Thursday, August 18, 2016

Fear Not the Parking Lot: The Show Must Go On

Shakespeare by the Sea's "Cymbeline" at Soka University

Fear no more the heat o’ the sun, 
Nor the furious winter’s rages; 
Thou thy worldly task hast done, 
Home art gone, and ta’en thy wages: 
Golden lads and girls all must, 
As chimney-sweepers, come to dust.

                                           -  from"Cymbeline"

Last night hundreds of community members converged on the IVC campus for "Cymbeline," yet another terrific and otherwise well-supported production by Shakespeare by the Sea, a regional theatre which travels throughout Los Angeles and Orange Counties. IVC has been fortunate enough to play host the last few years and the result has been a terrific event which finds community members of all ages enjoying quality theatre for free on our lovely campus. Last night's production was spirited and the full moon rose over the actors on the stage and the audience, which included a few faculty and students picnicking among the community members.

In past years, the plays have been staged in the Live Oak Terrace with free parking nearby in the lots. This year something went wrong. The audience arrived to discover that the Live Oak Terrace was empty and were directed to the front of the Student Services Building where the stage was being erected along with the lighting, sound system and the portable backstage dressing rooms. This reporter arrived too late to conduct a full inquiry but, along with  the audience, was told that the Live Oak Terrace was "double booked," and thus the production had been forced to move to the much less suitable quad. This assertion seemed to defy facts as throughout the evening Live Oak Terrace remained completely deserted.

There was also some kerfuffle about parking. In previous years, as for most venues used by the exceedingly non-profit theatre company, the parking was offered for free. But yesterday, reports varied about whether this was true this year until show time when the audience was assured that parking was indeed, gratis. Also, concerns were expressed from the stage, apparently as directed by IVC police, about how exactly the audience should exit the campus. Much was made about not slowing down in the roundabout when exiting the campus. Much.

It should be noted that the audience members seemed entirely able to exit the campus without incident, owing no doubt to the fact that the majority of them parked in the lots by the Live Oak Terrace and had to slog their picnic baskets across campus, avoiding the Charybdis-like maelstrom of the IVC roundabout completely, and noting at the evening's end the mysterious and complete desolation that was the Live Oak Terrace.

Despite hitches, the show, fulfilling proud theatrical tradition, went on. Funded by every sort of County grant and Arts commission out there, esteemed and celebrated regionally, the troupers performed winningly, though it was clear their extremely accommodating director was justifiably puzzled by the logistical snafu and passive-aggressive administrative reception. She hoped to return, she said and we believed her. Most institutions welcome visitors, make it easy for them to park, roll out the red carpet in hopes of showing off their commitments to visitors, community. We wonder what went wrong last night.

Really bad photo taken by really bad photographer.



Anonymous said...

Very odd. NOTHING was happening on the terrace AND this event was listed as a faculty FLEX activity. What's up? Why the tussle about parking? Was that the police or Diane Oaks' office or both?

Anonymous said...

Maybe it would have interfered with the new faculty ornamentation?

Anonymous said...

It is clear that no one has taken the opportunity to gather the facts from both sides of this situation prior to posting this story and evaluating the weeks of effort and talent that went into this getting in place with all its unending obstacles at every single turn. If facts had been gathered, a few photos would have been posted and there would be no commentary and faculty would have an Academic Senate Task Force to make sure they approach similar matters differently in the future.

As always, so enjoy party goers who only attend the party but ignorantly complain about the potato salad when they forgot again to buy the mayonnaise.

We are so thrilled that given all the obstacles, it worked out beautifully.

Anonymous said...

1:08: It did work out beautifully, wasn't that clear? But what happened? Do tell. You seem to know and as someone who attended last night and who works on campus, it was not at all clear last night from what was said from the stage in throughout the audience. People seemed confused. grateful but confused. The Live Oaks Terrace WAS deserted.

For the record, I prefer potato salad without the mayo. Especially on hot days. A little olive oil, a little vinegar.

Anonymous said...

What is it with the attitude about parking on campus for events like this one?

Anonymous said...

Yikes. Not another Academic Senate Task Force! Why would there be an Academic Senate Task force about this? What does the Senate have to do with it?

Anonymous said...

1:08 You are so right!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Why all the drama, 1:08? It was a show. Unending obstacles at every turn? Seriously?

Anonymous said...

Love the pun, 4:04! (Why all the drama - hee hee hee.)

But really it's all about communication and lack thereof. Mostly lack.

Hold the mayo.

Anonymous said...

I do think the problems expressed here were largely--as so often seems to be the case at IVC--communicative. It occurred to me last night that I had no idea who really puts in the work to plan the event, work I've admittedly benefited from for years now, and happily. That person, or those persons, who do(es) the planning certainly deserve credit for their work. We all appreciate the event, and the work that must go into hosting a theater group.

But communication was definitely a problem; despite being listed on the FLEX calendar, there was no update sent about the change of location, which the troupe at least had been told was due to booking conflict, which was very obviously not the case. And if parking was free, campus police didn't know it. I put in a quick call to reassure a community member and I was assured by campus PD that visitors DID need to buy the $5 pass and they DEFINITELY would be ticketed if they didn't do so.

Regarding 1:08, you have a chance to tell the other side of the story, and I've no doubt people would like to hear it. I really love having Shakespeare by the Sea come to campus, and if there's something I can do to help with "unending obstacles" in the future, I would do them. But you can't be mad people complain about the missing potato salad if you promised it to them but forgot to mention they had to bring their own damned mayonnaise.

Anonymous said...

The play was great. It would be nice to have more events of this caliber that bring the public to our campus.

Anonymous said...

Wednesday night's play was lame. Our IVC Theatrical productions are ten times the value than last night's slop. Watching Shakespear by the Sea's production gave me the same feeling I get when eating greasy filmy Carl Jr. french fries. Bunch of wannabe hacks. By the way... how much money does IVC for hosting this event? ZERO? Keep them away from IVC. They did not follow IVC's rules. Oh and you wrote "hundreds attended". Really? lol More like 90 attended.

Anonymous said...

Hmm. I have seen a number of IVC Theatrical productions through the years. I'll leave it at that.

And give the bard back his final "e," won't you, o theatre scholar you?

IVC's rules?

Anonymous said...

The play was not one of Shakespeare's best, but that's why I wanted to see it. The players did fine. The setting was less than ideal. But the show went on. I wish IVC's theatre program offered shows like this, outside, for free or nominal cost. Their production of Midsummer last year was topnotch.

Anonymous said...

This was a faculty event during Flex Week and you should contact the faculty member who was in charge of this fine opportunity for Shakespeare by the Sea. Was this faculty member on site? I attended the full performance and it was lovely but they were not there and it was mentioned. Their attendance may have assisted in what you call now a "logistical snafu." Did those faculty in charge call Campus Police and manage the situation on site or in advance? Where was the faculty presence beyond just attending this fine performance and bringing a reporter's notebook and camera?

We also noticed from the Student Services building that when they arrived they parked their huge truck on our front lawn. This is the week before our classes begin and we are pretty proud of the view from our building. Is this how guests behave? Maybe there is good reason for them not using our Live Oaks Terrace.

Next week when you have a hundred staff members serving thousands and thousands of students so they can make it to your fine courses, make sure to mention how annoyed you are by the blue balloons everywhere. We expect to be enlightened on this once again.

Anonymous said...

There was a faculty member in charge of this event? Who?

I have a feeling that the truck was parked in front of your window in order to facilitate unloading of the set and equipment. I don't think they would have parked there if they had not been directed to do so. In my experience, campus police would have directed them to do so. I don't think you can chock it up to "how guests behave."

Anonymous said...

No, they parked their rental trucks on the lawns on their own. Rude.

Anonymous said...

OK... Question of the Day.
This Shakespeare play was listed on the Flex Calendar. It sounds like the general public was invited. My question is this... Since when do we invite everyone to participate in our Flex week activities? Can the general public attend the Chancellor's Breakfast?
Very odd. At my previous school only faculty and staff attended professional development workshops.
What thou art say?

Anonymous said...

Shakespear vs Shakespeare
The spelling of William Shakespeare's name has varied over time. It was not consistently spelled any single way during his lifetime, in manuscript or in printed form. After his death the name was spelled variously by editors of his work, and the spelling was not fixed until well into the 20th century.

The standard spelling of the surname as "Shakespeare" was the most common published form in Shakespeare's lifetime, but it was not one used in his own handwritten signatures. It was, however, the spelling used by the author as a printed signature to the dedications of the first editions of his poems Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece. It is also the spelling used in the First Folio, the definitive collection of his plays published in 1623, after his death.

The spelling of the name was later modernised, "Shakespear" gaining popular usage in the 18th century, which was largely replaced by "Shakspeare" from the late 18th through the early 19th century. In the Romantic and Victorian eras the spelling "Shakspere", as used in the poet's own signature, became more widely adopted in the belief that this was the most authentic version. From the mid-19th to the early 20th century, a wide variety of spellings were used for various reasons; although, following the publication of the Cambridge and Globe editions of Shakespeare in the 1860s, "Shakespeare" began to gain ascendancy. It later became a habit of writers who believed that someone else wrote the plays to use different spellings when they were referring to the "real" playwright and to the man from Stratford upon Avon. With rare exceptions, the spelling is now standardised in English-speaking countries as "Shakespeare".
Read a book dude.

Anonymous said...

I think the listing of the play in the FLEX schedule happened because for the the first time, a play WAS scheduled during FLEX week. It's been earlier or later during previous years, I believe.

The parking of the truck doesn't seem "rude" to me as much as it seems like the troupe was dealing with changing circumstances the best they could.

Anonymous said...

Whose full moon rose over the top?

Anonymous said...

it sucked, seriously.


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