I spent this Halloweekend celebrating with theater friends and my Phi Sigma Pi bros. I was a basic witch on Friday and a geek on Saturday.
Also, I finally got my driver’s license Saturday morning! Now all I need is a car so I don’t have to rely on others to take me to doctor appointments, etc. That will be a huge weight off my shoulders.
The Monday before Halloween, I saw “Madame Butterfly” at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. I went with fellow theater majors from ESU.
This opera was not the best, but also not the worst that I have seen. I saw three other operas: “La Boheme” at the Met, “La Triviata” at the National Theatre in Prague, and “Rigoletto” in Germany. The other three were a lot more fast paced and action packed than “Madame Butterfly.”
Up next: Philly Cup Soccer Tournament and ESU’s “The Laramie Project”
As part of the theatre department at East Stroudsburg University, I am performing in “The Crucible” this week. There are two more chances to see the show: tonight at 7:30 p.m. and tomorrow at 2 p.m. Our production invites audiences to connect the 1692 Salem witch hunt with modern day “witch hunts” involving cults and scapegoating.
Throughout the show, we incorporate projections and tableaux to emphasize themes in the play and reality. I am part of the production’s dramaturgy team, so I researched media to include in the projections. I also choreographed the opening ritual for our production.
Along with dramaturgy and choreography, I also play the role of Ruth Putnam. Ruth is one of the young “afflicted” girls who accuses people of witchcraft to end land disputes for her family.
In history, Ruth’s name was actually Ann Putnam, Jr. Along with Abigail Williams, Ann Jr. accused the most people of witchcraft throughout the Salem witch hysteria.
Red’s Sandwhich Shop (founding fathers met here secretly), where we had lunch
Cast members taking in the spirit of Salem
As part of our cast and crew’s research, we took a weekend trip to Salem, Mass last month. Driving in, we felt a mysterious chill and experienced a mist in the air unlike any other. We explored both historic Salem town, now Salem, and Salem village, now Danvers. We went on the Black Cat Salem tour, which was highly informative, and our guide, Dan, tailored the tour to “The Crucible.”
Bewitched statue on the site of Judge Hathorne’s house
I also went to the Salem Witch Museum, and other members of our group visited Salem Dungeons and other museums.
Last words of witch hysteria victims
Witch-y interactive art
During the trip, I encountered many witch-y tourist spots, visited the harbor and saw a comedy improv show while on a night out in Boston.
My experience with “The Crucible” has opened my mind more than any other show I have worked on so far. Have you had a similar experience? Share it in the comments, I would love to hear about it!
I took a comparative media class in Lund, Sweden for two weeks in July, and explored Sweden, Denmark and Germany.
The class was led by an East Stroudsburg University professor, and the majority of students I traveled there with attend ESU. In the comparative media class, we discussed differences between media in nine countries, including our own observations from Sweden and the States. We also took excursions to two media companies, a viking town and Kronberg Castle in Helsingor, where Hamlet is based.
I attended class every weekday morning from 9 a.m. until around noon, explored southern Sweden in the afternoons and studied for the next classes at night. I enjoyed the nightlife with my classmates on weekends, as well as visiting Copenhagen, Denmark and reuniting with Jacqueline, my flatmate from my England study abroad, in Germany.
I studied on Lund University’s campus in Skåne, Sweden. Skåne is the southern part of the country from Helsingor to Malmö, which is connected to Copenhagen, Denmark by the Øresund Bridge. Besides Lund, I visited Malmö, Ystad and Stockholm in Sweden, along with the Danish cities of Helsingor, by ferry, and Copenhagen.
Lund and Malmö were the prettiest and had the most personality of the cities I visited in Sweden, while Copenhagen was the most fun and interesting for me. I rode a virtual reality roller coaster at Tivoli Gardens, explored Rosenberg Castle, went out in the Meatpacking District, climbed the Round Tower, witnessed breathtaking church interiors, walked through Freetown Christiana and strolled along the famous Nyhavn canal district.
During the final weekend of my trip, I visited Jacqueline in Germany. I had not originally planned on visiting her until on the flight into Copenhagen. I was watching the flight’s map as we were landing and could see Frankfurt relatively close to Copenhagen, and wondered “doesn’t Jacqueline live near Frankfurt…” I immediately messaged her on landing and asked what the closest airport to her is. She said Cologne, I found a cheap last minute RyanAir flight and asked if I could visit for a weekend.
While in Germany, Jacqueline introduced me to radler, a German style of beer with sprite. I had beer with lemonade last time I visited Germany, but this was my first one with sprite. I am not a big beer drinker, but I enjoy radler!
We climbed the Dom Cathedral, visited a Lindt chocolate factory, saw a Panoramic view of the city and rode a cable car from one side of Cologne to another!
Next up: Gishwhes 2017, Senior year updates and Salem, MA!
I spent America’s Independence Day swimming, eating and enjoying fireworks with family as usual.
My aunt hosts 4th of July at her house each year, yet people still ask if/when she’s hosting it. It’s become a running joke with my family whenever people ask about it.
This 4th was hotter and less cloudy than the last ones, so it was a nice chance to swim for the majority of the day.
But when the sun went down, we pulled up our chairs around the fire pit and celebrated freedom! We lit some sparklers and threw some snaps, then set off some bigger fireworks. My family joked around about who had the best fireworks in the neighborhood.
My cousin even claimed a spaceship sighting:
Up next: Exploring Sweden and Denmark as I take a summer comparative media class in Lund, Sweden
I took a broadcast journalism class when I studied abroad at Sunderland University in England.
Broadcast journalism was definitely the most challenging class I took abroad. I began the class with no previous broadcast experience. I had no clue what a “package” or a “vox” was and no idea how to record a phone interview. But I quickly learned.
I worked with the rest of the news team to produce radio and TV news shows for Spark FM’s “Word On Wearside” each week. I created multiple news packages for both radio and TV throughout the term, learning from each one.
Below are my radio and TV packages for my final project:
Check out my other journalism work on my newly updated e-portfolio!
This past semester, I took a multimedia journalism class where my final project included an audio recording. I chose to record mine about the differences I encountered in England during my study abroad. I based my recording largely on the differences I discussed in this blog post and also include a few points I made in this one.
I was inducted into ESU’s chapter of Phi Sigma Pi National Honor Fraternity last Monday. I can finally say I am officially a brother!
I say “finally” because I could not go to the original induction with my initiate class since I was working on a show that night. Because of this, my make-up induction ceremony was quite small. But I am grateful for all the brothers that could show up to make my night memorable.
The show that I was working on during that original induction was ESU’s production of “Little Shop of Horrors.” I was a run crew member and my main job was to man the stage right curtain during scene shifts.
Although I was backstage for a lot of the show, from the scenes that I heard and the ones that I had breaks to watch, this musical is my favorite that ESU has done. And the cast and crew were my favorite to work with so far, out of the three shows I have worked on here.
My Phi Sigma Pi induction was the night after the musical’s closing and the fraternity’s formal was this past Friday.
ΦΣΠ Formal was way more fun than any other formal I have attended. I brought my friend Tyrell, and I think I speak for both of us when I say we made some fun memories.
This week is final exam week. I have one actual exam, three performances and one portfolio due by the end of the week. Then, I leave university for the summer and plan to work as much as I can to make enough money to buy a car. Which I have my driver’s test mid-July, right before I leave for a 15 day course in Sweden. This summer will be stressful, but I hope it pays off in the end.
Anyone have fun plans for the summer?