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About barbp

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  • Interests
    writing a screenplay<br />directing theatre<br />seeing kids and adults grow spiritually and emotionally

Previous Fields

  • Occupation
    middle school teacher: Literature, Drama, Latin
  • Favorite movies
    Ever After Lord of the Rings I am David
  • Favorite music
    classical/Romantic/melodic 20th Century Britten Saint Saens Bolling acoustic guitar/Christian: Chris Rice, etc.
  • Favorite creative writing
    Tolkien C.S. Lewis Speare, The Bronze Bow
  • Favorite visual art
    Monet O'Keefe Van Gogh Goya
  1. May I suggest that instead of not going to the theatres (how will we know what's out there if we don't see it?), why not pray for the Christians who are currently working in Hollywood. Pray that their work will be of the best quality, that they will be heard by those in power, and that there will be a revolution from the inside in our entertainment media. The Hollywood Prayer Network, mediaprayer.org, Act One, Hollywood Connect are just four of the many minstries in Hollywood working in and praying for the industry. The Act One website, actoneprogram.com has links to lots of other ministries as well. Also, www.hollywoodprayernetwork.org has a fifteen minute video that challenges the church to pray for Hollywood. Let's stop throwing stones and get in there with prayer and fresh input. Another avenue is to write to the producers and studio heads. Tell them what they have done that you like. Tell them what you want more of. That will go a lot further than boycotting them or sending them hate mail. (How many times have you really listened to someone who is telling you over and over again that they hate your work?) We all respond much better to compliments than to criticism. Start a prayer meeting for Hollywood at your church. Hollywood is the equivalent of an unreached people group. It has its own culture, its own leaders, its own location, its own lingo, its own history, its own "religion". In fact, Hollywood can be analyzed the same way as an unreached tribe in a jungle somewhere. Let's pray for them and send missionaries - tentmaking missionaries - into their midst. And then let's support the missionaries with prayer as well, and not write them off as though they are the equivalent to prostitutes.
  2. I nominated this for the 100 spiritually significant movies list. I did not find your previous topic on it, but knew there needed to be a discussion for it to be in the nominations list. Sorry about the repeat.
  3. Imagine a boy growing up in a Communist work camp behind the Iron Curtain in post-WWII Eastern Europe. He has no idea who he is, who is parents were/are, why he is there. He has one friend, a man who is also a prisoner, but who also knows nothing about the boy's history. The friend tries to teach the boy a few good values, but all the boy sees around him is fear, suffering, death, evil. Then he is given the opportunity to escape, with the simple instructions to go to Denmark, to not open the envelope until he gets there, not to tell anyone about the camp. That is all the boy knows and that is all we know, until his memories start to congeal and begin to reveal the meanings of the recent and the long past. In the meantime, he learns about real life outside the camp: the good, the bad, the funny, the loving world out there. . . Why do I rate this as one of the best? This is a movie that stays real, never gets sappy. The acting is superb. The boy, David, played by Ben Tibber, (Tiny Tim in the Patrick Stewart version of A Christmas Carol), has the unusual ability to hold our attention and tell his internal story in every scene of the movie with very little dialogue. James Caviezel (Jesus, in The Passion of the Christ) plays the friend, Johan. Every subtle detail of his acting tells us the story, again with little exposition or dialogue. Joan Plowright plays a kind artist who unlocks David's heart. The cinematography, the editing, the writing, and, of course, the directing all work to keep me engrossed for every minute of the film. (The writer/director is Paul Feig, who also acts in a small comical role.) Every time I watch it, it strikes a deeper chord. Have you seen it? Rent it ASAP and let me know your thoughts.
  4. I'm not writing everyday like WRITERS are supposed to . . . journals, reflections, whatever . . .I'm not. I'm not working on the screenplay that I've been mulling about for three years. I'm not rewriting a play that I "finished" five years ago, nor am I resubmitting it as is to another publisher. I think I'll go do another Sudoku. . . But then, maybe I'll do a little on the screenplay? N...O....W.
  5. I Am David http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0327919/ This is an adaptation of Anne Holm's novel North to Freedom. It is a powerful story of a boy figuring out his past, his identity, and how to trust, love, and have hope for the future. There are themes of love, sacrifice, and redemption. The acting is spectacular, with James Caviezel, Ben Tibber, and Joan Plowright leading the way. It had a limited release in 2003.
  6. Here in Massachusetts, there is the Massachusetts State High School Drama Guild that runs one-act play competitions every year. I think I've heard of other states doing the same thing. I suspect you could find them through Google.
  7. Dan- Thanks for the encouragement. Shows I've done. . . . For middle school (in the past five years): Last year I did "Hollywood Hillbillies," a take-off on the concept of the Beverly Hillbillies. It was a hilarious romp. Not a serious moral in sight! It was refreshing after a few years of "classics." Before that we did "Becoming Arthur," an excellent script retelling the early Arthur story, similar to "The Sword in the Stone." The kids loved the medieval costumes and the sword fighting! We did "The Wind in the Willows." This was one of my favorites, because of the blending of some amazing talent among the kids, an amazing set, a great script, and the opportunity for some fun staging -- including audience members wielding wacky noodle clubs as the posse chasing Mr. Toad when he escapes from jail, and having a hub cap come rolling across the stage after the sound effects of the car crash offstage. The first at this school was "The Hobbit." I cannot recommend the script we used, but once we got over the differences between the book and this script, we had a fun show. My choices have had to be influenced by the generally unartsy Christian subculture that our school parents are a part of. I have needed to gain their confidence and support, without compromising on good theatre. I also have needed to cater to the younger kids in the school, as they and their parents make up the majority of our audiences after the parents of the middle school actors. Before teaching at this middle school, I had a year with a Christian high school drama program. That year I did a wonderful script called "BookMark," the story of Mark as he figured out his faith by getting the eyewitness accounts of the people who we read about in his gospel. It is full of vignettes of interesting, sometimes hilarious, characters, as well as the drama of the persecution of the early church just before Peter is executed. That year I also took on "A Midsummer Night's Dream." That was great challenge for us all, but proved to be a delightful and growing experience. As for the questions for the student's guessing games, I don't remember them from previous years, but if you like, I'll give you the run-down as they develop in the next few days! I'd love to hear more shows you would recommend. I'll have to check up on Cyrano. What script (author/publisher) did you use? Barb
  8. Thanks for your info on your film class. I also went to your blog. I am greatly encouraged by what you are doing with your school. I am the theatre department at a Christian school. Currently our school is K-8, but next year we will add a 9th grade and grow up to K-12 in the following years. I am proposing theatre courses I would like to add to the high school curriculum. I currently teach a theatre class to 6th, 7th , and 8th and direct a show for 3rd-5th graders in the fall, and a show for 6th-8th graders in the spring. I have good support for what I do. I am currently getting the middle school play pre-production design and planning in process. I can't tell what I'm going to do . . . it's a deep, dark secret from my students until they work out the clues and guess it. . . that will start when we return to school on Tuesday. It's a great way to generate enthusiasm from more than just those who will be auditioning. I choose some goal for their questioning (like, name the TV show the play is similar to, or what classic novel is it based on), and when they get that, I tell them the play and the details about it. The questions are one a day per class (6th, 7th, 8th) and they get to benefit from each others clues. This year I will do it during lunchtime when they are all together. One student is the questioner for each class. I'll figure out some prize for the class that gets it first.
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