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  • July 2019
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Drama: Not Just for Theater Kids

I have a confession to make.
In my first two years of college I fell into a shifty and dangerous crowd.  It happened totally by accident.   Before I even knew what happened I had become…

A Theater Nerd!

If you know me, you know I possess pretty much the opposite personality of the over the top, flamboyant one many people associate with Drama Freaks and Theater Nerds.   I make it a point to avoid drama in all aspects of my life, not surround myself with it.
This all got started when I applied for some random jobs as a part of the work study program at college.  Somehow I landed a job in our university theater department’s scene shop.  We built scenes for tons of plays and musical productions.  And while I was sometimes confused and embarrassed by my co-worker’s propensity to break into song and dance loudly and in public, it was pretty fun.
In Raina Telgemeier’s new graphic novel Drama I was able to relive a little of that dramatic spirit.  Telgemeier tells the story of Callie a theater fanatic and her group of friends and fellow drama geeks.  There’s romance and intrigue and the illustrations are fun and engaging.


If you check out Drama and have an urge to read more theater centered books check out  these titles.



CLP-South Side

Teen Review: Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Samantha – Hi! I’m a 7th grader and really excited to be blogging. I LOVE to read and write so I’m most likely going to have a lot of posts. I’ll give you the most honest reviews possible. I hope you read them!

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

In the future, in the book Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, no one reads books (which I can’t imagine), and firemen start fires to burn books instead of stopping them. A fireman named Guy Montag has never really thought about the books he burns, until one night one woman loved her books so much that she told the firemen that if they were going to burn her books they would have to burn her too. That got Montag thinking. What was in these books that caused people to die rather than live without them? He thought about that so much he decided to steal a book and read it. Then he saw what that woman saw in her books.

But then he got caught, in the exact same way. If you decide to read this book and like it as much as I did, you can see the play at Prime Stage Theatre.

I saw the play A Wrinkle In Time there in the spring, and it was really good so I also advise you to see all of the plays they will be showing this year:

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Nov 2 – Nov 11, 2012
Directed by Justin Fortunato

His fear in 1953 was that television would kill books. Bradbury imagined a future of giant color sets — flat panels that hung on walls like moving paintings. Televisions “walls” and its actors as “family.”   Has his Science Fiction become our Fact?

The Great Gatsby
Mar 1 – Mar 10, 2013
adapted from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel by Peter Joucla of Tour de Force Theatre, UK.
Directed by Richard Keitel

“This new stage adaptation is filled with live jazz music to recreate the glitz and decadence of the Roaring 20’s. Gatsby’s motives are driven by love and hope, rather than greed. The absorbing drama is fast-paced, visually evocative and highly theatrical.”  Theatre Basil, Switzerland.

Walk Two Moons
May 10 – May 19, 2013
adapted by Tom Arvetis, based on Newbery Award book by Sharon Creech
Directed by Lisa Ann Goldsmith

“Flawlessly adapted, Walk Two Moons challenges audiences to look outward into a world where everyone has the immense power to help one another. Walk Two Moons has a poignant, valuable message for audiences of every age.” – ChicagoBeat.

August Wilson Center Opens

       If you don’t know who August Wilson is, you need to. He’s the most notable  playwright ever born in Pittsburgh. His Pittsburgh cycle is a series of ten plays that captures the spirit and cadence of  African -American life  during each decade of the twentieth century.  And he’s the only person ever to  receive his high school diploma from the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.

According to Contemporary Authors on infotrac, “Wilson felt his real education began when he was 16.” Before he entered high school, he grew up  in a 2-room apartment in mixed race community in the Hill District where people accepted one another. But that ended when he, his mother and five siblings  moved to Hazlewood.

He entered Central Catholic High School in 1959 as the only African-American student in the prestigous school. He was left notes everyday that said something like ,”Go home, Nigger.” Large groups of  guys waited to fight  him after school and his principal often sent him home  on a taxi. What the principal didn’t know, Wilson has said, is those same guys waited for him in the mornings. “I got in a lot of fights, ” he said  in Conversations with August Wilson.

He left Central Catholic to study auto mechanics at Connelly School but that class was full so he ended up making tin cups in metal sheeting. Half the day was spent in classes at the fifth grade level. Feeling unchallenged, Wilson  transfered to Gladstone High School. 

When a teacher accused him of having his sisters write a  term paper he did on Napoleon, Wilson walked out. He spent the next  two weeks playing basketball outside the principal’s office. He later admitted he hoped someone would come out of the school to see why he was there. No one ever did.

Wilson began educating himself at the Carnegie Library.  He sent poems to black publications at the University of Pittsbugh which published them. Eventually he wrote plays that received a Pulitzer Prize, a Tony Award and more.

The reason I’m writing about August Wilson, other than his life makes a remarkable story, is because The August Wilson Center for African-American Culture recently opened and  several of his plays are being performed during this week and next.  Here’s the schedule: http://www.augustwilsoncenter.org/events/index.php

Although you can read his plays, I hightly recommend seeing them. They’re not to everyone’s liking but I love their poetry, their mystical, mythical spiritualism coupled with down-to-earth characters living in historical times.

If you want to read some August Wilson for yourself, here’s a few of his plays:

FencesFences set in 1997


 Jitney set in 1977

Piano Lesson




    The  Piano Lesson set in 1936

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