Monday, January 31, 2005

Evening of One-Acts

I just had a very enjoyable night of theatre! Our annual Evening of One-Acts was tonight in the P.A.C., starting with Impromptu, our non-competitive one-act play. Mr. Klipfel did a great job, and I was very proud of the four actors--especially Kristina and Nick, the seniors, who did a fine job of acting rather than performing (get the difference? ask me).

Crookston's play Marcus Is Walking was next. It didn't seem as funny as it was the first time I saw it this past weekend for the Subsection 31A One-Act Play Contest. But it was still good. Tonight my favorite part was the final scene with "Female Dancer" dancing to the Indigo Girls. Very upbeat and triumphant.

Our competitive one-act play was last--The Green Hill. There were some funky things going on with some of the lights the first half of the play. I don't know if someone was bumping the light board, or if there was a short in the lights, or if a bulb was burning out, but it was distracting. Also distracting was the strangely bright light backstage left that illuminated the legs and midstage draw throughout the show. What up?!

The Green Hill's final moments are so touching, and it's because of the combination of elements, not the script alone--it's the script plus the acting plus the music plus the scenic elements. My wife saw it tonight and was in tears. I said, "Um, it's a high school play!" That made her laugh, but she still couldn't stop crying. I suppose audience members bring their own experiences to the play and interpret Jake and Sandy's final moments through their own contexts.

My seven-year-old daughter even "got" the ending. She said she didn't like the closing music because it made her sad, and she wanted to know why they wanted her to be sad. She also asked me why Jake would want to leave his green hill. So she got some of the symbolism at the end, and she raised some questions that older audience members should be asking themselves following the show! When I was tucking her in to bed later on, I asked again what she didn't like about the music, and she said it was the "tone." Holy appropriate terminology!

It's nice to be involved with theatre, and to attend theatre, that features high schoolers who "get" the difference between acting and performing. I prefer acting, thank you very much, and I'm proud of the East Grand Forks and Crookston kids for showing that they know how to do it. Kudos to Misters Kerr and Klipfel and Mrs. Carlson, too, for training the student actors to know the difference.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

January's Thought-Provoking Question(s)

"I HEREBY PROMISE TO . . ."

The beginning of the new year is traditionally a time to resolve to improve your life in some way over the next 365 days. Unfortunately, however, it is also a tradition that such resolutions are rarely kept, at least for very long. Often that's because people make promises that they don't really intend to keep, or that are too difficult to keep, or that are out of their realm of control anyway. "I resolve to stop swearing," for example, or "I will lose fifty-three pounds before summer," or "I will meet and marry the man/woman of my dreams." Yeah, right.

This month, I ask you: Do you make resolutions at the start of each new year? If not, why not? If so, what did you resolve for 2005? What will you do to insure success with this year's resolutions? What past years' resolutions did not go so well for you? Which ones worked out better than you had planned? Tell about your start-of-2005 promises to yourself for the next twelve months.