Monday, May 16, 2011


Every year the Alabama Shakespeare theatre in Montgomery, AL hosts a two-day festival of new play readings and celebration of new playwrights. I enjoy the readings better than the actual performances. We audience  use our imagination "seeing" the movements, costuming, lighting. Reading is done by the young professional troupe serving a period of time performing through a play season. Young people with some professional experience, interns just learning the ropes, and older, more experienced Actor's Equity performers who yearly return until the audience recognizes them and revel in their ability to "become" a different character.

The playwrights were John Logenbaugh who wrote "Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Christmas Carol" a winner to see alternately every Christmas with "A Christmas Carol." Edward Morgan adapted a short story of William Faulkner's apropos to the trouble with the Mississippi River, "Twenty Seven". Action taking place during the flood of 1927 in Mississippi was dark but excellent. John Walch, who wrote "Double Time" the life a black producer who pioneered the Harlem Renaissance of plays in the late 1920's was backed  with music and lyrics by Nils Rogers who with Walch came to Montgomery for a run through. The actors in this song and dance review had only a few weeks to  prepare and carried off with superb skill and talent.

The evening productions by the Acting Company were Julius Caesar and  Moonlight and Magnolias, the latter a farce based on actuality (with a little exaggeration here and there) of the making of Gone With the Wind film.

Five hours is a long trip for three aging, female, play-lovers. Next year we're considering hiring a handsome young man who will drive us there and back. Any suggestions?

Monday, May 09, 2011

Preparing for a Tornado (or Other Disasters)

When a "Watch" has been issued in our area, I run around like the proverbial chicken with its head cut off and gather the items I want to have with me. We sit in a deep closet on stools. In a large bag I gather our check books and extra checks, at least a gallon of water, crackers and peanut butter, a plastic knife, a container of Wipes, toothbrushes and paste, tinted moisturizer, comb/brush, and basic jewelry that means something to me (not necessarily expensive) and my computer discs. I subscribe to Carbonite, so I don't worry about my computer files.

The latest online issue of This Old House  adds the following: fishing line(for tying back doors to stay open), a solar fan, heavy gloves, vinyl tablecloths (cheaper and more useful in their sizes). These can already be packaged and in your favorite hidey hole.These items come in handy whether or not you have a house standing.

The rising of the Mississippi River reminds me of the time the Delaware River rose and we were unaware of this when we returned from Maine at night into Milford, Pennsylvania  to return to Barryville, NY on the other side of the Delaware. There are more bridges in the area than one realizes. We got as far as the last bridge on the PA side and were met with policemen directing us to an elementary school for the night.

I recall the cafeteria workers on duty baking cookies and making sandwiches for all of us stranded folk. We had little to do to while away the hours. Then the Red Cross brought in cots that had been stored since World War II by the smell of them, but we lay down and snuggled under those thin, wool blankets that reminded us of being a soldier in a war. Terribly uncomfortable, warm. Just as we fell  asleep we  were awakened stating  the roads were clear of high water. The time was 2 A. M.

Returning to the same bridge only a few miles away we were again rerouted on roads that at night time made our short trip a long one. We had to travel north some 25 miles and circle through state and county roads to arrive a familiar roadway running south that took us into Barryville. By then it was nearing 5 P. M. We had left Maine at noon, driving seven hours. The length of travel imprinted on our minds was not the difficulty, but what happens when flooding affects an area and the tremendous help given those stranded.