Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I've Tumbled Down The Rabbit Hole

It's true. I tumbled down a rabbit hole a few weeks back and I have not been here to post with my normal regular schedule. The Wi-Fi in Wonderland is sketchy, ya know. (Above are pictured Alice, The March Hare, The Dormouse and The Mad Hatter -- duh, who else would that be??? Alice is played by Autumn Leming, and her brother Josiah was a contestant on "American Idol" this year so we all feel connected to Hollywood-style Fame and Fortune; the March Hare is Candice Keller, The Dormouse is Jamie Afghani, and The Mad Hatter is Kylian Andrew.) Oh and be sure and click on all the photos in this post to see larger versions.

Now to explain: I've been most busy in Wonderland, which means I've been directing a stage version of Lewis Carroll's classic story for the Rose Center Summer Players program in Morristown. This is the 17th production of their annual summer program and I am deeply grateful to Rose Center for the opportunity to work with 18 young actors, ranging from 12 to 18 years of age. They are terrific performers, plus they have been hard at work making costumes, selling ads for the programs, helping with the set and props, and just doing whatever necessary bringing life to the wild world of Wonderland.

We perform the show for one weekend only, this weekend, with shows Friday and Saturday at 7 pm and matinees on Saturday and Sunday at 2 pm. Tickets are only $5 and can be purchased in advance or at the door, just call 423-581-4330 for the details.

I have such high praise and esteem for the young actors in this show. They work hard and play hard and have been so willing to try all manner of slapstick comedy and wacky antics, to wrestle with the impossible and nonsensical language, all to create an unforgettable journey to Wonderland. The cast comes from all over East Tennessee and they make me laugh and laugh, and they often laugh at me, too. Best of all they allow me to be a part of their creativity and wit.

Did I mention they make me laugh really hard?? They are very funny, on-stage and off.

From now thru Sunday I will be mostly in Wonderland and not here on the blog, so I wanted you, dear readers, to know. Also, I wanted you to know about this show so you could make some plans to attend at least one performance. Don't worry if you live far away -- it's worth the drive, even if gas is a bajillion dollars a gallon.

I'm adding some more pictures below from rehearsals this week. The set is not complete in these images and some costumes are still getting finishing touches, too. The photos were taken by my good friend Roger Fleenor and I should have a link to his Flickr album soon, so check back.

Many thanks go to the parents of the entire cast and crew for all their work and time. Thanks goes to Eileen Bowers who is the Education Coordinator for Rose Center and has been producer for every Rose Center Summer Players production. She makes my job very, very easy. (And she's mighty funny too and also makes me laugh a lot.)

Here's a shot of some of the Wonderland cast as they are rehearsing a scene where they play a version of croquet ....

Next a peek at Tweedledum (Candace Davis) and Tweedledee (Adreanna Bailey):

The Frog (Austin Pratt), The Knave (Spencer Husk) and the King of Hearts (Preston Husk) all take a moment to ponder on life in Wonderland:

On behalf of the entire cast and crew, we would love to see you in Wonderland too. We'll have plenty of home-made tarts for sale at the concession stand (just don't tell Tana McClain- I mean The Queen of Hearts!!).

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

PAC Donations Bring Votes From Rep. Davis

"Michael Owens at reports that U.S. Rep. David Davis, R-Tenn., is this election season’s leading congressional recipient of donations from a billion-dollar global defense contractor accused of bribing Saudi officials with call girls and money.

BAE System’s $11,000 worth of donations to Davis began trickling into his campaign fund after he requested $4.4 million in federal funding for the contractor. After cuts in the congressional appropriations process, the arms dealer landed $4 million.

The London-based defense company’s political contribution arm, USAPAC, is among the largest donors to Davis’ campaign."

DeMarCaTionVille has the more on this story.

Of course, when told of the allegations against BAE Systems, Davis said an investigation does not mean that the company is guilty of any wrongdoing. Likewise, he doesn’t know anything about the coincidental timing of BAE Systems’ contributions. Davis also told the Herald Courier he is comfortable accepting money from a defense firm, which manufactures arms the world over, as long as neither the company nor its customers defy American ideals."