High on my bucket list is seeing the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights). Determined to make this happen sooner rather than later (or not at all), I recently bought my r/t Canadian train ticket to go from Winnipeg to Churchill, a small town on the Hudson Bay, arriving on New Year’s Eve. This is polar bear country, and there are no roads to Churchill—just over-priced regional planes and the more affordable ViaRail train. The train trip is very slow: 40+ hours (2 nights) each way, but I’ll have a sleeperette with hot meals provided and access to a shower. The price is manageable, since the Canadian dollar is low, and I am buying so far in advance. I also will be a senior (60) by the time I travel, and four of my six nights will be on the train.
Life from 50-60 was about visiting as many countries as possible with the goal of 60 countries by the time I turned 60. I achieved that goal a few months ago after visiting Cuba. I think that 60-70 will focus on my bucket list of experiences, which includes the Northern Light this winter and then the Oberammergau Passion Play this summer (2020).
history: director as late development? (choreagos to prompter to actor-manager to director) interpretor vs. creator (typical American vs. European notions of director) auteur vs. collaborator (Robert Wilson vs. Joseph Chaikin) concept vs. gimmick (Ian Rickson with Martin Sheen as Hamlet in an insane asylum) concept vs. problem-solution (McTier’s Big Love) unified production (Richard Wagner’s gesamtkunstwerk) personal styles: forest vs. trees price vs. production values
Key Directors from History
Goethe Georg, Duke of Saxe-Meiningen Richard Wagner and Gesemtkunstwerk Max Reinhardt and Crowds and Regiebuch Constantine Stanislavski and Psychological Realism/Method Vsevolod Meyerhold and Constructivism/Biomechanics Bertolt Brecht and Epic Theatre Jerzy Grotowski Towards A Poor Theatre Peter Brook The Empty Space
After spending a week with my family in Georgia to celebrate Christmas, I headed off for three weeks in India and Nepal. [Picture: At Agra Fort, I ran into a bunch of Americans, who were in India for a big wedding. They still were in a festive mood and broke out into a spontaneous dance. What fun!]
The day after graduation, I took a 16-hour flight from Houston to Taipei and spent the next three weeks in Asia, visiting Taiwan, Vietnam, Hong Kong, and Macau. After a long-weekend reunion at the family farm in Dearing, Georgia, to celebrate my father’s 90th birthday, I moved to Berry College (an hour north of Atlanta), where I spent almost five weeks teaching at the Governor’s Honors Program, which is a summer residential program for gifted and talented high schoolers. After the program ended, I visited friends in north Georgia, saw Serenbe’s Titanic, and then returned to the farm to celebrate my mom’s upcoming 90th birthday. On the long drive back to Texas, I paused for a personal retreat at Roosevelt State Park in Mississippi and made it back in time to rent and move to a new apartment in Conroe. I’ll unpack this week and then return to school next week. What a busy summer…if only this terrible heat would end!
I recently finished ACUE’s year-long course in “Effective Teaching Practices,” which has afforded me new methods (and reminded me of old ones) that will improve my skills as a teacher. This picture was taken after our awards dinner, when we were presented our certificates. This course will be repeated next year at SHSU, and I strongly encourage my colleagues to participate.
Visiting Mr. Green at Unity Theatre in Brenham, Texas
This is the play I recently directed at Unity Theatre in Brenham. The production featured Ryan Schabach as Ross and Ralph Ehntholt as Mr. Green. Production stills were provided by Scott Hill of Brenham Portrait Gallery.
Roamin’ Romania, a photobook chronicling my year in Romania as a U.S. Fulbright Scholar, is available on Amazon.com.