Tuesday, January 11, 2011

2011.

It's nice to be back after a break! The holidays are over, and this is the deep breath before the plunge of the semester beginning. I am officially back in school as of next Wednesday, January 19, and I have the sneaking the suspicion that this semester is going to fly.

Before the semester begins though, I am awash with "things to do" for ADK Shakes and trying not to feel overwhelmed by the to-do list. I am in the throes of casting for the summer season -- a herculean task that I cannot even begin to discuss. I am also deeply immersed in the Bookend Project -- our dual production of Titus Andronicus and The Tempest, which goes up next month. Our read-through is coming up fast -- January 21 -- and then it is a scant couple of weeks until rehearsal and performance. I'm clocking it -- 13 hours of rehearsal for each show. Insane!

The summer seems to be approaching fast as well. Not only am I considering casting, there are also revisions needed for the Midsummer script and an overhaul of the Merchant script. And we are in negotiations for an original script for our children's production. The best news of the moment is that we received a grant from the Lower Adirondack Regional Council for the Arts (LARAC), and we are so thrilled and grateful! This is helping to make possible a widespread touring production through Warren and Washington Counties. I am incredibly excited to attend the Awards Ceremony in March to accept this grant.

I also have some school-related things to attend to before the semester begins -- two books to read, another short reading assignment, and some conference proposal submissions.

In terms of this blog, I really loved having a particular question to pursue last semester so I am hoping I will have another such burning question hit me over the next few weeks. Maybe it will emerge from one of my courses: Medieval Romance; 19th Century Politics and Aesthetics; or Allegory & Epic (Dante & Joyce). Or possibly from my preparation for the upcoming summer season? We shall see. But no matter what questions emerge, I have to say how incredibly fortunate I feel at the start of 2011. Last year at this time, I was working at a job that did not light me up, feeling terribly downtrodden, and generally just not excited about life. In the past year, I was accepted to as a Doctoral Fellow in the St. John's University English Department, helped to pilot Adirondack Shakespeare Company's inaugural Summer Festival Season, and finished my first semester of graduate school with straight A's. Holy *insert expletive of your choice here*!

Having this opportunity to be back in school pursuing a doctoral degree is extraordinary, and to be able to pair this work with Adirondack Shakespeare Company is a joy. I am looking forward to 2011 with great expectations for the Bookend Project, for our second annual Summer Festival Season, for my coursework, and with a sense of appreciation and gratitude for all of you who share this work with me. Love, joy, and peace to you this coming year.

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