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Posted by Lois Lowry
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on Sunday, 08 November 2009 in Uncategorized

The opening performance of "Gossamer" at the Adventure Stage Chicago was an absolute treat: the staging, costumes, set, and the individual performances all went together so smoothly and made for a magical 90 minutes and a completely rapt audience.

These couple of pictures are dreadful because I was using my iPhone while sitting on the stage afterward, with no light in some areas and too much in others. But here, photographed badly, is Toby, the dog, operated by Kasey Foster, who brought a semi-puppet to vigorous and endearing life:

Toby the dog

And here is the entire cast sitting on the edge of the stage, answering questions from the audience:

Cast post play

In the foreground is Susan Veronika Adler who played the foster mother with compassion and restraint. I'm sorry that you can't see Victoria Abram-Copenhaver, who played the boy, John, an 8-year-old child damaged emotionally by abuse. Victoria is small, and to be honest, I thought she was actually a young boy until, post-performance, she removed her baseball cap and they announced her name. Wow. She went from swagger to heartbreak in the role.

You CAN see "Littlest" in this photo, seated in the middle of the group with her pale blue legs dangling. She is Elizabeth Birkenmeier, and this was her theater debut in Chicago---she has been performing Shakespeare in St. Louis till now.  Remember her name because you will hear it again. She captured Littlest exactly: her innocence, her impetuousness, her energy and curiosity, her gradual maturation and her compelling charm.

No room to list everyone but they all were wonderful, and my thanks go to Brian Bell who directed the play and made it work so well.

*****

I came home to find a package of books which at first seemed somewhat mysterious. Translation copies are always sent to me, and at first glance this appeared to be "The Giver' in Spanish, but with a girl's picture on the jacket. Take a look:

Spanish GIVER

But on closer scrutiny I realized that it is THE GIVER, Book II: Gathering Blue.  Hmmmm.  I had heard that THE GIVER has become wildly popular in Spain----so clearly they are capitalizing on that---and why not? Presumably they will soon send me THE GIVER, Book III: Messenger.

I have yet to photogaph the incredible award they gave me in NY Tuesday night, from the American Place Theatre, but will get to it next, thereby rounding out a series of narcissistic posts.

Lots of waiting mail to be dealt with, and then the Patriots/Dolphins game at 1.

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Comments

Guest
Jesse Monday, 29 November 1999

The Giver is the second book I remember discussing with a peer. I always read above my grade level in elementary school and so mine was a lonely bookishness. But two events stick out for me:
1) Discovering that one of my friends at Girl Scout Camp was an equally avid reader, and going over every detail of the Little House books.
2) Sitting in the corner during free time in 5th grade, reading The Giver, and the first boy I ever had a crush on coming over and saying, "Ooh, I love that book! Tell me when you finish--I want to talk about the ending with someone!"
It's the first time I ever wanted to actually discuss (as opposed to simply rehashing) a book. It had never occurred to me before. (I could say the same about this boy engaging me in conversation).
I'm now 24 and married (happily, not to the boy from 5th grade--we were never meant to be.) When I moved in with my husband, we discovered that we owned a total of THREE copies of The Giver--each of ours from childhood plus one I bought more recently for my classroom library.
Sorry to have missed you at Books of Wonder (try a cupcake next time--they're very good!) I look forward to the day I can send you a story about teaching some of your books.

Guest
Teresa Materazzi Monday, 29 November 1999

How lovely! I especially enjoyed your sharing this instructor's amazing experiences! As an education student working on my B.A. these kinds of tale are so inspiring! Thanks! Happy Mother's Day! Teresa

Guest
Greg Monday, 29 November 1999

It is scary how much life and art parallel each other, sometimes taking turns on which will emerge first. What is happening in Arizona is saddening and frightening. "We" seem to have a very short term memory and forget how the vast majority of people living here did not originate from here.
I, too, spent a great deal of time thinking about what Jules said about the books one reads as a child having the biggest impact on your life. I always remember being drawn to books about animals and the natural world. Although I remember enjoying some fiction in my middle years, it wasn't until college that I really developed a passion for novels and literature. The two or three books that I credit to having the greatest impact on my life weren't read until my early twenties. Also, I agree with your estimate of signing a zillion books... the owner seemed to keep finding more and more, as if they were being published in the back room right at that moment. I felt bad for going back to get five more books to be signed.

Guest
Lois Lowry Monday, 29 November 1999

Not complaining about all the signing!!! It's fun doing it. I think we wore Jules out, though.

Guest
ojimenez Monday, 29 November 1999

"A good story is like a comet, it comes from nowhere, bewildering the author as much as it will bewilder the reader. It is one of the few miracles left in this world of crass ambition, manipulation, calculated profundity and soulless rubbish...."
-Edna O'brien
Introduction to
DUBLINERS by JJ

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