Sunday, August 7, 2011


I've noticed that sweat is the great equalizer in NYC in the summer. Everyone coming into the theatre is just as sweaty and icky as you are, even if they are better dressed.

Lots has happened since last update. I have been in class for six hours a day. The morning mostly consists of lectures, but I've learned quite a bit about Shakespeare that I didn't know. For those of you who know me, it won't surprise you that the one thing that really stuck in my head is that the plural of "phallus" is "phalloi." What can I say? I'm a twelve-year-old boy disguised as a middle-aged woman. In the afternoons, we do scenework and have already performed from Henry V. I got to be Henry for a while, which would never happen in real life.

The high point of the week, and of the trip, I think, was Friday. All of the scholars were shown some of the rare book collection of the Columbia library, which is considerable. All of the books we viewed were printed in Shakespeare's time or a little after his lifetime, including a copy of the first folio. The first folio. The. First. Folio. And I touched it! And turned the pages! And.....I just couldn't believe it. And surrounded by all those old books, I realized how so much of my past lives in the pages of books, and how much of our historical past lives there. And how my future probably does not. And our future. But I hope I'm wrong.

Me with the first folio

The first folio

The first folio. When I turned the page, it opened to The Tempest

On Friday night, I saw The Neo-Futurists 60 minute show, "Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind," which was in this dumpy little theatre in the East Village. I had always wanted to see it but was a bit disappointed. Beforehand we went to The Strand (18 miles of books! Oh my!) and had Ukrainian cuisine at Veselka, including the most delicious borscht ever.

Yesterday, my feet were very swollen, which made a lot of walking difficult and painful, but I tried to keep going. I intended to see a matinee, but lunch took too long, so we ended up in Times Square and went to the Drama Bookshop, which is all plays and theatre-related books, Very cool. We met Julie's friend in Bryant Park and proceded to Park Slope in Brooklyn, where we had some Austrian food (schnitzel and spaetzle) before going to Lear.

Confession: we were a few minutes late to Lear, and I was mortified. We had to wait. And I was waaaaay up in the balcony and had to take the scary elevator because the stairs were too noisy. But I saw most of it. I just missed the first scene. The Royal Shakespeare Company is pretty amazing, and all of the actors I saw in Winter's Tale were also in Lear, so to see them do completely different roles was a neat opportunity.

Slept in today, and I'm currently trying to decide what to do. I am sort of free today, and it's already into the afternoon. I can go anywhere I want. What to do? Maybe the Metropolitan. Weirdly enough, I don't feel like packing in the shows today. Plus I'm running out of money. Which happens pretty quickly here.

No comments:

Post a Comment