Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Hey Theater Nerds, Spill Your Guts!

True story, lots of people who like to read also like to watch plays or even act in them. To prove our point, we bullied our blog contributors into telling us about their inner theater nerds.

Jordan (teen reviewer)
I haven't been in a play since sophomore year, but my mom's still a drama teacher, so I got some credit there. :)
a) My favorite play that I've been a part of was the one-act play, The Pretentious Young Ladies, by Molière. It is a comedy on the upper and elitist attitude of the aristocrats of French society.
b) My favorite play that I've seen is probably a production of King Lear at the Shakespeare Company here in D.C. It was the original Shakespearean text, but set in a quasi-modern time, with camouflage and machine guns. It was absolutely incredible.
King Lear from The Shakespeare Company
c) Best play that I've read would probably be Othello. However, A Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen is in close contention.

a) My favorite play that I've been a part of was probably The Complete Works of Shakespeare Abridged. It's hilarious and will forever get the Othello rap stuck in my head when someone mentions green jello. Sure I only worked as a dresser for this show, but it was a LOT of work :)
b) My favorite play that I've seen is probably Cabaret, it was one of my first broadway shows (and the first one that I paid for the ticket).  
c) And, my favorite play to read is probably Death of a Salesman, it's so cutting and to the point that it just has stuck with me for years after.

Othello rap, for your enjoyment.
Favorite play I've read: 
The Importance of Being Ernest. I was one of two people in my junior year English class that found it funny and it was just our luck that me and the other guy had been assigned two of the main roles. No one else got why we couldn't say our lines because we were laughing so hard. Later that year we were the only ones who thought "Harold and Maude" was amazing when the teacher decided to show it in class.
Seen: My church Youth Group used to do one big production a year and when I was a 6th grader they did Fiddler on the Roof and it was the coolest thing ever. Especially when (spoiler) the ghost of Golde's grandmom came running through the audience all ghoulish and screaming like a banshee. I really don't see enough live theater.
Been in: The only time I was ever really in a play was in 4th grade, it was a mash-up of The Wizard of Oz and The Wiz. We acted the play straight and then the school choir sang The Wiz songs at the appropriate places. I was Galinda, the Good Witch.  I also have a thing for Tenessee Williams and have been known to randomly drop "I HAVE alllll-ways depended upon the kindness of strangers" in my best southern accent into conversation. Really, my whole life is a play. but thank God not a Williams play.

Librarian M

Seen: I haven't seen many plays. A few years ago I saw a play based on David Rees' Get Your War On books that was really good.
Been in: I haven't been in a play since middle school. I think I played "Weather Elf" in some xmas-themed play. I'm sure it was horrible.

The Importance of Being Earnest Highlights (from the current B-way run!)

Alex (writer of the library's other blog... the one for grown ups, and a former lighting designer/electrician)

A - Favorite Play I've been a part of: Duet! A Romantic Fable, by the Adobe Theatre Company

Still one the most brilliant pieces of original theatre ever, it was the tale a a simple girl and the frog eating boy she fell in love with. This is the link to the original production - I should be listed as the lighting designer, but Paul lit it when it moved to "Off Broadway" (as opposed to Off-off broadway), and that's what the playbill is from.
B - Favorite Play to Read - A Midsummer Night's Dream is great to read again and again, but I loved discovering Brecht's Mother Courage and HerChildren when I first read it.
C - Favorite Play I've Seen - Bring on the Noise, Bring on theFunk's original production at The Public was incredible. Savion Glover is remarkable, and I got to see it for free because I worked on the lighting.

Prepare to be impressed by Mr. Glover

A) I haven't been on the stage since my 8th grade debut as the head of a girls summer camp in a play that has been lost to time (thank goodness), but I was in choir and performed a lot of selections from musicals 

B)What's your favorite play you've read? Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare
C) How about seen? An Ideal Husband by Oscar Wilde

My favorite summer tradition in my hometown of St. Louis is The Muny. Tucked away in Forest Park, this huge outdoor theatre puts on week after week of musical theatre through the hottest months of the year. And just to sweeten the pot they reserve 1,000 free seats every night. So while I may not have grown up in a Theatre Family, I did grow up in a Love Doing Free Things Family, and one night when I was around 10, my Grandma took me to see Hello, Dolly!

I fell in love. The music. The atmosphere. The pageantry. All of it.I went on to spend my summers working as an usher at the Muny, tearing tickets, showing people to their seats, and watching every show. I never aspired to be on the stage myself, but that's the nice thing about theatre--it's as much for the audience as it is for the actors.

Do you hear the people sing? Then you're probably at a musical!

Musicals are still hands down my favorite thing to see on the theatre. And I have to admit, musical soundtracks are among some of my best CDs to get at the library. Some of my favorites include:
Rent (DVD or CD)
Phantom of the Opera (DVD or CD)

So, we've told you ours! Tell us yours! What are your favorites?

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