Read a blog. Write to your fellow classmate and reflect what you found interesting and generative about that blog. You don’t have to read or write like an instructor. Instead, be a generous classmate and try to witness what the other has done throughout the course of the semester. Post the result on the student’s blog in the comments and on your own blog as a Week 13 post.
I have selected Elle Shaheen’s blog to read. Below is my comment to her.
I really enjoyed working through and reading Elle’s blog. She blended a lot of her personal experiences in theatre and in life with the material, and I found that a very effective way to connect with what we were learning.
One of my favorite entries was about staging Waiting for Godot in an empty ice rink, which I thought was a super original and out-of-the-box idea. I don’t have a ton of experience with ice rinks (growing up in the South), but there is something about an entire structure that serves one purpose and one alone, especially one that requires altering physical states and creating specific environments that fits the theme of alienation, nostalgia, and waiting that Godot discusses. I thought Elle’s ideas about staging, seating, and lighting were also really apt–other than the physical distancing that seating the audience as far as possible from the play area produces, what other effects would the audience feel? This scenario got me thinking about how audience members relate to each other, in addition to what’s onstage.
Another post I enjoyed was on reading Beautiful: The Carole King Musical as a piece of lesbian theatre. Having never seen the musical nor being super familiar with Carole King’s life, I wish Elle would have gone into a bit more detail about Carole’s relationships with Gerry Goffin and Cynthia Weil and how that’s portrayed in the show. But regardless, I really liked Elle’s analysis of how Carole interacts with male characters in general–the metaphor of the show shaving off male characters one by one in the second act was very strong, and made a very compelling argument to reading Beautiful as certainly a feminist work, if not entirely a lesbian one (due to the fact that Carole King is a real person).
Overall, I really enjoyed going through Elle’s blog. While I loved the individual connections she made with the material and prompts, I also liked looking into how she digested the course material. I felt a sort of kinship or connection to Elle’s analyses and understandings, considering we both took Robin Bernstein’s Race, Gender, and Performance class last year–and which I certainly think of as an excellent primer for this course. I’m excited to see how Elle applies what we’ve learned this semester in the courses she takes and the work she produces in the future!!