Saturday, October 22, 2011

So I recently mentioned that I was going down to Cedar City as a chaperon for my friend and his class. First off, I lied. Not about the Cedar City bit, just about chaperons needing to be fingerprinted and have background clearance. It turns out that's only a policy in some districts (to be fair, I spent about 5 months working [not paid] in one of those districts, so...)

Second off. It was cold. Very, very cold. There were parts of the trip that I was straight up miserable. Why? Because no one was planning on it getting as cold as it did, especially not on the night that we went to go see King Lear OUTDOORS!

Yes, Southern Utah University has a "replica" of Shakespeare's Globe theater on it's campus (don't be fooled, the added chairs. Chairs!). Well the first night we were in Cedar City, after driving through a minor snowstorm to get there, we went to go see this Shakespeare a la Shakespeare. It was miserable.

No offense to the actors, but it wasn't very engaging as a show. It didn't help that it was 39 degrees out. And it definitely didn't help to not have a coat. The most any of the students had was a hoodie and a fleece blanket. It especially didn't help that the show was 3 hours long. We were so excited when intermission hit because we thought it was time to go, then we checked the program and screamed, but that just froze and hit the ground. Another hour and a half. But, I can't recall a time that I ever left a show at intermission, I just think it's a courtesy thing.

Oh. And we know that it was 39 degrees because all of the kids had their smartphones out and were checking constantly. We got to hear about it at intermission. SUU sold a good amount of hot chocolate that night (though I hear that was disappointing too).

Though I complain about that night, the rest of the weekend was actually quite enjoyable. I did something that I don't remember doing ever in my life. I saw three plays in a day. It was incredible. I had many opportunities to see two shows a day while in London, but three is a record.

The best part about these shows is that they were all spectacular. Each one was done by the Utah Shakespeare Festival (which a Tony award winning festival) and they were some of the best theater I've seen this side of the ocean. We saw A Winter's Tale at 9am, Noises Off at 2pm, and Dial M for Murder at 7:30pm.

Even more astounding is the fact that the festival does repertory casting, which means that they have one cast to fill all the shows. So we saw some of the actors three times that day. It was amazing to see the versatility that they had. I tried to imagine the fatigue that must have set in as well. I heard from one cast member that by the 2pm show, which is a slapstick comedy, that they were all so hopped up on caffeine that it was one of the craziest shows yet. Luckily for the actors, the way a rep cast works is that generally if you have a large part in one of the shows, your part in the other shows are significantly smaller. This helps to reduce the burden and avoid burnout (or so I'm guessing).

So there really were some positive things from Cedar City. I'm just glad that my frostbite from high school didn't flare up. I guess I wasn't in a speedo this time...


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