School officially started two weeks ago. The evidence of school started a couple weeks before that. The traffic became almost intolerable (construction combined with thousands of extra people is a terrible mix). Also, stores began stockpiling things in preparation of back-to-school shopping that would occur when the new students arrived. August 16th was widely known as the day to just stay inside your home, because it was the official dorm move-in-day. Here are some pictures we took inside Target:
When we moved in last year, Target has already been left in shambles.
One of our professors, Lara, has an annual cookout at her home the day before school starts. It was a great opportunity to relax and enjoy one another's company one last time outside of the costume shop.
Lara and her husband, Tom, basically have a mini-farm. They have chickens, quail, pigeons, and rabbits! The chickens were allowed to run wild and we all had a lot of fun feeding and observing them.
The following day was back-to-school. My classes are as follows: Aesthetics (Costume Design 2), Collaboration (2nd year of this class), and Ritual/Theatre/Performance. I pretty much know what to expect from Collaboration, and Aesthetics will be similar to Costume Design with more drawing. Ritual, however, may just kick butt. It is a TON of reading. Really dense reading that takes a couple re-readings to process. If I can stay on top of the reading for this class I'm pretty sure I can do anything. Of course, it isn't just reading. We have three group presentations to due, one individual presentation, one performance critique, and then a final project/paper. But the subject matter is really interesting, so I'm excited for the challenge. At least, I am right now... talk to me again in October.
Along with school stuff, I'm already beginning work on my first show, Spring Awakening. I have it all designed and rendered and am now working on locating stuff (rentals, shopping, etc.) I feel really good about it all, and I love this musical, which makes all the difference. But like I said, ask me again in October.
The first weekend back to school the Collaboration class went on its annual trip to the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Canada. It's a whirlwind trip. We drove up in a bus in the morning (8-9 hours), ate dinner and saw Much Ado About Nothing, got to bed, woke early, watched a set change-over from Much Ado to Henry V, took a backstage tour, ate lunch, watched a matinee performance of Hevry V, ate dinner, watched Pirates of Panzance, headed home, trying to sleep on the bus. This year seemed to be more fun for me than last year and I felt like I got to know everyone better. We have a really good group of designers/technicians.
Our dinner the first night was fantastic! Carrot Ginger soup... yum! Julia also kept us entertained with her irrational fear of condiments. Pictured is Lee trying to help her out by keeping the condiments as far away from her side of the table as possible. This girl is quirky and I love her!
Johna and Eriko are the new Costume Design first years and they are awesome!
The set for Henry V, which we saw that afternoon, was truly stunning and we were given the pleasure of walking on and examining it closer. We were all very impressed with the giant draw bridge and beautiful woodwork.
For lunch this year and last we went to Boomers, a delicious hole-in-the-wall place that serves GREAT poutine. Poutine is comprised of fries covered in cheese curd and gravy. This year, I tried the Italian Poutine which have marinara sauce instead of gravy. Eriko, lover of all food, had her first Poutine experience and proceeded to have it for every consecutive meal. Eating (or talking about) food with Eriko is always rather hilarious.
The walk back to the theatre led us along the Avon (I assume that's the river's name...) We saw several pianos with "Play me, I'm Yours" painted on them. So I did. It was pretty sad seeing as how I don't play piano, but it needed to happen.
There was also an arts fair going on, at which I found these adorable mini-cabinets, one of which was the "Abbott" style!
Henry was good, but we'd seen a great production of it this summer in Bath, so it was hard to beat. Following Henry was dinner, and more importantly, dessert! We went to the very non-Canadian Rocky Mountain chocolate factory and the four girls each got a large-small cone of chocolate ice cream.
Dessert was followed by the Pirates of Panzance, which was my favorite show from the trip! It was super fun. A great way to end the weekend. I'll stop on that note rather than the awful overnight bus ride home. While I'm not sad to not have to take Collaboration for a third time next year, I will be sad to miss the Canada trip (with the exception of bus-sleeping).