Tomorrow we are having a movie day in my class. I am showing the students The Lady in Question Is Charles Busch, the documentary about the theatre performer and playwright. I'm screening it because I am having them read Nicky Silver's Pterodactyls for Friday and I want to give them a notion of style. This way they can see some campy performance traditions and also learn about an important artist I don't have time to discuss properly in my class.
Today I rented the Max Reinhardt / William Dieterle film of A Midsummer Night's Dream from 1935 with Olivia de Havilland, Mickey Rooney and James Cagney. But I found it, quite frankly, unwatchable. I shut it off after about an hour. I just couldn't handle it. It's a terrible, terrible film. It's drawn-out and overly long and there's lots of maniacal laughing that makes no sense. Cagney is funny as Bottom, but there is nothing else to recommend the movie and I couldn't bear it for more than an hour. You know how I feel about bad Shakespeare.
Speaking of bad Shakespeare. I had my first truly bad rehearsal of my own Midsummer production tonight. Of course both my roommates had to be in attendance. I am almost positive I can fix all of this evening's problems in the six rehearsals I have left before we open, but it was more than a tad embarrassing for them to come see a show this unpolished. Of course I start to wonder if I know what I'm doing at all, and worry if I really have enough ability to take a directing class with the professor here in the fall... and all other sort of ego-driven questions run through my brain. But a good shower and a Stella Artois (or two?) have cured me of that for now. And I will just worry about fixing the show.