Thursday, February 17, 2011

Life Stories Third Class

We had an amazing third class filled with high energy and lots of laughter.  Mardell gushed how much she looked forward to Wednesdays and others greeted one another like old friends.  The stories enacted brought laughter, understanding and tears.  I am certain had we more time the class would have enjoyed discussing their memories aroused from the stories they had seen. 

The Memory Chair (cont’d)

Wednesday, February, 16, 2011

This is our third week of Life Stories class. We are still in the ‘getting to know you’ stage, and like the week before, most of us put on our name tags before finding a seat. It is obvious that we are attaining a cohesive balance because lots of talk goes on as we wait for Wrenn to begin the class.

Once we’ve loosened the kinks from our bodies, and tested our vocal cords for sound ( Ho, Ho , Ha, Ha Ha), we get down to business. And of course, one of those business duties was to reacquaint ourselves with ‘The Master Bard’ himself: Shakespeare! We get to throw his words of insult at each other with nary a thought of consequences…how long has it been since a person could do that and still keep one’s head?

Today was Improvisation Day: Hess, Barbara, and Julia acted out a skit that involved a man taking a woman and a five year old child out to lunch. Of which, Julia, playing the child, upstaged the scene by putting her feet on the table, wanting things her way…or no way…and as you might expect, the power of a five year old child almost always comes out the winner.

The next skit, the players were: Ted, Sandy, Mardell, and Me. The story was of a daddy, a six year old child, and a conjurer, who is trying to bring back a runaway wife with a dose of voodoo enticement. And once again, our class members really got into the background scene: the barking of dogs and the clucking of hens most likely could be heard clear up to St. John Street. In fact they were deep into their role as the skit ended with the child’s mind still caught up with the mysterious lady, Odella.

The next order of business was: dividing into groups of five to read our stories of teenage memories and to then select one story and act it out. There would be three improvisational skits to perform.

The room buzzed with voices, a laugh here and there, paper shuffling occasionally…and a body prowling in and out around the group—Wrenn.

Finally, decision time came. Barbara’s story of a family in chaos, Marti’s story of teenage discovery (what takes place in New York, stays in New York), and Lynnsy’s ongoing memory of A call to Love, were presented with actors that fell right into their roles. Great job!

The mind-catching words today came from Marti’s teenage tale (a bit of coughing here). “Well…maybe the second cigarette will be a little better…”

Elizabeth T. (Willie)

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