Sometime between the time I was a teenager (that would be the 1950s and 60s) and today, my perception of America’s social and political environment changed from one that seemed more sharing, loving and mutually supportive to one that is, today, almost terminally corrupted by fear, violence, and greed.
To be exact, I do not say things have actually changed in those ways, only that my perceptions have changed. It is an important distinction since the world of my teen years was viewed through a lens of privilege that blinded me to the violence, racism, sexism, and poverty that many people in our country already dealt with on a daily basis. Maybe things are not so different now, only the lifting of the curtain to allow the rest of us to see and share the suffering more directly.
There have been, however, some undeniably real changes that will have to be addressed by rising generations. Today’s ruling powers have proved unwilling and unable to lead changes that would save our world from choking its own greed.
Brazosport Center Stages opens The Little Theater’s Production of Hamlet tonight in the Dow Arena Theater. The play will run two weekends. Reservations at The Center for Arts and Sciences.
I have seen several rehearsals. The only big disappointment is that Sharon Barnes starts singing “How Great Thou Art” as she works alone in Hattie’s Restaurant but stops when the New York director, Lauren McTeer played by Laura Woodson, enters.
Somebody may slip Laura some money to get her to miss her entrance so Sharon will have to finish the song.
My personal archive of theater shots is on Flickr. Please feel free to go there and have a preview of the The Little Theater’s Production of Hamlet. It opens tomorrow night, April 27. I am still “in the darkroom” with the photos I took at the Monday rehearsal, so check back occasionally to see if I have posted more of them.
As a preview for your preview, here is Laura Woodson, playing a New York director gone to West Virginia to take Shakespeare to the boonies. Please, Will, tell me why we are doing this to ourselves?
Tonight I will take some rehearsal photographs of “The Little Theater’s Production of Hamlet” directed by Jean Warren, one of our Brazosport Center Stages Superstars. You can make your reservations here. I hope to post some shots of the rehearsal here later in the week. The show opens Friday night, April 27.
Superstar is a recognition of lifetime achievement for theater arts volunteers who have made outstanding contributions in acting, directing, producing, and technical theater at Brazosport Center Stages. Jean is a BCS Superstar and was officially recognized by the Board of Directors at the 2017 annual meeting.
I had the pleasure of working with Jean in 2013 in her production of “Camping with Henry and Tom”. The play is a fictionalized dramatization of a real 1921 camping trip involving Henry Ford, Thomas Edison and President Warren G. Harding. As Thomas Edison I had a good many lines to learn and, at the age of 70, that was not easy. At the annual meeting the next summer, Jean gave me one of her show awards. It was a small cast so not too many people were denied the honor by her act of kindness. I still kid her about giving me an Oscar for remembering my lines. Actually, for almost remembering my lines, most of the time.
In my post of April 12, I suggested that you wouldn’t hear much about politics from me. May I please recant and apologize for that? Politics is at the core of the American character and to avoid political discussion is to hand over control of our lives to others.
Over time, Facebook developed some unwritten rules of social media discourse which I found constraining and, I do not use this word often, un-American. Of course, Facebook has a particular problem with trolls so that any mention of a candidate, party or policy preference would bring them out to haunt your page.
The committee that will produce EMF 2018 gathered last night to begin their serious planning for the 2018 feast in the Dow Arena Theater in November. Get ready for the auditions in late August or early September. In the photo above are two of my favorite photo objects from 2016, Mr. Marc Davis and Ms. Summer Hughes.
It is a joy to photograph this event: color, light, costumes, decor, actors who act, dancers who dance, singers who sing. And they allow me to lurk around wherever I wish and take as many pictures as I want. They even let me take my big camera to the dinner on our night at the table. No flash. Just a lens that will take in enough light to make a decent exposure. This was taken at the November 27, 2016, performance from the back of the room through the castle’s window. It was one of the first times to use my new 70-200mm lens.
And, of course we expect the Earl’s special guest to be invited again. She is always splendidly dressed.
I began this journal after I deleted my Facebook account. I had been a dedicated Facebook user. There was no better communication tool available to fill that niche between mass media and face-to-face interactions. I shared a lot of photographs, mainly from our community theater, Brazosport Center Stages, and from our church youth group. I also did my share of celebrating our beautiful, talented grandchildren with occasional Facebook posts. They were, by my design, nameless and homeless in the eyes of strangers, although I was always careful to limit the distribution to “friends”.
I did the total wipe on Facebook. I don’t doubt the files are still out there as backups or as research data for some “university professor” serving a front for a marketing firm or Vladimir Putin. A blog offers only a bit more privacy. At some point, it will be open to the public and most of what I post will be there for all the honest world to see.
So there are some things you may as well know from the start. There is no need to go to all the trouble of developing a psychographic profile based on assumptions about my friends, likes, and ad clicking. So allow me to save you (and perhaps Mr. Putin) the trouble. I am a United Methodist Christian, born once and only once into the faith at the age of six kneeling at the altar with my parents in Jacinto City Methodist Church. I am a Democrat, have always been a Democrat and your suasions on behalf of some other party will probably be wasted on me. I do not hate or even mildly dislike Republicans. I live among them in Lake Jackson, possibly the most conservative 1,609 square miles in the country, and although they caused me lots of discomfort with barbs about Democratic presidents, I don’t hold that against them because I deliver a few aimed at their Republican heroes from time to time. Not feeling the safety in numbers that they feel, I deliver most of my barbs in the privacy of my home.