Here’s my story of a recent challenge: to design and build a set for our community theater’s production of Clue with only two weeks between shows with all volunteer labor, which translates into only about two full days of actual work. I’ve built several sets for this stage, but this one really pushes the limits of time and space. Where’s Ant Man when you need him!?
The show takes place in seven rooms on a stage that measures 24 feet wide by 22 feet deep. There is minimal fly space above the stage and very limited wing space on each side. Which means any pieces of the set have to pretty much stay on stage. I’d read the script, watched the movie, and had meetings with the director, actors, and others. I consider several ideas.
“…and that adds up to 26 dollars”, sighed my mother Nancy. Worry lines played over the soft, beautiful skin of her face as she consigned thin dollar bills into little brown envelopes, each marked with its own label: “groceries”, “rent”, and so on. Those little packets were the kind you got from the bank, small enough to hide secrets, wrapped securely with rubber bands to keep their precious contents in place, and softened from years of handling.
In the background Ricky, the turquoise budgie bird, chirped along with the RCA Bakelite radio. Maybe it was Kay Starr belting out her 1950 hit, “Wheel of Fortune”; we could have used one of those. Read more
The Lunar New Year tradition is observed in China and several Asian countries, and among Chinese Americans. It normally arrives in late January or early February based on the lunar calendar. In 2023 the Lunar New Year’s Day falls on January 22nd.
Lunar New Year Celebration The Lunar New Year (Xinnian in Chinese) is often called Spring Festival (Chunjie), because it is the beginning of the spring season on the lunar calendar. It is called Seollal in Korean and Tết in Vietnamese.
The Operatunity SIG has provided a fitting and suitably dramatic finale to OLLI Connects’ month-long tribute to holiday foods and recipes. Originally published in 2020 just for SIG member contributors, Beryl Byles agreed to allow OLLI Connects to reformat the book and share a few recipes for our Act III installment of holiday delectable dishes submitted by our subscribers…..along with appropriate opera selections, of course. And, if you want to delve further into the compilation, the entire updated book is linked to this story. — Editor
What in the world might induce a man to invent an instrument of torture? Might it be the lure of riches? Fame for innovative ingenuity? Deeply abiding bloodlust? Or might it be based on some kind of principle?
We are officially in the "spooky season." Tonight, little ghosts and ghouls will wander your neighborhoods on the hunt for candy and other treats. But Halloween's traditional roots belong to the observance of All Soul's Day, a remembrance of all those who have lived and passed on. Most recently this cultural rite was enshrined in Coco, an animated Disney opus focused on the "dia de los muertos." Today's blog features two stories featuring the inner human spirit with an emphasis on the contrast between good and evil. — Editor
This week we have chosen to highlight the artwork of two talented female artists, Judy K. Patterson and M.A. Sinnhuber. The vibrant colors and unique design quality of their work is showcased in two separate slideshows for your viewing pleasure. But before you get to that, enjoy Judy’s heartfelt portrait of her life as an artist. A brief excerpt follows here. Click the icon for the complete story and the artists’ galleries. –Editors
…Now, being So Old and excited to be entering a new and hopeful stage of life that requires new questions, new answers and a quiet courage, I continue my quest for meaning, identity, possibilities and self-realization. I’m finding excitement in being So Old; it’s a fierce ride with an acceleration of time left. I am a little ashamed of my years, afraid my independence will decrease as I get older. Aiming as high as I can, I weave the tapestry of life in my artwork…. Read more
OLLI Connects continues its annual celebration of National Poetry Month with a selection of poems by four different writers. Thematically linked through images of flight and trees, this edition is entitled “The Aviator, The Fledgling and The Crow.” Please click on the button below to enjoy the poems of Pindie Stephen, Linda Dunk, Morrey Grymes and M.A. Sinnhuber.
We can’t actually take you to a live Poetry Slam or introduce you to Nikki Giovanni, but we want to broaden the way you usually think of poetry. In this issue, we’ve added more OLLI members reading their favorite poetry aloud. If you missed seeing and hearing Shelly Belzer and Simone Leal last week, you can catch up now. And enjoy another poem from Shelly plus a reading from Dylan Thomas by Barbara Brown. You’ll find the link to that and more at the end of today’s issue.
But, wait! There’s more! Can you say “ekphrasis“? Two of our poems for this week bring in works of art by Vermeer and Dali as their inspiration. The poems, in and of themselves, are powerful. Seeing the paintings that inspired them makes them even more so. So, join us today for a multi-media poetry issue. (More…)
On March 11, 2020, we rehearsed the usual Lenten songs in preparation for Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, and Easter services in early April. We casually walked out of the choir room with our friends and said, “See you Sunday,” as we usually did.
Three days later, we learned that Sunday church services were cancelled due to restrictions on large gatherings caused by the nationwide surge in COVID-19 cases.
Churches were encouraged to remain closed because being indoors in close contact with fellow worshippers was a palpable health risk. Worse yet, a March choir rehearsal in Washington State caused the deaths of two choir members and significant illness in many other choir members due to COVID-19.
This news was shocking for this lifelong singer and choir member since age 8. How could an activity that has given me so much pleasure, both individually and in groups, be so deadly? (More…)
I’m currently teaching an online course for OLLI called “History and Science of Sex” which implies that I am an expert on the subject of sex. This isn’t quite true.
I grew up in a traditional Brahminical culture in post-independence India. Sex education in school was limited to the birds and bees. Nothing about people. Most of the information I got came from older boys and a few racy magazines. Indian laws were, and still are, based on Victorian laws left over from the British Empire. Ironic for the land that created the Kama Sutra. I remember reading a banned copy of Lady Chatterley’s Lover and being shocked at seeing the “F word” in print. Most of us (at least the men) grew up reading the articles in Playboy while carefully ignoring the pictures. (More…)