In past conversations with Babu about my former job of being a Theatre teacher, she would often either say:
I don’t think we ever had those kind of classes in school.
I think I did some plays at Bay Path…
Well, wasn’t I surprised to read about Babu doing so much theatre. She had a dramatics class in college and did plays in high school and in college. And of course, once she did one play, she wanted to keep doing them. It’s a strong addiction, the Theatre. I want very badly to be back there. For now, I’ll live vicariously.
Because I am such a theatre addict, sometimes I see some of Babu’s passages acted out on the stage in my imagination. These are always the passages with the really good storytelling. (What is theatre besides storytelling?)
I mean, can’t you just see this moment in an olde time play?
Frank (Ernie’s brother) is in town. He came Saturday with a grip in one hand and a guitar in the other. Said he’s sick of Grafton and not going back.
How many plays have begun with an arrival? (Streetcar Named Desire, anyone?) Of course, this arrival is not so dramatic and although I haven’t read very far ahead, I don’t believe it is the catalyst for the rest of the plot. Still a wonderful image, though, him standing there with his “grip” and guitar.
And then there is this passage which is also so dramatic in it’s own way:
Wednesday, January 27th, 1937
Miss Drude gave me a little responsibility when she asked me to take care of the attendance slips for her. For how long? I don’t know. No mail from Harland or Frank. I’ve gone mail-box crazy. Baked a cake tonight and it doesn’t taste bad. Besides, I did some homework, washed my gloves fixed my stockings and dress for tomorrow.
Both the way she is waiting for these letters and the vintage phrase “mail box crazy” is entirely nostalgic.
And of course, not every theatre experience is a good one:
Friday, January 8th, 1937
What a fog there is out tonight! You can’t see two feet ahead. Our faculty gave a New Year’s party tonight. They also presented a play and it was well done except the ending wasn’t very evident. The curtains kept sliding up and back. Dancing ensued. I have every number. Pavloghi is back in circulation. The two numbers he didn’t have with his girlfriend he had with Ernie and me. Danced twice with Robert Bean. Got the 11:45 trolley. Was I happy.
Great advice for directors: Make the ending evident!