Teaching Drama

International Thespians Day One

Greetings from the International Thespian Festival in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Here’s a short audio-set-to-video of our first day here. We cover crazy weather, set-up stress, starstruck students, and our new microphone!

Video Transcript

Craig: Well, hello there. My name is Craig Mason and I’m with Lindsay Price.

Lindsay: Hello!

Craig: And we’re here at the International Thespian Festival in Lincoln, Nebraska. We’ve been here for just about 24 hours now and it was quite a, it’s been quite a challenge for people getting here this year.

Lindsay: We’re really lucky. We drove. We always drove – we always drive, and our weather, while we had some rain, did not impede our travel at all. But there are people trying to get here who were stuck in airports, who were diverted because of flooding, and last night, we had tornado warnings so it’s been quite an adventure.

Craig: Yeah, torrential rains, tornados in surrounding areas, the Mississippi’s flooding – it’s a biblical journey for a lot of people to get here and so I think a lot of people aren’t quite here yet but it really is starting to fill in. And, actually, in the background right now is the first show of festival which is the debut of Avenue Q School Edition.

Lindsay: It is. It is. Everyone’s actually really, you can tell there’s a lot of excitement to see what it’s going to turn out like.

Craig: A lot of curiosity to see how…

Lindsay: A lot of curiosity.

Craig: …everything will he handled.

So, once we got here, we set everything up.

Lindsay: Yeah, it’s always an interesting experience setting up for the first time, particularly for a conference like the International Festival where we have a lot of material and it’s like, “Okay, where is everything going to go? How is everything going to get set up? Oh, my god! There’s like, boxes everywhere and it’s like a tornado hit our own little area and we’re never going to clean up and it’s never going to work and we’re never going to sell anything,” and then, five minutes later, the panic goes away.

Craig: Yeah. We started off with this big pile of boxes and this tiny little table and this panic that there’s no possible way to fit everything on there.

Lindsay: And make it look nice.

Craig: And make it look nice. As we unpacked this slowly unfurling…

Lindsay: Swirl.

Craig: …of empty boxes encircles the table until, eventually, we’re all set up and now we’re here and everything’s going great.

Now, Lindsay.

Lindsay: Yes?

Craig: I saw a girl almost cry about five minutes ago when she realized she was speaking to Lindsay Price. What’s that like?

Lindsay: It’s such a, well, it’s a fallacy because what happens is that, you know, a student in a classroom somewhere in Colorado picks up a book, and reads a play, and connects to it or actually gets to perform in, and the connection that the person who wrote the play might be actually standing in front of them, that seems like an impossibility. And one of my favourite things is, when we go to these conferences, I get to actually meet students who do my monologues for their IEs and meet students who are actually in the plays. And it is a pretty wonderful experience and I love it.

Craig: And, the other thing we’ve been doing here is, as you can tell, we have a microphone and we’re testing it out.

Lindsay: You’ll see it. We’re going to take a picture of it. It’s pretty swank looking.

We have some projects in mind to dealing with recording. So, the first thing we wanted to do, get a good mic. Apparently, it’s all about the mic. And we did a little test today. Grabbed some students that I know from Alabama, and we sat in a corner, and did a little bit of reading, and oh! It’s all about the mic. We learned some of the pitfalls about how you can’t touch the table, and how the atmosphere around the room can really affect the sound, and we learned exactly what it is that we’re looking for when we move to record these pieces.

So, I would call it a great learning experience.

Craig: It was a good learning experience. It’s very loud in here and, actually, I think later in the week, I’m going to do just, like, before a show, I’m going to put the microphone on and just record the chaos and volume of 3,000 people in a theatre lobby.

Lindsay: Not just 3,000 people. 3,000 drama students! Picture that if you will. Craig, I think that’s a great idea. I think it’s exactly what you do.

Craig: Yeah, and here’s a little sample of the tape that we recorded with the kids earlier. You can hear the noise in the background of maybe a couple of hundred of these thespians. So, you’ll know what to look forward to.

Lindsay: Enjoy!

Girl: This Love Songs Make Me Puke club is called to order.

Girls: S-S-M-M-P! Ssmmp ssmmp ssmmp!

Girl: Role call, please!

President Dana Conner?

Dana: Present!

Girl: Vice President Julie Land?

Julie: Present.

Girl: Treasurer Summer Hernandez?

Summer: Oh, that’s me! Present!

About the author

Craig Mason