On Monday you will see the Ugly Shakespeare Company perform and some of you will be lucky enough to have a workshop with the group.
The company will focus on Shakespeare’s play, The Merchant of Venice, “A stage where every man must play a part, And mine a sad one.” The production explores the issues of racism in Shakespeare’s time. Add to that the Ugly Shakespeare’s own unique styles and you have a production that will keep you engaged for 50 minutes of witty prose, slapstick, music and comedy. With confused characters, staunch women and incredibly clever word play, this production has the USC cast working at a frantic pace to get through the play in the allocated time. But all the important bits are there!
Check this out – it is worth viewing.
I took this description of the film from Rotten Tomatoes. Read what Mark Deming has to say about the film:
Director Sam Mendes, made his feature film debut with this film about the dark side of an American family, and about the nature and price of beauty in a culture obsessed with outward appearances. Kevin Spacey plays Lester Burnham, a man in his mid-40s going through an intense midlife crisis; he’s grown cynical and is convinced that he has no reason to go on. Lester’s relationship with his wife Carolyn (Annette Bening) is not a warm one; while on the surface Carolyn strives to present the image that she’s in full control of her life, inside she feels empty and desperate. Their teenage daughter Jane (Thora Birch) is constantly depressed, lacking in self-esteem, and convinced that she’s unattractive. Her problems aren’t helped by her best friend Angela (Mena Suvari), an aspiring model who is quite beautiful and believes that that alone makes her a worthwhile person. Jane isn’t the only one who has noticed that Angela is attractive: Lester has fallen into uncontrollable lust for her, and she becomes part of his drastic plan to change his body and change his life. Meanwhile, next door, Colonel Fitts (Chris Cooper) has spent a lifetime in the Marine Corps and can understand and tolerate no other way of life, which makes life difficult for his son Ricky (Wes Bentley), an aspiring filmmaker and part-time drug dealer who is obsessed with beauty, wherever and whatever it may be. American Beauty was also the screen debut for screenwriter Alan Ball.
Check out these reviews:
NY Daily Times
Simultaneously set in 1895 and 1918, a cry ‘Too Far From Heaven’ presents us with the final day of two New Zealanders sentenced to suffer the death penalty. If you would like to see this excellent piece of theatre it will be performed on Wednesday 5 March at 8pm in the Lowburn hall. It is only $5 for students to attend and it is presented by Cromwell Community Arts with Arts on Tour.
Minnie Dean, known as the Winton Baby Farmer, was the only woman in NZ to receive the death penalty. She was hanged for infanticide. Victor Spencer, a volunteer from Invercargill, was shot by firing squad for desertion during the First World War. According to his Wikipedia entry, Spencer was the last soldier to be executed during World War I and was posthumously pardoned some 80 years after his death.
‘Too Far From Heaven’ was co-written by two of the three performers (Lizzie Dawson and Jade Gillies) together with director Angela Newell, this is an incredibly moving piece of theatre. Try and catch it if you can.
Director Steven Soderbergh has edited together Alfred Hitchcock’s horror classic Psycho with Gus Van Sant’s not so much classic shot-for-shot remake of Psycho.
You can see the results here on Soderbergh’s website.
We have discussed that column writers can challenge and provoke readers. This is the case with a recent column by Deborah Hill Cone which discusses the death of Charlotte Dawson. Her column, ‘It wasn’t just depression that claimed Charlotte’ has upset a number of readers as you will see if you read the comments. You can read the column and the comments here.
I will add regular bog posts to keep you up-to-date with what is happening in the classroom and these posts will be tweeted. If you are not familiar with Twitter it is an online social networking and microblogging service that enables users to send and read “tweets”, which are text messages limited to 140 characters. You can follow me on Twitter to get updates.
As you can see by the screenshot I have now sent 666 tweets … yikes!