Sunday, July 27, 2014

Shakespeare's "As You Like It" by New York Classical Theater

“All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players"
The magnificent New York Classical panoramic theater celebrates 15h anniversary summer season with the staging of William Shakespeare's "As You Like It", directed by Stephen Burdman.  I attended a couple of their performances, first in Central Park and then in Battery Park. It's been so fun to draw the actors and to follow them from scene to scene, as they prompt the sometimes unsuspecting audience that it's time to get up and move to a new location. That's what "panoramic theater" is all about: the action happens practically in the audience, and the park's beautiful landscape becomes the stage set. It's only so appropriate for "As You Like It", because most of the play is set inside the Forest of Ardenne. The powerful energy of the actors keeps me coming back year after year-I can't get enough of drawing their movement, expressions and emotions.  New York Classical theater delivers free public performances all over New York, and most of their funding comes from donations. Please spread the word about them, like them on Facebook, and attend their amazing free stagings of the best classical masterpieces. No ticket needed-just show up. Congratulations on the 15th anniversary, and cheers to many more!

Crowds gathering in front of Castle Clinton in Battery Park, NYC
First scene in Battery Park
Rosalind, with cousin Celia, being banished by Duke Frederick.
Duke Frederick on why he's banishing Rosalind from his court: " Thou art thy father's daughter, there's enough." Celia is terrified. 
Rosalind, disguised as a young man, in the Forest of Ardenne.

Rosalind, Touchstone and the shepherd
This very young actor, who played the old faithful servant Adam, practically stole the show. His name is Jackson Demott Hill. It was very sweet to meet his grandmother on one of the nights I was drawing at the Battery Park. She proudly told me that's her grandson out there. This brilliant casting decision me think of Shakespeare's words:  "An old man is twice a child."
Orlando and Jaques

Celia, Orlando and Rosalind in disguise


Touchstone: “The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.”
Phoebe and Charles
Touchstone and Audrey
Rosalind: “Men are April when they woo, December when they wed...”
Orlando, Rosalind and Celia

Rosalind to Orlando: "“Do you not know I am a woman? When I think, I must speak.”
Adam and Orlando
Adam: “You and you are sure together,
As the winter to foul weather.”

“Love is merely a madness.”

Thursday, July 24, 2014

New Bedford Homecoming

To continue my story about New Bedford from previous post... The Charles W. Morgan whaling ship was built there in 1841, and on June 28th, 2014, the city of New Bedford held a homecoming ceremony for the restored vessel on her historic 38th Voyage. Festivities included an official part with speeches and music, followed by a colorful parade of ships, all captured in drawings below.

New Bedford, once the richest city in America thanks to the whaling industry, was also most progressive. City's elite, comprised of Quakers who owned ships, banks and insurance companies, fought fearlessly for the abolition of slavery. The city seal of New Bedford reads "Lucem Diffundo"  ("We Diffuse the Light"), which can be understood in more than one way. In literal sense, New Bedford was once "the city that lit the world" with whale oil used in lamps. In metaphorical sense, this culturally diverse place was enlightened enough to be first in offering freedom, protection and equality to escaped slaves. Today, New Bedford is leading efforts in offshore wind renewable energy.  

"Adjust the sales to the wind and keep moving."

"Window into the World". The Charles W. Morgan, docked in New Bedford on June 28th, 2014.

Homecoming ceremony, the official part.
Opening ceremony processional with flags from places where Morgan had sailed during her 80-year whaling career.

State Senator

President of Mystic Seaport, Mr. White
Interlude with traditional Portuguese Fado music

Parade of ships. The biggest American flag that day.
Parade of ships.
Parade of ships. Flags.


The next day, we attended a non-denominational church service at the Seamen's Bethel, the exact same church that Ishmael visits in Herman Melville’s “Moby Dick.”

The two plaques on the building read: The Whalemans Chapel of Herman Melvilles Moby Dick” and Seamen’s Bethel. 'In the same New Bedford there stands a whale man’s chapel and few are the moody fishermen shortly bound for the Indian or Pacific oceans who failed to make a Sunday visit to this spot.' Moby Dick

What's interesting is that the pulpit in “Seaman’s Bethel” looks like the front of a ship, which was an adaptation in the 1960’s to match Melville’s imaginary pulpit description in “Moby Dick”. The original simple box shape kept disappointing tourists, who expected the interior of the chapel to match the literary classic, so city council of New Bedford re-built it.

"He who has the steerage of my course may direct my sail." ~"Romeo & Juliet", Shakespeare
Sunday Parishioners.

Angelic voices of the choir.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Espresso Cups

The latest ceramics crop: small espresso cups. Dark brown clay, underglaze painting and glaze.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

New Bedford, MA

Commercial fishing vessels docked in New Bedford, MA.
Once the richest town in America in 1840 thanks to the whaling industry, New Bedford today is nearly a ghost town, with great abolitionist legacy and beautiful, well-preserved historical buildings. I was there with Dalvero during the homecoming ceremony for the Charles W. Morgan whaling ship on June 28th, 2014. I will soon post more drawings from that eventful weekend.

Parade of ships in New Bedford, MA.