Tuesday, March 18, 2008



I went to a theatre festival called IKHWEZI. I was very proud to see it. There were 19 different plays by many different township theatre companies. It was GREAT!! Sadly attendance was low at least at the one play I saw (I’ll see more this week), and they didn’t list the plays on a website. Instead when you go to the ticket window and ask to purchase a ticket they ask which one. You say you don’t know. She says which one. You say whatever is playing tonight. She says which one. You say you don’t have a list of the plays (the funny thing is that ticket window person acts as if you do). So she sends you (or sent me) to the information window where they had a list of the plays and the timetables. But when I got there, I asked if I could take it and the information windowperson said no because there is only one copy of both the list of plays and the timetables. So the informational organization was poor. But it was good to see theatre companies out and about in the townships performing in town. And it was wonderful to know it was the TENTH anniversary. Congratulations, Ikhwezi!


I wrote on it in the health and debt section.

The Savages

Did you ever see “Mystic River?” Laura Linney is good in most things. She had an evil character there and I didn’t like her so much, but she does excellently again here in this movie with Phillip Seymour Hoffman who I really like but is now very well known. It sometimes seems like when someone becomes very well known it’s harder to be taken away or mesmerized with them because you begin to know their tricks, their ways, etc. I felt like that with Cate Blanchett; for the longest time I could never get a handle on her personality even how she would normally sound talking. Then I saw “Notes on a Scandal” and for the first time I could picture her at home being normal. It takes the mystery from it. But excellent film. It’s not blatant comedy, but a little more witty. Still good. I hope I am never in a situation where I must take my parents to an assisted living place and explain where I’m taking them.


So I was not allowed to take any theatre courses. And the one that they would possibly let me in if the professor and the department agreed was denied me by the tutor. Well, the tutor (a drama prof at UCT) decided to redo Othello from last year with the drama department. He hired an outside professional for the role of Othello and cast the remainder with students. The actor playing Othello was ok; I thought his voice would be more commanding or something. He seemed a lot like an authoritative upper-elite (he wore tuxedo a lot) though he did seem strong. Ineluctably, you begin to compare the production you watch to the production you did (I was part of an Othello production before). I didn’t believe he was married to his wife. And the girl playing his wife—Desdemona—had a very motherly feel to her or at least womanly. I picture Desdemona as more girly. It was very interesting. The director had Desi shout back at Othello sometimes. I hadn’t thought of that or seen that. So it was interesting. She had some fire to her instead of being fear with other suppressing emotions. The director had some physical fight moves that made Othello seem much stronger than the way we do it. I liked that. But the star of the show was Iago of course. And the student playing Iago is excellent. He is very good. It’s a wonderful character to portray. Othello is very difficult in my opinion because you have to be an amazing actor to make the audience believe that you really flipped like that with so little evidence and accusation. Even good actors don’t succeed in that; the audience just knows you’re flipping out because you’re supposed to do so. Iago, though in this show, was very believable and he made his character go through a fully breathing range of emotions and brought subtle nuances to the flattest of prose (if you can call Shakespeare’s prose flat). He was really good and he has won theatre awards here on campus. I enjoyed the play over all.


Last Thursday I got an amazing e-mail. I was e-mailed and asked to come in for an audition for a UCT drama production. Well, the next day, my supervisor did a switch; he said he doesn’t like that I’m TAing for the math department. He’s never really cared about things before (when you come, when you go, if you publish, etc.). And I gave in to the many pressures on me to have more money (to go home, to pay for bills back home, to travel, some say I don’t make enough, etc.). So since I missed the first week of lectures while in the States, I have been trying to desperately catch up with everything and be ready by the time I must guest lecture for two courses. And I have these new TAing responsibilities. So I haven’t touched the heart/artery project in 3 weeks since I’ve been back. He wants to move on it and he sounded disappointed or disdaining or discouraging or dis-something. It reminded me of graduate school where I felt like he was trying to control my time or say I wasn’t doing a good job just because he couldn’t reach me yesterday (TA session) and this morning (toilet) [this morning was Friday]. So he told me the primary goal or aim of the postdoc is research. I thought that was strange because he has us teaching SO much. I guess he doesn’t want us to add to that or teach in other people’s departments. One of the reasons I came here and liked it was that it wasn’t a pure or major focus on just research. But students were important. Anyway, I was disheartened; I felt bad. I went back and just worked. And then I realized my audition was soon. I went outside for the bus and realized the computer time was slow compared to the actual time but at least there was still one more bus I could catch to be on time. Well, it never came. It probably did come but not in time for me to get there on time. So I was really bummed out. I was looking forward to this audition and then my supervisor says something not so good and that causes me not to be super early (I’m would have been just early if the bus had come) for the audition. So I had to hike down the mountain to the main road and take a taxi to the taxi station in town and then walk to the drama campus. I was late for the audition. I called the director and let her know when the bus wasn’t showing up but she didn’t pick up. I also called her when I reached the campus because I didn’t know which building it was in. But she didn’t pick up. When I finally figured it out it was over an hour late (or close to it) and people were leaving the audition. I felt bad about it and couldn’t bring myself to go in at that time. So I just left. It was strange, and this update is too long already for me to go into it all. But I just left disheartened. Then I went to see Othello which was a wonderful joy to experience.

The director e-mailed me on Sunday and she wants to see me tonight (Monday, the 17th). We’ll see!

It’s a play about the LA Riots and Rodney King back in 1991—Twilight.

Here are some pictures:






Josh Groban (sp?) and Celine Deon were last month while I was in the States, so I missed them. They gave individual concerts (not together). This month Brian McKnight is here; Friday night he was at Joburg, Sunday night in CT, and Wednesday he’ll be in Durban. I wish you could have seen the interview with the “Today Show” anchorwoman. She was dying! There were sparks jumping out of the TV screen, though I think Brian is used to it. She asked him to sing to her after the interview was done, but the camera was still going as they rolled out. They kinda used it for the credits. I think both the anchorwoman and Brian liked each other’s accents.

Obama-music http://www.diseducation.com/munity/?p=124

Thought it was interesting. I like the r-ton one. Has a salsa feel inside of it.



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