No Soda for You…

I don’t drink Coke Cola every day.  Many of us can agree the best Cokes colacome from McDonalds. Is it the perfect mix of ice, the syrup, the straw and the way it bursts into your mouth. I don’t know it’s magic. The other day I was in the mood for that perfectly refreshing sweetness, so I pulled into the drive through. Ordered the bubbly only to be told that their soda machine wasn’t working.  Not working! How can this be? It’s McDonalds, they are known for their soda pops and French fries!

I politely told the lady I didn’t want anything else and drove away. Immediately the post about people’s favorite kind of ice came to mind,    Ice By Any Other Form. How rediculous is it that I was frustrated with McDonald’s. Again I’m faced with a first world inconvenience that I have no right to be frustrated.

Lucky think for me that McDonald’s are strategically placed within a mile of one another in Louisville. Whew…

KK

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56 Nights with Hippies, Businessmen and the Bard

ky shakespeareTonight was the opening night for the 54th season of the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival.  The C. Douglas Ramey stage was set for a Midsummer’s Night Dream, but the atmosphere was a dream come true. Ten months ago Producing Artistic Director, Matt Wallace stepped in with a vision for a true festival and an expanded summer season.  Matt has been in the wings directing elsewhere, waiting for his opportunity to direct back home in the park.

The benches were filled with an eclectic audience. There were business men straight from the office with a loosened tie relaxing with a Brown-Forman cocktail and over at the picnic tables a beautiful young earthy girl and a boyfriend who had plenty of piercings. A group of students gather on the back row ready to fulfill their extra credit requirements. The Louisville Food Truck Association is the star with a hot dog truck and a truck with desserts; or perhaps you bring your own picnic.

The spirit of William Shakespeare no doubt danced in perfect step to the pre-show roaming musicians. With the audience transported back 400 years, the actors took the stage and completed the journey to the mischief-filled night in the forest with Puck and his friends.

To celebrate Shakespeare’s 450th birthday there will be 55 more nights in Central Park through August 17thA Midsummer’s Night Dream, Henry V, and Hamlet. The Globe Players (youth) will round out the festival with Love’s Labour’s Lost.

Come to the park this summer and see where you will end up.  Don’t think you can understand what’s going on?  Ah, this is the magic of the theater – you will understand the story if not all of the words.  Just go, and let your self be drawn into the action and expressions on the stage. You will leave the evening a changed person; possibly looking at love and life a little differently.

See you in the park,

KK

Are you up for the test?

When I have meetings at the Kentucky Shakespeare office in downtown Louisville (Kentucky), I like to park in the open-air pay lot across the street. First of all, I don’t like parking garages and secondly, the man who runs it is friendly. It’s obvious he’s an ordinary guy, doing his best to make a living.

Recently, I pulled in and there was another gentleman in the booth. This time my meeting was the Fund for the Arts board meeting. After the meeting, I was pulling up to the booth to pay I pulled out my wallet to find that I had a large bill. Please note that I don’t make a habit of carrying large denominations. So I pulled forward and the gentleman checks my ticket and tells me it will be $4.50. And so begins my inquiry as to whether he could “break” a large bill.parking booth

He immediately said “no”. All I had on me in change was two dollars. So I implored him to let me just run to the bank and I would come back with money to pay him. He hesitated. I promised. I gave him the two dollars I had and emphatically promised to be back in 10 minutes. He relented. I went to the bank and was back in the time frame.

When I pulled in the same gentleman opened the metal booth door and smiled. “You are an honest person,” he said. I handed him a $10 dollar bill. “I didn’t believe you would come back.” With that he handed me change as if I’d given him $20. After quickly checking my bank envelope, I handed the money back explaining his error. He chuckled, “I was just testin’ ya.”

Enough tests for one day. I drove away thinking that in reality, he was probably a little challenged by the money math. I was also glad to be the honest example for the day.

Have you found yourself in situations like this? Has your character been tested?

All the best,
KK

Unplugged Action…

You would hate to think that what I’m about to share is unusual; but in this day it is.  The Saint James Art Show is a great place to people watch or at least notice a variety of people types.  Unlike walking down the streets of the city or through the mall, I noticed a st. james courtphenomenon that swept the show.  No one was distracted from the art checking their phones…

Show attenders were enjoying a sunny eighty degree October day by taking in the sites of the art show.  It was wonderful.  No one almost ran into me while checking a text.  There were no crazy ring tones binging and singing.  There was a buzz of conversation and a periodic squeal of friends uniting among crowded isles.

Art viewers were completely in the moment and engaged; how refreshing.  People’s faces were alive and curiously looking at the art mediums.

Sometimes it’s wonderful to just unplug – disconnect.  As long as a cell phone, ipad or computer is on or at hand, we are ON – distracted.

Find the opportunity to unplug for a while.  At first you may feel like you are walking around naked, but I promise before long the peace that transcends understanding will encompass your soul.

Do you dare unplug?  Go ahead put the technology down and walk away and experience something new.

KK

Reality TV has nothing on Shakespeare

William Shakespeare’s contribution to literature and culture is bigger than most think.  He was a very common man (like most of us) who stepped out of the norm to write stories that poked fun at royalty, slandered political parties, and questioned societal snobbery.  Imagine what his posts on Facebook would have been like.  Today, he is the second most quoted writer in history; second only to writers in the Bible.

In looking for information on Shakespeare, I couldn’t find my notes so I googled it.  Who would have thought even 10 years ago that the word google would be a verb, much less accepted in most board rooms across our land?  The peers of William Shakespeare probably thought the same way with some of the 1700 common words he invented.  He was very crafty in taking verbs and turning them into nouns by adding a prefix or suffix, like buzz to buzzer.

In Kentucky, we have the opportunity to experience the works of Shakespeare under the stars of Louisville’s Central Park and in our classrooms through the mission of the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival.  There have been hundreds of starry nights in the park where over the crickets’ chamber music thousands have experienced the melodic iambic pentameter written hundreds of years ago.

The audience in the park is made up of those who are old, young, families, couples, rich, poor, educated and uneducated; not unlike the original audiences of Shakespeare’s work.  They all stroll through the park and find themselves taken to another time; a love story, a tragedy or comedy.  Never mind not understanding every word spoken, the story is told and the audience understands what’s going on through the amazing set, costumes and expressions of the actors.

In Kentucky classrooms each year nearly 75,000 students not only experience the works of Shakespeare, but in many situations have an opportunity to discuss his works and how their themes still apply.  Kentucky Shakespeare’s educational programs are available for grades K-12.  For the high school students who have Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet as required reading, having the production come to them helps solidify the story and it’s themes.

The Kentucky Shakespeare Festival has been producing Shakespeare’s plays in the park for over 50 years.  It’s free to attend but not free to produce.  This Kentucky gem needs our help to sustain the professional productions in the park and plan for additional productions.  Right now through the Power 2 Give program your gift is matched!  So, if you think your gift won’t matter, it will!  The website is www.power2give.org (choose organization, Kentucky Shakespeare).  Make your donation and watch it go twice as far toward the goal.

You may still be thinking that William Shakespeare and his 1700 invented words are for those uppity folks who attend theatre and cotillion, remember what Ben Johnson, a friendly rival of Shakespeare’s, said, “He was not of an age, but for all time!”

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to invest in the future of Kentucky Shakespeare.  To learn more visit their website, www.kyshakespeare.com.

Enjoy,
KK