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In a timely manner we’re letting everyone know that everyone is called tonight.  I blame the man in charge of the calendar, which would be me.  The creepy thing about tonight is that us living folk are there to serve the props, which means being under the command of the crew, which is an unsettling idea.  But there we are.  In the first place, I’m not sure I trust the existence of the props through my sensory system, not that the props don’t exist outside my sensory system, I’m sure they do, it’s just that my senses also tell me that I spend most of my waking hours at a college within a college that allows me no private, windowless space where I can curl up in a corner, rock back and forth, and chant the spell that would blast me to another dimension.  I suppose I could do that with windows all around, but then it would just be another performance, most of which my life is.  Sorry for ending on a linking verb.  The second item concerns the crew.  In all my years of theater I’ve never trusted the crew.  It’s like allowing the praetorian guard to hang out in the palace.  These sorts of things just don’t end well.  The crew always have their own jokes, snickers, malicious looks, and they spend most of their time measuring, constructing, tying, nailing.  They believe the actors serve them, and not the other way around.  They think of themselves as Demiurges.  Troubling.  Those who can’t attend tonight will be directed to contact the props they serve.
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Morning Frogs,

I stood in the bathroom facing the mirror and holding a hammer when Dr. Maya walked in and asked me what I thought I was doing.  I explained the assignment and she told me that wasn’t going to happen.  Later that day, I took a small pocket mirror belonging to Dr. Maya out into the backyard and hammered it to pieces.  Then I sang.  Awesome.
Tonight it’s Scenes 14-18, which means Dionysus, Xanthias, Aeacus, Euripides, Aeschylus, and Eleusinian Choros.  Cheers.
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Herakles says, “The Argen-tinian poet Julio Cortázar, actually / born in Belgium.  I don’t / think he wrote about mussels.”  No, but he wrote about singing.  I suggest you practice this at home before Monday.

Instructions of How to Sing by Julio Cortázar

Begin by breaking all the mirrors in the house, let your arms fall to your side, gaze vacantly at the wall, forget yourself. Sing one single note, listen to it from inside. If you hear (but this will happen much later) something like a landscape overwhelmed with dread, bonfires between the rocks with squatting half-naked silhouettes, I think you’ll be well on your way, and the same if you hear a river, boats painted yellow and black are coming down it, if you hear the smell of fresh bread, the shadow of a horse.

Afterwards, buy a manual of voice instruction and a dress jacket, and please, don’t sing through your nose and leave poor Schumann at peace.

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For Monday, March 26 we will run scenes 15-18, which means Dionysus, Aeschylus, Euripides and the Eleusinian Choros.  And I will be spitting.

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Morning all,

Aaron Landsman has arrived!  Jana is back!  Finally, some sanity.  Tonight we’ll all assemble and run through what we’ve built.  Both choruses have their bits to perform, and we’ll take the Dionysus/Xanthias/Herakles/Charon skit through its paces—I’ll leave that up to you three to choose (furniture movers, grid, therapy session, spies, etc.).  We also have the Dionysus/Xanthias/Aeacus/Maid/Innkeeper scenes to run—possibly all of that as a torture scene or a fitness center scene.  Gaius seems quite fond of running.  See everyone tonight at 7!
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Morning Athenians,

Tonight finds us returning to the business of theater with the Frog Choros hopping back into The Honors College Commons for a careful study and articulation of lines as well as a contemplation of blocking decisions for later in the week.  Corak.
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Well tonight I’ll begin the festivities by again viewing our wonderful Eleusinian Choros (Michiko, Kimberly, Kristen and Simon) as they perform the secret rituals of the Eleusinian Mystery, then it will be onto running Scenes 1-6, which includes Dionysus (Corey), Xanthias (Juliet), Herakles (Alexandra), Charon (Husein), and the Frog Choros (Natalie, Corinne and Karina).  A la Anne Bogart we’ll work on Viewpoints, some of which we’ll play with Greek Urban Folk Songs echoing around us.  Much walking, running, speaking, whispering, shouting, curling up into a ball, leaping, sitting, waiting.

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Tonight I’ll view the Eleusinian Choros and watch a variation on our version of Frogs. Based on last night’s rehearsal, the first three scenes of Frogs take place in a penthouse apartment. Dionysus and Xanthias work as furniture movers and Herakles sprays plants all day and dreams of fantastic parties she will throw at night. Tasks and obstacles become the key. Also, I’ll have the rare pleasure of watching a Eleusinian Mystery cult ritual. Outstanding.

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If there was a reason that I only scheduled Xanthias and Herakles tomorrow evening, I can’t think of it now.  (O, just remembered.)  So Dionysus, Xanthais and Herakles—meaning, Corey, Juliet and Alexandra.  We’ll work on a number of mirroring and improv exercises to create, find, stumble upon that elusive creature “comedic sense and timing.” Our model, well of course, the Three Stooges.  This means Grotowski, Wangh, Boal, commedia dell’arte through the Three Stooges.  I call it … Stoogogics or Stoogery.   Last week was bollocks for me (love that phrase), so I’d like to see the Eleusinian Choros on Tuesday night (because they deserve my attention) as well as Dionysus, Xanthias, Herakles and Charon.  On Tuesday night we will continue our comedic explorations with Husein (Shemp).  Thursday brings in the Frog Choros, so we’ll move from Stoogics to Circus.  And as always—lines, lines, lines.


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For tonight I’d like the Eleusinian Choros to talk about the Eleusinian Mystery—tell me what you know about Demeter and Persephone, what you know about this long-standing ancient ritual.  And, of course, we’ll enact it.  Nothing like having visions.  For Thursday we’ll have Dr. Zecher to talk about Greek pronunciation, Alyssa Weathersby to gather thoughts for music, and a video taping of the Choros’ thoughts about mystery cults, Denny’s, and so on.  Lovely.