Thursday, April 14, 2011

Two Weeks Till Our Show!!!!

A long nine hour day yesterday filled with laughter, tears, drama, comedy...'Aha' moments and lingering questions...ponderings...and again 'Aha, now I understand'...
The challenge of memorization was holding many back from 'telling their stories' from their hearts...I reminded them that they could hold their scripts...or put their lines on notecards...with scripts in hand, their stories flowed trippingly off their tonges (Shakespeare 'Hamlet') and into our hearts...several times I joined them with my tears and most often I had chill bumps leaping to my skin...Again I say 'BRAVO' to my students for continuing to seek ways to 'make their stories better as well as their performances'...Nine hours nonstop and yet when I returned home I continued to work fueled by the energy of my students and friends.  I only wish I could make a real living doing what I do best...teaching and is my mission in life.  To change lives all for the betterment of humanity.

The Memory Chair (cont’d)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

This is the eleventh week of Life Stories class; one weekly session remains, and only seventeen days until—Showtime!

Like last week, our timetable for today is geared toward making our stories come alive!

The hub of action is located at a table in one corner of the room where Wrenn, wearing her director’s hat, manages the moment: getting the ad-libs in place, the gestures, the looks, the pauses, the body language, and the necessary background vocal sounds.

Before I go any further into this blog, I want to give a thumbs-up to our benefactress, Wrenn: the plate of cookies was over the top; many thanks for feeding those of us with a ‘sweet’ tooth! Hey, Don—we had food today! Remember?

Mid-way the morning, posed, costumed pictures were taken of a number of the stories; still shots depicting the essence of the storyline behind the photos.

We were given a diagram of the stage and as each scheduled presentation took place, a character’s floor placement was added to the scripts; also word changes, some added, others deleted; and narrations became action scenes with only certain pivotal speaking words.

As the meetings have piled up, our shared stories have linked us in a unique way; we’ve been gifted with insights into the lives of a roomful of once strangers, who now feel like long-time friends. We’ve abbreviated the usual required time of ‘getting to know each other’ by simply getting inside our heads—and hearts, in a few short weeks.

Next Wednesday is the final class meeting and rehearsals will rule the day: a morning session, lunch, and then an afternoon run-thru. All stories will be performed and given a final scrutiny with many eyes following scenes that are becoming like we own them as a group.

During this last time together as classmates, we get to watch the complete play as it will unfold on stage; we get to see our past tied up in skits, and whether the story is one of sadness or joy, of an accounting of the times, or a confession from the heart, or a glimpse into the ‘winter’ of a life, we will have lived the circle of emotions surrounding our lives—and all this within a 12 week time frame!

Elizabeth (Willie) Towles

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