Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea. —Henry Fielding

13 May 2008

Midsummer & Script Analysis

For some reason, I don't feel guilty just sitting down and watching one movie after another at home if other people are doing it with me. Lately, because my roommates are obsessed and because the rest of the grad students stuck in Tallahassee have next-to-nothing to do, we have been celebrating scary movies at my house. Shutting off all the lights and watching one and then another scary movie and then all dispersing into the nights thinking about creepy children and ghosts and mysterious spiritual entities. But before I get to the rest of the scary movies I've been watching, a small report:

I am teaching a class right now. It meets Monday through Friday, five days a week, from 11:00a-12:15p. The class period is a little long, but so far I am having a lot of fun in the class. All of the students are theatre majors, so they have been trained to be talkative and share their opinions on things. The class is called Script Analysis, so it is supposed to be a class where we learn how to analyze plays. I don't know about you, but I am of the opinion that you don't need to learn HOW to do this, you need to DO it. So, in this six-week course, we are reading twelve plays. That's two plays a week. And I am giving them a quiz each time I assign a play, to make sure that they read the play. I have also made the quizzes worth 45% of their grade. So they basically HAVE to read, or they will not do well in the class. Since the most important thing in the class is whether they read or not, I wanted to put a little teeth in my request that they do all the reading.
Anyway, the class is going well so far (we have only met two days as of yet). Today we talked about Gustav Freytag and his analytical model of exciting force, rising action, climax, falling action, catastrophe, etc. Best part of today: one of the students mumbled something to her friend and I called her out on it. She apologized and then I said, "No, it's not that I don't want you to talk, I DO want you to talk; I just want everyone to be able to hear it." Turns out, she had mumbled something about Bambi. Everyone giggled and then I got the idea to have the class make Bambi fit into Freytag's analytical model. Of course, it does. So we talked about Bambi for at least fifteen minutes. And we all laughed. And then I asked them to talk about Iron Man in the same way. We debated it. The class was alive and excited. It was really fun. And they completely understand Freytag's model. It was really cool. And tomorrow, we're talking about Hedda Gabler. I am having a really good time.

Speaking of good times, I had my first rehearsal for A Midsummer Night's Dream last night. This is going to be fun for sure. I haven't directed anything in over a year (since last February!) and I'm not sure I totally remember what I'm doing, but half the cast met last night and we started working through the lovers' story and the Oberon/Titania plot. Our rehearsal was three hours. I was never bored. And I even got them on their feet at one point and started blocking them. I only have five weeks to put this show together, but I think I can manage. The actors are all quite good and all excited about the show. Some of them are still a little skeptical of me, but they will come around.