February 22, 2014
We went to see The Glass Menagerie again last night and it was even better than the night before, if that is possible. There are two more performances, tonight (Saturday) at 7 pm and tomorrow (Sunday) at 2 pm. It is at The Black Box Theater at Fayetteville High School. See it before it closes.
Yesterday’s post on the play generated some interesting discussion in the comments, so you may want to check that out. I also learned from Twitter that Morgan Polikoff played Laura, the same part as my daughter, in his sophomore English class. I’m discovering more reasons to like Morgan all the time. And he says there is a video out there to prove it. I promise to post the video if it ever surfaces.
February 21, 2014
I just saw a superb production of The Glass Menagerie at Fayetteville High School last night. Full disclosure: my daughter plays Laura. Despite that fact, I don’t think my opinion about the excellence of the show is biased. Every member of the cast, the set, the lighting, and the projection and sound effects were all the quality of a professional production. Those who can should come to see it at the FHS Black Box Theater tonight or Saturday at 7 pm or Sunday at 2 pm. Arrive early to buy tickets because it is an intimate space with limited seating.
Given the shift in education away from the arts toward a narrow focus on math and reading skills, it is wonderful to see how Fayetteville School District is actually expanding its attention to the arts. The performance was held in the new state of the art theater facility at the high school. In his directorial debut, Trevor Cooper is a recent addition to an expanded drama faculty at the high school that now includes four teachers, led by the fabulous Warren Rosenaur. The school’s principal, Steve Jacoby was in the audience last night , as were school board member, Tim Hudson, and several teachers. They come out to see the arts just like they come out to see the football team — both of which make significant contributions to the education of students.
It’s also wonderful that the AP Literature classes saw in-school performances of the play today and yesterday. I suspect that if they also have the chance to read the play in class, the benefits would be even stronger.
I’ll be able to test my suspicion more rigorously with an experiment I am conducting on the effects of students seeing quality theater. With an award-winning local theater company, TheatreSquared, I am conducting a study in which school groups are awarded free tickets by lottery to see A Christmas Carol and Hamlet. We want to how these theater experiences affect students. In particular, we are collecting information on whether students are also reading these plays to see if the combination of reading and seeing a play is particularly effective relative to just reading or just seeing the play.
But even if you’ve never read The Glass Menagerie, come see it this weekend at FHS. And then read it. It’s a beautiful production of a beautiful play.
February 18, 2014
(Guest post by Greg Forster)
It’s a Pass the Popcorn so big, I couldn’t fit it onto JPGB. Head over to Hang Together for 3,300 words on The Lego Movie and Frozen, which offer the two great moral worldviews of our time.
If you haven’t seen The Lego Movie, go see it. It’s hilarious. The entertainment value is well worth your money. I expect that some of the pop culture gags in this movie will be referenced by nerds around their digital water coolers for some time to come. And the gags are almost all visual, so it’s going to be a lot funnier on the big screen than it will be in your living room.
Don’t go expecting deep wisdom, just go expecting a great time, and you’ll have one.
Now, to business. Do NOT read the rest of this article until after you’ve seen both The Lego Movie and Frozen (subject of my most recent Pass the Popcorn article over at JPGB). Major spoilers lie ahead…
The Lego Movie and Frozen are both examining what may well be the most important question facing our culture. They are not about the culture war as such, but they are about the core question of the meaning and purpose of human life that lies behind the culture war…
Your thoughts and feedback welcomed!
February 17, 2014
(Guest Post by Matthew Ladner)
I have a new guest post on RedefinED today showing that everything in Florida will be fine as the children of the Baby Boomers have children and the Baby Boomers retire. So long that is if they find a way to reformat Medicaid to keep it affordable, create 1.4 million new school spaces and somehow avoid a major drag on economic growth as the percentage of working age people declines.
You know, just a few minor things here and there.
February 16, 2014
(Guest Post by Matthew Ladner)
We had a bit of a fauxtroversy here in Arizona last week as some quarters got riled up over Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal’s decision to record a message for parents whose children attend D/F rated Arizona schools about the Empowerment Scholarship Account program. Superintendent Huppenthal serves as the legally designated administrator of the ESA program- it is quite a shock that he might work with private groups to raise awareness of the program. Quelle horreur! This is surely going to lead to the destruction of public education in Arizona right?
Well, no actually not so much. More on the NBC news show Sunday Square Off:
February 15, 2014
As I wrote last month: “I hate the Olympics. I hate everything about them… their show-casing of murderous authoritarian regimes, their graft and corruption, their promotion of obscure sports that generate little genuine interest, their hypocritical claim of being non-commercial and non-political, their subordination of athletic excellence to soap-opera story-telling… everything.”
better olympic narratives • needs pure gold from medal to save dying spouse • in curling contest for immortal soul • skis are actually feet
Ineffectual attempt to get divorced parents back together • Chasing dream of starring in local furniture store commercial in ten years
better olympic narratives • actually snowboarding to save community center from developers • little white lie on first date has gone too far
better olympic narratives • back half of horse costume took a wrong turn • deep undercover narcotics agent • trying to outski her past
Lost hunter accidentally wins biathlon. • Training for Gymkata II: This Time It’s In Snow?
• country ceased to exist mid-ski jump à la Tom Hanks in The Terminal
Believes winning gold medal will lead to an audience with Zeus
blindly following guy who keeps getting into bobsleds
dying father made her promise to never enter the olympics; hates dying father.
And then @JoshGreenman mocks the hyper-patriotism of the reaction to Team USA’s hockey victory by posting these wonderfully ironic paintings from Etsy
February 13, 2014
(Guest Post by Matthew Ladner)
Both the Mississippi Senate and House passed ESA legislation for children with disabilities today. Check the FF for details, bills now head to conference. Congrats to Mississippi’s choice champions…not counting chickens yet but….can’t……….resist……..
Mississippi may be first to pass a new private choice bill in 2014. If so, who will be next?