You'll notice that this was written two years ago.
Dear Mr. Shakespeare. . . Can I call you Bill?
Yes, it's absurd. It seems even more absurd to me now, that I have my own (temporary) classroom. One of my 17 year-old students asked me last week what we were supposed to do if a live shooter entered Edgewood High School. I said I didn't know, but that there was a recent email about maybe having another drill.
Then I looked at the closet in the back of my room. There's no way we could all fit in there. And my invincible, almost adult guys all talked about jumping out of my third-floor windows if someone came in with a gun.
Tell me again where the absurd part stops and real life starts.
Like a Moth — True Stories Told Live
Dear Mr. Shakespeare,
I'm working on a writing project. . . a collaboration of sorts with you. I'm filling in some of the story for "A Winter's Tale" that you neglected to include. Hope you don't mind. Just want to see what you think of this so far. . .feel free to "like" it if you think I'm on the right track. Yes, some of the lines are yours, but more and more of them will be mine, as we follow Hermione around for the 20 years or so that she was off stage.
Anyway, I hope you like it. Suggestions are welcome. I'll keep working in the meantime.
Finishing the Hat
When it was announced last year that The Moth would be coming to Madison I was ecstatic. I’ve been a longtime fan of The Moth Story Hour on public radio, and a few years ago I got to attend a Moth Story Slam in person, in New York City. (There are also books, and a podcast, which are worth checking out.)
Basically The Moth is a storytelling extravaganza — the set up is that normal, everyday people are invited to come up to the mic to tell stories that are true, less than five minutes long, and performed without notes. You can sign up to tell a story around a specific theme, or you can hope to be pulled out of the audience to give it your best shot. It’s not stand-up. It’s not acting. It’s something that happened to you, that only you can talk about.
No, friends, I have not become a Sondheim convert overnight, though I couldn’t resist borrowing the title of his best-selling book about the world behind his musicals.
I am actually, literally, finishing a hat for one of my actors in an upcoming production that I wrote and directed called "Talking Spirits," a program sponsored by the Wisconsin Veteran's Museum at Forest Hills Cemetery. Part research project, part historical drama, the play is actually a series of four monologues based on the lives of 19th century Wisconsin residents with a strong connection to the Civil War.