Monthly Archives: February 2012

Readers theater

ImageI have never acted in a play.  Recently, my friend Jim Willard asked me to be in his play called “Ah Yes, I Remember it Well.”  Willard, who writes a trivia column and has a book on trivia, wrote 15 short vignettes.  He made them into a play that looks at history from the Great Depression and Dust Bowl to current times.

I accepted Willard’s invitation to be in the play because in required no memorization.  Will the help of the Loveland Community Theater, Willard put on three evenings of reader’s theater.

What is reader’s theater???

Reader’s theatre is a style of theater in which the actors do not memorize their lines. They sit or stand on stage individually or in small groups reading their lines from scripts. After much rehearsal and individual practicing, According to Willard says the actors use vocal expressions to tell the stories instead of elaborate sets and/or costuming.  He liked it to what you might have felt if you were in the audience of a live radio production from the 1930s or 1940s, Willard added. He sees his play as a way to use story-pictures to “take you to the theater of your mind to times and places gone by.

Willard says he also believes “the concept was created to allow adults too busy to attend a lot of rehearsals or memorize a number of lines to still act in plays.”

Some of the vignettes use music to set the tone for the piece. Willard finds that music will engage your right brain to help “transport you along with us to meet our characters and listen to their stories.”

The play run on Valentine’s Day and the following Friday and Saturday nights.  The first two nights, more than 80 Lovelanders attended, and on Saturday night there were 100 at the performance.

I would like to say the big crowds were because of me, but alas, I was not in the play.  It turns out I attended the first rehearsal  and then found out my dad had passed away in Iowa.  Missing a week of practice with other cast members was not feasible, so I was replaced.

So much for my 15 minutes of fame.

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Filibuster – the word’s origin

I must admit that I don’t always listen to National Public Radio. (NPR)  But, on a recent trip to Iowa, NPR seemed like a good choice on my van’s satellite radio.

Somewhere along my route, as I was surveying the scenery of eastern Colorado, Nebraska and Iowa the term filibuster was mentioned.  The history of the word is very interesting.

Most of us know the term filibuster as it relates to our government and its officials.  It is a tactic sometimes used to defeat a measure by raising questions (usually frivolous) of order, calls of the house, motions to adjourn, etc.  All this is done in an attempt to tire out the opposition or as a stall tactic.  It is called “talking out a bill.

Many feel the term filibuster comes from the Spanish word filibote.  A filibote is a sailing ship. The Spanish associated the work with buccaneers.  It may be a distortion of the word flyboat in English.

The English also anglicized a Dutch word, “vrijbutie”, into the term freeloader.  This is a person who goes in search of plunder.  The word came to be associated with pirate.

The French got into the act by using the word for the same meaning. As far back as the 1800s Americans popularized the word filibuster too.  This was in reference to the activities of famous pirates operating in Latin America and the Caribbean.

I will leave it to you to make your own jokes about politician and pirates, or the similarity therein.