STUDENT CENTER: Conquering KCACTF — Day 2: John Glover's Words of Wisdom and Honesty Hour
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by Mary Best
In full festival hangover, we crawled out of bed early Monday morning to kick off day two of KCACTF. With our usual Starbucks in hand, most of our group headed to campus to see FOR SALE, by Garrett Lee Milton, a student playwright from James Madison University.
While we had really looked forward to seeing the show, it earned mixed reviews from the Bonnies.
"It wasn't the greatest show I've ever seen, nor was it the worst," Makeda said. "It wasn't a hard play to follow, but the combination of my exhaustion and the length of the play made it hard to follow. There was an engaging 10-minute scene, but I was lost during the rest."
Brett added, saying it was like a combination of Ibsen and a Lifetime original movie.
Immediately after, we all went to hear the keynote address by Tony winner John Glover, who might be one of the coolest actors of all time. With such an extensive list of stage and screen credits, most recently on Broadway in Arthur Miller's DEATH OF A SALESMAN, he was incredibly chill and is a great storyteller.
He offered plenty of inspiring advice for an auditorium full of aspiring artists, emphasizing the importance of having the right attitude because it makes you positive and it monitors talent.
While answering some questions from the audience, Glover said what might be the best advice I have ever heard for someone wanting a career in theater.
"To have a life in the theater, you should only do it if you can't not," he said.
We all went to lunch at Bill Bateman's Bistro, inspired and more motivated than ever before to pursue our artistic goals. (We also lovingly dubbed the restaurant as the "Man's Bistro," because that was the only part of the sign that lit up at nighttime.
(Getting lunch at the "Man's Bistro" Front: Brett, myself and Makeda Back: Tori and Freddy)
Amidst atomic chicken wings and Shirley Temples, we celebrated our growing friendship with each other and planned out the rest of our festival schedule, while taking plenty of silly pictures.
(Emily's costume presentation for A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM)
After spending some time in the DTM (Design Tech Management) Room to watch Emily's stellar A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM costume presentation (pictured above), we all ventured to one of Towson's black box theaters to check out four schools' responses to this year's Devised Theater prompt - "Five Years from Today."
While excited to see our College of Southern Maryland (CSM) friends perform their devised piece, most of us had sentimental ties to the devised theater presentation. Last year, we wrote a 17-minute play based on the prompt "Welcome Home" and presented it at the first Region 2 devised theater showcase. We had a wonderful time sharing our work and had a great experience performing for our colleagues at festival, and oddly enough, met our beloved CSM festival friends at the performance.
CSM performed two very different original pieces, displaying impressive talent and writing skills along with two other teams -Montclair State University and Millersville University. It was really cool to see different interpretations of the prompt and all of the original student works.
That evening, we all gathered in Towson's largest theater for THE BACCHAE 2012 by Euripides and Charles Mee and produced by the University of Akron. The story is the essential Greek myth and its mix of pleasure and communion, telling the tale of the
god's return to Thebes (or Akron in their production) and the tragic outcome for Pentheus and his mother Agave. The incredibly colorful production utilized dance and movement as well as songs, chanting and beautiful flowing costumes to tell the story in a more modern way.
"It was really awesome and abstract and showed the true meaning of Dionysus," Tori said. "Not only was the action going on onstage, but it brought the whole audience in and created a Dionysian bubble."
Brett enjoyed the show as well.
"The Bacchae really did an excellent job of drawing out the dichotomy of Apollo and Dionysus," he said. "At the same time, they didn't oversimplify it. You could see that human nature requires both elements."
The production ended with a fantastic curtain call, with the cast dancing and celebrating to a rhythmic song, which even persuaded some of the audience to get up out of their seats and start dancing.
Our night ended with another casual gathering in our hotel room. Everyone shared a story, some silly, some serious, and we shared our thoughts about ourselves and each other during what we dubbed "Honesty Hour." I said it before, and I will say it again. Amidst all of the workshops, shows and gatherings, there is nothing better about festival than developing some incredible friendships.
Mary/Tori/Makeda/Brooke Starbucks count: 20
(We may or may not be harboring an addiction...)
Check out tomorrow's post - featuring a recap from Tuesday including a review of Lisa Dunham's THE WALLS and pictures from the costume parade!
A fun shot from Emily and Tori rehearsing their Irene Ryan preliminary round scene.
Brooke, myself, Tori and Makeda having some roommate fun.
Freddy catching some air in the hotel.
Photo Credits: BWW-Staff, Makeda Loney, Tori Lanzillo