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Week 2- Monday

Posted by: Yocheved | July 14, 2011 | No Comment |

So much time and so little to do. Wait a minute. Strike that. Reverse it.  Thank you.

Quick– where’s that from? I’m very sad, because nobody here gets my movie references.  When I asked Chani Lent (the rabbi’s daughter) how old she was, and she said three and a half, and I replied, “My!  Practically a lady,” nobody got it.  The Irish plays have the word “surely” all over, and when I said, “Stop calling me Shirley,” people didn’t get it.  And Cynthia asked me what time it was, and I said “Summertime!” and (gasp!) she didn’t know that one either.

Anyway, the above quote is from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. The old one, not the creepy new one that I didn’t see.  I think he says it in the book too.  Anyway, it describes my current situation exactly, which is why I must apologize for the hiatus I have taken from blogging this week.

But now I’ll go back and try to fill in the gaps a little.  On Monday morning we had class with Denis O’Brien.  We discussed the audience reception of J.M. Synge’s Playboy of the Western World, which was mostly negative.  People were upset that it used the word “shift,” meaning a woman’s undergarment, which was considered very crass.  But more than that, Irish people were very upset because they felt the play showed them in a negative light as people who were gullible and glorified murderers instead of upholding justice.  This was especially upsetting for the Irish, who were trying to get their independence, because now people would point to this play and say that of course the Irish weren’t capable of governing themselves.  So everywhere the play toured the show– in Ireland, England, and America– people threw things at the cast and made a ruckus so that nobody could hear the show at all.

Denis also talked a bit about O’Casey’s Juno and the Paycock and Plough and the Stars, but I hadn’t read either of those.  They’re different from Synge in that they are set in the city instead of in the country, but they’re similar in that they still deal with everyday people’s lives and daily struggles.

After lunch we had an acting class with a new teacher for us, Martin Maguire.  Martin is really nice and puts you at ease.  We did a walk around warmup (that it seems we do every day) and a little bit of a vocal warmup.  We also played a game where everyone starts against a wall and when he says “Go!” we all have to run in the center and sit on each other in such a way that everybody has a seat and nobody is falling on the floor.  To show that we can balance we have to put our hands up.  We did it a few times; our best time was 3 seconds.  We would have gotten a faster time earlier except that somebody (I think it was Diana) tickled me when I put my hands up– so not fair!

We also practiced walking around the room with our eyes closed.  First you just had to take about ten steps with your eyes closed and trying not to bump into anyone or anything.  Then we were split up into threes and two people would guide the third person, who had her eyes closed, around the room for about five minutes.  After each of us had a turn doing that, we all had to walk around the room individually with our eyes closed for a few minutes– of course, now it was expected that we would bump into each other.  The next step was that every time you bumped into a person, you would take each other’s hands.  After doing that for a few minutes, the next step was that every time you bumped into a person, you would take each other’s hands, and then travel up to her face and cup her face in your hands.  The step after that was that after cupping her face, you would bump noses with her.  (Did I mention how glad I am that there aren’t any boys in my program?)  It was awkward when you bumped into more than one person at once– it’s hard to do this as a threesome.

Anyway, I didn’t love that exercise, especially because my roommate has had conjunctivitis all week and I really, really don’t want to catch it.  Martin kept saying that if you weren’t bumping into people you should listen for movement and try to bump into people, but every time I heard someone move I would walk in the other direction.  I still ended up bumping into a lot of people, though.  I was sure that everyone in the class would have a pimple on the end of her nose the next day.

We also did an exercise in which you lie on the floor and pretend that you just woke up after being asleep for your entire life (sort of a Rip Van Winkle thing).  It’s important not to plan ahead what you’re going to do– just wake up and let it come to you.

At the end of class, Martin assigned a “snot and tears” monologue from the end of Synge’s Deirdre and the Sorrows.

After class, we were supposed to have a cultural event involving Irish music at Temple Bar.  I didn’t realized that they meant the bar Temple Bar, not the area of the city called Temple Bar.  So this was my first time in a bar.  I ordered a water.  I hung out with the group there for about an hour, but the music was definitely not Irish, although it was loud enough so that you couldn’t have a comprehensible conversation.  Anyway, I was getting hungry, so I left to go have my own dinner at the hostel and work on learning the monologue for the next day.  I also read some of Patricia C. Wrede’s Dealing with Dragons, because it is an awesome book.

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