1 Jul 2015

Monthly Summary: June

The Dynamic Duo! A stage management meeting in action
 June was an exciting month, and I was given an opportunity to push my comfort zones a bit - while I've been involved in community theatre for approximately three years now, it has only ever been in an acting capacity. I was thrilled (and mildly terrified) to be asked to stage manage a production of Michael Gow's Away (if you've never heard of it, it is an Australian play that is centred around three families who are suffering internal conflicts - Coral and Roy, grieving their son who died fighting in the Vietnam War; Vic and Harry, who's son Tom is dying of leukemia and they are yet to tell him; and Gwen, Jim and Meg). The cast are phenomenally talented and have put so much love and effort into this show. The show run is from the 01/07-05/07, so I'll let you know how it goes!

Some of our actors horsing around
A shot of our beautiful set. Well, part of it.

This month I read a total of  eight books:

Not as many as I would have liked to get through, but definitely an improvement on last month! Hopefully I will be able to get back into the full swing of things during July.
Favourites: A Court of Thorns & Roses by Sarah J. Maas

I bought four books this month:

YOUNG ADULT: Snow Like Ashes by Sarah Raasch | The Last Leaves Falling by Sarah Benwell
PLAYS: The Crucible by Arthur Miller | A Street Car Named Desire by Tennessee Williams

June was a good month for me in terms of webseries! For those of you who don't know, modernisations of classic literature is one of the newer YouTube trends (I've previously talked about them here and here). Not only did some of my favourites return with a second season, but I also stumbled across some new ones I'm excited about! Webseries are great to watch because they have the representation that is lacking in mainstream media - perhaps not in the PoC front (although some show have made an effort to have PoC in their main cast - but definitely in terms of female - we are given so many strong female characters and adaptation of female-centric novels or changing the gender of characters to female - and LGBTQIA+ characters. Representation is important, remember that.

Northbound: Northbound is an adaptation of Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey, and anybody who knows me will tell you that I love my Austen. Northbound is a cute little series - there has obviously been some thought into how to make it into a coherent story, rather than just staying true to the original (which, if taken too far, can make absolutely zero sense because the series is not telling their own story). Aside from the solid writing, the actors are all wonderful and we actually get to see New York and go on adventures with Catherine (as opposed to only seeing Catherine vlog from her bedroom). There's only five episodes so far, so I'm excited to see how this series develops!

 Green Gables Fables: The Green Gables Fables team started releasing these character videos as perks from their KickStarter campaign. They're supposed to tie in with Anne of Avonlea, which is being adapted via transmedia (their second season will be an adaptation of Anne of the Island). I've gotten to watch the actors (who double as crew, if I'm not mistaken) and writers grow creatively, and I am so glad that we will be getting a second season from them!

The New Adventures of Peter and Wendy: I loved the first season of NAoPW so much I donated to their crowdfunding campaign (which is saying something, because my experience with PemDig's crowdfunding campaign for The Lizzie Bennet Diaries made me never want to contribute to one ever again), but this one is shaping up to be even better. Satya Bhabha! Percy Daggs III! JIM BEAVER!
I am a huge fan of their work and am so excited to see them join the cast, and I think NAoPW is a really good example of the potential of emerging actors, writers and producers using YouTube as a distribution platform for scripted content. Also, Paula Rhodes (Wendy) reminds me so much of Kristin Chenoweth it is frightening.

Carmilla: Carmilla is another good example of a webseries breaking new ground and trying new ways to distribute scripted content on YouTube (in this case, they are sponsored by Kotex). I haven't the foggiest clue whether this adaptation is doing a good job at adapting the source material - I am not familiar with Joseph Sheridan le Fanu's novella and I have zero inclination to read it. What keeps me coming back to the show is the fantastic cast - Natasha Negovanlis and Elise Bauman are wonderful leads, but Kaitlyn Alexander and Annie Briggs hold their own and they all make such a wonderful team and seem to have a good rapport off-screen, too.

Classic Alice: I think my favourite thing about Classic Alice is that it encourages people to read - or at the very least, be interested in - classic literature. The arcs hit the important beats of the novel while still making it about Alice's journey and growth as a person. Also, I heard a rumour that Pride and Prejudice will be one of Alice's books this season and I am SO DOWN FOR THAT you guys.

22 Things You Should Know Before You Stop Eating Meat: I have quite a few vegetarian and vegan friends and this is a frequent point of discussion (in that they try to convince me to cut down on my meat intake and I try to convince them that chicken is basically my staple food). Given my views on the meat industry, cutting down on my meat intake is probably a good idea (but I would have to be more organised with my meal planning etc).
The Semicolon Project: I thought that this was such a beautiful story, and I am so glad that the author chose to share it. It is a reminder that we are all works in progress, that we are resilient and strong and that we are all surrounded by loved ones who can help us get through the tough times.
The Unlikely Inspirations Behind Clueless' Costume Design: Clueless is one of my favourite movies (and the greatest Austen adaptation) of all time. Even though the film is twenty years old, I still love reading about what went on behind the scenes and how the creative team put everything together.
Iranian Women Post Pictures of Their Hair to Fight Sexism: In 2014, 3.6 million women in Iran were warned, fined or arrested for 'inappropriate dress' - it is against the law for women to appear in public without one. Masih Alinejad, the force behind the 'My Stealthy Freedom' campaign summed it up perfectly: "My mother wants to wear a scarf. I don't want to wear a scarf. Iran should be for both of us."

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