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This is yet another incarnation of my personal blog. Here's where you can read about what I do when I'm not at work: hiking, seeing plays and other shows, eating, traveling, etc.

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Oregon Shakespeare Festival 2011 (November)

Posted by gck Monday, November 7, 2011

It’s Day 7 of National Novel Writing Month, and since I just returned from a weekend at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, I’m behind on my word count. And so my typing should be going towards that or towards the job that pays me so I can write a novel or attend a Shakespeare Festival. But I find that I have other thoughts that want to be written. And not really an audience to write them to. These posts don’t belong on Facebook. Most people don’t read Livejournal anymore. And I’ve deserted this blog so much that I’d be surprised if anyone checks it anymore. Oh well, thoughts to a mystery audience, that works just as well.

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(right: fall colors in Jacksonville, left: historical charm in Jacksonville)

It’s been a week of what I can best describe as “passion overload.” I love this sort of feeling. It’s why I spend as much time as possible at the movie theaters when SIFF comes around each year. It’s why I drive almost 1000 miles twice a year to see 2-3 plays in 24 hours at OSF. It’s why I squeeze in full day hikes to gorgeous places as many times as I can during Washington’s limited summer season. It’s why I love the Seattle Nanowrimo community.

So.. the first week of Nano, two plays at OSF, lots of reading and plotting… I’m full of energy of people creating things, faraway worlds, and umm, the thrill of political assassination? I get into work today, sit down, and I am given a harsh reminder that my life and most of my time isn’t full of passion, visions, and creations. Running Powershell commandlets was so far out of the world my head was in that it yanked me immediately back to reality. Hello, dreamer. It’s time to wake up.

Every once in awhile, I find myself wishing that my life was completely different. (And oooh, that makes me sooo original.) Today is one of those days. Today I wish I could be an artist, a musician, a writer, even some fringe technical whatever in a creative production. The thoughts won’t last, of course, but for now, it’s nice to have them.

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(banners outside of the New Theatre, photo credit: DK)

Hearing “Beware the Ides of March” yanks me back to high school English immediately. Probably the only thing that’s more effective in this area would be “sucks to your assmar,” but I don’t anticipate seeing a stage production of Lord of the Flies anytime in the near future. (OSF is kind of doing Medea in “Medea/Macbeth/Cinderella” next season so I might get to experience this regression again)

(OSF’s production of Julius Caesar, photo credit: Jenny Graham)

Julius Caesar was powerful. Even before we entered the theatre, it was clear that the production was a bold statement, from the very much talked about casting of a female (Vilma Silva) to the provocative banners along the entrance way and within the lobbies of the theatre featuring victims of political assassination and conflicting perceptions of them. Stark, minimalist set, with lots of black, tan, white, and bright red blood. Dramatic changes between dark and focused, bright lighting and silence and sudden, loud noise added to the suspense. Highlights for me were Caesar’s bloody death and haunting presence after her death, the very effective persuasions of Cassius, and Mark Antony’s famous “Friends, Romans, countrymen” speech that really showed the audience how he swayed people from seeing the assassins as heroes to murderers. Yeah, okay, I should have re-read the play before I saw this. It’s been awhile. But even though I couldn’t remember who Metellus Cimber was or didn’t realize until afterwards that Calpurnia was missing, this production still had me completely engrossed. I’ve been a huge fan of Danforth Comins (Mark Antony) after seeing him in All’s Well that Ends Well and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Vilma Silva (Caesar) and Gregory Linington (Cassius) have been at OSF for a long time, but I’ve somehow managed to not see any of their performances until now. Hope I see more in the future!

Also saw The Imaginary Invalid, which completely lived up to my expectations of being continuous LOL. Really entertaining and a nice balance for the not-so-funny Julius Caesar, but it’s not something I’ll be musing about for years to come or anything like that.

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(left: statues in Jacksonville, right: ducks in Lithia Park)

Rest of the trip: My friends Yamini and Nithish came along for this one (and they say they enjoyed it enough to do a repeat next year). All the driving time doesn’t allow for much extra stuff, but we did get to do some tax-free outlet mall shopping, Powell’s browsing in Portland, and exploring in Jacksonville. I love the Jacksonville Mercantile and that was my motivation for that stop. I was in great need of more aged balsamic vinegar, and now I’ve developed a new addiction to their toasted onion avocado oil, thanks to the free samples.

Looking forward to the 2012 season, and until then… back to the Powershell commandlets.


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