Archive for May, 2010

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

May 24th, 2010 by Colleen Hughes '04

Wow, I’ve neglected my blog lately. I’m sorry. I left off during the week of my classmates’ staged readings. Classes ended the following week. I handed in the rest of my Scenes from an Office evening of theater project during my final Tuesday class. Getting that project put together was rough between working and running to the theater to see staged readings every night. Somehow it all managed to get done though. And in our final Thursday class, our professor invited playwright Lydia Diamond to visit our class and talk to us. Her latest project, Stick Fly, was at the Huntington this year, and I had really wanted to see it, but all of the performances sold out, which is uncommon and speaks volumes about how good the play must be. We talked about “the business” and where to go from here now that we’re done with the workshop portion of our degrees. It was really great to meet her. After our discussion, we all went out for lunch, and then I was officially done with my playwriting workshops and on “summer vacation.”

Summer vacation was about a week and a half long. I did exciting things like getting caught up on vacuuming and laundry that I’d neglected during the final push toward the end of the semester. And I had a dentist appointment. Fun stuff. I also got to work normal-person 9–5 hours that week instead of the crazy schedule I had been working. The highlight of my all-too-brief vacation was getting to see some friends who moved across the country after college. I only get to see them a couple times a year. Luckily it worked out perfectly that their visit here coincided with my little break from school.

And now I’m back in school again. I have three electives left to finish my degree. The one I’m in now, which I’ve mentioned before, is Pulitzer Prize-Winning Plays 1979–1993. We’re working in reverse chronological order, so for our first class we had to read Millennium Approaches, part one of Tony Kushner’s Angels in America, which won in 1993. We aren’t reading part two (Perestroika) in class, but after reading part one I really want to try to find time to read part two on my own. Both parts are long full-length plays in and of themselves, and a performance of both pieces would probably run over six hours. Our reading for Monday is similarly long—the 1992 winner The Kentucky Cycle by Robert Schenkkan. It’s a series of nine one-act plays that chronicle the lives of three interrelated eastern Kentucky families over 200 years of American history. The good thing is that these are two of the longest readings we’ll have and we’re getting them done first.

We’ve only met once so far, but I think it’s going to be a good class. Five out of my seven playwriting classmates are in it (one person is already done with the entire degree and another just got married and is on her honeymoon), and almost everyone else in the class is in the MFA fiction class. There are one or two upperclassman undergrads since it’s a 500-level class, and one girl from the MFA stage management program. I’ve only read/seen a couple plays on our reading list, so I’m looking forward to finally reading the rest of them. Reading more modern plays like this will help me with my own writing. So it’s a good way to get myself back into academic classes after a year of workshop classes.