumes to give you an idea of what I have been doing and how it turned out.  Is it exactly what I wanted?  No, I would have liked another two days to finish all the trim, but it was a reasonably nice looking show. 
The prologue - At the carnival

Villagers enjoying the carnival - Prologue

Julie Jordan and Billy Bigelow - If I Loved You
Jigger Craigin
Mr. Bascombe, Officer Timmony, Billy Bigelow and Julie Jordan
Billy Bigelow and Mrs. Mullin

This Was a Real Nice Clambake
Carnival Boy and Louise

Five of the nine Snow children
Carrie telling Julie about "Madcap Maidens"

Billy and Louise